Rethinking Bretton Woods | Mon, Apr 11, 2016
Invitations to events in which Center of Concern is involved in the occasion of the upcoming World Bank / IMF Spring Meetings, to be held in Washington DC this week events.
What standards for Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)? Analyzing the role of the World Bank Group
Panel discussion Center of Concern cosponsors with Eurodad, Bretton Woods Project, Latindadd, Bread for the World (Germany), the Heinrich Boell Foundation and Ambiente y Sociedad
When: Thursday 14 April 2016, 11:00AM – 12:30PM
Where: CSO Center, 2nd floor of the World Bank I Building (1850 I Street NW), Room I2-220
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly promoted as a way to finance development projects. The World Bank Group (WBG) has helped to create an enabling environment by providing advice and finance to PPPs for many years. The WBG has also, at the request of the G20, worked on developing international guidelines and standards on PPPs and its leadership is often followed by regional development banks and European development finance institutions. The WBG, together with other institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has also produced several policy papers on infrastructure financing to inform the G20’s plan to scale up PPPs. For example, the WBG has produced a project checklist for PPPs, a report on recommended PPP contractual provisions and a framework for disclosure in PPP projects. All these documents were submitted to the G20 in August 2015, while just the latter was opened for public consultation in December 2015. CSOs actively engaged in this consultation process by producing a joint submission signed by more than 50 organizations from around the world. The implications of these documents and the prominent role of the WBG deserve a detailed analysis from a broad range of stakeholders.
The session aims to contribute to an inclusive and critical debate on PPPs as a financing mechanism to deliver infrastructure projects and the role of the WBG as a standard-setter in this field. The debate will be focused on the analysis of recently-released standards developed by the WBG.
Moderator: Tiago Stichelmans, Policy and Networking Analyst, Eurodad
Aldo Caliari, Director, Rethinking Bretton Woods Project, Center of Concern
Nancy Alexander, Director, Economic Governance Program, Heinrich Boell Foundation
Motoko Aizawa, Managing Director for USA, Institute for Human Rights and Business
Laurence Carter, Senior Director, Public-Private Partnerships Group, WBG
Vanessa Torres, Coordinator, Sustainability in Infrastructure and Energy, Ambiente y Sociedad, Colombia
Note: Accreditation to the World Bank/IMF Spring meetings is required to attend this event.
“Public-Private Partnerships-related safeguards and standards: Challenging the emerging role of the World Bank Group”
Civil society strategy meeting
Cosponsored by Center of Concern, Eurodad, Center for International Environmental Law and Heinrich Boell Foundation
Concept note and agenda
When: Thursday 14 April from 5pm to 7.30pm
Where: The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) – 1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite #1100
The last decade has seen a huge increase in the amount of money invested in PPPs in developing countries. From 2004 to 2012 investments in PPPs increased by a factor of six, from US$ 22.7 billion to US$ 134.2 billion. Although investments fell in 2013 to US$ 84 billion, data from 2014 shows a new increase in the amount of money invested in PPPs and the highest-ever average project size of US$ 419 million, which is consistent with a decade-long trend towards mega-projects.
CSOs have repeatedly questioned the biased promotion of the PPP model given its track record that comprises negative impacts on local communities, the environment, human rights – especially women’s rights – social services provision, accountability, transparency and fiscal sustainability (PPPs worsen the fiscal problems against which they are offered as a solution).
The WBG has helped to create an enabling environment by providing advice and finance to PPPs for many years and the Group’s recent moves, such as creation of the PPP Unit and of the Global Infrastructure Facility, suggest intensifying support to PPPs. More recently, the WBG has begun to work, alongside the OECD and at the request of the G20, on developing international guidelines and standards on PPPs and its leadership is often followed by regional development banks and European development finance institutions. The WBG has produced, among other things, a project checklist for PPPs, a report on recommended PPP contractual provisions and a framework for disclosure in PPP projects. All these documents have strong implications for the Bank’s ability to implement its own environmental and social safeguards, and there is no evidence of human rights obligations. These documents were submitted to the G20 in August 2015, while just the latter was opened for public consultation in December 2015. CSOs actively engaged in this consultation process by producing a joint submission signed by more than 50 organizations from around the world.
Proposal and objectives
The proposed strategy meeting follows up on work begun at least three years ago by various organizations from the North and South on the role of the private sector in financing infrastructure.
It will focus primarily on the role of the WBG as a standard-setter institution and assess its implications for:
- environmental and social safeguards and performance standards, some of which the Bank is, in parallel, revising;
- human rights;
- fiscal risks – the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department is working on an analytical tool (P-FRAM) to assess the potential fiscal costs and risks arising from PPP projects.
This strategy meeting will be held after a side event at the CSO Policy Forum on a similar topic, where the head of the WBG PPP Unit will participate, and different meetings with World Bank and IMF Executive Directors.
Expected participants: representatives of groups that carry out advocacy on infrastructure financing issues from different angles (environmental, human rights, accountability, development, and transparency) and monitor the activity of the WBG at the national, regional and global level.
- Debrief from the side event at the CSO Policy Forum.
- Exchange information and updates on the activity and influence of the WBG on PPPs-related standards and legislation at different levels.
- Share current plans on this issue.
- on how we can jointly tackle the role of the WBG on PPPs. This will involve:
- mapping of actors: potential allies inside and outside the Bank
- (if it is possible) agree on joint short and medium-term actions
Welcome and introductions
Debrief side-event and other meetings with officials during Spring meetings
Discussion of strategies and identification upcoming opportunities
Summary of decisions
NOTE: this meeting is open to all interested civil society organizations. RSVP is not required but appreciated by writing to María José Romero firstname.lastname@example.org