GCA to launch Masterclass on Climate-Resilient Public-Private Partnerships

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a key entry point to integrate climate adaptation and resilience into infrastructure projects

I looked in from the fence where my parents’ treasured hibiscus bushes used to bloom. Realizing this was my childhood home in Kingston, Jamaica, the homeowner graciously invited me into her backyard. As I stood back there, my eyes zeroed in on the fruit trees – mangoes & soursops – they were exactly where my childhood memories placed them. My emotions welled up as I thought, ‘This seems a lot smaller than I had pictured in my mind’ and noticed that the outdoor sink by the back door, where my mom ‘made’ me wash my school uniform when I declared at age 10 that I was all grown up, was still there!’

In 2019 I returned to Jamaica for an Infrastructure/PPP Conference. The possibility of working on PPPs in Jamaica, elsewhere in the Caribbean and Global South, did not mean just more PPPs; no, this would be a special privilege that I would not take for granted, returning full circle to play my part to deliver much-needed projects in these countries close to my heart.”

– Doreen Wong, PPP Professional from Canada

Doreen Wong (left) and Monde Nyambe (right) are participating in GCA’s Masterclass on Climate-Resilient Public-Private Partnerships

Doreen Wong is one of the candidates selected to participate in GCA’s Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Officer Masterclass on PPPs, which will take place virtually from 13th to 17th September 2021. Wong’s ties to Jamaica and the Caribbean make her keenly aware of this region’s vulnerability to climate change and as a PPP professional, she knows that the PPP delivery model can facilitate the development of much-needed infrastructure to boost resilience in this region and in the Global South.

“The natural question is: does it not make sense that what needs to be addressed – that is, climate resilience, on one hand, and infrastructure delivery goals on the other – operate in sync, in order to successfully get to the finish line? Easily said, but the challenge, of course, is how best to develop and implement climate resilience into these infrastructure PPPs –  that, I anticipate, is one key focus of this Masterclass,” Wong said.

Wong forms part of a group of more than 46 participants who will tune into the Masterclass from around the world to better understand and overcome the challenges of integrating climate resilience into infrastructure PPPs.

Engaging with fellow participants and sharing best practices for climate-resilient infrastructure is a key objective for this Masterclass.

“GCA’s Masterclass on Climate-Resilient PPPs will allow practitioners to exchange knowledge and discuss with key experts on the challenges and opportunities of integrating climate resilience into PPPs in practice. This is essential because PPPs are being increasingly used  to finance the infrastructure gap and we need to ensure that practitioners – in the public and private sector – have the capacity to account for climate risks and leverage adaptation measures to enhance the resilience of infrastructure and the services it provides to society,” said GCA Program Officer Danilo Cançado, who assisted in organizing the event.

The Masterclass will include 25 hours of training, including lectures delivered by experts and group activities, and will require a part-time commitment. It is designed for PPP practitioners, such as government officials, infrastructure operators, asset managers, investors and financiers, private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

With a wide array of backgrounds, participants, like Wong, plan to implement what they learn at GCA’s Masterclass to improve climate resilience in their specific regions and fields of work.

Geographical distribution of the Masterclass on Climate-Resilient Public-Private Partnerships participants

Participant Jeffrey Manalo, a specialist in public sector governance and PPPs from the Philippines, said his country, which lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire, is particularly vulnerable to climate risks and disasters including earthquakes, volcanic activity and intense typhoons.

“The existing and future infrastructure in our country is always at risk of a climate change-related disaster,” Manalo said.

For Manalo, who works at the PPP Center of the Philippines, the Masterclass will help guide policy formulation and project evaluation at the center.

“The plan is to gain a deeper appreciation of climate resilience in PPPs and use this lens not only in policymaking, but also in evaluating proposed PPP projects. The tools and practices that I will be exposed to during the program will serve as models that can either be adopted or remodelled to fit the Philippines’ local context,” he said.

Introduction Session with participants of GCA’s Masterclass on Climate-Resilient Public-Private Partnerships

Monde Nyambe, a PPP Investment Officer at the African Development Bank, plans to apply what she learns in the Masterclass on the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) in Nigeria.

“The ongoing Nigeria SAPZ under design is a good example of building climate resilience in associated infrastructure that enhances agricultural productivity and food security,” she said, explaining that there is a matrix of recommended climate adaptation measures that have not been costed based on building climate resilience where she hopes to apply her newly acquired knowledge.

The Masterclass participants will become certified Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Officers (CRIOs) and after completing the course they will join a network of professionals to share best practices on how they have integrated climate-resilience into infrastructure PPPs.

For more information on the Masterclass, send an email to infrastructure@gca.org. To access the Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Officer Handbook and Online Course, as well as the accredited exam, click here.

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