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International PPP Specialist Centres

Specialist Centres
About International PPP Specialist Centres

Specialist Centres identify excellence, prepare the best practice guides and help governments building their capabilities to develop a successful pipeline of projects. In fulfilling these tasks, the specialist centres will be assisted by the coordinating hub at the UNECE Secretariat. 

The idea is not to cover every sector in which PPPs are occurring, but to focus on some of the most important sectors. The choice of a sector should meet the following conditions.

(i) The sector selected is ‘front line’ in addressing some of today’s pressing problems, notably, greening our economies, use of technologies to fight climate change, improving access to basic public services, alleviation of poverty, etc.;

(ii) The sector selected benefits from has few, if any, previous published toolkits, or best practice guides.
In other cases, specialist centres may focus on specific sectors that constitute the core challenges countries face in taking PPPs forward. These challenges include, for example, the legislation, financing, and institutional requirements for undertaking PPP.

The specialist centres will:
•    Conduct research within the sector;
•    Develop and disseminate PPP best practice in the sector;
•    Develop sector specific capability development strategies for governments;
•    Provide specialised training in PPP.



How to become an International PPP Specialist Centre?

A.    Some simple steps a country needs to take to become a Specialist Centre

1.    Identify the proposed sector for PPP Specialist Centre;

2.    Identify the proposed host organization for the PPP Specialist Centre (a public sector or quasi-public sector body operating in the sector that has the authority to host a PPP Specialist Centre);

3.    Seek endorsement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

4.    Identify the contact person who will assume responsibility and will be the contact person for submitting expression of interest to the UNECE PPP Secretariat;

5.    Submit expression of interest to the UNECE PPP Secretariat (including information on the sector, host organisation, description how the host organisation will deliver the functions of the PPP Specialist Centre, preliminary schedule, personnel, budget and funding).

B.    Expression of Interest

Countries interested in establishing a PPP Specialist Centre are requested to implement the following steps:

1.    Country (government, proposed host organization, or an agent acting on behalf of that host organization), submits a written Expression of Interest (EOI) to the UNECE Secretariat addressed to the UNECE Executive Secretary;

2.    The UNECE Secretariat reviews and prepares a note upon the EOI submission that assesses the relevance, impact, and viability for the proposed PPP Specialist Centre;

3.    When/ if approved, the UNECE Secretariat sends a letter of acceptance to the EOI applicant that clearly defines the sector and scope of the proposed PPP Specialist Centre;

4.    Without this formal letter of endorsement, no individual, organization or country may approach public or private sector entities (other than the proposed host organization) on behalf of the UNECE International PPP Centre of Excellence in regards to seeking support for establishing a PPP Specialist Centre;

5.    UNECE and the hosting organisation of the Specialist Centre sign a memorandum of understanding and a funding agreement for a period of 3 years.

International PPP Specialist Centres



Location and host organization


Focal Point



Policies, Laws and Institutions

France (Paris)
- CICA: Confederation of International Contractors’ Associations
- IFEJI:  French Institute of international Legal Experts


Mr. Marc Frilet

2015 - 2020

Smart cities

Spain (Barcelona)
IESE Business School, University of Navarra

IESE PPP Research Center

Mr. Jordi Salvador

2015 - 2020

Local Government

Japan (Tokyo)
Toyo University, Research Center for PPP

Toyo University

Ms. Yu Namba

2015 - 2020

Public Transport Logistics

China (Beijing, Hong Kong)
- City University of Hong Kong
- Tsinghua University,
   with the support of NDRC

CityU of Hong Kong
Tsinghua University

- CityU: Mr. Houmin Yan
- Tsinghua: Mr. Tianyi Wang

2016 - 2021

Recovery and Resilience

United States of America (New Orleans)
International Resilience Center


Mr. David Dodd


Water and Sanitation

Portugal (Lisbon)
LNEC Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Lisbon

LNEC, Portugal

Mr. Diogo Faria de Oliveira

2017 - 2022


Lebanon (Beirut)
High Council for Privatization and PPP

High Council for Privatization and PPP of Lebanon

Mr. Ziad Hayek










Operational (according to dates in MoU): Specialist Centres MoU signed with UNECE and established.