Representatives of the PPP Agency participated in the 8th UNECE International Public-Private Partnerships Forum

Published on: 29.05.2024
Category: PPP News

Representatives of the PPP Agency participated in the 8th UNECE International Public-Private Partnerships Forum. The hybrid event – with in-person and online participation – will be held in Istanbul from 8 to 10 May 2024 and is organized by UNECE with the Government of Türkiye.

Achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) is critical as sustainable development represents the only path to address the complex, interlinked, multidimensional challenges facing humanity. With the halfway mark crossed in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), only 12 percent of the global goals are on track. An immediate globally coordinated effort is urgently needed if the SDGs are to be realised by 2030.

Sustainable Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and infrastructure finance play a central role in implementing the SDGs. Sustainable PPPs that are ‘fit for purpose’ for the SDGs, encompassing the three pillars of sustainability – social, economic and environmental sustainability – need to be accelerated and boosted. A step-change is needed in the quality and quantity of infrastructure and development finance to meet the global goals.

In this context, the 8th edition of the UNECE International Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) Forum addressed current and emerging challenges and opportunities at global, national and city levels, focusing principally on the important nexus of climate resilience, economic recovery, and reconstruction, through sustainable PPPs and infrastructure finance. The Forum brought together policymakers, experts and practitioners to discuss how “PPPs for the SDGs” can address ongoing global issues, including through stakeholder engagement, gender equality and women empowerment, equitable access to services, green and sustainable PPP procurement, digital transformation, and artificial intelligence.

At the forum’s opening, UNECE Executive Secretary Tatiana Molcean stressed that PPPs are a key tool for accelerating the SDGs in areas such as digital transformation, green procurement, affordable housing, and energy transition.

On May 8, the first High-Level Political Debate was devoted to accelerating the SDGs and Climate Action: the contribution of sustainable PPPs and infrastructure finance to recovery, resilience, and reconstruction.

“The world’s infrastructure assets are increasingly at risk to climate change, yet the very same infrastructure is contributing to climate change. Because of these impacts the world has to spend $ trillions through PPPs to achieve the SDGs. PPPs offer solutions but we need to move forward faster to deliver decarbonized infrastructure.” – Mr. Richard Threlfall, Global Head of Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare, KPMG

Mr. Kutluhan Taşkın, Vice President of Strategy and Budget of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye, emphasized that the PPP mechanism is an ideal tool in the context of achieving the SDGs, as it allows for transparency and stakeholder engagement. Therefore, the Government of the Republic of Turkey is working on the implementation of PPP projects in the healthcare, transportation, and energy sectors. Examples of such projects include the construction of medical campuses equipped with the latest energy systems, as well as a tunnel project connecting the two banks of Istanbul. In general, the Government of the Republic of Turkey is working on an infrastructure financing system to ensure the continuity of funding for priority projects.

Mr. James Stewart, Independent Non-executive-director (UK), noted that PPPs have an advantage over projects implemented under traditional (public) procurement in the ability to attract private financing. Transparency of the tender procedure makes it more attractive to the private sector. At the same time, a mandatory cost-benefit analysis ensures a human-centered approach to meeting the needs of consumers and makes it possible to ensure that the project will have a positive economic impact on society. However, in general, in Mr. Stewart’s opinion, one cannot avoid noting the complexity of the mechanisms for evaluating and preparing PPP projects: this stage requires not only technical tools but also appropriate funding.

Mr. Ziad-Alexander Hayek, President of the World Association of PPP Units and Professionals (WAPPP), noted that in order to accelerate the process of achieving the SDGs through the preparation and implementation of PPP projects and infrastructure finance, it is advisable to pay attention to Small-Scale PPPs. Implementing Small-Scale PPPs allows local governments to attract local investors to finance PPP projects. In addition, it is important to ensure the development of PPP programs.

The next Session brought together representatives of PPP units, experts, and other stakeholders to present projects in different sectors – transport, renewable energy, health, education, municipal, and urban services – and discuss key findings of their evaluation using the UNECE PPP and Infrastructure Evaluation and Rating System (PIERS): An Evaluation Methodology for the SDGs.


PIERS is an easy-to-use self-assessment tool that integrating considerations of resilience, sustainability and circularity, brings together five “PPPs for the SDGs” outcomes: 

access and equity

economic effectiveness

environmental sustainability and resilience

replicability and 

stakeholder engagement


PPP projects presented during the session:

• Brazil: Ms. Caroline Braga presented the Smart Goiania PPP project to transform the city of Goiania into a smart city. The project includes modernizing public lighting to LED, installing photovoltaic power plants to reduce CO2 emissions, improving Internet connectivity for all public buildings, and creating free Wi-Fi zones in public places. The project focuses on digital inclusion, public safety, renewable energy, and improved public services, delivering significant savings of $110 million over 25 years and contributing to the city’s sustainable development. 

• Ethiopia: Mr. Zelalem Nigatu presented on the Refurbishment of Lithium-ion Batteries and Solar Systems in Ethiopia. Mr. Zelalem Nigatu emphasized the project’s alignment with key SDGs, particularly Goal 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) and Goal 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable). Achieving the project’s goals will be ensured through cross-sectoral cooperation, strategic planning, and the use of various sources of funding and technological solutions, making the project a replicable initiative that can serve as an example for other regions and countries.

•  Kyrgyzstan: Mr. Ulan Danilbekov presented the project to create a Renewable Energy Powered Data Center. The project is in line with the principles of sustainable development and is of great strategic importance for developing information and communication technologies in the region. The Сenter will simplify the process of providing public services. Various stakeholders, including the PPP Center, the Ministry of Digital Development, and the Asian Development Bank, were involved in the project preparation process.

• Tunisia: Ms. Ferdaous Ben Atig presented a project to develop a Water Sanitation Service in the South of Tunisia, launched in 2023. The project envisages the reconstruction and modernization of infrastructure, which includes 14 water treatment plants, 106 pumping stations, and 1900 kilometers of drainage canals. The total investment amount is USD 87.55 million. The project is designed to improve residents’ health, maintain environmental balance, and promote economic development through the use of treated wastewater in agriculture.

• Ukraine: Mr. Niko Gachechiladze, Director of the PPP Agency, spoke about the pilot healthcare project at the local level in Ukraine – “New Multidisciplinary Hospital in Zhytomyr” PPP Project, the context and prerequisites for its initiation, and presented key findings of its preliminary assessment using PIERS. In general, in Ukraine, the healthcare system is a legacy of the Soviet system, established in the 1970s-80s; it was designed to meet the economic needs and service delivery models of that era. In recent years, flow of healthcare transformation has been significantly impacted by both the COVID-19 pandemic and later the full-scale russian invasion. The total recovery and reconstruction needs are estimated to be US$14.2 billion over 10 years (for more details, see RDNA3). The estimates of needs for reconstruction of health facilities are based on improved designs and service delivery models (under the “build back better” framework). PPP Project “New Multidisciplinary Hospital in Zhytomyr” was identified and selected as one of the priority PPP projects in the healthcare sector in 2023 in cooperation with the Zhytomyr City Council, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (MoH) and in pursuance of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Ukraine and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The City is interested in building a new consolidated multidisciplinary hospital for the needs of the entire community. It should be a hospital for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases with a centralized location of departments. This will allow the decommissioning of old city hospitals built in the 1950s and 1970s of the twentieth century. Strategic goals of the City under the Project:

  • using the experience of specialized companies to implement advanced design solutions and improve clinical workflows and service efficiency within the new consolidated hospital
  • to attract private investors to the healthcare sector and gain access to private financing
  • to ensure timely and affordable creation of social infrastructure from the point of view of the local budget
  • to benefit from potential technical innovations and 
  • to ensure the high quality of the new hospital building throughout its life cycle.

Project has demonstrated good alignment with the PIERS evaluation methodology and by extension the SDGs and received an overall score of 78.5%. Overall, this project seems like it will create tremendous “value-for-people”, and if successfully implemented, could lead to transformative changes to the way medical services are provided in this region and potentially throughout Ukraine.

The Parallel sessions of the day were devoted to the following topics:

  • “Sustainable finance: The state of PPP and infrastructure finance midway to 2030”
  • “PPP procurement: Green and sustainable PPP procurement for the SDGs”
  • “PPPs and digital transformation: Improving the delivery of PPPs through digital transformation throughout the project lifecycle in support of the SDGs”
  • “PPPs in digital infrastructure: Diagnostics in healthcare (telemedicine) and other digital public services”
  • “Climate Resilient Infrastructure: Integrating resilience and adaptation into PPP projects in support of the SDGs”
  • “Stakeholder participation in PPPs: Enhancing stakeholder engagement in PPPs for the SDGs”
  • “PPPs in renewable energy: Supporting the use of off-grid rural electrification renewable energy and energy efficient PPP solutions for the SDGs”
  • “PPPs and women’s empowerment: Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment through PPPs for the SDGs”

The second day of the Forum’s topic was “Financing the SDGs through PPPs in the UNECE region and beyond.”

High-Level Roundtable was dedicated to navigating the power of PPPs for the SDGs in Road Safety finance. Experts and practitioners discussed the role of private sector innovation in complementing public initiatives and how such collaborations can be structured to yield maximum benefits for all road users.

Ms. Jelena Tadić, Executive Director of PPP Investment (Serbia), spoke about an innovative project aimed at introducing advanced technologies in the construction and management of road infrastructure in the municipality of Aroma (Serbia). She presented several innovative solutions for this project, including a road monitoring system and low-temperature asphalt. Additionally, the project envisages using recycled materials in road construction, including recycled asphalt, which will reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to creating more environmentally friendly roads.

Mr. Philip J. Wijers, Director Government Affairs, Sensys Gatso Group, spoke about the introduction of automated road safety monitoring systems using cameras in Ghana. He emphasized the importance of creating a legal framework and appropriate regulations in road safety, particularly regarding and recording offenses. 

Mr. Daniel Pulido and Mr. Volkan Recai Çetin, the World Bank Group, emphasized the importance of cooperation between the public sector and private business in developing road safety infrastructure, as it is the combination of public and private funds that can address the challenges associated with the lack of funding for the construction and maintenance of such infrastructure.

The first Political Discussion of the day was focused on the topic “Equal access to PPP and public services”. Ensuring that PPPs and public infrastructure provide “equal access” to everyone is crucial, enabling access to transportation, facilities, employment, and technology regardless of physical ability, economic status, or location. The session discussed how to design and implement PPPs that offer equal access to public services and infrastructure, tackling physical, digital, economic, and social barriers. 

Mr. Syed Zaidi, Senior Director, Government of Alberta (Canada), emphasized that access to critical social infrastructure is a fundamental human right and should be considered when selecting and preparing projects to not restrict this right. He highlighted the importance of analyzing and assessing the sustainability aspects of infrastructure projects and the need to implement a methodology that prioritizes non-profit projects based on sustainability and social benefits, especially for vulnerable groups.

Ms. Amanda Loeffen, CEO, Human Right 2 Water, highlighted the importance of incorporating the principles of non-discrimination and equality into PPP projects. Ms. Amanda Loeffen emphasized that maximizing the engagement of all stakeholders, including vulnerable groups, at different stages of PPP project preparation and implementation is very important, as this approach helps to address the diverse needs and expectations of all stakeholders and makes projects more democratic and equitable.

The second Policy Discussion of the day was devoted to Türkiye’s experience in in delivering PPPs aligned with the SDGs. Türkiye ranks as one of the top countries in the world using PPPs and is considered by many as a model to follow. Türkiye has been pursuing PPPs since 1986 and has signed contracts for 270 PPP projects with an investment value of 98.6 billion USD. 250 of these projects are already successfully in operation and 20 others are in the construction phase. Among these PPP projects are:

  • 13 international airports with 281 million passenger capacity, 11 motorways for a total of 1746.4 kilometers and other transportation facilities with an investment value of 60 billion USD,
  • energy projects with 21.73 billion USD and
  • health campuses with a total of 28,438 beds and an investment value of USD 13.08 billion.

These PPP projects aim to increase the welfare of Turkish citizens, increase their access to basic services in the most sustainable way in line with the SDGs, as well contributing to make Türkiye a hub for services in the region.

Site visit to an operational PPP project in Istanbul allow participants to learn about the Northern Marmara Motorway Project which connects Asia and Europe and carries the distinction of having the largest tunnels in the world and one of the world’s widest suspension bridges.

Project website –

May 10, the third Political Discussion was devoted to the topic “Planning, structuring and managing small-scale PPPs in support of the SDGs”.

Governments have, over the years, used the PPP model both for large-scale projects at the national level in sectors such as transportation, education, healthcare, and energy and for small-scale projects at the municipal level in sectors such as water and sanitation, waste management, street lighting, municipal parking, and electric car charging stations. This session’s purpose was to debate some of the core issues related to the planning, structuring, and managing of PPPs that are specific to small-scale projects.

The session’s outcome will contribute to the development of a joint UNECE-WAPPP practical guide for public officials with policy recommendations, including case studies and practical examples, for the effective implementation of small-scale PPPs in support of the SDGs to advance sustainable infrastructure development.

The Parallel Sessions of the day were devoted to the following topics:

  • “The contribution of PPPs to economic recovery and reconstruction”
  • “Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) and PPPs: Potential and limitations”
  • “Cross-border PPPs in support of the SDGs”
  • Roundtable discussion on selected PPP case studies
  • Workshop on the UNECE PIERS sustainability methodology and programme: measuring the impact of PPP projects
  • Workshop on PPP legal and regulatory framework in support of the SDGs
  • “Taking PPPs out of the classroom: contribution by academic institutions to capacity building”

Mr. Niko Gachechiladze, Director of the PPP Agency, in the first Parallel Session of the day on PPP projects for sustainable economic recovery and reconstruction in support of the SDGs, spoke about the extraordinary challenges faced by Ukraine due to the unprovoked Russian invasion and the active work of the Ukrainian Government to improve and adapt the system of implementation of public and critical infrastructure projects to the current circumstances. Mr. Niko Gachechiladze emphasized that the Government of Ukraine has reaffirmed its commitment to transparency and efficiency. Since only full digitalization can help ensure an effective mechanism for fighting corruption and maximize the speed of project preparation and implementation, a platform for preparing and managing all economic recovery and reconstruction projects was created in Ukraine with the support of donors. The platform has already become an integral part of the project preparation process and significantly complements the Prozorro e-procurement system, which has been in place for almost a decade.

“It is important to create and clearly manage the fiscal space for all liabilities (both direct and contingent) that may arise in various public investment projects. That is why the Government of Ukraine is currently working on reforming the public investment management system (PIM),” said Niko Gachechiladze, Director of the PPP Agency.

In general, the Director of the PPP Agency presented Ukraine’s potential for preparing and implementing sustainable PPP projects for economic recovery and infrastructure reconstruction and the potential to mobilize private capital for infrastructure financing under PPPs.

Building on three days of discussions on the role of PPPs and infrastructure finance in recovery, resilience, and reconstruction, the High-Level Concluding Policy Debate was devoted to action-oriented dialogue on integrating these initiatives with climate reforms, financing for development, digital cooperation, and the needs of future generations.