Training seminar “Practical tools for aligning PPP and infrastructure projects in the post-war recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine with the SDGs” was held

Published on: 14.12.2023
Category: PPP News

On December 12, 2023, the PPP Agency together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) organized and held an online training seminar “Practical tools for aligning PPP and infrastructure projects in the post-war recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine with the SDGs”, which aimed to help public officials and PPP practitioners in Ukraine to better understand how the PIERS methodology can be flexibly applied, with the ultimate aim to attract the interest and increase the confidence of investors in Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction projects.

The rebuilding of Ukraine’s infrastructure will require the mobilisation of colossal financial resources from various sources: both public and private. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) can be an important SDG financing mechanism for bridging the investment gaps by mobilising private finance into infrastructure development.

The goals of the training seminar were:

  1. Familiarise PPP practitioners in Ukraine with the practical implementation of the UNECE approach “PPP for the SDGs” and the UNECE PPP and Infrastructure Evaluation and Rating System: An Evaluation Methodology for the SDGs (UNECE PIERS methodology), including its self-assessment tool; and
  2. Discuss the evaluation of pilot projects in Ukraine carried out in 2023 by UNECE using the PIERS methodology.

Mr. Tony Bonnici, Chief of the UNECE PPP Section, spoke about the work of the UNECE and the support of the Government of Ukraine in the analysis of legislative changes in the field of PPPs regarding compliance with the UNECE approach “PPP for the SDGs” and the preparation of recommendations on applying the UNECE PIERS methodology to prepare, design and finance priority PPP projects in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

Mr. Antonin Menegaux from the UNECE PPP Section spoke in more detail about the “PPPs for the SDGs” approach developed by the UNECE. This approach promotes well-designed infrastructure projects that demonstrate higher efficiency (“Value for Money”), put “people” (“Value for People”) and “planet” (“Value for the Planet”) at the core, and is aimed at overcoming some weaknesses of both traditional (public) procurement and some PPP models.

In general, the “PPPs for the SDGs” approach seeks to ensure people’s access and equity to public services, strengthen the economic effectiveness and fiscal sustainability of projects, improve environmental sustainability and resilience, showcase the viability and replicability of such PPP projects, and demonstrate a project’s intent to be inclusive and engage with all stakeholders.

To ensure its implementation in countries, the UNECE has developed and published several policy documents and practical tools endorsed as Standards and Best Practices by the member States, including:

UNECE PPP and Infrastructure Evaluation and Rating System: An Evaluation Methodology for the SDGs (UNECE PIERS methodology)

Standard on Public-Private Partnerships / Concession Legal Framework in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and its Accompanying Guide

UNECE Standards and Guidelines

Mr. Antonin Menegaux also presented the UNECE PPP and Infrastructure Evaluation and Rating System: An Evaluation Methodology for the SDGs (UNECE PIERS methodology).

PIERS is an easy-to-use self-assessment tool. Integrating considerations of resilience, sustainability and circularity, PIERS brings together five PPPs for the SDGs outcomes: access and equity; economic effectiveness; environmental sustainability and resilience; replicability; and stakeholder engagement.

The tool was developed by over 100 experts, launched in 2021, and is available to governments and other stakeholders in Excel format.

In general, it is a flexible and adaptable to all countries assessment tool for PPPs and infrastructure projects. The self-assessment tool provides an indicative score of PPPs and infrastructure projects according to 22 criteria and 95 indicators proposed within the framework of five desirable outcomes. Also, it receives automatically generated qualitative feedback to assist projects improve PPP for the SDGs outcomes.

Mr. Antonin Menegaux demonstrated the new online platform of the UNECE PIERS methodology –, launched at the 7th session of the Working Party on Public-Private Partnerships of the UNECE Committee on Innovation, Competitiveness and PPPs.

In the coming months, the UNECE PIERS methodology will also be available on the platform in Ukrainian.

Ms. Melissa Peneycad, UNECE consultant, spoke more about applying the UNECE PIERS methodology on post-war recovery and reconstruction projects in Ukraine, namely the proposed flexible approach adapted for Ukraine. This approach includes:

  • Use of a standardised PIERS questionnaire to simplify the process and reduce the burden on government officials. 
  • Focusing on government priorities.
  • Limiting the answer options used within the PIERS Self-Assessment Tool to reduce subjectivity and improve consistency.
  • Scoring multiple indicators at the same time.
  • Turning assumptions into recommendations.
  • Applying PIERS programmatically.

The practical part of the training was devoted to the presentation of pilot projects in Ukraine, evaluated using the PIERS methodology for PPP projects.

Mr. Niko Gachechiladze, Director of the PPP Agency, presented the following two pilot projects:

(1) PPP project – “New multidisciplinary hospital in Zhytomyr”

(2) The concession project of the First and Container Terminals of SE “Sea Trade Port “Chornomorsk”

Ms. Melissa Peneycad spoke in detail about the results of project evaluation using the UNECE PIERS methodology.

Thus, the PPP project for constructing a new consolidated city multidisciplinary hospital demonstrated very good alignment with the SDGs. Given that this project is social infrastructure, it is unsurprising that Access and Equity and Stakeholder Engagement scored above 80% as these desirable outcomes strongly emphasize “Value for People”. In addition, the project has a very high potential for replication in other Ukrainian cities and will contribute to economies of scale. This project may be a good candidate for third-party recognition (e.g., LEED certification).

Given the nature of the concession project of the First and Container Terminals of the Chornomorsk Sea Port and its commercial focus, high scores (i.e., 70% or above) are to be expected for Economic Effectiveness and Fiscal Sustainability and Replicability as these desirable outcomes focus on procurement, economic viability, employment, capacity building, technology transfer, and “Value for Money”.

Therefore, there is a significant opportunity to expand the use of PIERS in Ukraine. The PPP Agency, together with the Ministry of Economy, continues to cooperate with UNECE, aiming to further apply the PIERS methodology for PPP projects in the post-war recovery and infrastructure reconstruction in Ukraine.