Apr 12 2018 15:00

This event will explore the role of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in de-risking private sector entry into new markets.

It responds to realities that persist across sectors in emerging market cities, including poor definition of roles, lack of access to high quality services for low-income consumers, and the weak positioning of the private sector to benefit from potential positive earnings from the market.


Neil Jeffery, CEO, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)
Eleanor Allen, CEO, Water for People
Martin Gambrill, Lead Water and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank
Nirjhor Rahman, consultant

The event will begin by sharing the learning from WSUP’s experience of supporting diverse PPP arrangements in the challenging context of urban water and sanitation provision in Bangladesh, Zambia, Uganda and elsewhere. This will include SWEEP, a lease-based PPP arrangement to provide faecal sludge management services initially developed between Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and a local SME, Gulshan Clean & Care: SWEEP is the first PPP arrangement of its type in Bangladesh, with the successful model soon to be active in four cities with a total market worth US$ 18 million annually.

Drawing upon this experience from the urban water and sanitation sector, the event will hypothesise that PPPs offer a potentially effective mechanism for de-risking private sector entry into new markets. We will explore the specific measures through which a balance of risks and improved business models to enable service provision to low-income customers can be achieved. These include supporting clearer and simpler regulation; reducing up-front capital cost and supporting access to borrowing; promoting innovative contract arrangements with clear definition of roles and responsibilities; improving management; and supporting improved marketing through consumer profiling and pricing strategies that target various customer segments including the poorest.

The remainder of the session will be devoted to an in-depth panel discussion in which we will leverage the perspectives of international partners. Key questions to explore will include: what are the barriers to effective PPP initiation and design, and how can they be overcome; to what extent can learning from the urban water and sanitation sector be transferred and applied in other markets with differing capital investment requirements; and how can we leverage the PPP instrument to ensure arrangements are attractive to new entrants while responding to public sector mandates and maximising social value.


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