Filling the local PPP capacity gap in Brazil: how the CP3P program can help


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Photo: Passarinho/Pref.Olinda | Flickr Creative Commons

A few weeks ago, I delivered the training for the Certified Public-Private Partnership Professional (CP3P) Preparation exam to a group in São Paulo. I was about to commence my closing remarks at the end of the three-day very intensive journey, when a particularly dedicated participant asked: “Why is it that we have never heard of so many of these concepts before?”
It was indeed a very good question.

The fact that the dedicated candidate who asked it was a lead official in one of the most active subnational governments in Brazil makes the question particularly troublesome. Especially because the CP3P—the APMG Certification Program—presents a very basic understanding of how governments should implement PPPs at the foundation level.

In fact, the participant’s remark is a symptom of a very important issue for the future of PPPs in Brazil, which has been one of the most active markets for private sector investment in infrastructure in the developing world: the imperative to build capacity at the local level.

The problem: too many PPPs fail before reaching financial close

Subnational governments, at the regional and local levels, have been leading the PPP scene in Brazil for over a decade.  True, most of the large multi-billion dollar projects are still implemented by the central government, but those are few in numbers, slow to implement and mostly concentrated in the energy and transport sectors. In contrast, the subnational market for PPPs in Brazil has shown remarkable growth, experienced dynamic and shorter project cycles, and has seen successful implementation of PPPs in a variety of social and economic sectors.

However, projects still fail all too often. For example, out of the 130 PPPs that entered the subnational government pipeline in 2014, only 7% reached financial close as of June 2017. This means that the efforts and resources that went into preparing 118 of those PPPs were wasted. Capacity building can improve the success rate of PPPs in Brazilian subnational governments and other parts of the globe. 

The solution: the resources to develop effective PPPs are now available

The good news is the knowledge and practical tools required to develop effective PPPs are out there as never before. The PPP knowledge Lab, the project preparation online tool Source and the recent report Benchmarking PPP Procurement 2017 are examples of the world-class resources readily available for governments interested in improving their ability to do PPPs, and reduce the prospects of project failure. However, one of the most transforming initiatives is the CP3P Certification Program.

The program is based on the PPP Certification Guide, a comprehensive body of knowledge that presents agreed-upon definitions, concepts, and best practices on PPPs with a global perspective.

The value of a set of knowledge, endorsed by the international community of practitioners and experts, has been recognized in Brazil and the program is growing fast.

Since the paper exam was first administered in the country in May, about 80 people have enrolled in preparation courses for the foundation level. Interestingly, almost half of them come from the public sector and 77% of those have come from subnational entities. In other words, municipalities and states have been one of the most active groups of clients of the certification program, second only to private advisory firms.

Having delivered all these trainings myself, I have personally seen the excitement of local government agents learning the international best practices. I have also seen how useful the CP3P content is to the participants that struggle to prepare projects. The tools, concepts and methodologies introduced are actively debated in the classroom and it is astonishing how quickly the participants turn the content into practical lessons as the course evolves.

In fact, witnessing the role of knowledge to improve the capacity of local agents to manage the PPP process is the most rewarding part of delivering the CP3P training.

As for the enquiring participant of the São Paulo Class, she passed the CP3P exam with flying colors, as did 94% of the representatives of subnational governments who took the test in Brazil. However, there are over 400 subnational governments implementing PPP programs in the country, so there is still a lot of work ahead of us.

I hope the CP3P program will continue to grow and help local governments acquire the capacity and knowledge to deliver more and better infrastructure projects. If you are interested in signing up for a training in Brazil, leave a comment below. To learn more about the program, visit their website.

*The APMP Certification Program (CP3P) is an innovation of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), and the World Bank Group (WBG), with financial support from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF).

Disclaimer: The content of this blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Bank Group, its Board of Executive Directors, staff or the governments it represents. The World Bank Group does not guarantee the accuracy of the data, findings, or analysis in this post.

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Marcos Siqueira

Public-Private Partnerships Expert

Robert Monte Fesito Mutagaya
September 14, 2017

It's the needed insight
Many Thanks

Dr. Mohamed Taher Abdelrazik Hamada, Ph.D
September 14, 2017

Actually , this program held in Brazil with the contribution of prominent figure
such as Mr. Marcos Siqueira who trained professionals for Certified Public Private
Partnership Professional CP3P).
As it is clear the certification program is a progressive step to promote PPPS
projects in developing countries which means a push for private sectors , specially,
and the public sector generally .
Brazil is a leading country for PPPS projects socially and economically as cited
in this above comment .
Such training for a certificate of (CP3P) is areal example about the seriousness in wide implementing of PPPS projects , all over the developing countries under the
leadership of the World Bank and other leading world financial institutions which
will help for the growth of worldwide projects , specially infrastructure projects.
Yours Very Respectfully,
Dr. Mohamed Taher abdelrazik Hamada, Ph.D
Retired Professor at Strayer University, USA

Victoria Delmon
September 15, 2017

The blog highlights the major challenge of capacity building at the subnational and municipal levels and Mr Siqueira makes reference to a number of excellent resources and tools. I would also highlight the Sub-national and Municipal pages on the PPPIRC website, a free online resource focused on legal and contractual issues around PPPs -…. The Sub-national pages contain sample laws, toolkits and project documents relevant to sub-national and municipal PPP projects (and cross references to the materials already cited). The PPPIRC team would welcome suggestions for materials to add to enrich these pages

Eric Agbonlahor
September 21, 2017

Good morning Mr Marcos,
I'm a banker working and living in Nigeria.I'm quite interested in developing a career in this proffesional field and practice and has made me follow most publications on PPP's closely.
I'm in interested in undertaking trainings in view of writing the exam.
Kindly help furnish me with any information to serve as a guide.
Kind Regards

apostle samuell
September 28, 2017

Thanks to you I,m apostle samuell I have taken a long time working with construction companies in Uganda for twenty five years I was trained by wade Adams ,Roko contruction and many more practically in masonry work,kindly I request you to employ me in masonry depertments
Apostle samuell kampala Uganda

Dr Henry Morkah
October 02, 2017

I am a pocurement professional with the Government of Nigeria and have high interest in acquiring certification in pubic private partnership. How can I get started with the program. Do you have a representative in Nigeria? I am eagerly waiting for your response. Thanks