Equal Access to PPPs and Sustainable Services

Our CEO Amanda Loeffen, participated in a forum at UNECE’s 8th International Forum on 9th May 2024 in Istanbul, Turkey. The forum focus was on “Accelerating the SDGs and Climate Action: The contribution of sustainable PPPs and infrastructure finance to recovery, resilience, and reconstruction” and it was moderated by Camille Malafosse, UNECE. The panelists alongside Amanda were Mr. Surya Deva (UN Special Rapporteur on the right to development) Ms. Ainura Bekkoenova (UNDP), Mr. Livio Sarandrea (UNDP) Mr. Syed Zaidi (Government of Alberta, Canada) and Ms. Eleni Bakoula, (Athens Urban Transport Organization, Greece).

The conversation revolved around how the integration of a human-rights-based approach in PPPs is vital for inclusivity and equality, which are key to sustainable development and meeting the SDGs. Ensuring that PPPs and public infrastructure provide “equal access” to everyone is crucial, enabling access to transportation, facilities, employment, and technology regardless of physical ability, economic status, or location.

The discussion in the panel revolved around the way in which PPPs be can be effectively designed and implemented to ensure “equal access” for all individuals, particularly in relation to public services and which collaborative strategies and actions should stakeholders undertake to align their PPP initiatives with the SDGs and other frameworks in order to achieve this.

The potential of PPP projects to achieve multiple SDG goals is hindered by traditional investment methods focusing solely on project returns. However, embracing public accountability and broader SDG benefits offers significant opportunities. Tools like PIERS support this approach by encouraging innovative thinking and stakeholder engagement. PIERS serves as a catalyst for this broader approach, encouraging PPPs to think innovatively and consider the collective knowledge of communities and experts to co-design sustainable solutions. At the core of this lies stakeholder engagement, guided by human rights principles. It ensures inclusivity and transparency across all project phases, aligning with the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive’s emphasis on environmental and human rights considerations. Stakeholder engagement, guided by human rights principles, is integral to PIERS, ensuring inclusivity and transparency throughout project phases. This aligns with the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, emphasizing environmental and human rights considerations. Effective stakeholder engagement from the project’s inception is paramount, fostering community trust and participation. This proactive approach not only mitigates potential violations but also strengthens project outcomes.