investment gaps in its developing members, says a report released by ADB’s
Independent Evaluation Department (IED).
PPPs are more imperative now to minimize the negative impacts of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on governments’ budgets, which are
already under pressure, said an ADB press release.
ADB’s Support to Public-Private Partnerships, 2009-2018, assessed the
institution’s effectiveness in supporting PPP activities and how best it can
respond to the PPP demands in different country contexts and across key
ADB approved $22.1 billion of PPP interventions during the review period,
comprising $10.8 billion in public loans, $11.1 billion in private sector
facilities, and $223 million in 126 technical assistance with significant PPP
The evaluation report found that ADB’s support for PPPs has delivered
positive developmental outcomes, mostly through targeted downstream
investments. Its downstream activities, both in public and private projects,
contributed to increased private sector participation in building public
However, ADB’s upstream support for the long-term enabling environment for
PPPs was not able to achieve the much-needed change to crowd in the private
sector and was not well coordinated with downstream project development and
The lack of value-for-money analysis, high costs compared to benefits, high
associated risk of projects, and minimal advocacy for linked sectoral and
state-owned enterprise reform have undermined ADB’s contributions.
“To be fully responsive to the needs of governments or private sector, ADB
needs to proactively engage with governments at an early stage of
infrastructure planning for the development of local capacity to screen and
select projects using cost-benefit and value-for-money analyses,” said IED
Director General Marvin Taylor-Dormond.
“It needs to provide a strong and concerted institutional response to
address the scale and urgency of the infrastructure and social services
provision gaps in Asia and the Pacific.”
According to the report, the lack of updated sector, regulatory, and policy
frameworks, as well as limited institutional capacity and state-owned
enterprise dominance, have slowed the pace of PPP investments among ADB’s
Risk mitigation products addressing the needs of private project developers
and institutional investors in ADB’s PPP projects are not sufficiently
“Well-designed and implemented PPPs can transfer risks from the public
sector and effectively mobilize private sector-led design, construction,
operational, maintenance, and financial expertise to deliver greater
efficiency gains and service quality,” said IED Director Nathan Subramaniam.
ADB’s public policy-based loans have contributed to improved PPP policies
and processes in Bangladesh, India, Mongolia, Nepal, and China PRC.
ADB has also delivered strong support to institutional capacity building in
key markets, including the China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines,
developing PPP centers, supporting the development of government-led
infrastructure funds, and training local government officers.
However, it needs to be careful in the selection and prioritization of
projects to maximize development outcomes and minimize financial strain on
The report recommends ADB to prepare a PPP directional guidance paper,
strategically engage with governments at an early stage of project
development, seek to expand the use and scale of available risk mitigation
products, provide political risk and partial credit guarantees to facilitate
private sector investment in PPP infrastructure projects, and improve its
monitoring and evaluation systems for PPP transactions.