Transparency, Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Mechanisms

Poor governance and corruption undermine the economies of developing countries as well as the World Bank's core mission of poverty reduction and disproportionately affect the poor. The World Bank has a fiduciary obligation to assure its own shareholders and stakeholders that funds are used for their intended purposes and so seeks to strengthen governance and anti-corruption measures in its borrower countries.

PPPs can be susceptible to corrupt activity if not carefully planned and designed, as with general public procurement. Prevention of corruption requires the integration of anticorruption approaches during project design. This page provides examples of some of the tools that the World Bank and other institutions employ to address the risk of corruption in infrastructure projects. also, go to Anti-Corruption and Freedom of Information Laws for examples of laws in developed and developing countries on this topic.

Another crucial area of reducing corruption in PPPs is by encouraging transparency in the bidding process, contract award and implementation.

The World Bank Group, in collaboration with the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (COST) and PPIAF has circulated for consultation a draft Framework for Disclosure in PPP (2015), expanding on a study and report of WBG in 2013 on Disclosure of Project and Contract Information in Public Private Partnerships, part of a larger G20 initiative. Feedback on the draft Framework would be very welcome!

International Initiatives to Combat Corruption

There are many international initiatives to combat corruption that have direct relevance to infrastructure projects. Click on the following links:

World Bank Anticorruption Action Plans

How to manage unsolicited proposals

A discussion of how different countries manage unsolicited proposals can be found in PPIAF Working Paper No.1 Unsolicited Infrastructure Proposals (pdf). A more recent initiative was carried out by PPIAF: Unsolicited Proposals – An Exception to Public Initiation of Infrastructure PPPs: An Analysis of Global Trends and Lessons Learned, Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), August 2014 and The World Bank Group's Policy Guidelines for Managing Unsolicited Proposals in Infrastructure Projects, August 2018.

Governments may be presented with unsolicited proposals for infrastructure projects by private sector entities. How to respond to unsolicited bids so as to protect transparency in the procurement process and recognize the initiative of the proponent, is typically difficult. A number of approaches have been developed, and examples are set out below:


UNCITRAL has produced the useful Legislative Guide on Privately Funded Infrastructure Projects which considers these issues at paragraphs 96 to 117. It sets out suggested legislative language in provisions 20 to 23 of its text Model Legislative Provisions on Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects.

Whenever a host authority receives an unsolicited bid, UNCITRAL recommends that the authority first consider whether the proposal is potentially in the public interest. If so, the authority then requests further information from the proponent in order to make a full evaluation. If the authority decides to go ahead with the project, it determines whether the project necessarily involves intellectual property, trade secrets or other exclusive rights of the proponent. For projects that do not involve these rights, a full selection procedure is followed, with the proponent being invited to take part in the selection. If it does necessarily involve the proponent's intellectual property, a full selection procedure does not need to be followed.


The New South Wales (NSW) Government

The Guide for Submission and Assessment of Unsolicited Proposals (2017) outlines a transparent and streamlined approach that will facilitate the NSW Government and private sector working together to develop and deliver innovative ideas. It has been developed to help those considering making a submission to confirm compatibility with the requirements of the process. Its key objective is to provide consistency and certainty to private sector participants as to how their unsolicited proposals will be assessed within a transparent framework with key drivers for the NSW Government being how the proposal helps meet a strategic Government objective and value for money.


Chile has adopted an approach whereby the project proponent is required to take part in a fully competitive tender process, but is given bonus points in relation to the evaluation. The process to manage unsolicited proposals is found in detail (in Spanish) in a regulation (secondary legislation) to the law (reglamento) Reglamento no. 956 Chilean Concession Regulations no. 956. Click on Chile Summary for a summary of the regulations.

South Korea

South Korea has adopted an approach similar to Chile.

South Africa

The South African National Roads Agency policy - this grants the original proponent an advantage by giving it the opportunity to take part in the call for "best and final bids".

Output Based Aid

Through Output-Based Aid, aid can be conditional on seeing improvements in procurement processes and other initiatives designed to reduce the risk of corruption in Infrastructure projects. For more on this, go to the Global Partnership for Results-Based Approaches (GPRBA), formerly known as the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA)

Learning and Training

Useful Links

Further Reading

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Updated: December 6, 2020