Post contractual governance of public-private partnerships (PPPs) : an institutional analysis of a Ugandan case

Onyoin, Moses

May 2020

Thesis or dissertation

© 2020 Moses Onyoin. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

There are significant indications that Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model of organization will continue to gain prominence and usability in the provision of public services and in the development, operation and maintenance of public infrastructure in Uganda. In attempts to guarantee success of the model, public actors have placed emphasis on improving the set up processes and paid attention to decisions that precede PPP operationalization. However, extant evidence suggests that despite the emphasis, pre-contractual decisions and determinations seldom fit with the complex post contractual realities that point to a mismatch between the precontractual assumptions and implementation realities. This poses serious risks to long term success of PPPs. In this regard, and as a response to calls to move the attention to ‘second generation’ concerns relating to the governance and regulation of PPPs, this research was undertaken to understand, from a Ugandan context, the nature of post contractual PPP governance challenges and how actors respond.

Since PPPs are primarily products of institutions, this investigation utilized the institutional theory lens and the empirical context of a twenty year electricity distribution concession in Uganda. The thematically analysed evidence is drawn from 31 interviews with past and present individual actors from the operative, policy, regulative, and consulting organizations directly involved with and/or familiar with this concession. The interviews are complemented by a review of exclusively accessed and publicly available documents.

The findings indicate that most of the post contractual PPP challenges are policy and organizational in nature such as differences in courses of action and priorities, unclear identity and role of public sector partner, unclear responsibility of the service value chain actors, institutional supremacy contests, perceptions of contractual inequity, and operational interference from external stakeholders. As responses, the findings indicate the primacy of socially constructed and coercive isomorphic strategies adopted by the actors including institutional complementation, enforcement of contractual safeguards, government and development partner’s sector support and stakeholder education. Contributions at three levels including theoretical, methodological and praxis are discerned and areas for further study suggested.

Business School, The University of Hull
Bovis, Christopher
Sponsor (Organisation)
University of Hull
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