Critical Success Factors for the Implementation of Public-Private Partnerships in Zimbabwe's State Universities

Charles Massimo


A weakness of the extant Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) literature to date has been its normative approach to the subject, creating in effect, a 'one size fits all view' of the preconditions or Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for the implementation of PPPs yet they vary with the context and sector. This study challenges the existing prominent CSFs model for the implementation of PPP which it perceives to be broader and biased towards economic infrastructure in rich industrial nations and excludes the realities of post-colonial third world countries. The research developed a refined sector-specific Educational Infrastructure Critical Success Factor Model (EICSFM) that will inform effective implementation of educational infrastructure PPPs in Zimbabwe state universities. Validated suggestions from research participants were compared to the existing model used to guide this study and results showed that some of the suggested CSFs for PPPs in Zimbabwe state universities tallies with this extant widely accepted CSFs model for PPPs, whereas some differ. The new suggested emerging sector-specific CSFs for effective implementation of PPPs in state universities include; the need for state universities to have absolute autonomy, the establishment of institutional PPP Committees, state universities to be creative and aggressive, vibrant leadership at state universities,  universities to have good business orientation, the establishment of innovative PPPs models for educational infrastructure projects (social infrastructure projects), the creation of project bankability and attractiveness to investors, the need for political will and creation of  trust. Comparing such suggestions to the extant CSFs model, the study concluded that even though some these preconditions for successful implementation of PPPs may be similar to some of the existing ones, their application is not similar but context-based. The study thus recommends governments avoid a ‘one size fits all’ perception and approach, but rather encompass sector-specific considerations when adopting and implementing PPPs as an alternative funding option for infrastructure development.

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Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104


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