Frequently Asked Questions 1990-+2015

This page offers answers to frequently-asked questions on Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects data and methodology

Questions on Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects

In what format is the data?
The information stored in the Private Participation in Infrastructure database is downloadable to HTML, Excel, or Word files through snapshot reports. Excel and Word downloads are made available for ease of data manipulation. If a project has multiple characteristics or entries in the database then the project will repeat as many times as entries in the Excel file. For example, a project with two types of technologies will be listed twice in the Excel file with the each technology listed in one line. However, in the Word files, the project is listed only once. Alternatively, a simplified version of the database can be downloaded as a Microsoft Access file.
Does the PPI Project Database track only private investment in infrastructure?
The PPI Project Database records total investment in infrastructure projects with private participation, not private investment alone. Investment commitments include expenditures on facility expansion, divestiture revenues, and license or canon fees.
Why does the PPI Project Database not include public investment in infrastructure projects?
Recording information on public investment in infrastructure projects, on a reliable and consistent basis, would require not only collecting public investment data disaggregated at sector level for each developing country but also having a common methodology for developing economies on what and how data are collected. Currently most countries do not report data on public investment disaggregated at the sector level nor do they use similar methodologies to collect public investment data.
Does the PPI Project Database have information on World Bank projects?
The Database focuses on projects with private participation in infrastructure and therefore records infrastructure projects that are owned or managed by private companies. These projects may or may have not World Bank involvement. In addition, there are infrastructure projects in developing countries supported by the World Bank that do not have private sector participation and therefore are not included in the PPI Project Database. To find out about the World Bank Groups involvement in infrastructure projects in developing countries visit the World Bank website.
Does the PPI Project Database record World Bank Group participation in infrastructure projects in developing countries?
The Database records the involvement of the World Bank Group (IBRD, IDA, IFC , or MIGA) in infrastructure projects with private participation in low- and middle-income countries as defined in the Databases methodology for multilateral bank support through direct loans to project companies, equity participation, and guarantees. Other types of World Bank involvement such as technical and financial assistance for the design, tender, and monitoring of infrastructure projects with private participation, advice on PPI reforms, sector reform loans and others types of support are not recorded by the Database.
Why do the investment data from listed publications on trends in PPI differ from the reports generated from the PPI Project Database?
There are three primary reasons that explain the differences. First, investment figures in the Database are recorded in nominal terms, while investment data for the listed publications on trends in PPI are adjusted by the US CPI using the last year of available data as the base year. Second, the records of projects that reached financial closure in previous years were revised during the last update; some new projects for this period were added while others were deleted when additional information became available. The Database has a conservative approach for entering projects and when it is not clear if an infrastructure project has private participation or reached financial closure at the time of the update, the project is not entered into the database until more accurate information is obtained. Third, classification of some countries has changed over time -- see Glossary for definition of country income group and IDA status. The changes between the country classification used in 2010 and 2011 updates are:
Country 2007 update 2008 update
China Lower middle income Upper middle income
Curaçao ... High income
(excluded from the Database)
Ecuador Lower middle income Upper middle income
Fiji Upper middle income Lower middle income
Ghana Low income Lower middle income
Jordan Lower middle income Upper middle income
Lao PDR Low income Lower middle income
Latvia High income
(excluded from the Database)
Upper middle income
Maldives Lower middle income Upper middle income
Maldives Lower middle income Upper middle income
Mauritania Low income Lower middle income
Sint Maarten (Dutch part) .. High income
(excluded from the Database)
Solomon Islands Low income Lower middle income
St. Martin (French part) .. High income
(excluded from the Database)
Thailand Lower middle income Upper middle income
Tunisia Lower middle income Upper middle income
Zambia Low income Lower middle income
Why do data on aggregated reports differ?
Reports from the PPI Project Database can generate different results depending on the type of report selected. For aggregated data, the reports with the cleanest totals are the most general ones:
  • Data aggregated only by investment year (or financial closure) and primary sector
  • Data aggregated only by investment year (or financial closure) and typeof PPI
What does financial closure mean in the PPI Project Database?
Please see glossary of terms section.
Does the PPI Project Database record actual investment or commitments?
For most projects the Database records investment commitments in the year of financial closure. However, where divestitures are phased or where investment requirements are defined by commitments on service coverage and quality and data are available (such as for large privatized electricity and telecommunications companies), the investments are recorded in the years in which the transactions took place.
Does the PPI Project Database exclude investment in canceled projects?
No. Investment and other information on canceled projects are maintained in the database and are only modified when the project is re-awarded.