PPPLab tool development: Enabling better partnering with governments for achieving the SDGs

PPPLab’s Marije Balt (PRC), is developing a tool on partnering with governments for SDGs

Do you want to partner with governments in Africa, but wonder how? Getting a government partner committed is not always easy, but there is much to learn from other partnerships that have managed. Try the test version of our PPPLab tool which provides you with insights on how to effectively engage governments – in 12 questions. The tool navigates you towards relevant practices: how did other partnerships experience this? Their key to success was understanding government partners’ interests and respond to government’s motivations to get them on board. The tool includes questions on whom to partner with, what to do if challenges occur and how to promote mutuality and commitment in your partnership.

The tool is aimed at assisting practitioners from the private sector, NGOs and donors in navigating the challenges and seizing the opportunities of partnership with governments. It guides PPPs in their initial interactions with potential in-country public and governmental partners, looking at how the partnership design aligns to existing public activities, motivations and mandates, thereby making the proposed partnership attractive to participate in.

For existing PPPs, the tool should offer a moment of reflection on the partnership’s progress. Suppose you consider scaling your project or the partnership itself and need government engagement for this. The PPPLab Scaling Scan includes an important ingredient for this, called ‘public sector governance’. If this is an area which still requires efforts for your partnership, then the partnering with governments tool can prove useful by presenting tips and tricks on how to get government on board.

The bonus question is tailored to your most pressing challenge, for example continuity in working with government, reliability and accountability or the level of (partnering) capacity with government, and offers a repertoire of practices that your partnership can seek inspiration from, whether you are fresh or seasoned in the field of partnering with governments.

These practices emerged from interviews with lead partners of 12 public private partnerships (PPPs) working in Kenya and Ghana. In our 2017 Exploration Brief we presented their ways of working with governments and public sectors (the Public P).

Companies and organisations interviewed include the Waste Foundation, Vitens Evidence International, the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition, Solidaridad Kenya and the Netherlands, IRC Ghana and the Netherlands, CABI Ghana, Pharmaccess, Hivos Kenya, Agrico and Wienco/IWAD Ghana Ltd. Their partnerships were supported through a number of grant instruments by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RVO, including the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) and the Fund for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV). Last month, we published a 2-minute animation on how to partner with governments based on this research.

We would be delighted if you could come and share your feedback and insights on this test version of our tool with the PPP Café on Thursday 17 May in the New World Campus in The Hague, 15:00-17:00, please register here!