The role of the public partner in innovation in transport infrastructure PPPs: A qualitative comparative analysis of nine Dutch DBFM projects

By transferring risks and responsibilities to the private sector, governments hope that public-private partnerships (PPPs) bring about innovations in transport infrastructure development. Taking the position that a PPP is not equal to outsourcing, this article explores the role of the public partner in innovation in infrastructure PPPs. To this purpose, nine Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) projects in Dutch transport infrastructure development were systematically analyzed with qualitative comparative analysis (QCA). The results show that the presence of innovation is associated with multiple, nonexclusive combinations of three conditions: the procurement result of the partnership contract, the composition of the private construction consortium, and the project management by the public partner (i.e., stakeholder management, technical management, and contract management). In particular, the public partner’s choice to enter into a PPP with a construction consortium consisting of a small number of firms is associated with innovation.

Publication | Verweij, S., Loomans, O. & Leendertse, W. (2020). The role of the public partner in innovation in transport infrastructure PPPs: A qualitative comparative analysis of nine Dutch DBFM projects. Public Works Management & Policy, 25 (1), 5-32.