Further reading

The UNECE International Centre of Excellence on Public Private Partnerships


By: Katia Adamo, UNECE

Fueled by the financial crisis which has constrained governments’ ability to finance critical infrastructure or social service projects, PPPs attract considerable interest from developing countries and transition economies. However governments face barriers in identifying, designing, financing and implementing projects that add value and meet social, economic and environmental goals. Obstacles also remain in identifying projects that are replicable, less onerous and less time consuming to deliver.

The International Centre of Excellence on Public-Private Partnerships (ICoE), established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), aims to help governments in achieving excellence in PPPs development and implementation. Acting on behalf of the UN system and other regional Commissions, the objective of the ICoE coordinating hub in Geneva, as well as several specialist centres and regional hubs around the world, is to develop best practices and international standards for PPPs.

The Specialist Centres are being established across a number of important sectors to collect information on successes and failures from the past and current PPP experiences and to distil from such analysis the principles of best practices. On the basis of the international best practice guidelines, the ICoE will produce international PPPs standards which will guide governments on both the procedures and processes to adopt and implement PPPs in various sectors. The aim is that these standards will reduce time, cost and inefficiencies that hamper the preparation and implementation of PPPs and ideally increase the proportion of successful PPPs in achieving both social and financial objectives.

The following sectors have been identified as the ICoE priority areas of work in 2014: water and sanitation (International Specialist Centre in Geneva), renewable energy and energy efficiency (Specialist Centre in Morocco), health (Specialist Centre in the Philippines), ICT Broadband (Specialist Centre in Azerbaijan) and highways (Specialist Centre in India). In addition, a Specialist Centre on legislation, hosted by France, will aim to create best practice guidelines for institutional, policy and legal requirements of PPPs. Based on the UNECE “Guidebook on Promoting Good Governance in PPPs” (NY 2008), in 2014 the ICoE will produce its first international standard on good governance in PPPs. This standard will provide a set of recommendations on the institutions, legislation and regulations needed to develop successful PPPs projects.

Furthermore, the ICoE will also assist governments in implementing these guidelines and standards. A business advisory board, established in October 2013 and made up of experts in PPPs from the private sector, will support governments by convening high-level national consultations between private sector experts and national authorities as well as advising governments on specific PPP projects.

For further information, please click here or contact Katia Adamo, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, UNECE.