Public-Private Partnerships and Infrastructure
The Brookings Institution is among the most highly respected, non-partisan think tanks in the world. Their Research Report Private Capital, Public Good: Drivers of Successful Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships, provides a thorough background on the history of these arrangements, the guidelines that have proven effective in creating such partnerships that serve the public interest, and case studies of positive implementations.
America's Infrastructure issues are both obvious and ubiquitous. Given the cost of solving these problems and the extent of their impact on our overall prosperity and well-being, it is essential that all Americans gain a basic understanding of the ways that forward progress might be made without breaking our local, state and federal budgets.
Public-Private Partnerships can take many forms, with Public and Private Sector participants taking varying roles and sharing in risk and reward via a variety of models. Brookings provides the following chart laying out some of these varieties:
To be sure, Brookings does not minimize the challenges these partnerships can present. But by providing a framework for implementation along with policy guidelines to protect the public interest, this report is an essential touchstone for all citizens.
The report concludes: "Creating an accountable, effective, and lasting PPP environment requires both the work of highly competent public officials and the strategic use of precious public resources. However, taking the time to develop these processes will guide private capital towards the greater public good."
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