Most of us carry out research and report our findings with the expectation—or at least a hope—of an audience.
Yet fewer amongst us are familiar with our audience, even though their feedback may help us improve our work.
We, the team behind the Private Participation in Infrastructure (PPI) Database—the most comprehensive database of private investments in infrastructure in the developing world—continue to strengthen the database and our ensuing analyses. Learning more about our audience is an important component of these efforts.
We have our work cut out for us. The metrics of the PPI Database are considerable: more than 230,000 annual page views across more than 55,000 unique visitors—figures that continue to multiply. Although the project information published on the site is typically collated from public sources, we also encourage users to supplement data gaps.
Learning what our users find relevant
The PPI Database is ultimately for and by our audience—practitioners, policymakers and researchers alike—who support their analyses and test their hypotheses on PPPs and infrastructure investments using the PPI Database. Recently, as part of our efforts to continually improve both the content and analyses of the database, we set out to learn more about the users who utilize the data for their own research. What we discovered reinstates our belief thatOver 85 publications—including those by the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the OECD, as well as dozens of conference papers—draw their analyses from the PPI Database.
A list of these publications is now available in the «Resources» section of the database, which are categorized by sector, region, and theme. We have provided a synopsis of each paper, along with the names of the authors and year of publication. There is also a separate category listing all the World Bank Group publications.
What do these publications explore?
The first and most prominent topic of these publications is the mapping of trends in PPI volumes across various time frames, geographies, and sectors.Recently, we started tracking investment in ICT backbone infrastructure with an active government component (for example, fiber optic cables), and stopped tracking purely private investments in telecoms. Also, we no longer record investments in newly high-income countries, such as Chile, Uruguay, and Lithuania.
Quite a few of the publications identify the different factors that enable the success of public-private partnerships (PPPs), or enhance the potential for private investment in infrastructure. Some of the critical factors the publications put forward as impacting private investment are well known to practitioners: macro-economic stability, the quality of regulations as well as the quality of institutions, and good governance (or lack thereof).
Some of the publications explore specific facets of the project and contract design that affect the viability of infrastructure projects, such as minimizing conflict in infrastructure projects with careful project design or contracting party incentives.
Lastly, some of the publications report emerging trends in infrastructure finance in terms of amounts, types and sources of financing, such as the impact of multilateral support or foreign direct investment on infrastructure in developing countries.
Such analyses of investment trends lie at the heart of the PPI Database. The numbers are a window to a continually evolving narrative of infrastructure investment, the tracking of which facilitates our mission to help developing economies deliver more infrastructure—and hence more opportunities for their communities. That is why, in addition to tracking project-level data, the database is also a repository of global, regional, and sector-specific analytical reports indicating evolving trends, as well as topical papers that highlight sources of financing or increasing investment in IDA countries.
We invite you to contribute
The new resource center on the PPI Database website is an ongoing initiative and the current set of publications may only be the tip of the iceberg. We at the PPI Database invite our users to share with us other publications that may be added to the current roster. We want to hear more from you about how our work has helped yours, and how we can do better to listen and to serve you—our valued users. You can write to us through the publications page on the PPI database website.
The PPI Database is a product of the Infrastructure, PPPs and Guarantees (IPG) Group and is managed by the World Bank Group Singapore Hub for Infrastructure and Urban Development. This endeavor was carried out by the PPI Database team comprising Aditi Raina, Chin-Han Chiang, Seong Ho Hong and led by Deblina Saha under the guidance of Cledan Mandri-Perrott.
Disclaimer: Links to third-party publications are made for the convenience of the users and do not imply endorsement by the World Bank Group. The World Bank Group is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or any link contained in a linked site. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors, or the governments they represent.