The Government of Ukraine is currently implementing a broad policy agenda aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and pursuing a resilient, inclusive and sustainable post-COVID recovery. UNECE, together with UNDP, UNICEF and WHO, is supporting these efforts through a Joint Programme “Promoting strategic planning and financing for sustainable development on national and regional level in Ukraine”.
One of the possible mechanisms for financing the SDGs are Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). PPPs, explicitly referred to in SDG 17 on the global partnership for sustainable development, can help bridge investment gaps by mobilizing private funds into infrastructure development. Through its ‘People-first’ approach to PPPs, adopted in 2019, UNECE supports countries pursuing the SDGs by putting people’s interest at the core of infrastructure projects to generate ‘value for people’.
As countries all over the world aim at ‘Building Back Better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic, UNECE is pilot-testing a first version of its new People-first PPP Evaluation Methodology for the SDGs offering countries a set of benchmarks and indicators to score infrastructure projects against the People-first criteria and the SDGs. As part of its contribution to the Joint Programme, UNECE will assist PPP policymakers and practitioners in Ukraine apply ‘People-first’ approaches to PPPs, aimed at enhancing Ukraine’s overall capacity to align current and future PPP projects with the SDGs.
“Build Back Better is critical for Ukraine and the rest of the world, and in this regard, I am convinced that People-first PPPs will play a significant role”, stated Ms. Iryna Novikova, Deputy Minister for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine.
As a first implementation step of the inter-agency project, on 30 March 2021, UNECE convened PPP practitioners and policy makers from Ukraine’s Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture, the PPP Agency and the Ministry of Infrastructure, at a webinar co-organised with the Ministry for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, and entitled ‘Aligning PPP Legislation in Ukraine with the Sustainable Development Goals’.
The webinar, which was conducted as an interactive online event, combined elements of knowledge sharing, exchange of good practices and capacity development. At the invitation of UNECE, leading international PPP experts presented their assessment of the consistency of Ukraine’s PPP legislation with the SDGs and the People-first approach to PPPs and identified proposals to bridge existing gaps. “I congratulate the UNECE for the preparation of a great and comprehensive gap analysis which will help Ukraine incorporate the People-first approach in its PPP legislation and achieving the SDGs”, said Ms. Novikova, who opened the event.
In accordance with the workplan of the Joint Programme, this event will be followed by the development of practical guidelines for People-first PPP project identification and preparation – particularly to promote stakeholder engagement, environmental sustainability and resilience in projects. Activities will be tailored to the specificity of the Ukrainian context and the organisation of training events for a broad range of Ukrainian PPP practitioners and policy makers to boost their capacity to implement the approach and deliver People-first PPPs.
“I am personally following the capacity-building project which will see Ukraine pioneering the use of the UNECE People-first PPP Evaluation Methodology to fulfil the SDGs and help identify those projects that will help us build back better. We need to make sure that this methodology is used and for this end I would suggest that PIERS – People-first Infrastructure Evaluation and Rating System – could be used as the acronym to make this a marketable and global product” the Deputy Minister added.
Ms. Novikova had also taken an active part at the 2021 edition of UNECE’s Annual “Regional Forum for Sustainable Development” (RFSD), specifically at a round table entitled “Recovering from COVID-19: a sustainable and human-centred approach to the future of work”. At this event, she stressed the importance of implementing the People-first approach to PPPs in Ukraine to mobilise the private sector and deliver post-pandemic infrastructure and public services with people as the main beneficiaries.
Finally, People-first PPPs can also help transition to a more circular economy, the theme of the Sixty-ninth session of the Commission (20-21 April 2021). In this regard, Guidelines on Promoting People-first Public-Private Partnerships Waste-to-Energy Projects for the Circular Economy have been prepared. These Guidelines explore how the Waste-to-Energy industry can contribute to a transition towards a circular economy through the use of People-first and SDG-compliant PPPs.