Public-Private Partnerships

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) play a major role in implementing Dutch development cooperation policy. PPPs are partnerships between the government, the private sector, research institutions and civil society organisations. This model is also known as the Dutch Diamond Approach.

Encouraging economic development through PPPs

The aim of PPPs is to encourage economic development through market-oriented investment and thus to contribute to poverty reduction in developing countries. PPPs enable knowledge, expertise and financing to be pooled. The private sector’s efficient, market-oriented approach is coupled with civil society organisations’ knowledge of local circumstances. The research institutions contribute expertise. And the government brings the parties together and co-finances the partnership.

The PPP funds for water and food security were launched in 2012. In 2013, new PPPs were started up with €135 million in multiannual support from these two funds. This policy will be continued in 2014.

Advantages of working together within PPPs

Government authorities, businesses, civil society organisations and research institutions all have different goals, tasks and responsibilities. Yet they can benefit from working together. Within a PPP they can reduce risks while achieving better development results.

The private sector and PPPs

By joining a PPP, entrepreneurs gain access to knowledge, expertise, networks and funding. Working with different partners than usual enables them to enter new markets and start up sustainable activities.

Civil society organisations and PPPs

PPPs enable civil society organisations to extend their influence. For example, by linking partners together in a chain approach or upscaling activities targeting poverty reduction. Civil society organisations also gain access to new resources through PPPs (for example funding, expertise and marketing approaches). Cooperation with new partners also leads to new ideas and solutions.

Research institutions and PPPs

PPPs enable research institutions to develop and, in particular, to apply knowledge. They bring academic knowledge and expertise to the partnership. At the same time, they learn from both the process and the results achieved. Theory and practice are thus brought closer together. This promotes research, innovation and technology both among partners and within projects.

Government and PPPs

The government needs other parties to make development possible. It can ensure local participation and provide good enabling conditions. The government can also help to upscale successful partnerships. With its global network, the government can connect partners and help them to find openings. Local, national and international government authorities have the funds to stimulate development-relevant partnerships. Where necessary, they can also share the risks.

PPP funds

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) has funds at its disposal for PPPs targeting various themes. These include water, food security, sexual and reproductive health and rights, sport and energy. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) is responsible for managing these funds.

The Ministry has also set up an expertise centre to pool knowledge and expertise in relation to PPPs. The expertise centre is responsible for:

  • making overarching PPP policy;
  • drawing lessons from experience of PPPs;
  • coordinating the various PPP funds.