MANILA, Philippines – Long synonymous with big infrastructure projects, sectors that fall under the public private partnership (PPP) umbrella are set to get a boost from a partnership between one the country’s biggest data management and services firms and a premiere business school in the region.
ADEC Innovations Foundation has partnered with the Asian institute of Management (AIM) to advance the government’s PPP thrust, the pair announced in a briefing on Wednesday, March 2.
The most tangible fruit of the partnership will be the establishment of a PPP research laboratory. The lab will investigate socio-economic, political, and policy related issues affecting PPP project implementation.
It also aims to be a hub, bringing together policy makers, lending institutions, PPP implementing agencies, and civil society in a series of learning sessions and workshops to refine strategies for putting projects together.
The goal is to create a platform to identify best practices in PPP projects so that they can be brought forward. The emphasis will be on projects that align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In this, the new lab will be complemented by the foundation’s existing partnership with UN Economic Commissions for Europe (UNECE) in hosting a specialist center for health.
“The establishment of the PPP research laboratory is crucial in studying the efficient delivery of projects related to the the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDG) and determining how they can best have a direct and positive impact across the world,” said ADEC Innovation CEO James Donovan.
New wave PPPs
The laboratory will initially focus on what Donovan called the “next wave of PPPs,” or those in the sectors of health, education and information technology (IT).
“Implementing services within these sectors is really new ground and tends to be a little bit of a lightning rod because these are services that historically have been 100% provided by governments,” Donovan explained.
A lot of these services can be uplifted by new technology and new funding however, he pointed out.
Some examples of PPP programs in these sectors include projects to build classrooms in rural areas which the government has farmed out to the private sector, a project to digitize national statistics and civil documents for free public access, or possible targeted health drives and services similar to those being implemented in the United Kingdom or Canada.
There’s a huge amount of attention given to the national level PPP projects, especially infrastructure ones but the real bang for buck will be in getting efficient microprojects down to tthe city and barangay levels, Donovan explained.
He believes the country is absolutely ripe for these kind of projects but before they can take off, more people need to be educated into truly getting more value out of these them.
“We see AIM as being able to close that gap with policy makers and implementers which creates a more fertile ground for a potential project to succeed,” Donovan added.
Philippine-based ADEC Innovations has over 30 years experience in providing data based environmental, social, and governance solutions. It has over 5,000 employees in 5 continents.
The Philippines, Donovan said, is ahead in terms of experience with government and private partnerships – whether they were called build operate transfer models or the current PPPs – and the lessons from that provide an invaluable resource.
“A lot of it is an acronym game, but we’ve had a lot of practices, some that have gone sideways but also some that have been a success. What we need to do is examine the factors behind this success so we can bring the possibilities promised by government partnering with the private sector to the forefront,” Donovan said. – Rappler.com