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What is a PPP: Defining "Public-Private Partnership"

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The introduction to this Reference Guide provided a broad definition of a PPP:

A long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility and remuneration is linked to performance.

This section fleshes out this definition with more detail, describing PPP contract types (PPP Contract Types and Terminology), the terminology used to describe them; and clarifying related types of partnership between public and private sector parties to which the definition and guidance material in this Reference Guide would generally not apply (What PPP is Not: Other Types of Private Involvement).


  1. PPP Contract Types and Terminology
  2. What PPP is Not: Other Types of Private Involvement
  3. How PPPs Are Used: Sectors and Services

Key References

What is a PPP? 


Find in pdf at PPP Reference Guide - PPP Basics or visit the PPP Online Reference Guide section to find out more. 

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Updated: June 23, 2022