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Project Identification and PPP Screening

313. Assessing Capabilities and Needs, and Hiring Advisors

As explained, if a project is identified as the appropriate solution to a need and the results of the PPP suitability test are positive, before moving ahead within the project cycle, a “project team” should be defined, which will carry out the next phases: the Appraisal and potentially the Structuring (see section 2.13.3).

This should be done, at least in outline, during the screening (since costs for advisors or an inability to conduct the necessary studies during appraisal may lead to a decision not to move ahead with the project as a PPP). However, a detailed staffing plan and the process of hiring advisors will be developed after the decision is made to move forward.

This section includes guidelines and recommendations regarding the creation of this “project team”. See figure 3.5. In order to move forward, the procuring authority must assess the capabilities required for the creation of a project team:

  • What capabilities are needed?
  • Are there sufficient internal capacities within the procuring authority to perform the full appraisal?
  • If the answer is yes, are there internal capabilities to be dedicated to the appraisal — will this project affect other potential user-paid or government-paid PPPs with greater economic and financial sense?
  • If the answer is no, are there enough resources available, or at least one person, to lead the appraisal?
  • Which consultants should be hired, and for what tasks? This requires the development of terms of reference for advisors. How should they be hired? Should there be separate contracts for each discipline, or only one multidisciplinary team?
  • What will the cost be (time and fees of third parties acting as advisors) to properly analyze and procure the project?

FIGURE 3.5: Assessing Capabilities and Needs


Even if it is hiring advisors to support the development of the studies, the public sector will need to appoint a representative to act as project leader.

It is important that the public sector, through the project leader, has the expertise to manage its advisors and the stakeholder processes professionally. Poor management of these aspects is a common cause of project failure.

The project leader should have the following roles and capabilities:

  • Coordinate all studies from the different fields of expertise;
  • Control and oversee the results of the studies;
  • Handle the coordination between the project’s team of advisors (external) and the procuring authority (when the appraisal is led by a PPP unit); and
  • Manage the decision-making process of the public sector with a view to obtaining such decisions in a reasonable timeframe.


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