PPPLab Newsletter #03
In this newsletter:
  1. Welcome to our third newsletter!
  2. Events and collaborations where have we been and who have we met?
  3. Column Astrid van Agthoven started a PPP facility in Ghana
  4. New PPPLab publications Explorations #01 and Insights Series #03
  5. Mid-term review FDW to inform design of a new call
  6. Interview Growing Out of Poverty with Potato in Vietnam with Sigrid Wertheim-Heck (Fresh Studio)
  7. FDOV second call approves 20 projects 20 projects out of 64 proposals receive grant
  8. Interview Mitigating Water Shortages in Malawi with Mascha Singeling and Peter Gijs van Enk (Plan Netherlands)
  9. Interesting reads recommended PPP reads for you 

1.Welcome to the third PPPLab newsletter! 

In this newsletter we would like to give you an update on what we have come across in the past months and what we are working on. Our next newsletter will come out in December.
2.Events and collaborations
PPPLab's Advisory Group meetings

PPPLab’s Advisory Group had its first meeting on June 11th and 12th. This two-day event was meant to get to know each other and to discuss PPPLab’s progress so far. Feedback was given on the different studies that have been implemented and on the knowledge agenda for 2016. Furthermore, ideas were discussed concerning the innovative 'Lab’ function of the PPPLab. A public knowledge seminar was hosted as well in which PPP practitioners exchanged their experiences regarding the role of business in PPPs. You can find the report of the seminar here

The second AG meeting has taken place on September 21st. During this meeting the 2016 knowledge agenda was discussed extensively. Four themes have been identified on which PPPLab will focus in the upcoming year: 1) Business Models, 2) Scaling up and system change, 3) Governance and government, 4) Partnership performance tracking. These themes are all linked to Learning & Exchange activities which will be announced on our website, Twitter account and through our newsletters.

Our future work will be shaped and developed in much greater interaction with the PPP community, as we build up our 'Lab’ function. We are excited about the progress we have made, and we look forward to deepening our knowledge on PPPs, together with you.

UN International Forum on PPPs for Sustainable Development

The UN International Forum on PPPs for Sustainable Development is part of a global momentum towards sustainable and multi-partner development. The platform, taking place on October 29th and 30th 2015 in Annemasse (France), intends to bring together actors of PPPs and offers them a space for learning and sharing. The Forum will mark the launch of a long-lasting International Platform on Public-Private Partnerships for Sustainable Development. Read more.

Save the date: ‘M&E on the Cutting Edge’ conference about partnerships

We are happy to pre-announce the next ‘M&E on the Cutting Edge’ conference: "Partnering for Success - How M&E can strengthen partnerships for sustainable development?" This conference (March 17th and 18th 2016, in Wageningen) is the eighth annual monitoring and evaluation (M&E) event organised by the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), Wageningen University and Research Centre, and Learning by Design, in collaboration with the PPPLab. Other organisations keen to collaborate with this conference can contact the organisers. Past events typically attract over 150 international participants. The two-day conference focuses on how those active in M&E can contribute better to partnerships in development. Read more.


3.Column Astrid van Agthoven

I had the opportunity to introduce myself personally to some of you during the PPPLab seminar in June, but good to get another chance through this newsletter.
I joined the PPPLab team last May. I have been working in the water and sanitation sector for almost 18 years. I mainly worked for UNICEF in various countries: Tanzania, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq (operating from Jordan) and India. Most recently I worked for the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana where I started a PPP facility (Ghana WASH Window) based on the same principles as the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW). That made it relatively easy for me to hop on the moving train of the PPPLab.

Coming from the field it is a great opportunity to get a helicopter view of what is happening in FDW and FDOV, and the broader PPP world, while I hope to contribute on basis of my practical experience. Hope to meet you in person one day! 

4.New PPPLab publications

PPPLab Explorations 01: A portfolio scan of the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW)

This working document presents an initial analysis of the portfolio of projects approved under the first call of the FDW, and seeks to get to grips with the basic ‘change logic’ of these projects from a public–private partnership perspective.

The main objective of this study is to investigate the PPP dynamics that the different project partners are creating with their input to development cooperation in the water field. The change logic of each category is described in terms of the type of lead private partner, the other partners, core focus, the type of projected benefits, and the ongoing business proposition. On basis of this change logic, six categories of PPPs are distinguished within the overall portfolio. The document concludes with some overarching insights and questions about the FDW portfolio as a whole.

PPPLab Insight Series 03: Partnerships for Inclusive Business Development

Tackling poverty and improving food and water security are complex challenges that require multiple parties across nations and sectors to work together in order to reach solutions. The private sector is an essential partner in helping to address such challenges. By involving low-income groups in their business processes, companies are seeking new ways of addressing business priorities while also hoping to offer greater value to such low-income groups. 

This third Insights Series publication provides key definitions and concepts needed to understand low-income groups (the Base of the Pyramid) and partnerships with inclusive business.


5.Mid-term review FDW
Before launching a third call for proposals for the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW), DGIS has decided to commission a mid-term review (MTR) at fund level which will inform policy and design for the next call. DGIS has hired a team of consultants for this purpose. While the PPPLab does not have an evaluation mandate (but learning focus), it is logical and in line with its objectives for the PPPLab to provide input to the MTR.

PPPLab’s contributions to the MTR are fourfold: expansion of the portfolio scan to include the PPPs of Call 2, a systematic round of interviews with the leads of all ongoing FDW PPPs, analysis of declined project proposals, and analysis of potential parties/(sub-)sector segments that did not participate in previous calls.

Work is well underway, both by the external consultants and by the PPPLab, as those readers who already participated in an interview know. The MTR draft final report is expected to be presented by mid-November.
6.Interview Growing Out of Poverty with Potato in Vietnam

95% of Vietnam’s potatoes are grown in the Red River Delta, during the cool weather season when rice cannot be grown. Potato production is an excellent alternative to improve the local food security and increase the income of smallholder farmers. In the Central Highlands potatoes can be produced year-round. Therefore the Growing Out of Poverty with Potato project, managed by Fresh Studio, is located in exactly these areas.

In this FDOV funded partnership Fresh Studio, PepsiCo, Agrico and Wageningen UR cooperate to establish more sustainable potato production systems in Vietnam. At the same time, the project aims to increase the consumer awareness about the nutritional value of potatoes. PPPLab’s Marleen Brouwer interviewed Sigrid Wertheim-Heck (director Marketing and Business Development of Fresh Studio) about this inspiring partnership: "Our aim is to include 70% female farmers, which seems feasible given the importance of women in potato production." Read more.

7.FDOV second call approves 20 projects 

At the end of 2014 the second call for the tender Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV) was closed. Partnerships, consisting of at least one public partner, one company and one NGO or knowledge institute, could file an application for subsidy. In total 64 applications were submitted, of which 20 came through the subsequent selection process. 12 of these projects focus on food security and 8 project focus on private sector development. Read more about which interesting projects have received a grant under the FDOV. 


8.Interview Mitigating Water Shortages in Malawi

Due to rapid population growth, the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB) in Mzuzu, Malawi, is facing an exponential incre­ase in water demand. The present coverage of 68% of households is expected to lower in the coming years due to a lack of water resources. The largest part of Mzuzu’s population still uses poorly constructed and shared pit latrines that pollute ground water. Both the NRWB and the Mzuzu City Council (MCC) acknowledge the urgen­cy to strengthen their capacities in finding innovative instruments to mitigate the gap between demand and supply of safe water.

In this FDW funded partnership Plan Netherlands and Vitens Evides International (VEI) help the NRWB and the MCC to sustainably increase their financial, technical and managerial capacity. PPPLab’s Marleen Brouwer spoke with Mascha Singeling (Manager WASH Programmes) and Peter Gijs van Enk (Institutional Partnerships Officer) of Plan Netherlands about this PPP: "We have made the first crucial steps, and construction of water kiosks and toilet blocks will commence in the next months." Read more.

 9.Interesting reads 
The PPPLab would like to share the following interesting reads and resources on PPPs with you:
  • New policy study by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency: PPPs’ potential and pitfalls for Inclusive Green Growth (IGG)
  • New report by EURODAD on PPPs in development: critical assessment of PPPs and their impact on sustainable development
  • New report by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD): what are enabling factors for public-private-producer partnerships (‘PPPPs’) in agriculture?

We always welcome your ideas for PPP research and exchange activities! Please get in touch via our website.

We aim to send this newsletter to those who are keen to be informed about what we, and others, are finding out and doing about PPPs. If this newsletter is not right for you, you can unsubscribe via the link at the bottom. Do pass it on to a more appropriate person in your partnership: ask them to subscribe for the next newsletter.