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public-privte partnership

Should multilateral development banks support public-private partnerships?

Marcos Siqueira's picture

I had an engaging conversation with a group of employees of a multilateral development bank (MDB) early this month. It began with a very direct question: Why should MDBs support  Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as components of their loans? Is it not too risky?
 
I have been a PPP practitioner for over ten years. During this time I have defended the use of PPPs in many different contexts to several different audiences. I have talked service users into supporting PPPs on the basis of better services and operational flexibility that could empower users. I have convinced political player to approve PPPs because they would benefit from faster delivery of assets and fewer government-retained risks. I have brought bureaucrats on board after stressing that they would achieve value for money and retain a more noble role of service regulation, instead of execution.