2.2.6. Public-Private Dialogue
Regardless of whether a "top-down" or a "bottom-up" approach is taken, public-private dialogue (PPD) is an essential element of any business environment reform initiative. PPD has a range of potential impacts, but dialogue does not achieve anything on its own: PPD works by facilitating, accelerating or cementing ongoing initiatives that without the boost of stakeholder pressure would falter or fail. The most tangible benefits of PPD are the policy reforms it can precipitate. These can include new legislation, the amendment or scrapping of existing legislation, removal or simplification of regulations and controls, standardization of procedures across different jurisdictions, and establishment of new institutions. While the structured consultation of a public-private dialogue mechanism can have an immediate effect in improving the quality of particular reform efforts, its deeper benefit lies in building a sustainable constituency for investment climate reform.
- Facilitating investment climate reforms by supporting champions for reform, creating momentum, and accelerating the reform process.
- Promoting better diagnosis of investment climate problems and design of policy reforms. Governments that listen to the constraints of the private sector are more likely to devise sensible prioritization plans and workable reforms.
- Making policy reforms easier to implement. When entrepreneurs understand what a government is trying to achieve with a reform package, they are more likely to accept and work with the reforms in practice.
- Promoting transparency, good governance, the taking of a broader view by setting an example of openness and rigorous cost-benefit analysis, and by creating pressure of public scrutiny.
- Building an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding between public and private sectors, improving social cohesion and civil society.
One rich resource for reformers looking for guidance and lessons learned on how to maximize PPD on reform initiatives is PublicPrivateDialogue.org. The website, which is supported by DFID, World Bank, IFC and the OECD Development Centre, features tools, links, case studies and lessons learned from around the world, as well as a PPD Handbook .The Handbook uses the 12 principles of the Charter of Good Practice in using Public Private Dialogue for Private Sector Development as a base to provide practical advice, recommendations and tools to those involved in the reform process.