We aim to explore to what extent and how pro-poor PPP projects engage with local communities and what the possibilities are for the communities to become genuine partners with governments, businesses and civil society organizations (CSOs). We look into three different PPP projects funded by the Dutch international cooperation that emphasize the pro-poor aspects in Africa and find patterns of how local communities are positioned in each project. The analysis of the three projects indicates that the existing pro-poor PPP projects deal with local communities as either mere beneficiaries, business partners with substantial brokering by CSOs, or those who potentially lead the projects. The difference stems from how a PPP project allows local communities to participate and balance the relationship between the project’s profit maximization and benefit-sharing for the poor. Our findings can be used to evaluate pro-poor PPP projects by reference to its local development relevance. They also show possibilities for local communities to identify their positions vis-à-vis large-scale investment projects and reflect on what pro-poor projects actually mean. The importance of PPP projects to become pro-poor and enhance its local development relevance has been widely discussed; however, the actual positionality of the poor within PPP projects remains unclear. In this chapter, we specifically look into the question of where local communities are in pro-poor PPP projects in order to suggest a new research and policy agenda.
Otsuki, K. and van Helvoirt, B. (2017), "Pro-Poor Public–Private Partnerships for Development in Africa: Where Are Local Communities?", Leitão, J., de Morais Sarmento, E. and Aleluia, J. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Public–Private Partnerships in Developing and Emerging Economies, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 167-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-493-420171006Download as .RIS
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