Over the next year the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program commits to starting the development of a new centralized web-based resource clearinghouse to facilitate the creation of infrastructure PPP's across the United States. This online platform will be shared with broad stakeholder network, including both government and private sector leaders interested in PPP's. The target audience for engagement includes governors, state legislators, mayors, and municipal governments that are willing to create and implement the next economy policies, reforms, and programs necessary to help more Americans benefit from improved economic opportunities. It also includes private-sector and philanthropic leaders willing to invest in the new technologies, firms, and programs needed to advance the next economy. The elements and content of the clearinghouse will be managed and hosted by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, but materials will be co-developed and vetted with private sector partners through a targeted outreach program.
Specifically, the platform will include:
-In-Depth Case Studies: Through extensive background research and interviews with key stakeholders, the Metropolitan Policy Program will create a series of in-depth case studies examining best in class PPP projects.
-Best Practices Guide: This guide will cover both the big picture enabling tools that cities need, including authorizing legislation and dedicated professional staff, and process oriented materials that provide field tested best practices from around the world.
-PPP Dictionary: Through a consensus driven process, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy program will lead an effort to create a PPP dictionary that will provide clear definitions for the most commonly employed terms in the field.
-Project Database: The Brookings Metropolitan Policy team will create a broadly accessible and dynamic listing of notable PPP activity in the United States. The database will contain essential information about the type, status, financial needs, and stakeholders involved in projects across the country.
-State Profiles: The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program will create 50 state profiles that provide in-depth information about critical issues in the field, along with guidance for how each state can improve its PPP enabling environment. This will be continually updated to reflect policy changes as they occur on the local level.
-Resource Bank: The Metropolitan Policy Program will create a single dynamic resource portal including model contracts, white papers, technical documents, federal level guidance, and other materials that facilitate the PPP procurement process.
-Social Network: The project's website will include a members-only portion targeted towards public and private leaders in the space, which will include contact information for key stakeholders and a message board. In addition, semi-monthly e-mails will inform the network of news across the industry, project updates, and policy briefs, while providing original content that assesses best and worst practices.
This project builds and expands on the Metropolitan Policy Program's existing portfolio and expertise in PPP's. To date, the program has published numerous papers and op-eds on the subject and the group is regularly called upon by private and public sector officials to offer expert advice. Developing a formalized clearinghouse would leverage the program's existing portfolio of work and serve as a jumping off point for new partnerships and projects that directly serve the needs of metropolitan leaders. Furthermore, the program has extensive experience with similar projects on different topics, including work on smart cities, metropolitan business plans, and exports.
4th Quarter 2013 through 1st Quarter 2014
-Begin to secure initial partnerships with private sector partners
1st Quarter 2014 through 2nd Quarter 2014
-Select partner to develop website
-Begin initial web design process
-Start formal meetings with private sector partners
-Begin assembling relevant materials, case studies, and resources for the clearinghouse
3rd Quarter 2014
-Host key stakeholder meeting
-Internal launch of first draft of the website
-Finalize initial round of documents for the website
-Iterate web design process and finalize site
-Continue development of key documents for the website
3rd Quarter 2014 through 2nd Quarter 2015
-Formally launch the website with partners
-Host event in New York or Washington to push out initial network
-Begin releasing semi-monthly newsletters
As Washington remains mired in debt and dysfunction, the responsibility for renewing and creating the next generation of American infrastructure is increasingly falling to cities, states, and metropolitan areas. These costs are substantial. The McKinsey Global Institute calculated that an additional billion of investment in American infrastructure is needed each year. While traditional funding streams, primarily tax-exempt debt, remain attractive financing options, leaders across the country are finding new and innovative ways to deploy a range of tools, including public private partnerships (PPP's). These often complex agreements can offer cities significant cost savings, increased budgetary accountability, higher quality deliverables, and faster project delivery. However, many public officials in city and state government are unfamiliar with the specifics and complexities of PPPs, best practices, and how to structure such partnerships for the public's benefit. Furthermore, many of the critical resources required by officials to understand the potential of PPP's, including case studies, best practices, definitions, and project databases are currently scattered across dozens of different platforms and are inaccessible to decision makers. Without a firm understanding of best practices and even the basic terminology used in PPP agreements, public and private leaders lack the ability to appropriately evaluate and execute these partnerships.
With substantive expertise in infrastructure finance, governance, and delivery, Brookings is uniquely positioned to help resolve the nation's infrastructure challenges. The Metropolitan Policy Programs does this by combining analytical rigor and nonpartisan independence with convening power and a comprehensive, effective communications strategy. As a result, the program has become a trusted resource for reporters, practitioners, policy-makers, and academics for the most accurate account of the changes transforming our metropolitan areas.
To achieve both broad credibility and generate large amounts of high quality, timely resources the clearinghouse will require several engaged and experienced philanthropic and private sector partners. The conduit for such engagement is the Metropolitan Policy Program's Metropolitan Leadership Council, an active group of business and philanthropic leaders who offer intellectual and financial support. Securing partners through the council will enable Brookings to execute the project and fulfill the commitment. The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program is looking for several engaged and experienced philanthropic and private sector partners to support the clearinghouse team and provide funding for a project manager to take the lead in developing and maintaining the website. Furthermore, Brookings is seeking content partners to provide non-monetary contributions, including white papers and advisory services.
The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program is offering the staff time of a senior fellow as well as one senior policy researcher and other personnel as needed to execute the clearinghouse. In addition, Brookings brings a large amount of existing resources and expertise, an existing network of leading state and local policy practitioners, day-to-day management of the website, support from a highly skilled in house communications team, and the strength of Brookings' non-partisan reputation.