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Why Public-Private Partnerships don’t work

The new report Why Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work: The many advantages of the public alternative contains a combination of 30 years of research by David Hall, former Director of Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) University of Greenwich, UK.



PPPs are now being promoted worldwide by global institutions and consultants. Development banks, national governments, the EU and donor agencies are providing subsidised public finance specifically for PPPs. Countries subject to IMF regimes, and other developing countries, are being subjected to political pressures and marketing campaigns. But experience over the last 15 years shows that PPPs are an expensive and inefficient way of financing infrastructure and divert government spending away from other public services. They conceal public borrowing, while providing long-term state guarantees for profits to private companies. This report looks at the scale of PPPs, and the institutions promoting them; the lessons of experience with PPPs; and a process for systematic evaluation of PPPs against public sector options. It also sets out some ways of challenging PPP policies and programmes, and offers advice to pension funds considering investing in PPPs.

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