It’s Time to Move Away from Public-Private Partnerships & Build a Future That is Public
The rise of public-private partnerships (PPPs) has deeply affected the delivery of public services and infrastructure projects across the world. In this opinion piece, experts from Eurodad, Latindadd and APMDD highlight why we must move away from this failed model and promote public options to build a future that is public.
By Océane Blavot (Eurodad), Rodolfo Bejarano (Latindadd), Mae Buenaventura (APMDD)
Last month, we joined more than 1000 representatives from all sectors of civil society who came together in Santiago de Chile to debate the future of – and threats to – public services the world over.
Participants discussed the chronic underfunding which continues to drive economic inequality, injustice and austerity, and the neocolonial policies that maintain the status quo.
Today those debates have resulted in the launch of “Our Future is Public: The Santiago Declaration for Public Services” – a momentous agreement signed by more than 200 organisations vowing to work to “transform our systems, valuing human rights and ecological sustainability over GDP growth and narrowly defined economic gains.”
One of the most damaging initiatives that has deeply affected the delivery of public services and infrastructure projects on all continents is the rise of public-private partnerships, or PPPs.
They have long been promoted by institutions such as the World Bank as a silver bullet to close the so-called gap to finance investments in services and infrastructure. The premise is that the private sector can deliver these services more efficiently and to a higher standard than the public sector, despite extensive evidence to the contrary.
We lay the pitfalls of PPPs bare in our new report History RePPPeated II: Why public-private partnerships are not the solution – the second in a series of investigations documenting the impacts of PPPs across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.