Working with the private sector

A lot of the rhetoric around Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) focuses on what multi-nationals can and cannot bring to development issues.  Yet the private sector is far more diverse than this; for many poor people, access to clean water and safe sanitation is through informal or formal smaller-scale private providers. 


The water and sanitation community is slowly coming around to this reality and is having to assess what it means for utility operations, investment strategies and community mobilisation. 


This theme deals both with the large-scale private sector (including multi-national operators) and smaller providers (best represented by the entrepreneurs who provide water and sanitation where others do not).


Key BPD documents on working with the private sector

Access through innovation (practitioner note) | full report

Many millions of poor households obtain their water and sanitation services from informal entrepreneurs, who are largely ignored by water sector decision-makers. This paper looks at what is at stake and how proactive engagement with entrepreneurs could help. 

Transaction advisors' workshop

Many PPP arrangements set in stone many of the terms of engagement for delivery partnerships at a very early stage. This report looks at how those designing the transaction can take this (and poor communities) into account. 

Benefits for business through partnership

Aimed at companies in formal PPP arrangements, this short note gives an overview of some of the main benefits (and challenges) of multi-sector partnerships. 

Sanitation as a business

The discussion around ‘sanitation as a business’ is gaining considerable momentum. Yet the term is so broad that it is sometimes difficult to have conversations that actually contribute to greater understanding and learning across programmes. In this paper for BPD and SEI, David Schaub-Jones takes one aspect of the debate - emptying and transport - and uses this to highlight some of the issues and broader trends that affect the entire ‘urban sanitation market’.