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Theory-Based Evaluation of Public–Private Partnership Projects and Programmes

The Emerald Handbook of Public–Private Partnerships in Developing and Emerging Economies

ISBN: 978-1-78714-494-1, eISBN: 978-1-78714-493-4

Publication date: 6 December 2017


The purpose of this chapter is to discuss theory-based evaluation of public–private partnership (PPP) projects/programmes and to develop an intervention logical framework. It aims to draw attention to the need to go beyond the measurement of project/programme results to address not only the question of whether or not the project/programme worked but also the how and why questions. The study follows an interpretative methodology. It analytically discloses the mechanics of theory-based evaluation in relation to a ‘PPP theory’ and describes a theory-based analytical framework that portrays an explicit path towards ultimate impacts so as to assess, in a more systematic and integrated way, the success or failure of a PPP. Theory-based evaluation is a promising evaluation approach that would fit into the complexities of PPP projects/programmes and would expand the available toolbox of evaluators. Proper use of theory-based evaluation in PPP interventions contributes to better policy formulation and project implementation, thus leading to improved socio-economic benefits derived from PPP projects and programmes. The main contribution of the study is that it develops a ‘PPP theory’ and a related logical intervention framework drawing on theory-based approaches. Although the framework is developed for a representative sector, transport, it can easily be applied to any other PPP intervention.




I would like to thank Robert Picciotto and Fredrik Korfker for their editing contributions for a much shorter article version of this chapter, which was published in Evaluation Connections (Uzunkaya, 2016) of the European Evaluation Society. The intervention logical framework presented in this chapter took its final form, following the author’s initial proposal, as a result of some amendments after a series of discussions in the Thematic Working Sub-Group on Evaluation of PPPs within the European Evaluation Society. In this respect, I would especially like to thank Dr. Nicolas Mathieu, Dr. Danielle Nel and Fredrik Korfker for their helpful comments and contributions.


Uzunkaya, M. (2017), "Theory-Based Evaluation of Public–Private Partnership Projects and Programmes ", 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, Leeds, pp. 579-604.



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