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What is a PPP

“A public-private partnership (PPP) is a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance.”

A PPP, as defined above, encompasses a range of contract types, which can be described in different ways—there is no standard, internationally accepted definition of PPP, and different jurisdictions use different nomenclature to describe similar projects.

PPP contracts, and the financing agreements behind them, are powerful tools that governments can use to leverage the private sectors’ knowledge, experience and financing capacity to improve the volume and quality of basic services provided to local populations.

The following graphic shows the mix of public and private involvement in the delivery of services: from purely public to purely private. 

Continuum of public and private involvement in service delivery, including public private partnerships.

Learn More

    • 2014
    • Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank Group (WBG), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), PPIAF

    What is a PPP

    PPP Reference Guide

    The PPP Reference Guide presents a global overview of the diversity of approaches and experiences in the implementation of PPPs, providing an entry point to the substantial body of knowledge on PPPs that has been built up by practitioners in governments, the private sector, international institutions, and academics. It seeks to provide advice on what PPP practitioners should know, rather than provide advice on what to do. This section defines what is a PPP.

    • 2011
    • Abdul Quium
    • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

    A Guidebook on Public-Private Partnership in Infrastructure

    Public-private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure is a relatively new experience in most developing countries of the Asian and Pacific region. Although many governments have considered various steps to promote PPPs in their countries, lack of capacity in the public sector remains to be one of the major problems in implementing PPP projects. This Guidebook describes the overall process and activities usually involved in PPP project development, implementation and management. It has been developed as a general resource material for better understanding of the whole process. The Guidebook also revisits some of the basics of PPPs to help understand the process and the requirements for developing successful projects. As the actual process...

    • 2010
    • Edward Farquharson, Clemencia Torres de Mästle, E.R. Yescombe, and Javier Encinas
    • PPIAF

    How to Engage with the Private Sector in Public-Private Partnerships in Emerging Markets

    This guide reviews the necessary steps to successfully engage and manage a public-private partnership (PPP) from the early stages. It presents a framework that highlights the requirements, options, and challenges that governments face when embarking into PPPs, and explains how to address them so that a sound PPP program can be implemented and the benefits for both public and private partners can fully materialize. This book draws on experiences from both mature and developing PPP markets across the world, and case studies illustrate the key messages throughout. It discusses the policies, processes, and institutions needed to select the right projects and then manage preparation for market and operation. It identifies the underlying...

    • 2010
    • Jeffrey Delmon
    • World Bank Group (WBG)

    Understanding Options for Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure

    Sorting out the forest from the trees

    This paper provides a methodology for categorizing public-private partnerships in infrastructure, based on the following key characteristics: whether the project involves new or existing business, the nature of the private sector’s construction obligations, the need for the private sector to mobilize significant private funding ab initio, the nature of the private sector’s service delivery obligations, and the source of the project revenue stream. The purpose of this methodology is to facilitate mapping, referencing, cross-comparison, analytical studies, and descriptions of public-private partnerships in infrastructure projects with similar key characteristics across sector, commercial, regional, and geopolitical lines. The methodology...

    • 2014
    • European Investment Bank (EIB)

    The EPEC PPP Guide

    The European PPP Expertise Centre (EPEC) has published several versions of its Guide to Guidance over the last few years. The Guide to Guidance is principally aimed at public procuring authorities considering the use of public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements. Given the positive feedback it has received, EPEC decided to turn the Guide to Guidance into a webtool rebranded as the EPEC PPP Guide. The aim of the EPEC PPP Guide is to give users easy access to regularly updated PPP guidance and allow them to interact with the EPEC team (e.g. propose new guidance, rate the EPEC PPP Guide).  

    • 2005
    • Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

    Delivering the PPP Promise

    A review of PPP Issues and Activity

    Offers a broad overview of PPPs in Europe, outlining their advantages and disadvantages, and reviewing PPP activity by country. 

    • 2006
    • William D. Eggers and Tom Startup
    • Deloitte

    Closing the Infrastructure Gap

    The Role of Public-Private Partnerships

    Published by Deloitte Research, this study provides a short and easily digestible overview of the advantages and disadvantages of PPPs. Citizens around the globe confront the world’s glaring infrastructure deficit daily. Evidence of the large and growing gap between infrastructure needs and the resources that governments have historically invested in meeting those needs is everywhere: congested roads; bridges in need of repair; poorly maintained transit systems and recreational facilities; and deteriorated hospitals, schools, and waste treatment facilities all in urgent need of rehabilitation and repair. These problems in turn impose huge costs on society, from lower productivity to reduced competitiveness to an increased number of...

    • 2011
    • Ronald Fischer
    • Oxford University, International Growth Center , London School of Economics (LSE)

    The Promise and Peril of Public Private Partnerships

    Lessons from the Chilean Experience

    This short paper explores PPPs in Chile, which has one of the most successful PPP programs among developing countries. The program has significantly improved the country’s road, airport and seaport infrastructure. 

    • 2007
    • E.R. Yescombe
    • Oxford University

    Public-Private Partnerships: Principles of Policy and Finance

    This book reviews the general policy issues which arise for the public sector in considering whether to adopt the PPP procurement route, and the specific application of this policy approach in PPP contracts. This book also offers a systematic and integrated approach to financing PPPs within this public-policy framework. A section on due diligence can be found in Section 6.5.

    • 2010
    • H.K. Yong
    • Commonwealth Secretariat, United Kingdom

    Public-Private Partnerships Policy and Practice

    Public–Private Partnerships Policy and Practice provides guidance on public-private partnership theory and practice for senior policy-makers and other public sector officials in developing countries. The guide focuses on the key lessons learned, and emerging best practices, from both successful and failed PPP transactions over a thirty-year period. The guide explains relevant concepts in non-specialist language. Each section begins with a summary of its key points, and provides a high-level outline. Page 33 provides a checklist for modern concession law principles from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

    • 2011
    • Jeff Delmon

    Public Private Partnerships in Infrastructure: An Essential Guide for Policymakers

    Investment in infrastructure is critical to economic growth, quality of life, poverty reduction, access to education, healthcare, and achieving many of the goals of a robust economy. But infrastructure is difficult for the public sector to get right. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can help; they can provide more efficient procurement, focus on consumer satisfaction and life cycle maintenance, and provide new sources of investment, in particular through limited recourse debt. But PPPs present challenges of their own. This book provides a practical guide to PPPs for policymakers and strategists, showing how governments can enable and encourage PPPs, providing a step-by-step analysis of the development of PPP projects, and explaining...

    • 2011
    • HM Treasury, United Kingdom

    The Green Book: Appraisal and Evaluation in Central Government

      The Government is committed to continuing improvement in the delivery of public services. A major part of this is ensuring that public funds are spent on activities that provide the greatest benefits to society, and that they are spent in the most efficient way. The Treasury has, for many years, provided guidance to other public sector bodies on how proposals should be appraised, before significant funds are committed – and how past and present activities should be evaluated.This new edition incorporates revised guidance, to encourage a more thorough, long-term and analytically robust approach to appraisal and evaluation. It is relevant to all appraisals and evaluations. Appraisal, done properly, is not rocket science, but it is...

    • 2014
    • Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank Group (WBG), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), PPIAF

    Que son las APP

    Asociaciones Publico-Privadas: Guia de Referencia

For legal and regulatory resources go to PPPIRC

Explore PPP Cycle