Making Stakeholder Engagement in Public-Private Partnerships work

Since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, especially African infrastructure development is facing a major challenge in attracting private sector and foreign direct investment. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) hold great potential for sustainable development that can be leveraged further by applying a stakeholder engagement focus.

Oil pump and sunset

© merial –

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has acknowledged this and contracted the Collective Leadership Institute with our expertise in stakeholder engagement to support the Public Private Dialogue Forum that takes place this week in Johannesburg. Until my colleagues are back to report new insights and experiences made in Johannesburg, here are some tips on improving PPPs efficiency through applying a Stakeholder Dialogue approach.

How to make Stakeholder Engagement in PPPs work:

  1. Create resonance and mobilise positive feedback for investing into a PPP project development among crucial public and private sector players
  2. Conduct a detailed stakeholder analysis, best practice reviews, pre-feasibility studies to understand what is important for people affected, to grasp different interest and potential conflicts
  3. Create a committed core group of drivers that needs to work together for project development
  4. Jointly diagnose the situation and planning of the future. Identify which issues need to be addressed, develop work-flows, action plans, etc.
  5. Hold a larger stakeholder meeting to obtain perspectives and input by a larger set of stakeholders
  6. Consolidate the plan, set up working groups/task forces, time planning, milestones, allocation of responsibilities
  7. Jointly agree on an internal and external communication structure, ensure communication and transparency
  8. Harvest „low hanging fruits“, jointly review and report on progress, monitor milestones, publish results
  9. Review M&E structures, establish a feedback structure that is accepted by all important stakeholders
  10. Build a core group for long-term project implementation, consolidate your learnings for the replication of pilots
  11. Set up a steering committee, sounding board or other necessary governance structures that support long-term sustainability
  12. Jointly find ways how to continuously integrate new developments and perspectives to scale up the impact of the PPP project

Click here for more best practice examples of PPPs.