A STUDY OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS THROUGH THE PUBLIC VALUE LENS: CASE STUDY OF TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE PROVISION IN VIETNAM
Engaging private actors in public service delivery, Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) represent a growing set of public policies to many governments worldwide. A rich and diverse literature has reviewed their performance across many countries and in different sectors. This study provides an evaluation of PPPs through a public value framework using the case of transport infrastructure provision in Vietnam. It addresses the following research question: What is the public value created through PPPs in Vietnam transport infrastructure provision? The contribution of PPPs to public value creation is examined in terms of four aspects: achievement of outcomes, service delivery, trust and legitimacy, and the effectiveness of public organisations. Data was collected from three implemented PPP projects, including a road user survey, secondary documents, and interviews with public officials and private employees working for partners of PPP/BOT projects. The quantitative and qualitative results are triangulated to explore the value of the projects from all relevant perspectives.
The operationalisation of the public value framework allows the study to highlight the perspectives of users on PPP performance. The study finds that the public value creation of PPPs is generally rated low by users across the four aspects of public value creation while the stakeholders’ perceptions of PPP performance are various and sometimes inconsistent. The study also demonstrates the need to integrate the public value paradigm into the policy-making process, which also requires situating users and payers vis-à-vis public management mechanisms such as PPPs.
The study contributes to the PPP literature by providing an evaluation of PPP implementation in a context of a developing country through the public value lens. Besides, the study provides a case of how the public value concept can be operationalised into a framework to evaluate a public policy with empirical evidence. Implications are anticipated for public agencies in the engagement with PPP mechanism.