Public-Private Partnerships

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are a tool that help governments leverage the expertise and efficiency of the private sector, raise capital, and spur development. They also help allocate risk across the public and private sectors to where it can best be managed and ensure that resources are wisely distributed in addressing the most urgent development needs.

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IFC's advice in PPPs is helping national and municipal governments in developing countries partner with the private sector to improve access to education, energy, transport, healthcare, and sanitation.

The Impact of IFC Clients in PPPs:

  • $46 B
    In private investment facilitated since 2004
  • 154 M
    People benefited through better access to infrastructure & services since 2004
  • $3.4 B
    In private financing is expected in FY23
  • 2.9 M
    People will benefit through better access to infrastructure in FY23

At a Glance

Today, 789 million people live without electricity, 2.2 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and 4.2 billion lack modern sanitation services. To address these gaps, the public and private sectors need to work together.

Through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), governments partner with the private sector to deliver a public service in line with strict service criteria. The government establishes the project objectives, while the private sector takes responsibility for meeting them. Payment on delivery and risk sharing help keep the private partner focused on delivering quality public services that help meet national development goals.

Areas of Focus

Quality public services are essential to countries’ economic growth.

In advising governments on implementing PPPs, we focus on the regions and sectors with the greatest needs. As the lead advisor, we work closely with governments providing advice on technical, legal, and regulatory requirements; building capacity; addressing social and sustainability issues; and devising the strategies necessary to deliver successful PPPs.

Part of the World Bank Group (WBG), IFC draws on the WBG’s expertise in sector policy, legal and regulatory frameworks, institutional reforms, tariff structures and regulation, and international best practice. Leveraging the breadth and depth of these resources complements IFC’s transaction structuring role.


IFC is helping governments leverage the expertise and innovations of the private sector to improve their agriculture sector, from improved grain transport and storage to irrigation technology.


IFC works with governments and the private sector to build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities that “work,” shape the future of their development, and create opportunities for all.


IFC works actively with governments to take advantage of the private sector’s considerable expertise in the education sector to improve both the access to, and quality of, educational services in their countries.


Access to affordable, quality healthcare is critical to development, but competing priorities mean that many governments lack the resources they need to provide adequate services. Well-structured PPPs are one tool available to help deliver new health infrastructure and improve access to higher quality healthcare services.

Information & Communications Technology

In telecommunications, properly structured PPPs can play a key role in giving local populations access to the latest technologies, increasing the efficiency of communications, and reducing the cost of services.


The private sector has a critical role to play, not only in bringing people their first power connections, but in helping make existing connections more reliable. Overcoming power shortages is vital to increasing business productivity and growth, creating jobs and alleviating poverty.


Tourism encourages private sector growth and development of basic infrastructure like roads, power, and telecommunications. Well-structured tourism PPPs can play a key role in bridging the infrastructure gap and creating growth opportunities for local populations and businesses.


Growth and trade are highly intertwined and heavily dependent on transport. Without effective conveyance of people and goods, private sector development is severely limited. Partnerships with the private sector are one approach that is helping governments meet their critical transport challenges.


Public and private sectors together need to assume more responsibility for waste generation and disposal. Formalizing these responsibilities through well-structured PPPs can result in significant improvements in efficiency and quality of solid waste management.


IFC’s track record in structuring PPPs in water is strong. Long-term evaluations of its projects prove that concessions can have a positive impact on levels of access and quality of services for the population. As the projects listed here illustrate, properly structured PPPs can play a key role in addressing the global water issues of today.