Countries, and developing countries in particular, vary widely in terms of their level of capacity to identify, prioritize, prepare and procure public infrastructure projects, their competence in PPP project implementation specifically, and the maturity of their PPP frameworks and markets.

The USP report proposes three levels of capacity with regard to PPPs, and for each level it recommends particular priorities:

  • Countries with low capacity and little experience in implementing PPPs: the priority is to develop a USP framework, and build capacity to implement projects that were initiated as USPs with support from MDBs and external consultants. Focus on a small number of infrastructure projects that are not too complex yet suitable for PPPs, in a priority sector or area. The rigorous application of a competitive procedure after acceptance of the project is expected to optimally contribute to creating value-for-money and will also reduce the number of opportunistic USPs.
  • Countries with mid-level capacity and experience in implementing PPPs: these countries can extend their PPP framework with the adoption and consistent enforcement of a USP framework with a strict set of minimum requirements and a clear (and competitive) process for implementing projects that were initiated as USPs. It is recommended to have an empowered PPP unit which can develop procedures to create a level competitive playing field and also develop a communication strategy to improve awareness of the USP framework among relevant stakeholders.
  • Countries with high capacity and experience in implementing PPPs: these countries should enhance their experience in both PPPs and USPs, by enabling innovation and increasing the role of private-sector participation. This is typically reflected in the USP framework, limiting the USP procedure to “unique and innovative concepts, concepts or services not otherwise available to the

government, and not resembling the substance of a recent, current or pending competitive tender.” For highly innovative concepts, the recommendation extends to protection of intellectual property rights of private sponsors.

pipeline management: what project ideas enter into the pipeline, how are these ideas elaborated, how is the partnership mode for implementing eligible projects decided.

For the further life cycle phases we will refer to some of the resources that were covered in the course. A further elaboration of the PPP guidance wiki would also cover that content.