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What are Public-Private Partnerships?

In Costa Rica, both public-private partnerships and PPPDs are considered the same. We describe their main differences below.

Public-Private Partnerships for Development (PPPDs)

Cooperation agreements for a co-responsible interaction between public institutions and private organizations, where the parties share resources, skills, and risks to achieve common goals that will contribute to sustainable development.

Public-Private Partnerships or Alliances (PPPs)

A contract between the public sector and private organizations for the design, funding, building, operation, and maintenance of public infrastructure and services, transferring to the private sector a part of the risks and responsibilities, while allowing the State to maintain discretionary powers of control and regulation.


Short and medium term

Long term.

Economic returns

Transfer of financial resources for public-interest initiatives.

Transfer of financial resources to the private sector.

Development areas

Focus on social and environmental topics.

Focus on infrastructure and public services.


  • Clear procedures and regulations. Better appropriation and reinforcement of existing instruments. Clear regulation of possible lack of compliance and reduction of conflicts of interest. Need for PPPD-specific legislation?
  • Engaged political leadership. Commitment from high level political leaders to encourage a long-term view of PPPDs and harness actions. Where would this structure belong?
  • Promote dialogue. Bring diverse sectors closer together in a search for operational consensus
  • Identify priority projects. Create a portfolio of PPPDs with a spatial agenda
  • Communicate existing results. Give value to the efforts that have been invested so far by creating a communications strategy
  • PPPDs Observatory, designed to encourage transparency as well as results-based management
  • Need to develop a country-vision of the value and implementation of the PPP model for the development of infrastructure and public-interest services
  • Foster the creation of public policy on PPPs
  • Political will
  • United strategic direction and coordination, based on the CNC as implementing or supporting agency for other institutions
  • Prepare a portfolio of projects based on appropriate pre-investment studies
  • Create an observatory of PPPs to analyze, make proposals, and train

What do we understand in ALIARSE by Public-Private Partnership for Development (APPD) and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)?


Public-Private Partnerships for Development (PPPDs)

At ALIARSE, we understand public-private partnerships for development (PPPDs) to be the co-responsible interaction between public institutions and private organizations, where both parties share resources, skills, and risks, for the purpose of achieving common goals that contribute to sustainable development.

The PPPDs, promoted by Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals, require a balanced distribution of power between the partners. It is an interactive process where all partners use common regulations, guidelines, and structures. It involves both formal and informal negotiations, as well as consensus-building.

Some contributions from PPPDs to the social and economic development of the country include:

  • Creating a new way of working that provides strategic and complementary skills through multiple actors.
  • Providing innovative solutions that tend to be unique for their context and the participating partners.
  • Generating value through optimization and efficiency that cannot be achieved through individual actions from the partners.

Status of Public Private Partnerships in Costa Rica 2020


Public-Private Partnerships or Associations (PPPs)

These are contracts between public and private organizations for the design, funding, building, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure and public-interest services, transferring part of the risks and responsibilities to the private sector while the State maintains discretionary powers of control and regulation.

In ALIARSE, we understand that the State must guarantee the provision of cost-efficient quality public services and infrastructure. PPPs can be instrumental in achieving this goal. In fact, Costa Rica has been promoting public-private initiatives for the development of infrastructure and the provision of quality public services. Nevertheless, the country faces challenges establishing new PPPs while creating the conditions to promote them within the context of severe economical restrictions and large gaps in infrastructure.

In this context, ALIARSE hopes to generate knowledge, build capacities, and provide guidance to public organizations for the promotion of good practices for transparent management of future PPPs.

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