PPP Café: Learning from Mid-Term Reviews of PPP Facilities: Oct 5th, The Hague

The Netherlands invests in public-private-partnerships (PPPs) as one of the ways of achieving development goals formulated in Dutch national policy. A range of PPP support facilities target different sectors, work at different scales and stimulate different kinds of PPPs. All of these, though, do expect the partnerships to catalyse some kind of systemic change, or contribute to change at a larger scale than the scale of the partnership’s direct activities.

What then, are we seeing of this catalytic intention? And when does it make sense to invest in PPPs as a means to achieve more systemic change towards development goals? These are the questions we will explore at the next PPPCafe on October 5th.

Over the past 18 months, mid-term reviews have and are being carried out on a range of PPP support facilities. These include FDOV (Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security), FDW (Sustainable Water Fund), G4AW (Geodata for Agriculture and Water), GAFSP (Global Agriculture & Food security Program) and 2Scale. During the PPPCafe lead authors of the reviews of FDOV, FDW and G4AW will draw on their findings to prod at the ambitions of PPPs that are being put forward and supported since the reviews were carried out. If you are developing partnerships for new calls of these various facilities, or are part-way in a current PPP and are wondering about where to set your sights on change, this afternoon is for you.

If you want to know what the reviews concluded, you can read them here:

Two of the authors give a peek behind the curtains of what they will address. As always, the PPPCafe will draw you in to chew on what’s been said and take it a step further. Can we raise the bar on what PPPs could, and maybe should, aim to achieve?

Ken Caplan, who will present the Sustainable Water Development Fund (FDW)

The Sustainable Development Goals are currently the most ambitious, globally agreed set of transformational goals. They require a different way of working that is more integrated across stakeholders, geographic areas, initiatives, and sectors.  Greater partnership coherence should foster more joined-up thinking and enable risk taking.  Just tinkering around the edges of the status quo will not have the transformational impact required.

With the increasingly stringent need to ensure value for money and clear progress towards meeting the SDG targets, what role can public funding through mechanisms like the Sustainable Water Fund play?  What’s the best way to leverage private and commercial interest?  Is it realistic to expect such a mechanism to encourage private sector risk taking, meet poverty alleviation targets, support the public sector framing that institutionalises new solutions, and other objectives?  Connected in some way to most other SDGs, what peculiarities of the water sector require special consideration when designing a multi-stakeholder partnership-orientated funding mechanism?

Mark Noort, who will present Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW)

A World Bank study (2014) shows that 31 percent of the reports the World Bank has put online have never been downloaded . Even its not a perfect indicator, this statistic is alarming: we don’t even read what is available, let alone make decisions based on useful insights.

Comparing the main findings different PPP-facility reviews is therefore very welcome. Take the PPP (Public-Private Partnerships) aspect, for example, that plays a role in all these programmes. The FDW review concludes that sustainable participation of the private sector is still a challenge. The FDOV review does see a strong business engagement, but is reserved how well this is leading to clear poverty reduction. The G4AW review is much more optimistic about this aspect (fortunately so, because the whole programme aims at commercialisation). Admittedly, most of the initiatives in G4AW build their business model on the A and less on the W. Why, though, should what works for small farmers in developing countries (long seen as a group that could not possibly benefit from satellite information) not work in, let’s say, drinking water and sanitation?

Interested to Join?

Location: Innovation Conference Room, New World Campus, The Hague

15.00: Beginning
17.00: Close & drinks

Let us know you’re coming: james.mulkerrins@wur.nl