By Dennis A. Rondinelli, 2004


The private sector is playing increasingly important roles in producing goods and providing services that were once considered “public” and therefore exclusively the responsibility of governments. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) and other forms of cooperation between the private sector and local and national governments are used frequently around the world to develop and expand energy and utility networks and services, extend telecommunications and transportation systems, construct and operate water, sewer, and waste treatment facilities, and provide health, education and other services.2 In many developing countries, governments are also using PPPs to finance and manage toll expressways, airports, shipping ports, and railroads and to reduce environmental pollution, build low-cost housing, and develop ecotourism.

By Mark Dutz, Clive Harris, Inderbir Dhingra, and Chris Shugart, 2006


As governments turn to the private sector to provide services once delivered by the public sector, they must learn new skills. An increasingly common way to provide the new capacities needed is to establish public-private partnership units—as new agencies or as special cells within a cross-sectoral ministry such as finance or planning. Making the right choices on what roles such units play, where they are located, and how conflicts of interest are managed is critical in their success. This Note reviews the experience.