Home | 2011 Workshop

Public-Private Partnerships in Basic Education
August 19, 2009 – 1:30 p.m.

Presenters:Thomas LeBlanc, USAID Tanzania
Alicia Slate, USAID Nicaragua
Kirsten Galisson, AED

Moderator:Suezan Lee, USAID Office of Education

USAID Nicaragua carried out two Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in education: one facilitated sponsorships between businesses and schools through the American Chamber of Commerce; the other used alliances to promote a school model with student-centered learning, community involvement, and materials provision (resource centers, computers and textbooks). Through these experiences, the Mission learned that short projects are more efficient if targeted toward fewer, more sustainable programs, and improved communication. Best practices included good partners that were committed to education, and moving from “tangible or visible support to building interest in supporting less tangible investments that in the long run are more sustainable.”

In Uganda the PPP evolved organically. The Ministry of Education (MoE) planning department team wanted to continue assistance for the Education Management Information System system, so they worked with the Africa Bureau and the Global Development Alliance (GDA) staff to partner with Microsoft. The program set up 25 higher education training centers, which coordinated with USAID to install computer labs in teacher training colleges. Now the Mission is exploring how to coordinate with the education and health strategic objectives, and how to carry out a similar project in Tanzania.

AED presented a study on partnership best practices in Latin America, which created a framework with public and private actors, typifying a spectrum of partnerships. The research examined enabling conditions, relevant legislation, incentives, civic culture, political climate, degree of decentralization, corruption, and transparency – all of which are factors that influenced PPP designs. Galisson noted that “natural progression” was a factor – a company might donate, then progress to more involvement – at times creating or revealing tension between the public and private sectors. Thus, partners must be mature and provide an enabling environment. The research led to a tool kit to aid decisions on participating with varied conditions such as greater or less risk or visibility.

Key take away points for this session included a discussion of USAID regulations for PPPs, noting that various methods could be discussed with the GDA office. Branding was also discussed, as private sector partners desiring their own branding can potentially cause conflict. One solution shared was the use of a common project identity presented to potential partners as a condition of participation. One implementer said that USAID seemed “impenetrable” in terms of getting involved in something like the PPPs; networking was said to be the key element. Discussants noted that data collection was essential to report results for both USAID and private sector partners and mentioned the development of indicators to be used for partnerships themselves, including those in a recent GDA study, now online. A representative of IYF also said they had done a report available at EEAonline.org.

To view the presentations, please click on link below:
AED, Galisson : Open
AED, Galisson Paper : Open
Global Development Alliance : Open
USAID Nicaragua, Slate : Open

For questions related to the 2009 Education Workshop,
please contact Rebekah Levi at rlevi@jbsinternational.com