, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 611-634

A critical assessment of a proposed public private partnership (PPP) for the management of water services in Lebanon

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Abstract

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly heralded as an innovative policy intervention in the context of critical urban infrastructure services where outright privatization and loss of control are considered unacceptable. This paper assesses a proposed PPP for the management of water services in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Although the city of Beirut and its suburbs are considered as the center of social, economic, and political activities in the country, safe drinking water is not accessible to all the population of the city in view of the current economic crisis and the high level of urbanisation. A PPP is viewed as a promising solution to the water supply problem, especially in poor and suburban areas. After introducing PPPs and the rationale behind invoking private sector participation, this paper assesses the potential promise of different forms of PPPs in the context of the economic and institutional framework of water management in the Greater Beirut Area (GBA).