Universal Access: Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned from PPIAF Activities: Highways Maintenance PPPs

In many developing countries, roads and highways are the dominant mode of transport. Road-based transport typically accounts for more than 80% of the distance travelled by individuals and more than 50% of that travelled by goods. Consequently, a country‟s road assets form a crucial backbone to any economy by seamlessly linking up people and goods to their respective markets, which in turn improves economic efficiency and reduces poverty. However, the condition of these assets is too often sub-standard and not fit-for-purpose due to a lack of routine and heavy maintenance programs which in turn significantly reduces the service quality of the highway and in some cases makes key routes un-passable, unsafe and prone to weather-related damage (e.g. flooding). Increasingly governments are recognizing the role that highways maintenance public-private partnerships (PPPs) can play in instilling contractual discipline and private sector risk transfer into the crucial tasks of highway rehabilitation and maintenance.

 Impact of PPIAF and World Bank Telecommunications Sector Reform Engagement in the 2000s

This note outlines the impact of the World Bank's telecommunications sector reform engagement and related PPIAF activities.In the last decade, the Bank has provided direct policy and regulatory assistance to over 100 developing countries. In about 60 of them, the Bank has been engaged in sector policy work for at least four out of the eight years under this review. About $50 million has been committed between 2002 and 2010 in three key areas, namely promoting competition, regulatory development and institutional capacity building, and narrowing access gaps especially in rural areas. The note was written by the ICT unit of the World Bank, with additions by PPIAF.

Lessons Learned from PPIAF Activities: Pricing and Affordability in Essential Services

This series of notes assesses the lessons learned on pricing and affordability in essential infrastructure services from PPIAF-funded activities. The material used in this series is drawn primarily from work sponsored by PPIAF, often in consortia with other agencies.  It extends back more than a decade to PPIAF’s inception and so demonstrates that issues of affordability have always been a part of the portfolio and that some issues are ever-present. The data may change but the dilemmas remain. This series was written by Mr. Robin Simpson, an independent consultant and member of PPIAF’s Technical Advisory Panel. The notes reflect the author’s opinions and not those of PPIAF or the World Bank Group.

This series of lessons learned on pricing and affordability in essential services contains twelve notes:

Lessons Learned from PPIAF Activities: Strategies for Developing Rural Telecommunications Infrastructure

These lessons are extracted from a PPIAF-funded study on the recommendations to establish a universal service obligation policy that was published in February 2008. International experience in shows that there is no single model for promoting rural telecommunications infrastructure and that market-oriented policies play a critical role. This lessons learned also provides a "menu of options" for the creation of universal service funds in developing countries. 


Lessons Learned from PPIAF Activities: Best Practices for Private Sector Investment in Railways

PPIAF, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank sponsored a study covering main aspects of railway concessions to the private sector and numerous case studies of the experience with privatizations, concessions, and private sector investment in various countries around the world. 


 Lessons Learned from PPIAF Activities: Structural Reforms in Colombia’s Water Supply and Sanitation Sector

This lessons learned examines a comprehensive PPIAF-funded report on Colombia's water supply and sanitation sector. The report illustrates how a series of well conceived policy reforms that create incentives for efficient service providers can radically transform the dynamics of a highly politicized and underdeveloped sector.

Colombia's water supply and sanitation sector provides a unique case of activities because it contains multiple examples of successful arrangements with the private in some of the most underdeveloped regions of the country. Key lessons learned from this activity include: the impace of private sector participation reforms, importance of reliable data, merits of a flexible framework, and institutional incentive mechanisms for private sector participation.


 Lessons Learned from PPIAF Activities: Affordability and Universal Access in ICT Services in Cambodia

An ongoing PPIAF activity in Cambodia found that the main constraint for broadband adoption is not a lack of internet infrastructure but affordability. This affordability constraint does not only apply to households, but also public institutionsmany of the schools and universities are not provided with a sufficient budget to pay for monthly broadband services. The lack of Khmer-language content on the internet and the lack of awareness of the benefits of broadband were also found to hinder broadband up-take.


Using Market Finance to Extend Water Supply Services in Peri-Urban and Rural Kenya

PPIAF partnered with the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid and the Water and Sanitation Program to facilitate commercial financing for community-based water providers in Kenya. As of June 2011, this activity has resulted in 18 sub-projects receiving a total of $1.5 million in financing. These projects are benefiting over 40,000 people in peri-urban and rural Kenya.  The related PPIAF Impact Story can be found here.

This International Finance Corporation SmartLesson explains how leveraging donor funds not only increases the volume of investments financed but also improves the sustainability of these investments by linking debt service to system functionality. Please click here for more detailed information.