Public private partnerships in development cooperation - Potential and pitfalls for inclusive green growth

16-09-2015 | Publicatie

Public–private partnerships have become increasingly popular in global and Dutch development cooperation. This study assesses the potential contribution of partnerships to Inclusive Green Growth, which is one of the main goals of Dutch development cooperation. We find that partnerships have Inclusive Green Growth potential, but that meeting this potential requires that responsibilities are better defined and that  partnership agreements are better negotiated and designed.

Partnerships have Inclusive Green Growth potential….

Public-private partnerships are generally expected to improve public services delivery, enhance local representation and stimulate efficiency. Evidence of whether they succeed in doing so is, however, mixed. This study finds that bringing private sector, civil society and public actors together helps in finding innovative approaches towards addressing Inclusive Green Growth issues. Sustaining partnership activities remains challenging, however, as the cost recovery of public service delivery remains an important bottleneck.

…but certain pitfalls need to be addressed upfront

Hence, realisation of the Inclusive Green Growth potential of partnerships requires that the challenges of stimulating growth that is both green and inclusive are better addressed. This implies, for example, that in the design of the partnership agreement more attention is paid to the allocation of risks and responsibilities, and that the interests of the different partners are explicitly defined, negotiated and aligned. In this study, we elaborate both the conditions for effective public-private partnerships and the requirements for Inclusive Green Growth strategies, and after assessing nine ongoing partnerships in the fields of water and sanitation, food security and renewable energy, recommendations are presented for improved partnership design.