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Helvetas‘ Private Sector Development and Cooperation Strategy. Public Tenders for Infrastructure Projects Private Service Providers to Farmers Public-Private-Partnership Presentation of Martin Epp to the World Civil Society Forum in Geneva WGPS2 on July 15, 2002.

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helvetas private sector development and cooperation strategy

Helvetas‘ Private Sector Developmentand Cooperation Strategy

Public Tenders for Infrastructure Projects

Private Service Providers to Farmers


Presentation of Martin Epp to the World Civil Society Forum in Geneva WGPS2 on July 15, 2002

helvetas swiss organisation for international cooperation
HelvetasSwiss Organisation for International Cooperation
  • Private Association (since 1955) with
    • 30‘000 Members
    • 20 Regional groups all over Switzerland
    • 70‘000 Sponsors
  • Active in 20 Countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America
  • Staff
    • 50 international and 500 local employees
    • 35 employees in HQ Zurich, branches in Lausanne and Balerna
foreign strategy

Working Approaches

Foreign Strategy

preventing conflicts - promoting peace

Striving for equality

between men and women

Learning through dialog

between cultures

Protecting the environment

Basis Principle

Acting with economic and

social responsibility

Self-Help Principle

Working Areas


in rural areas

Justice Principle

Sustainable management

of natural resources

Self-Reliance Principle


and Culture

Civil Society

and the State

Partnership Principle

Working Principles

attribution of project roles ideal case of mali
Attribution of Project Roles (ideal case of Mali)


Sector Policy, Norms and Regulations, Donor Coordination

Decentralized Government Services for Data Bases, Technical

Expertise, Budget Allocation to Councils



Regional Development Plans and Budgeting

Project Ownership, Coordination, Implementation, Monitoring

Private Sector

Engin.offices/NGO/Consultants: Project Planning and Controlling

Enterprises: Project Execution and Maintenance Services


Contributions in cash and kind to all Community Projects

Committees: Project Operation and Routine Maintenance

helvetas working approach acting with economic and social responsibility
Helvetas Working Approach: Acting with Economic and Social Responsibility


  • Promote social responsibility of economic actors
  • Promote financial sustainability of Helvetas partners and assisted projects
  • Ascertain Helvetas‘ professional competence and efficiency in market competition
social responsibility
Social Responsibility
  • Respect existing laws and regulations
  • Promote fair relations in production and trade (prices covering production and living cost, competition, conditions of employment, trade facilitation South-North and South-South, local finance systems etc.)
  • Transparent and integrative knowledge system
  • Lobbying for global and socially acceptable economic systems (Role of Mediator)
financial sustainability of h partners projects
Financial Sustainability of <h> Partners/Projects
  • Stable economic growth and locally accepted social standards
  • Entrepreneurial cost awareness
  • Availability of capital and credits
  • Local ownership
  • Successful market competition of partners
  • Alliances
public tenders
Public Tenders
  • By Governments and multi-/bilateral Donors
  • By Local Councils (from local budgets or special Development Funds)
  • By Helvetas, i.e. its decentralized program offices, involving increasingly local stakeholders

Recommendation: Mixed funding systems allow transfer of decision making to key stakeholders or directly to beneficiaries with clear and simple directives by the main donors

steps of public tendering
Steps of Public Tendering
  • Project identification
  • Establish project documents for tender
  • Publication with transparent and clear rules
  • Joint opening of envelops with submitted offers, examine conformity with requirements, analyses with regard to technical/financial/social/ecological criteria
  • Provisional selection, negotiations, bank guarantee
  • Signature of contract
  • Project implementation in phases/controlling
  • Provisional, then final acceptance of works (guarantee reserve)
experience with public tenders by local councils




Increased responsibility of democratically elected councillors

Villages get equal chance to development projects

Donor driven decentralization

Complex administrative procedure

Fluctuation and skills of elected persons

Negotiate agreements with Councils, intensive coaching in participatory planning, limit intervention in decision making and implementation

External interventions are locally controlled and coordinated

Development processes become transparent and comparable

> Local ownership

Intensive policy dialog, information and conflict management

Time consuming learning process

Patience and respect, mutual learning process, monitoring and dissemination of lessons learnt

Competence of various stakeholders in planning, implementation, controlling and project maintenance

> Increased self-confidence and responsibility for regional development

Influence/power and particular interests of stakeholders not always under control

Limited external influence

Training/Advice not always effective

Ensure involvement of key stakeholders

2-3 Project training on-the-job for each generation of councillors

Support organisation for councillors

No financial sustainability

Small experience/medium skills

Clear role as support agency and networker among stakeholders

Technical projects selected according to local priority (defined in mid term regional development plans of council)

Conditions given by Donors and Government may differ

Restricted influence of external stakeholders

Communicate clearly methodology and rules of the game, transparent reporting

Quality of project implementation, operation and maintenance influence support to new initiatives

Few practical experience

Sanctions in African context rather delicate

Disseminate best practices

Free flow of information, Theatre/Media/Internet

Experience with Public Tenders by Local Councils
experience with private sector in public tenders




Great interest in Public Tenders to get equal access to markets (under fair competition)

Market entry barriers (registration and tax payment declarations, bank guarantees etc.)

Unexperienced Entrepreneurs/NGOs

Restricted markets on local level

Training on procedures of public tender and cost/margin calculations needed

Insist in transparent market attribution based on clear criteria and fair selection procedure

Competition as motor for development Entrepreneurs are obliged to do a good job to get follow-up mandates

Structure and functioning of building sector poorly developed, low logistics and equipment

Create reference list of quality consultants/NGO/SME

Offer training courses (BDS system)

Community/committee involvement promotes local project operation and mentionance (challenge for new type of SME)

Late cash/kind contributions from beneficiaries and conflict mediation often delay work progress > approach not necessarily cheaper

Increased cost and risk awareness during tender negotiations

Allow adequate benefits for SME’s extra efforts in community development

Preparation of tender documents by Consultants/Engineers who advice stakeholders and mediate during project implementation

Consultants often in urban areas, irregular or cost intensive follow-up in remote project areas

Close monitoring and coaching

Promote newcomers in line with local market needs (avoid monopoly or nepotism)

Project execution by interested SME, preferably local, possibility of various sub-lots,

Participatory local monitoring

SME tend to optimistic unreal offers

Few permanent quality staff due to irregular contracts

Many fold problems in execution

Continuous learning of Donor/Councils

Supervise SME’s social and economic behavior

Long term commitment to improve technical, social and management skills of stakeholders

Practical experience permits lobbying for improved SME output, regulatory framework and involvement of local finance institutes

High taxes, bureaucracy, monopoly of suppliers, price fluctuations, security

Create synergies with other donors and local investors

Support local SME Lobbying and sector networking

Experience with Private Sector in Public Tenders
why private service providers in nrm

Positive aspects



Reduced dependency of local NGOs and long-term <h> employees from one particular donor or strategic approach

Not everybody has entrepreneurial skills

Restricted market potential

Sector continuity and more dynamic inputs to increase impact on target group level

Confidence in PS not yet built up

Knowledge sharing less open

Provide space for multiplication and creativity, flexibility and autonomous development, ensure mutual learning

Creation of a market and fair competition for NGOs, techn. Offices, at reduced cost

Innovative market approach is viewed with scepticism

Fear of income decrease and no market demand for services

Create market-networks

Identify/promote niches

Increase women participation in decision making positions

Local Partners become competitors or allies to experts in the North

Difficulty in valuing mutual contributions or building up trust by win-win situations

Gather proactively experiences

Joint Ventures as a challenging alternative?

Why private service providers in NRM?

Transfer program/project ownership to enhance autonomous development, local lobbying and client not donor oriented behavior

financing advisory services in mali
Financing Advisory Services in Mali
  • 1st year:

100% Budget financing, office equipment and means of transport

  • 2nd year:

100% Budget guarantee: 66-75% mandates from <h> or project financing including overhead (rest from Thirds or budget subsidies)

  • 3rd year

100% Budget guarantee: 50% mandates from <h> or project financing including overhead (rest from Thirds or minor budget subsidies)

  • As from 4th year

Mandates from <h> upon negotiation

new public management in kr

Programme d’appui à la Décentralisation PAD (Mandat DDC)

Neue Rollenverteilung als Folge der Dezentralisierung (Modell in MALI): Vision einer Netzwerk Unterstützung

DNH (Direction Nationale Hydraulique) à Bamako

Nutzniesser mit Brunnenkomittee und Unterhaltsreparateuren

Programme d’appui au Secteur Hydraulique Privé ASP-eau (Crédit Programme Helvetas)

Programme d’Appui Institutionnelle PAI-eau (Mandat DDC)

New Public Management in KR

Yearly budget of National Advisory Service (negotiated among key stakeholders), paid as:

  • 50% Flat budget allowance
  • 30% Services rendered by advisors (output)
  • 20% Achieved impact (results in the field)
public private partnership of helvetas
Public-private-partnership of Helvetas

Visions / Courage for Alternatives

Joint Ventures/Alliances

Internat.Coop./PS (S-S/S-N)

Project Co-Funding by

Private Sector (PS)

(Social Commitment)



Long term vertical

cooperation S-N

along a product chain

(Organic Cotton, NN etc.)

Funding from PS with

cooperation interest

in the South

(Cotecna, GF)

PR & Sales of Products

in the North

(Body Shop, Migros, Globotrek,

Fair Trade & Handicraft

marketing challenge
Marketing challenge
  • Market Competition
  • Helvetas participates in public tenders
  • Maintain a critical view and own identity
  • Globalization
  • Reduce unequal chances
  • Neoliberal approach and good governance are not sufficient > Lobbying work and networking
  • Double Mandate in CH and abroad
  • Reinforce <h> profile and competence
  • Marketing of the „product <h>“

Solidarity is competitive

  • New Technologies
  • Promote adequate use of new tools (PC, GIS) for knowledge sharing and management
  • Fundraising
  • Special care for donors
  • Attractive public campaigns
  • Partnerships with private stakeholders
  • Alliances/joint ventures
  • Cooperation with private sector industry
  • New Alliances with other NGOs
  • Subject-specific alliances
  • New cooperation models with NGOs S&N