International tenders, management agreements, and risk allocation methodologies may not come to mind when you think about reducing poverty. But these are some of the tools behind public-private partnerships, or PPPs, which are becoming increasingly recognized as an effective way to finance and operate public services, including infrastructure, health and education.
Infrastructure and basic public services lay the groundwork for growth and provide paths out of poverty. Every time a village gets power, safe water, a school, a clinic, or transportation links, its people have more opportunities to build better lives. The catch is that it costs a lot of money and requires a lot of expertise to run. That’s where the private sector comes in, and why PPPs—agreements between governments and firms to provide infrastructure and public services—are so important.
Emerging Partnerships’ Findings
The results showcased in Emerging Partnerships reveal the versatility of PPPs. The top PPPs addressed issues as wide ranging as trade, food security, education, health, sanitation, power and the environment. They were successful in both large and small countries, post-conflict countries, and in places with varying degrees of government support for the PPP model.
The common thread among them was the concept of partnership—where government, private firms, investors, international development institutions, and communities work together to address gaps in service and access. The following examples received the top “Gold” recognition in Emerging Partnerships:
These examples show some of the ways that PPPs can help governments build infrastructure, deliver public services and reduce burdens on the poor.
How Projects Were Selected
IFC and IJ sponsored a global competition to identify PPPs with the greatest impact. Drawing from projects nominated by governments, industry, NGOs, academia and other organizations, independent judging panels then selected the top 10 PPP projects from four different regions around the world. Judging panels looked at a broad range of features, including financial and technological innovation, developmental impact, and replicability. Projects also must have reached financial close for at least part of the project between January 2007 and June 2012. Click here for full selection criteria.