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Welcome to this introductory course on public-private partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure development. It is a free online course for self-study provided to you by the Transport Division of the  United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

The target audience is government officials in Asia and other interested individuals that would like to get a basic understanding of major PPP issues. The course was designed as a "Primer" to PPPs in Infrastructure Development, i.e., it does not assume any prior knowledge of the subject.

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The course consists of nine modules, each representing a different aspect of public-private partnerships (PPPs):

The Introduction provides an overview of the rationale of PPPs and their advantages and limitations.

Module 1 discusses the range of possible institutional arrangements, including administrative mechanisms and coordination, as well as the legal basis for PPPs.

Module 2 presents alternative PPP models and explains the PPP structure.

Module 3 discusses the various ways of government involvement in PPPs.

Module 4 provides an overview of financing of PPP projects.

Module 5 discusses the regulatory governance of PPPs.

Module 6 discusses major issues in PPP development, including risk sharing, unsolicited projects, sector-specific issues and projects by local governments.

Module 7 provides an overview of contract agreement, contract management, and dispute resolution.

Module 8 discusses procurement issues.

Module 9 presents illustrates a number of short case studies.

The Annex includes includes a PPP glossary, and further information on the PPP implementation process and the PPP risk matrix.


This primer provides an overall picture of the PPP development process from different perspectives. It considers PPPs in terms of what they can offer and what the limitations are, and the type of expert knowledge that is required to successfully develop and implement PPP projects. Discussion is made on various aspects of PPP development including the major issues from the perspectives of institutional arrangements, operational arrangement of partnerships, government involvement, financing matters, regulatory governance, contractual matters, and social concerns. In order to have a better appreciation of PPPs, it also considers short case studies from different sectors involving various forms of partnerships.

If you prefer off-line study, you may want to download and read the report entitled "Public-private partnerships in infrastructure development: A Primer" (PDF).

Copyright © 2008 by Transport Policy and Development Section, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).