As part of the process of selecting projects which to investigate for this study, a master database of PPPs (Master Database) was created by combing existing databases available online. This was completed using the criteria that the projects were in economic infrastructure and reached financial close between 2005 and 2015. The process followed is described in the Methodology. Presented below is some analysis from the Master Database.
As a summary of the data collection, a random sample of 275 projects was selected from the Master Database, and data was collected on these projects based on desktop research with additional interviews carried out with project stakeholders where possible. 25 projects which had minimal data available were removed from the sample to give a sample database of 250 projects. The purpose of the data collection was to give insight into the prevalence of the contract management issues, any sector- or region-specific trends and the prevalence of underlying causes for any significant events. The renegotiation data, disputes data and other prominent issues pages provide the key results of the data collection.
It should be noted that there were a number of limitations to the data collection process, including:
- Desktop research – publicly available information. The availability of information varied significantly between regions. Governments in some regions make project information easily available online, including the PPP contracts themselves, while multi-national bodies such as development banks also publish information on the projects they are involved with. However, this is often not the case, especially in emerging markets such as India or China, and more so in earlier years. This challenge was to some extent overcome by contacting project stakeholders, but this also was not always possible. The results for each metric are therefore based only on the projects for which firm data was found.
- Desktop research – accuracy of information. In some cases, the accuracy of the information collected was clear, for example because it came from the original PPP contract. In other cases it was less clear, with news articles referring to events on a project but limited further information available. This was addressed as far as possible by cross-checking data against other sources as well as with project stakeholders.
- Availability of project stakeholders. It was not always possible to contact stakeholders on the projects for which data was being collected. Where it was possible to make contact with stakeholders, not all of them were willing to participate in the study. In many instances, key stakeholders with the relevant knowledge have left the project, which added to the challenges of data collection.
- Commercial sensitivity. Certain information was commercially sensitive, in particular relating to cost overruns and variations, ongoing disputes, as well as contract renegotiation. For this reason, even where we were able to talk with project stakeholders, they were often unwilling to share certain data. In addition, a number of stakeholders, in particular on the Project Company side, were also not willing to engage in any interviews due to confidentiality restrictions in the relevant PPP contract. In general, lenders were not willing to communicate any project specific information due to the confidentiality restrictions in their agreements with the Project Company.
- Transparency and availability of data presents a challenge in some regions. In regions where no reliable project data could be collected and particular challenges were faced when identifying the relevant stakeholders and engaging with them, the overall data collection in that particular region was reduced to a smaller number of projects than originally identified as a portion of the overall 250 sample of projects.
For these reasons, the data presented below is limited to those projects for which reliable information could be found. Each chart and table shows the number of projects on which data was available for that chart or table.
It should also be noted that only a single project in the sample has been handed back to the Procuring Authority. This means that the prevalence of events presented here (i.e. renegotiation, disputes, Significant Events, change of ownership and refinancing) is going to be lower than it would be if the projects studied had run for their full contract duration, as events such as renegotiation or disputes, for example, are likely to occur for some projects in the future.