Bankwatch does not take responsibility for the content of external sources, nor should their inclusion here be taken as an endorsement of their content – they are simply resources which we believe have something to add to the debate.
A Corporate Europe Observatory and Transnational Institute website that is tracking the wave of remunicipalisations in the water sector.
The European Investment Bank’s European PPP Expertise Centre, aimed more at promoting PPPs but provides useful statistics and resources.
George Monbiot was one of the first people to bring the wider issues around the Private Finance Initiative to the public in the UK.
Allyson Pollock is one of the UK’s foremost PPP critics, focusing on health care policy.
The Public Services Research Unit International (PSIRU) researches the privatisation and restructuring of public services around the world, with special focus on water, energy, waste management and healthcare.
The UNISON UK public services trade union offers analysis of the UK Private Finance Initiative.
The Global Union Research Network (GURN) is a platform for trade unionists and researchers dealing with the challenges of globalization from a labour perspective. Their website includes an extensive section on PPPs.
Waterjustice.org is a platform for discussions on alternatives to water privatisation and how to finance public water. Their website offers a selection of resources on water PPPs.
Gemeingut in BürgerInnenhand (common goods in citizens’ hands) is a German association fighting against privatisation of the commons of our society. In a dedicated PPP section on their website, GiB publishes statements, news and reports concerning (mostly, but not exclusively) German public-private partnerships.
Reports & articles
General assessments/criticism of PPPs
152 organisations from 45 countries
Public-Private partnerships, Global Campaign Manifesto
152 national, regional and international civil society organisations, trade unions and citizens’ organisations from 45 countries, that are increasingly alarmed by the growing use of PPPs around the world, have launched a campaign demanding that western governments, the World Bank and other development banks stop prioritising PPPs over traditional public borrowing to finance social and economic infrastructure and services.
Read also: World Bank must stop promoting “dangerous” public-private partnerships >> (eurodad press release)
Foley Hoag LLP / Heinrich Boell Foundation
Summary Comments on the World Bank Group’s 2017 Guidance on PPP Contractual Provisions
The World Bank Group recently published its 2017 Edition of the Guidance on PPP Contractual Provisions. By setting forth recommended contractual provisions, the guidance is expected to speed up or facilitate the conclusion of PPPs. At the request of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, the law firm of Foley Hoag LLP reviewed the guidance and found that it does not take an equitable approach to balancing public and private interests. In attempting to achieve its overriding objective of promoting PPPs, the guidance neglects the long-term and legitimate interests of developing countries.
Tim Jones, Jubilee Debt
The UK’s PPPs Disaster: Lessons on private finance for the rest of the world
The Jubilee Debt Campaign (UK) has launched a new briefing on the failures of PPPs in the UK. The briefing is intended for an international audience to properly inform civil society and decision makers across the world about the true record of PPPs in the UK. PPPs in the UK have:
– Cost the government more than if it had funded the public infrastructure by borrowing money itself
– Led to large windfall gains for the private companies involved, at public expense
– Enabled tax avoidance through offshore ownership
– Led to declining service standards and staffing levels
– Hollowed out state capacity to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure
– Eroded democratic accountability
Bernard Anaba and Sarah-Jayne Clifton
Proof is piling up that private sector finance is not an easy development fix
11 November 2015
Public-private partnerships increase debt burden, reduce access to services and cost countries more. Why is the UK government so keen to promote them?
María José Romero, Eurodad
What lies beneath? A critical assessment of PPPs and their impact on sustainable development
This report looks at the empirical and theoretical evidence available on the nature and impact of PPPs, and analyses the experiences of Tanzania and Peru, in country case studies carried out by Afrodad and Latindadd, respectively. It critically assesses whether PPPs deliver on the promises of their proponents and gives concrete recommendations for policymakers.
Tim Jones, Jubilee Debt Campaign
The new debt trap. How the response to the last global financial crisis has laid the ground for the next
The report finds that the level of debts owed between countries has risen from $11.3 trillion in 2011 to $13.8 trillion in 2014, and predicts that in 2015 they will increase further to $14.7 trillion. The report includes a chapter on PPPs: “Hidden debts: Public-Private Partnerships”.
Nick Hildyard, Corner House
Public-Private Partnerships, Financial Extraction and the Growing Wealth Gap: Exploring the connections (pdf)
Presentation at Manchester Business School, Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, July 2014
This presentation looks at Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in infrastructure through the lens of inequality, as wealth becomes concentrated in fewer and fewer hands and as the gap between rich and poor widens globally, regionally and within countries.
The £10bn Sale of Share in PPP Companies – New source of profits for builders and banks (pdf)
European Services Strategy Unit, January 2011
This Research Report is part of a wider study of the sale of Public Private Partnership (PPP) equity and the growth of a secondary market focused in the UK, but also including other EU countries, US, Canada, Latin America, Australia and other countries with significant numbers of PPP projects. It follows on from Professor Whitfield’s book, Global Auction of Public Assets: Public sector alternatives to the infrastructure market and Public Private Partnerships (see below).
Policy and Operations Evaluation Department of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Public-Private Partnerships in developing countries – A systematic literature review (pdf)
Based on a systematic review of professional literature and evaluation reports regarding the performance of PPPs this study concludes (among others) that PPP evaluations focus on resource sharing but pay little attention to the risk-sharing and revenue distribution dimension of partnerships. Moreover, it notes that the empirical evidence on the effectiveness and efficiency of PPP’s is notably scarce and that a large majority of evaluations are not based on robust impact analyses.
Reports on specific PPP topics
Juraj Melichar, Roman Havlicek, Xavier Sol
The Bratislava bypass – a public-private partnership to get around traffic problems and debt statistics (pdf)
Bankwatch / Counter Balance
19 December 2016
Steven Shrybman and Scott Sinclair
A Standard Contract for PPPs the World Over: Recommended PPP Contractual Provisions Submitted to the G20 (pdf)
11 April 2016
UK House of Commons Public Accounts Committee
Eighty-First Report: Equity Investment in privately financed projects
18 April 2012
Database of Failed Privatisation Projects in Water Supply and Sanitation (pdf)
UK House of Commons Treasury Select Committee
Seventeenth Report: Private Finance Initiative
18 July 2011
UK National Audit Office
Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General: Procurement of the M25 private finance contract
19 November 2010
Review of lessons from completed EIB projects financed by the EIB (pdf)
Katharina Gassner, Alexander Popov and Nataliya Pushak
Does Private Sector Participation Improve Performance in Electricity and Water Distribution? (pdf)
World Bank / PPFIAF
Gayle Allard and Amanda Trabant, Instituto de Empresa, Spain:
Public-Private Partnerships In Spain: Lessons And Opportunities (pdf)
International Business & Economics Research Journal
February 2008, Volume 7, Number 2
UK House of Commons Transport Committee:
The London Underground and the Public–Private Partnership Agreements Second Report of Session 2007–08 (pdf)
16 January 2008 (An update from March 2010 is available here.)
Andreas Brenck, Thorsten Beckers, Maria Heinrich, and Christian von Hirschhausen
Public-private partnerships in new EU member countries of Central and Eastern Europe (pdf)
EIB Papers, Volume 10, No. 2, 2005
Armin Riess et al
Innovative financing of infrastructure – the role of public-private partnerships: Lessons from the early movers (pdf)
EIB Papers Volume 10 No 2, 2005
Campbell Thomson, Judith Goodwin
Evaluation of PPP projects financed by the EIB (pdf)
European Investment Bank
UK National Audit Office
The Operational Performance of PFI Prisons
18 June 2003
Satoko Kishimoto, Olivier Petitjean and Lavinia Steinfort
Reclaiming Public Services: How cities and citizens are turning back privatisation.
Transnational Institute and others
Reclaiming Public Services is vital reading for anyone interested in the future of local, democratic services like energy, water and health care. This is an in-depth world tour of new initiatives in public ownership and the variety of approaches to deprivatisation.
Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain
Pan Books, October 2003
– a little out of date now but gives a highly readable account of some of the UK’s most shocking PPPs. More up to date commentaries on PPPs can be found at www.monbiot.com
Global Auction of Public Assets: Public sector alternatives to the infrastructure market and Public Private Partnerships
Spokesman books, 2010
This is the first critical analysis which explores PPP programmes in the UK, France, Ireland, Germany, the US, Canada, Russia, Australia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa
Down The Tube, The Battle for London’s Underground
Aurum Press, November 2002
– an in-depth critique of the London Underground PPP which correctly foresaw its demise. Several updates since the book have appeared are available on Christian’s website
Resources on PPPs in sectors other than public services
The term ‘public-private partnership’ is being used for a huge variety of business arrangements these days. Some of them are just as problematic as the public services PPPs described on this website, even if rather different. Here are relevant resources.
Moral Hazard? ‘Mega’ public-private partnerships in African agriculture (pdf)
(Read a short summary here.)