Synthesis Documents

An Analysis of Hidden Variables Influencing the Challenges and Opportunities of Implementing R&D and Value Chain Agricultural Public-Private Partnerships in the Developing World, by Bill Boland, 2012

    This working paper is designed to provide background information on public–private partnerships (PPPs) in agriculture designed to alleviate hunger and poverty in the developing world. There are four objectives to this paper: first, to provide information on the characteristics of PPPs not otherwise available in the public domain in order to provide a practical perspective on what is required to create and operationalize these organizational structures; second, to illuminate the incentives, constraints, enablers, and hidden costs associated with creating and managing agricultural PPPs in the developing world; third, to determine the characteristics that separate upstream research and development (R&D) PPPs from downstream value-chain PPPs; and fourth, to compare and contrast the findings of this paper to previous research on this subject.

    Summary of results
    This paper adds to the knowledge of agricultural PPPs in six ways. First, this research illuminates how time, complexity, financial reporting, and acquiring financial support are hidden costs of implementing and sustaining PPPs. Second, this paper expands the knowledge of the relationships between both R&D and value-chain PPPs and network configuration. Third, the requirement for different types of networks at different stages of the development of the PPPs suggests that the value-chain PPP requires higher start-up costs. Fourth, we now know more about the critical role individuals occupy in creating R&D PPPs and the role of PPP specialists in the formation of value-chain PPPs. Fifth, value-chain PPPs face unique challenges managing non-codified knowledge and trade secrets, limiting the number of private sector partners per partnership. Sixth, based upon interview data, there appears to be a short-term capacity shortage of scientists, researchers, and PPP specialists involved with developing world agricultural PPPs that may inhibit the growth of new partnerships.

    To read the document, click on the pdf file on the right hand side.

    More publications on PPPs, and a mapping of donor PPP initiatives are available here:

    Associated Activities and Documents
    »Case study of the African Cashew Initiative - Focus: Ghana. Lessons from working with new and multiple partners - Emerging Results, by Melina Heinrich, DCED, 2012