PPP Consultants in Ukraine: genuine expertise needed
Not another gold rush!
Decide Friends and partners at Partnerships Bulletin published a call to health public-private partnerships (PPP) specialists interested in helping the Government of Ukraine and the World Bank (Global Infrastructure facility and IFC), with a deadline for response on 11 March 2021!
With the need to upgrade and modernize the health system, the policy agenda supported by the World Bank seems to prioritise private finance projects and complex contractual arrangements such as PPPs to deliver better quality across the infrastructure and service delivery chain.
While one can only hope that the Government will receive sufficient and adequate support to assess whether the PPP route constitute the most appropriate and sustainable road to health system transformation and will develop enough in-house capabilities to assess which procurement models are more likely to secure value for money in these circumstances, the question of external advisers is still pending.
At different stages of the project cycle, advisory capacities are required, whether for legal, contractual, PM, technical or financial reasons for instance. In fact, the whole PPP project cycle is at times sequenced with a series of advisory inputs which makes many experts doubting the reality of public project ownership when so much relies on external technicity.
This is the reason why this call for “health PPPs experts” may raise concern, given the extreme intrinsic complexity of the health sector and the scarcity of health PPP knowledge available. Many PPP experts, with demonstrated knowledge and experience of complex partnering arrangements will not be familiar enough with the health sector.
Other health experts may not be aware of what the term PPP yields in terms of variety of contract models or project arrangements, nor mentioning the idiosyncrasies of project finance and market attractiveness drivers.
With the buzz around “health PPPs” and the promise (or rather hope) they seem to convey, the most critical risk may also be to draw interest from international consultants without any practical knowledge or tangible experience of both PPPs and the health sector.
This would seriously hinder any chance for the Government to secure fit-for-purpose solutions to deliver value for the population.
Let us formulate the hope that the World Bank procurement procedures will prove stringent enough to select the right expertise based on experience, health expertise and the necessary neutrality to recommend or not contractual arrangements that require strong public sector management skills as a key success factor!
Interested in health PPPs? check out our latest blog entry by an international practitioner in this field: click here.
More on health PPPs available throughout our blog section here!