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International PPP Specialist Centres


Specialist Centres identify excellence, prepare the best practice guides and help governments building their capabilities to develop a successful pipeline of projects. In fulfilling these tasks, the specialist centres will be assisted by the coordinating hub at the UNECE Secretariat. It will provide support inter alia through the Business Advisory Board and the Editorial Board.

The idea is not to cover every sector in which PPPs are occurring, but to focus on some of the most important sectors. The choice of a sector should meet the following conditions.

(i) The sector selected is ‘front line’ in addressing some of today’s pressing problems, notably, greening our economies, use of technologies to fight climate change, improving access to basic public services, alleviation of poverty, etc.;

(ii) The sector selected benefits from has few, if any, previous published toolkits, or best practice guides.
In other cases, specialist centres may focus on specific sectors that constitute the core challenges countries face in taking PPPs forward. These challenges include, for example, the legislation, financing, and institutional requirements for undertaking PPP.

The specialist centres will:
•    Conduct research within the sector;
•    Develop and disseminate PPP best practice in the sector;
•    Develop sector specific capability development strategies for governments;
•    Provide specialised training in PPP.


A.    Some Simple Steps a Country Needs to Take to Become a Specialist Centre

1.    Identify the proposed sector for PPP Specialist Centre;

2.    Identify the proposed host organization for the PPP Specialist Centre (a public sector or quasi-public sector body operating in the sector that has the authority to host a PPP Specialist Centre);

3.    Seek endorsement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

4.    Identify the contact person who will assume responsibility and will be the contact person for submitting expression of interest to the UNECE PPP Secretariat;

5.    Submit expression of interest to the UNECE PPP Secretariat (including information on the sector, host organisation, description how the host organisation will deliver the functions of the PPP Specialist Centre, preliminary schedule, personnel, budget and funding).

B.    Expression of Interest

Countries interested in establishing a PPP Specialist Centre are requested to implement the following steps:

1.    Country (government, proposed host organization, or an agent acting on behalf of that host organization), submits a written Expression of Interest (EOI) to the UNECE Secretariat addressed to the UNECE Executive Secretary;

2.    The UNECE Secretariat reviews and prepares a note upon the EOI submission that assesses the relevance, impact, and viability for the proposed PPP Specialist Centre;

3.    When/ if approved, the UNECE Secretariat sends a letter of acceptance to the EOI applicant that clearly defines the sector and scope of the proposed PPP Specialist Centre;

4.    Without this formal letter of endorsement, no individual, organization or country may approach public or private sector entities (other than the proposed host organization) on behalf of the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence in regards to seeking support for establishing a PPP Specialist Centre;

5.    UNECE and the hosting organisation of the Specialist Centre sign a memorandum of understanding and a funding agreement for a period of 3 years.


CentreLocation and host organizationStatusPartnersFocal Point
PPP in CIS countriesRussian Federation, the Financial UniversityAgreement / exchange of lettersVnesheconombankMr. Kirill Malutin
Policies, Laws and InstitutionsFranceOperationalUNCITRALMr. Marc Frilet
Smart citiesSpain, IESE Business School, University of NavarraOperationalIESE PPP Research CenterMr. Míquel Rodríguez
Mr. Joan Enric Ricart
Local Government Japan, Toyo University, Research Center for PPPOperationalToyo UniversityMs. Yu Namba
Public Transport LogisticsChina, City University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University, with the support of NDRCOperationalCityU of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University, NDRCMr. Tianyi Wang (Tsinghua)
Mr. Houmin Yan (CityU)
Water and SanitationPortugal, LNEC Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, LisbonOperationalLNEC, PortugalMr. Diogo Faria de Oliveira
PortsLebanon, BeirutAgreement / soon operationalHigh Council for Privatization and PPP of LebanonMr. Ziad Hayek





Operational: Specialist Centres MoU signed with UNECE and established