Using the public-private partnership model for poverty alleviation

By Guriya

Development agencies have been aspiring to design effective solutions to alleviate poverty. There is a requirement for public-private partnerships (PPPs) to combine the success models by corporate and private players in various sectors, to create sustainable impact and change the economic status of the poor.

The advantage of public-private partnership

With the assistance from private entities in technical and implementation spheres, the government agencies can strengthen financial management of poverty alleviation policies. This designed implementation will improve competitiveness and provide the poor with greater access to services. The private interventions undertaken in collaboration with government entities assist in the execution of poverty reduction policy strategies, enabling sustainability of the weak institutions. The leaders of different stakeholder agencies, like NGOs, government agencies and others, should venture into spheres where they can leverage the abilities of each other creating synergies which will efficiently alleviate poverty.

PPPs should be effectively leveraged for reducing poverty as they can optimise the scare resource allocation problem, and promote economic growth through institutionalisation of the existing policies and structures. The private institutions can build technical capacities for the public institutions to administer better allocation of resources to the poor and promote socio-economic changes of the environment to propagate ventures where philanthropy encounters business undertakings. The business of the private players can act as a tool to alleviate poverty by strengthening the self-sufficiency initiatives of the government, targeted at poor groups who need assistance to drive their own livelihood.

Areas of application

The outreach of public institutions can be collaborated with additional resources of the private entities to attain effectiveness in the pursuit of poverty alleviation. Countries like Bangladesh and Africa have adopted this model and created a broad base of beneficiaries of government policies and effective technical implementation, attaining sustainability of grassroots agencies. Thus, if the partnership between public and private entities is streamlined to align to the goals of both parties, poverty alleviation can be a smoother and prioritised goal with opportunities for growth at both ends. The risks pertaining to policy, finance, management, socioeconomy will persist because the entities have different schools of thought, but if a structure is created where the cumulative effort is to work for a common goal of poverty alleviation, the model can reveal results that will help the community.

An initiative in India

One of the early initiatives in this sphere has been by the Maharashtra government through their Maharashtra Public-Private Partnership for Integrated Agricultural Development (PPPIAD) project, which is intended at developing value chains for selective crops through co-investments with the private players. The program was undertaken with 11 projects in 2012-13, extended to 33 value chain based projects in 2014-15, with 60 private players participating in the entire process. The program focused on 16 crops and has been able to mobilise more than a million farmers who aim to reach out to five million farmers by 2020.

Undertakings like these are an exemplar of the way India’s agricultural sector can be revived, and poverty alleviation can be a working phenomenon with the economic growth of farmer community.


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