Foreign Assistance: Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) [October 28, 2013]   [open pdf - 377KB]

"The flow of private sector resources to developing countries has increased significantly in recent decades. Seeking opportunity in this changing environment, government development assistance agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID] and the State Department are working with private sector entities in unprecedented ways to determine when and if such partnerships can lead to improved development results. As explained in the Obama Administration's 2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), 'private sector partners can add value to our missions through their resources, their capacity to establish presence in places we cannot, through the technologies, networks, and contacts they can tap, and through their specialized expertise or knowledge.' Modern public-private partnerships (PPPs), characterized by joint planning, joint contributions, and shared risk, are viewed by many development experts as an opportunity to leverage resources, mobilize industry expertise and networks, and bring fresh ideas to development projects. Partnering with the private sector is also widely believed to increase the likelihood that programs will continue after government aid has ended. From the private sector perspective, partnering with a government agency can bring development expertise and resources, access to government officials, credibility, and scale. Now a decade after the formation of USAID's Global Development Alliance (GDA), PPPs for development have received mixed reviews. PPPs require significant effort to create and manage, and critics argue that inadequate data exist to demonstrate that these efforts are the most effective way to use limited development resources."

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CRS Report for Congress, R41880
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