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Project Identification and PPP Screening

312.1. Who are the Stakeholders?

It is common to think of stakeholders as an external audience. The external audience is composed of all the stakeholders interested in the project, outside the internal scope of the government and of bidders in the procurement process. This audience includes banks, investment funds, government and multilateral funders, public service users, society in general, and the press. Other government agencies —such as a municipality or state government and the federal government, the courts of auditors and state monitoring agencies, regulatory agencies, legislators, party leaders, associations, labour unions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — are also part of this group of stakeholders. All of them require different communication approaches.

The internal audience also has a huge importance for projects. They are meant to be "first among equals” in the governance of the sector involved, rather than an interest simply to be satisfied. This audience is very heterogeneous and its composition depends on the government’s decisions in relation to which areas and what professionals should be involved in the projects conducted by the procuring authority. In general, this audience is composed of all the public sector’s officers and employees which are linked, directly or indirectly, to the project cycle and who will monitor or interface with the project at every stage, from the design to the implementation of the work. This internal audience is the one that will also relate, to some extent, to the wide variety of components within the external audience.

Stakeholder identification and management is important in all projects, but in PPPs it may also be necessary to communicate with stakeholders about the fact that the project is a PPP and the implications this may have. See table 3.2. In some cases, the key stakeholders might neither know nor care that the project is a PPP, but communication with them and gaining their support can be vital to a project’s success. In other cases, delivery of the project as a PPP may be a cause of considerable concern for some external stakeholders.

Lack of communication or poor communication can feed false rumours and concerns which, although unsubstantiated, may undermine the success of a project. It is necessary to bring information to the forefront and properly evaluate and transmit it to each of the stakeholders covering both the project aspects and the PPP aspects.

To ensure that all stakeholders receive equal information and that no party who might later bid for the project has been unintentionally provided with an unfair competitive advantage, the communication must be carefully coordinated and conducted with transparency.

TABLE 3.2 : The Role of Communication in the Screening and Appraisal Phases of the Project

Communication
(aspects to be considered)

Identification/Screening

Internal audience

  • PPP Unit.
  • Municipal/state/federal departments and other public entities linked to PPP Projects.
  • Government legal staff.
  • Consultants hired by the public sector that need to share strategic information about the PPP initiative.

External audience

  • Potential investors.
  • Service users.
  • Affected groups.

Communication focus

  • Scope of the project.
  • Objectives.
  • Benefits.

 

Important benefits of good stakeholder identification and communication are:

  • Prevention of delays in project implementation;
  • Evidence is provided of government commitment to the project;
  • Evidence is provided of process credibility;
  • Stakeholders' contributions can be considered in the project’s design;
  • Support of stakeholders is more likely; and
  • The government can effectively provide information in response to queries.

 

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