An action research and joint learning initiative to enhance the relevance, effectiveness and quality of Dutch supported public-private partnerships

The PPPLab is a four-year action research and joint learning & support initiative (2014-2018) to learn about the relevance, effectiveness and quality of Dutch supported public-private partnerships (PPPs).

About the PPPLab

Its mission is to extract and co-create knowledge and methodological lessons from and on PPPs that can be used to improve both implementation and policy.

At present the PPPLab is focusing on partnerships funded in the first rounds of the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) and the Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security Fund (FDOV). The knowledge that the PPPLab will generate, will also be of interest to new applicants of future calls and new facilities.

The PPPLab is commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is driven and implemented by a consortium of the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen University & Research (CDI), the Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Aqua for All and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.

Focus and audiences

The PPPLab produces knowledge which is relevant to the broad community of stakeholders active in and around the PPP facilities. We will function as an open, living lab, working in an interactive, aligned way with other parties concerned:

  • organisations engaged in the two facilities (partners in PPPs as well as RVO and DGIS);
  • the DGIS initiated knowledge platforms for Food & Business and VIA Water;
  • international actors and networks active in the area of PPPs. The PPPLab is a chance for all stakeholders to learn, exchange and influence.

Knowledge roles

The PPPLab will play four knowledge roles which are strongly interlinked:

  1. Sense-making;
  2. Moderation of exchange and learning;
  3. Focused innovation, study and action research trajectories;
  4. Policy and strategy analysis & advise.

The first three knowledge roles will build on the community of practice, whereas the fourth knowledge role will rather be focused on public servants and their contractors. Through these roles we seek to maximize PPPLab’s contribution to the experience, research and exchange around PPP knowledge. In this way we contribute to capacity building of PPPs.

Priority themes

Based on the PPPLab’s initial consultations, document studies and analyses, it has identified six priority themes:

  1. Theories of Change (ToCs) – combining social, business and public value;
  2. Business models, financial constructions and transition strategies;
  3. Sustainability, scaling, ‘moving on’, replication and institutionalisation;
  4. Specific research themes;
  5. Partnership models, configurations, processes and success factors;
  6. The Dutch approach.