Gridlines share emerging knowledge on public-private partnership and give an overview of a wide selection of projects from various regions of the world. Gridlines are a publication of PPIAF (Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility), a multi-donor technical assistance facility. Through technical assistance and knowledge dissemination PPIAF supports the efforts of policy makers, nongovernmental organizations, research institutions, and others in designing and implementing strategies to tap the full potential of private involvement in infrastructure.
Uganda's national water utility has
become known for its successful turnaround under public
management. Less well known is that this success owes much
to the introduction of private-sector-like practices to
motivate employees. Following a mixed experience with two
short-term management contracts in Kampala, the
utility's management introduced an innovative concept
of internal delegation, inspired by public-private
partnership contracts. Local managers establish private
partnerships to operate systems under contract with the
utility, with part of their pay depending on performance.
The experience offers interesting lessons for those involved
in reforming urban water utilities in developing countries.
Thanks to a corporatization process
spanning two decades, Burkina Faso's national water and
sanitation utility ranks among the few well-managed public
water utilities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Key to its success
has been the government's unceasing commitment to
reform, which included the successful implementation of an
innovative performance-based service contract with an
international operator from 2001 to 2006. The experience
shows that it is possible to establish a well-performing
public water utility in a poor developing country- as long
as the governance framework ensures the autonomy and
accountability of the service provider and the government
supports the sector's long-term financial viability
through an appropriate tariff and investment policy.
Small-scale providers of water services
are no longer seen as merely temporary substitutes for
formal utilities. In many developing countries governments
and donors increasingly view them as long-term partners in
the work to extend and improve water services, particularly
as governments accelerate efforts to meet water targets
associated with the Millennium Development Goals. But a host
of problems complicate efforts to make small-scale providers
productive partners, including their lack of access to
finance. In Kenya, a collaborative program is bringing
together community-based organizations and micro-lenders to
provide better water services to poor people -- and
generating lessons for similar initiatives.