Defining the Key Ingredients for PPP to Work in the Pacific
[Nadi, Fiji – May 31] Consultation, commitment and a shared vision came out as the key themes in making public private partnerships (PPP) work in a Pacific context.
Building on from the first day’s presentations at the Regional Roundtable on Promoting Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Local Economic Development in the Pacific, during which examples from the Caribbean, Bangladesh and Nepal were shared, on the second day, participants from the Pacific shared a wide range of experiences on the processes involved in setting up a business.
Some of these included an example of a local town council in Fiji partnering to improve service delivery, the findings of a research study of doing business with a local government in Fiji as well as experiences from Palau, Tonga and Samoa.
As the Roundtable started it was important to define PPP.
Kazi Abbu Mohammad Morshed, the Assistant Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh clarified that, “PPP was not outsourcing of a simple function of a public service, neither was it about was creating a State owned company nor did it refer to borrowing by government from the private sector.”
“PPP involves a contract between a public-sector authority and a private party, in which the private party provides a public service and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational responsibility of project’s result,” said Mr Morshed.
Describing the experience of Nepal in implementing PPPs, UNDP Nepal’s Purushottam Shrestha emphasized the importance of stakeholder consultation at every stage of the PPP project to ensure its sustainability.
His views were echoed by AusAID’s Pacific Leadership Programme’s Lionel Gibson.
“Partnerships for successful PPP models involve developing relationships around a particular focus. Partnerships are not set in stone and stakeholders should consult each other and amend their partnership as needed to ensure the PPP project’s success,” said Mr Gibson.
He also emphasized the role of people who can influence change in the process of creating local economic growth through PPPs.
Commitment and Shared Vision
The Roundtable is attended by more than 90 private sector representatives, national and local government officials, development partners and members of the civil society from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Workshop participants said that there were different types of partnerships in action in the Pacific, some of which could be classified as pro poor public private partnerships.
Participants discussed the current status, opportunities and bottlenecks in their country contexts. This included legislations and policies in place. The groups also discussed priority actions for their countries to achieve local economic development through PPPs.
Adapting models to suit the local context, building trust amongst the stakeholders and having an impartial broker to bring the stakeholders together were recurring topics in the experiences shared by participants.
The Roundtable is organized by UNDP through the Pacific Centre and the Asia Pacific Regional Centre in Bangkok, in partnership with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation and the Pacific Leadership Programme.
It will end on June 1 with the adoption of an outcomes document that will identify pathways for action to promote local economic development through PPP.
For further information, contact: Shobhna Decloitre, UNDP Communications Specialist on (679) 9926396 or Shobhna.firstname.lastname@example.org