Public Private Partnerships: Past, Present and Future
Prof. Boeing Laishram
Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati - 781039, Assam, India
Email: [email protected]
Dr Ganesh Devkar
Faculty of Technology, CEPT University, Kasturbhai Lalbhai Campus, University Road, Navrangpura Ahmedabad-380009, India
Email: [email protected]
Dr Yongjian Ke
School of Built Environment, University of Technology Sydney, Room 22, Level 5, 702-730 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia
Email: [email protected]
Dr Ahmed Abdel Aziz
Department of Construction Management, University of Washington, 120F Architecture Hall, Box 351610, Seattle, WA 98195-1610
Email: [email protected]
Overview of the Special Issue:
The Public Private Partnership (PPP) model is a part and parcel of infrastructure delivery systems of many countries. In the recent years, this model has come under severe stress for a variety of reasons like failure to meet the value for money goals, challenges faced in mobilization of equity and debt from the market, financial hardships owing to reduced demand for the built asset or service due to pandemic or wars, renegotiations and so on. As a result, governments, worldwide, have begun to lean back towards infrastructure delivery models involving public funding and involvement of private sector to design and /or construction process only. However, a revival of publicly financed infrastructure models does not mean the “PPP” model is abandoned. In fact, governments are facing a financial crunch for infrastructure upgrades and maintenance, owing to increased budgetary allocations to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and to boost healthcare infrastructure facilities. Hence, asset monetization has become another buzzword with adoption of PPP models like “Transfer – Operate – Transfer”, which provide revenue streams to the government from already build assets and ensure better quality service delivery to the customers. The greater emphasis towards the green economy and reduction in carbon footprint provided impetus to renewable energy projects. Also, concepts like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Digitalization have taken the built infrastructure sector by storm. Moreover, many governments are promoting smart cities, smart grids and smart roads for which infrastructure planning, design, construction, and operation must necessarily be “smarter”. The usual infrastructure delivery model would need to be upgraded to deal with techno-economic and socio-legal complexities associated with delivery of “smart infrastructure”. As a result, governments are targeting greater private sector involvement for smart delivery and more innovative procurement models along these lines in the coming years, if not decades. The traditional and emerging PPP models appear to be at critical junctures for proving their relevance in contributing to suitably address the current turbulent times. Therefore, this Special Issue is very timely in taking stock of the knowledge by looking at the “past” and “present”, and then suggesting improvements for the “future”. The knowledge creation and development in the process of this inquiry would be unique and it will be assimilated in this Special Issue.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted infrastructure creation and delivery supply chains worldwide. This opened debates for crafting infrastructure delivery models which are more resilient, flexible, and socio-economically relevant. As PPP models have been used prominently for built infrastructure delivery, it was expected that the continuous crafting and development of PPP models should take into consideration facets like ‘new normal’ needs, agility, and resilience. The evidence is currently very scarce with very few scholarly studies investigating impacts of COVID-19 or other pandemics, or even disasters in general, on PPPs. Most available evidence is in the form of media reports showing mixed, unclear, and incomplete overall pictures. But in practice, many operational PPP projects have faced daunting tasks in terms of remaining viable, despite reduced demand, difficulties in meeting debt obligations, and changed performance specifications. This predicament demands a reboot with revamping, revitalizing, and reinvigorating PPP models. In this context, it is pertinent to say that this Special Issue is fulfilling a now much required need of researchers, policy makers and professionals for bringing innovations and new thought processes into generating modern PPP project formulation and delivery models.
Objectives of the Special Issue:
The proposed Special Issue expects to inspire the authors to develop papers to address the following specific objectives:
- Chart the journey of PPP models by “looking back” and suggest meaningful innovations in this model for embracing “future” demands and priorities
- Investigate the gaps and obstacles in planning, designing, financing, procurement, construction, and operation of PPP projects in the current era which led to the poor performance of PPP projects
- Map potential future courses of action for researchers, professionals, policy makers and practitioners to continuously revamp PPP models to meet the emerging realities while making them more resilient to withstand disruptions.
The following is an indicative, hence a non-exhaustive, list of anticipated themes that could be explored in different papers in this Special Issue:
- Historical analysis of PPP projects to map their evolution to match contemporary needs
- Addressing the ‘new normals’ in the formulation and delivery of PPP projects
- Improved institutional architecture of PPP projects
- PPP for developing and/or delivering ‘smart’ (or higher value) infrastructure and services
- Critical analysis of existing PPP infrastructure procurement and delivery
- Promotion of people-centric PPP models
- Enhancement of PPP delivery performance
- PPPs for Sustainable Development
- PPPs for Disaster Management
- Ensuring transparency in PPP procurement and delivery
We will welcome submissions on any related topics in the context of the above themes.
Submissions to BEPAM should be through ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at:
Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:
The total word count limit (including Figures and Tables, counted at 280 words each) is 8,500 words. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.
Interested authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue “Public Private Partnerships: Past, Present and Future” at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”.
Papers for this special issue should be submitted through the above portal from 5th August 2022 to 10th November 2022 inclusive.
Note 1: Those who may have suitable papers ready for submission before 5th August 2022 may contact us, for any possible early access.
Note 2: Any new submissions after the deadline of 10th November 2022 cannot be considered for this Special Issue.
Note 3: If considered useful by potential authors, Draft Abstracts may be submitted for consideration before 20th August 2022. If so, these must be in the structured Emerald format, i.e. under prescribed sub-headings, as specified in the Author Guidelines, and submitted to (Prof.) Boeing Laishram: [email protected]
Any inquiries should be emailed to (Prof.) Boeing Laishram: [email protected]