PPPLab Newsletter #05
In this newsletter:
  1. Welcome to our fifth newsletter!
  2. Editorial by PPPLab's Floortje Jacobs 'Scaling'
  3. Welcome to the second PPPCafé: How can a PPP develop sound scaling strategies to really achieve impact at scale?
  4. Interview with Anno Galema about the role of the public P, its challenges and positive developments
  5. Two new resources about PPPcanvas on our website
  6. Ready to use: Partnership Process Tool a simple way to quickly review your partnership
  7. Save the date - 15 September: Workshop by PPPLab
  8. Interesting reads recommended PPP reads for you

1. Welcome to the fifth PPPLab newsletter! 

Spring is waiting to show up in the Netherlands, but on the positive side there are many things happening globally in the field of PPPs in Food & Water. The last months we at PPPLab have been talking to many people involved in different PPPs, and we have heard about the positive developments as well as the challenges. One of the challenges is the scaling of impact. This newsletter’s editorial and the upcoming PPPCafé are therefore giving this theme some extra attention. We at PPPLab are also happy to share our latest news, ideas, resources and event invitations with you!



2. Editorial by PPPLab's Floortje Jacobs

Scaling: PPPs as mechanisms for achieving scale –from simple models to rich strategies

Scaling up, scaling out, scaling deep, scaling wide, scaling across, vertical scaling, horizontal scaling… There has been a lot of ‘buzz’ around scaling impact in international development. The concept has been brought to the forefront in the last decade, since development effectiveness has become a key priority for donors, governments and development agencies. Although there has been an evolution in the discussion on scaling, and many basic typologies have popped up in literature, more practical questions are still left unanswered. In reality, “scaling up is often attempted without proper guidance, preparation and tools, leading to a frustrating experience” (Binswanger-Mkhize et al. 2009). The basic typologies in literature seem to imply that scaling can be understood through simple models and linear, plannable processes. But based on our first exploration of the topic, we as PPPLab like to strongly contradict that.

As a Lab, we are interested in how we can improve the scaling strategies of PPPs, and provide them with the proper guidance and tools to achieve more impact. PPPs are supposed to have a (special) role in scaling; by combining the expertise and capacities of different kinds of actors, the idea is that they can help creating breakthroughs on (tough) development issues like sanitation or greening value chains. We have therefore chosen to devote a study on scaling that deliberately tries to learn from theory and literature but also very much from practice; how are PPPs developing strategies to leverage budget and efforts to achieve more impact? How do they achieve success over time? And what is actually the role of PPPs in achieving scale? Do they indeed have a specific role, as is often assumed? Read more.


3. Welcome to the second PPPCafé

We hope you will join us May 26th for our second PPPCafé. The theme of this edition will be:
PPPs as mechanisms for achieving scale –from simple models to rich strategies”.
Lately, there has been a lot of ‘buzz’ around scaling impact in international development. But besides some basic typologies and models, the more practical questions are still left unanswered in literature. Based on preliminary findings of PPPLab’s scaling study, we like to discuss practical approaches and experiences on how PPPs can be instrumental in scaling development impact. We aim to do so with inputs and practical experience from our audience, making it an interactive session based on exchanging experiences and interactive learning. How can a PPP develop sound scaling strategies to really achieve impact at scale?

Date: Thursday 26th of May
Time: 15:00-17:00, followed by drinks
Place: Innovation conference room, New World Campus, Den Haag
Register before 20th of May at: Space is limited, so do register.

4. Interview with Anno Galema

"People should not see the PPPs as a way of funding, but as a way of working in order to achieve things that you can otherwise not achieve"

Anno Galema has the last years worked intensively on the policy side of the Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV) and with internal capacity development on PPPs at the ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands at the so called PPP Expertise center. He is also one of the initiator of PPPLab. When talking to him he has just started in his new function as First Secretary Food Security & Private Sector Development at the Dutch embassy in Kampala, Uganda.

What are you proud of having achieved as coordinator PPPs?

We as Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been able to enter new areas of PPPs in which we are more closely involved, and which better reflects the aid and trade agenda. From only having a set-up for business to business development (PSI) we now have an instrument (FDOV) which supports PPPs where business cases are integrated in value chain development, strengthening service structures and capacity development, as joint effort with NGOs, knowledge institutes, and public partners. Doing business in this way is changing the business environment in a way that I like. A lesson we have drawn from the earlier PPP’s of the Schokland Agreements is to be much more critical about who and what type of projects we get on board. FDOV is currently in that regard a much more focused programme. We aim at initiatives that can substantially contribute to sustainable economic development. Read the whole interview.

5. Two new resources about PPPCanvas on our website!
For those following the PPPLab for a while, you have heard us talking about our work on the PPPCanvas, a tool that helps to visualise, design or pivot business models within Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). It is based on the famous Business Model Canvas of Alexander Osterwalder ( that has been adapted to capture some of the specific characteristic of PPPs. PPPLab, together with BoPInc and Rebel Group, developed this tool last year as part of a study of the business models in FDOV and FDW PPPs. Key findings of this study have been captured in a publication in PPPLab’s Explorations series Business Models in Food and Water PPPs(It includes a brief explanation about the PPPCanvas, see below).

In case you are familiar with the original Business Model Canvas, you will recognise that in the PPPCanvas. PPPLab added 4 fields highlighted in the below graphic: Extended Beneficiaries, Impact, Partnership Governance and Business Ecosystem. These four additional elements add insights in the developmental focus, the partnership arrangements and the often difficult context the PPP operates in. While the business model of a company is (relatively) one-dimensional, business models in developmental PPPs have several dimensions. The PPPCanvas helps to deal with that complexity. Read more.

6. Ready to use: Partnership Process Tool
The Partnership Process Tool is developed to provide partners in a PPP a simple way to quickly review your partnership process. It is an adaptation from an earlier partnership assessment tool by Hardy, Hudson and Waddington (2003). The tool is designed to look at the process of working together. To a smaller extent, it also focuses on partnership performance.

How can this partnership assessment tool help you?
  • It provides material to assess the current process of partnership collaboration.
  • It allows you to monitor changes in the partnership, when used repeatedly.
  • It highlights the range, and possible diversity of perspectives amongst the partners, when filled in by all partner organisations. It highlights areas of consensus and conflict to be explored.
  • It will not on its own tell you how problems associated with partnership working should be addressed.
  • It does, however, provide a common framework (and vocabulary) for all partners in the partnership to develop a jointly owned approach to tackling some of the barriers to effective partnership working.
If you’re interested in using this tool, please get in touch with us. We can provide you with an instance of the tool that’s accessible only to the partners in your PPP. To access the tool and the results, you will be provided with a username and password. You can also log in to see an example here.
7. Save the date: 15 September

Later this year, on the 15th of September PPPLab organises a full-day workshop in the Netherlands for you working with and in PPPs. The workshop will give you the opportunity to share, discuss and explore PPP related inquiries, insights and tools from both practice and theory.  Already note the 15th of September in your agenda! More information will follow.

8. Interesting reads
The PPPLab would like to share the following interesting reads and resources on PPPs with you: 
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.