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Best Practices voor een duurzame toekomst
12 november 2005

Holland counts 41 PPPs, and more to come

All of these PPPs involve companies, NGOs, governments and knowledge institutes, from both industrialized and developing countries. The Dutch government stimulates PPPs as one of the means to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. By combining expertise, means and networks of different players, things hopefully are speeded up a bit. In 2003 the Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, Agnes van Ardenne, issued a 'Call for Ideas', which led to an unexpected response of some four hundred proposals for public-private partnerships. A large majority of those ideas did not pass, because it was not clear what the added value of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could be. Only eighteen were judged worth to put money in. According to the update of the Ministry, nine of those are now operational. The private partners vary from large multinationals (like Starbucks, Heineken, Shell, Unilever, Rabobank, Triodosbank and ABN AMRO), small and medium enterprises, and Chambers of Commerce in developing countries. What strikes is that the financial input of the private sector in these PPPs is only one fifth of the total 515 million euro. They also put in management skills and training. The financial contribution of the Dutch government is even smaller (97 million euro), which means that the NGOs have the greatest share in the costs, more than 60%. Of the forty-one PPPs, eight are targeted at MDG 1, reducing extreme poverty. They are mainly involved in improving agriculture in countries like Colombia, Vietnam, Mali, Indonesia and Zambia. Twelve PPPs aim at MDG 6, combating HIV/Aids, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases. Half of these partnerships are global alliances to fight specific diseases. Ten PPPs are concentrated on water and energy, and often involve commercializing and privatizing public services in Latin America, Africa and Asia. They aim to bring MDG 7 closer: ensuring environmental sustainability. And eleven PPPs are directed towards the eight MDG: a global partnership for development. These PPPs vary from improving market access for Egyptian flowers, to enhancing food safety (Vietnam) and attracting funding for arts, culture and heritage in South Africa. P+ Webtip: Dutch Public-private partnerships