• Building modern, sustainable and reliable infrastructure is critical for meeting the rising aspirations of billions of people around the globe. Infrastructure investment helps raise economic growth rates, offers new economic opportunities, and facilitates investment in human capital. A significant increase in infrastructure investments in Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs) is needed to sustainably achieve poverty reduction and shared prosperity, reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and tackle climate change.

    We live in a world full of challenges, development needs related to infrastructure shortages are acute. Basic infrastructure including roads, water and sewage pipes, and electrical power remains scarce in many developing countries. Nearly 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal, or animal waste for cooking and heating, causing health risks. More than 660 million people lack access to a clean source of drinking water, and every day nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrheal diseases. Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the global population and is projected to rise. Congested and inadequate ports, airports, and roadways are a drag on growth and trade. Landlocked countries have trade costs that are 70% higher than transit coastal countries. Road safety is also an issue with 90% of road deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. By 2045, the number of people living in cities will increase by 2 billion, to a total of 6 billion urban residents — putting additional pressure on transport, energy, water, and other municipal infrastructure.

    Sustainable and reliable infrastructure can provide enormous benefits to people’s lives. Yet, in order to meet the increasing demands and needs of people around the world, much work is needed to make projects "investor ready," and to develop innovative frameworks to leverage private investment. According to the World Bank Group’s Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) Database total investment in infrastructure in 2015 remained steady at $111.6 billion, compared with $111.7 billion in 2014 and $124.1 billion over the past five years.  Solar energy investment climbed 72% above the previous five-year average to reach $9.4 billion; renewables captured nearly two-thirds of energy investments with private participation.

    Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can be a tool to deliver much needed infrastructure services. PPPs address the World Bank Group’s twin goals – eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity – by enhancing the reach and quality of the delivery of basic infrastructure services.

    When designed well and implemented in a balanced regulatory environment, PPPs can bring greater efficiency and sustainability to the provision of public services such as water, sanitation, energy, transport, telecommunications, healthcare and education.

    Every country has its own unique challenges, priorities, and financial constraints. In some cases, PPPs can provide benefit by leveraging the management capacity, innovation and expertise of the private sector, but other times a traditional public sector approach could be more appropriate.

    The World Bank Group is committed to helping governments make informed decisions about improving access and quality of infrastructure services, including, where appropriate, using Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as one delivery option. This approach is further enabled by working on: strengthening data, building capacity, developing and testing tools, promoting disclosure and encouraging engagement with all relevant stakeholders.  

    The Bank Group has been working on PPP and infrastructure tools to empower governments and clients with better decision making around PPPs.

    Last Updated: Mar 30, 2017

  • Over the past decade, the World Bank Group has expanded its support through PPPs because of their ability to improve the quality and delivery of basic infrastructure services. The institution’s unique value proposition for its client countries rests with its capacity to provide support along the entire PPP cycle, from policy advice to transaction closure. 

    The Bank Group is committed to helping governments make informed decisions about improving access and quality of infrastructure services, including, where appropriate, using PPPs as one delivery option. This approach is further enabled by working on strengthening data, building capacity, developing and testing tools, promoting disclosure and encouraging engagement with all relevant stakeholders.  

    By providing a wide range of expertise, instruments and services, the Bank Group can contribute to the PPP agenda — from upstream policy advice for regulatory and institutional reforms to downstream transaction support, including a multibillion-dollar lending, investment and guarantee portfolio along with analytical and advisory activities and the ability to convene partners. 

    Looking ahead, the Bank Group intends to increase its PPP support. (See the latest strategy, A Stronger, Connected, Solutions World Bank Group.) The strategy also creates the framework for many important components of an even more effective PPP agenda, including a strong emphasis on knowledge products and collaboration across the World Bank Group and among development partners, including the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) — a precondition to working effectively along the PPP delivery chain. 

    The Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) are already actively collaborating, both in terms of direct financing of projects, mobilizing private capital, and improving capacities and knowledge around infrastructure to reduce transaction costs and strengthen the pipeline of bankable projects.

    A task force has been set up to harmonize definitions and targets around MDB mobilization. The portfolios of IFC and MIGA are growing. New platforms have been established such as the Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), which aims to support client demand to prepare and structure complex infrastructure projects so they are able to attract commercial and institutional investment. The GIF focuses on energy, water and sanitation, transport and telecommunications projects that are either climate-smart or trade-enabling.

    Our collaboration goes beyond financing. We’ve been jointly developing platforms such as the PPP Knowledge Lab and advise on the International Infrastructure Support System to improve the flow of information, reduce transactions costs and speed up project preparation. We’re also supporting a PPP certification scheme that will address capacity constraints. We are also working together to establish infrastructure tools and new standards of disclosure and transparency that will ultimately reduce risk perceptions from private investors and give voice to stakeholders. 


    Last Updated: Sep 27, 2016

  • The World Bank Group has supported countries by helping to create an enabling environment for PPPs, while also structuring advice and finance.

    • Over the past 15 years, World Bank Group support to PPPs has nearly tripled. Lending, investments and guarantees have increased both in absolute terms and in relative terms, rising from $900 million in 2002 to $2.8 billion in 2016.
    • The World Bank approved 407 loans with a PPP component between 2002 and 2016 totaling $15.6 billion. The Bank has also made significant contributions to upstream development for PPPs.
    • Since its inception in 1999, the  Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) has supported 169 knowledge activities and 1,164 technical assistance activities in 139 countries, with total approval expenditures amounting to $290 million. PPIAF’s support has contributed to leveraging $18.3 billion in investment financing for infrastructure PPPs globally.
    • The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) supported 81 PPP projects through political risk insurance, with a total $5.1 billion gross exposure between 2002- 2012. In FY16, MIGA approved four PPP projects with a total gross exposure of $817 million.
    • The International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Transaction Advisory in Public-Private Partnerships has achieved important results in advising clients on structuring PPPs. IFC has advised on 187 transactions from FY02 to FY16. Between FY02 and FY16, IFC’s Investment Services has invested in 249 PPPs with total commitments of $9.8 billion


    Last Updated: Sep 27, 2016




WATCH: Public-Private Partnerships Explained



World Bank Group PPP Project Briefs

Browse the 2-page Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) project briefs below by region or sector.


MDB Infrastructure Investment Project Briefs

See how the multilateral development banks have come together to support the development and implementation of public-private ...


Private Participation in Infrastructure Database

The PPI Database identifies and disseminates information on private participation in infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income ...


PPP in Infrastructure Resource Center (PPPIRC)

PPPIRC provides easy access to an array of sample legal materials which can assist in the planning, design and legal structuring of any ...


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