Leading from Behind in Public-Private Partnerships?

An Assessment of European Engagement with the Private Sector in Development

European countries have consistently been significant contributors of international official development assistance (ODA); in 2010, the EU and its member states spent €53.8 on ODA, nearly 60 percent of global development aid. In the current economic climate of austerity, however, governments are looking for new ways to fund international assistance while still maintaining a balanced budget. One such method that has been growing in popularity is the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs). These partnerships offer the best of both worlds—conserving government funds without cutting aid donations. This report studies the usage of public-private partnerships in international development among six European nations—the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Ireland, and Norway. Although all face similar financial constraints and have similar histories as generous aid donors, the six countries’ approaches to PPPs vary greatly. The authors examine which countries use PPPs most effectively in their development strategies and make recommendations about how other countries can improve their usage.

Heather A. Conley

Uttara Dukkipati