Introduction

This page was submitted as a final project in the "PPPMOOC" course on public-private partnerships.

During the course we have had the opportunity to consult a wide range of guidance material from several countries, and from specialised institutions. Some of these resources are in this Google+ collection:

I have read a good deal of these works. However, I would love to navigate such instructive content in a more "user friendly way": the frameworks, the lessons learned, the cases, the tools and the deliverables, the procedure descriptions, and so much more.

The target audience for this page are PPP units or consultants supporting developing countries in growing their USP and PPP capacity, or improving stakeholder engagement.

The infrastructure need is a soft one "knowledge or information infrastructure", in contrast to physical infrastructure it can be implemented at a low cost.

In a sense, I make an "unsolicited proposal" involving primarily social innovation in dealing with complex frameworks and interactions.

I explain and illustrate how communications via internet and social media (wiki) can support addressing public sector challenges in developing countries that seek to grow their PPP and USP capacity.

#PPPMOOC Final Project Artefact

The below "artefact" explains how wiki's applied in a systematic way could be beneficial for developing countries that seek to grow their PPP or USP capacity. In this artefact I will refer to some pages in the wikiworx information components.

There is a need for a country-specific strategy in dealing with Public Private Partnerships [1] and Unsolicited Proposals (USPs) [2]. The latter report, further referred to as the USP report, identifies ten key factors that are hard to achieve in developing countries, yet are underpinning the objectives of unsolicited proposals:

  • To identify, prepare and implement economically valuable projects
  • To create value for money (better deal than alternative)

Five of these factors are on the macro-level (context), and five on the micro-level (project implementation). The table below lists only the factors and challenges at the macro level.

Factor Challenge
Private-sector interest Market appetite is directly dependent on the ability to make sufficient return on project investment.
Private-sector capacity Many USPs are opportunistic and of poor quality.
Public-sector capacity The lack of human and/or financial capacity of the responsible agency to identify, prioritize, prepare and procure projects is a common challenge and also a motivation for USPs.
Public-sector coordination Both inter- and intra-public-sector coordination and communication issues often hinder implementation of USPs.
Clarity on procedures USP frameworks should increase the clarity of procedures, yet in some instances, USP procedures and their enforcement remain unclear.

The potential of wiki guidelines is especially in addressing the public sector challenges, as explained in the table below for three factors.

Factor Problems Low-cost wiki-based enablers for capacity, coordination and clarity on procedures
Public-sector capacity The paradox: lack of PPP capacity motivates the interest in USPs, yet their successful implementation requires a high level of expertise in project development and contract procurement. In many countries the public sector is slow in acquiring the required capacity, primarily on the basis of own experience, or by engaging/hiring consultants. Facilitate accelerated learning via improved access to reference and case materials, for instance by publishing a "standard PPP guideline as wikis"1.
Public-sector coordination Under a decentralized model of realizing (development and implementation) infrastructure PPPs, management of USPs is often hindered by coordination and communication issues. A dispersed point of entry for USPs makes it harder to track USPs received by the government, and that makes the management of the USPs less transparent and more prone to abuse. In addition to the recommendations in the USP report, the legislature (parliament) could demand from the executive, ministries and agencies to document their idea, initiative and project pipeline via a shared wiki-based solution, such that a Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive view of the pipeline(s) is achieved.2
Clarity on procedures Unclear or poorly applied (enforced) procedures3 can lead to high transaction costs, loss of market interest, and perception issues with the general public. The USP report recommends more attention to the socializing and communicating of USP frameworks. Online, and easy to navigate publishing of procedures, with explanations how and why they deviate from a standard can achieve improved socializing and communication.4

Conclusion

While there is a strong potential of low-cost wikis in addressing a number of public sector challenges, they are unlikely to bring much advance without political will in a country, from either the executive, the legislature, both, or civil society.

Multilateral institutions could provide a "wiki" content base that covers the content of Public-Private Partnerships Laws / Concession Laws (with International guidelines and examples of PPP laws.

Instead of publishing long pdfs that are to be accessed and scrolled one by one, the publishing of International Guidelines as a wiki with online discussion and illustrations will reduce access hurdles. It could include links to national legislations and particular projects at each page5. Diverse stakeholders in PPP's, especially in developing countries, will use such a wiki as they build capacity for PPPs and USPs.

The Google translate feature moreover makes the content accessible in 83 different languages.


Bibliography
2. PPIAF: Unsolicited Proposals – An Exception to Public Initiation of Infrastructure PPPs - An Analysis of Global Trends and Lessons Learned, August 2014; url.