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FEATURE STORY

PPP Knowledge Lab: MDBs’ Collaboration Brings You the First-ever Comprehensive Online Resource for Public-Private Partnerships

January 25, 2016


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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • First collaboration among top multilateral development agencies produces comprehensive online resource for public-private partnerships (PPPs).
  • PPP Knowledge Lab allows easy access to data, terms, and trends that guarantees up-to-date, relevant results on PPPs.
  • The new site, edited and curated by PPP professionals, offers a wide range of knowledge products.

Multilateral development agencies from around the world have collaborated to produce the PPP Knowledge Lab, the first comprehensive online resource that pools the knowledge and experience of industry leaders in public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Although the use of public-private partnerships to design, build, and deliver infrastructure worldwide has grown enormously in the past decade, the availability of information to support governments and their advisors in making smarter decisions on PPPs has not kept pace. Before the launch of the PPP Knowledge Lab, for example, anyone searching for information on PPPs was required to hunt down often incomplete or dated information across several platforms.  Furthermore, credibility of the information or its source was often in question. The new site fills that long-standing gap in resource offerings while assuring the soundness of the information provided. 

“Throughout my years conducing PPP research, it’s been time consuming to do endless byzantine web searches looking for concrete information and analysis on PPP investment by sector or by region. The information, often of dubious quality, was almost always only partially useful, and often outdated,” says Matthew Jordan-Tank, Head of Infrastructure Policy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). “This is of course even truer for the lonely PPP unit staffer laboring away in relative isolation in one of many emerging market countries,” he adds.  “That’s why the PPP Knowledge Lab is as close to a revolution in information as we could ask for.”

The PPP Knowledge Lab, created with funding from the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), is a collaboration between the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and the World Bank Group. Together, they created a comprehensive online knowledge resource on PPPs that includes relevant information, such as infrastructure indicators and number of PPP projects in a given country, not available in one central place until now.


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Source: PPI Database

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) bring together the private sector and governments to provide public infrastructure. The total investment in infrastructure was $25.3 billion in the first half of 2015. The PPP Knowledge Lab brings together data and reports on these projects.


What’s Different about the PPP Knowledge Lab?

The PPP Knowledge Lab, designed and built by PPP professionals as a one-stop source for PPPs, allows visitors to refine searches to a desired level of specificity.  This enables them to explore PPPs through various lenses, including the lifecycle of a PPP, the approach and experience of PPPs in various sectors, and country-specific PPP profiles.

Among its many unique offerings useful to PPP professionals, infrastructure analysts, government officials, and private investors, the PPP Knowledge Lab includes an online library of PPP-related documents and books, both broad and deep in its coverage. This online library provides easy access through links to materials that would otherwise be difficult to locate and retrieve.

Among the most notable features of the PPP Knowledge Lab: 

  • It draws upon important infrastructure and PPP resources, like EIU’s Infrascope and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report;
  • It houses a fully searchable document library with the best possible resources on PPPs;
  • It includes documents in seven different languages: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese;
  • Drawing from the PPP Reference Guide, it offers an overview of the PPP cycle, covering the earliest stages through implementation, and incorporating a range of resources for each step;
  • It presents background on PPPs in different sectors, including power, transport, water, municipal, education, and health;
  • It includes individual pages on country-specific infrastructure and PPP data, covering over 100 countries around the world;
  • It parses information on PPP activity by country, including the number of projects and private investment to date, key infrastructure indicators, and the current legal framework; and
  • It will continue to grow as the primary resource on PPPs, with plans to add new pages on PPPs in ICT, tourism, waste, and agribusiness in the coming months, along with coverage of constantly evolving data on PPPs in countries around the globe.  

 

MDBs Joining Forces

Ultimately, it is the collaboration among multilateral development banks, which organized together for the common purpose of improving PPPs around the world that sets the PPP Knowledge Lab apart from any other PPP-related information resource.

“The site is the result of a collaboration among the world’s multilateral development banks (MDBs), creating a precedent for future collaborative efforts that promise significant strides forward for PPPs,” says Laurence Carter, Senior Director of the Public-Private Partnerships Group of the World Bank Group.

The development organizations that created the PPP Knowledge Lab will continue to collaborate to conceive and implement new PPP knowledge resources, as outlined here and is open to further ideas from the PPP community. 


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