Private participation in infrastructure in developing countries: trends, impacts, and policy lessons

Over the last decade, governments around the world pursued policies to involve the private sector in the delivery and financing of infrastructure services. The scale of this move away from the hitherto dominant public sector model was far more rapid than had been anticipated at the start of the 1990s. This report aims to distill the experience with the private provision of infrastructure over the last 15 years. It looks at the growth that occurred during the mid 1990s, and the subsequent declines. The main factors driving this are examined. The report assesses the impact that the private provision of infrastructure has had on service delivery, and what the consequences for other important goals have been. Finally, it looks at the main policy lessons that can be drawn, and what governments have to do moving forward if they are to ensure that the supply of infrastructure services does not become a bottleneck to growth.