Sustainable Development and Public-Private Partnership Legislation

Executive Summary


This study examines whether legislation governing Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in a sample of non-OECD countries in Sub-Saharan Africa aligns with the principles of effective governance set out in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (‘Addis Agenda’) – the aim of which is to enable financing for development in pursuit of globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals.


The framework for this study is based on nine principles for the effective governance of PPPs extracted from the Addis Agenda in the UNDESA Working Paper - ‘A Scoping Study of PPP Guidelines’. We developed a set of 47 indicators based on these principles. We then categorised a sample of PPP laws according to the indicators. The resulting data set reveals interesting insights about PPP laws and their alignment with the principles inherent in the Addis Agenda.


The research indicated that:

  • Principles with the most extensive representation included criteria and structure of blended finance instruments, risk sharing, accountability, transparency and contracts, and to a lesser extent, effective management.

  • Principles with the least representation include social and environmental standards, sustainable development, participation and alignment with national development strategy/development cooperation.

  • The content of the legislation largely focuses on transactional aspects, especially with regards to the relationship between public and private partners.


There is scope for further research, pending the incorporation of further jurisdictions in the sample. This could include analysis of:

  • whether legislation enacted after the Addis Agenda was signed contains more detail or greater alignment with the principles;

  • whether there is a correlation between legislative detail and/or alignment with the principles and the country’s stage of development and if so, what is the correlation? And,

  • the effect of different instruments used – such as legislation, policy documents and/or guidelines – on the level of detail and/or alignment with the principles.


There were notable legislative gaps regarding several indicators corresponding to sustainability dimensions of PPPs expressed in the principles. The sample analysed contained no provisions pertaining to the following indicators:

  • indigenous peoples

  • assets' resilience to climate change

  • time restrictions.




The full report along with the Consolidated Database, Model Provisions and Legislation Repository can be found here. The video to the student presentation can be accessed here

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