In Colombia, subnational level PPPs have become a key challenge, since 2012 and the PPP law. Between January 2016 and March 2018, the Municipality of Bogota initiated 12 PPP (total estimated capex of $US 8,733 million) and received 93 unsolicited proposals (USPs). This is the first time in Colombia a municipal entity oversees so many USPs, for potential projects that would not benefit from national level guarantees or funding support. Strong capacity building is needed.
Given the challenges faced by municipal governments in the LAC region, the IFC has created the Cities initiative with the aim of providing advisory services and capacity building in selected cities, so they can develop a pool of implementable and bankable high impact infrastructure projects in accordance with international best practices. Bogota has quickly become a strong candidate for this program, and a partnership is ongoing between the municipality of Bogota, IFC Cities and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, for that end.
While designing its program for Bogota, developed through a series of workshops and sectorial technical assistance, IFC Cities has partnered with IFC PPP Advisory Services and PPIAF teams. This translated into a series of workshops with the numerous municipal entities that are working on PPP projects (transport, health, leisure, waste management, water, etc.). In particular the partnership with PPIAF was very important as PPIAF’s expertise and approach as an “honest broker” allowed for a dedicated, tailor-made session with a key public decision making body, the “Consejo de Bogota” (Bogota City Council), and with controlling entities such as the Office of the Comptroller General of Colombia. PPIAF played a critical role to reinforce their institutional capacity, bringing international examples and comments on best practice, as well as successes and failures, of PPPs and infrastructure procurement processes, with a focus on governance and transparency.
This activity will constitute a pilot for a deeper collaboration between IFC LAC Cities, IFC PPP Advisory Services, and PPIAF on PPP capacity building at the sub-national level in Colombia and Peru.