A Dictionary of Finance podcast gets into the public-private partnerships behind roads, hospitals, schools and public buildings

A PPP is a public-private partnership. It delivers long-term infrastructure through the private sector. The public sector pays, but only when the infrastructure is available to the public and maintained to the standard set out in the contract.

Gabriel García Márquez, the great Colombian writer, said that everyone has three lives: a public life, a private life…and a secret life. This episode of A Dictionary of Finance is about the secret life of infrastructure, because we’re talking about the thing that connects the public life of infrastructure to its private life. Namely, public-private partnerships.

It’s important to know about PPPs, as these partnerships are called, because it’s quite likely that your local or regional government is involved in them. As a citizen, you should know what’s being done with these assets.

Allar and Matt are joined on the podcast by Stuart Broom of the European PPP Expertise Centre.

Stuart explains that a PPP gives the public sector—your local government, for example—the capacity to monitor the private sector managers of its infrastructure and to have clarity about how much it will cost over a period of 25 or 30 years.

He also lays out how PPPs work in managing schools, hospitals, toll roads, public buildings, or “availability-based” roads, and gives some insights into how successful they have been.

Subscribe to A Dictionary of Finance in the iTunes podcast app or on other podcast platforms like Stitcher. Allar and Matt would love to hear from you with suggestions for future podcast topics. Tweet them at @EIBMatt and @AllarTankler.