In order for a public-private partnership to work, there has to be a significant amount of cooperation between those facilitating the partnership and those in the community. In many instances, city leaders and local business titans try to put together a public-private partnership without getting the cooperation of the public. If the people of the local community do not support a venture, then it will suffer from significant problems in terms of funding and logistics (Hodge et al, 2017). Ultimately the “public” part of public-private partnerships means that there must be continued support and funding for something in order for it to be viable over the long run. People must see the purpose in it. If they do not see that purpose, then they will often struggle to find justifications for spending relatively scarce public resources on that thing. Likewise, public-private partnerships suffer in some ways from the perception that the partnerships are only beneficial to the parties that are able to profit off of them. The best way for these partnerships to operate is for the public to believe that it is getting some good from the relationship. This way, there will be less of a feeling that some private corporate or individual is grifting to take advantage of the community.
One of the best ways to gain the support of the public is to host open forums where people are allowed to not only listen to ideas, but also provide their feedback. One of the distinctions that public-private partnership planners must account for is whether the idea is thrust upon the public or whether members of the public are given the opportunity to play a role. If the public takes ownership of a project and feels as if they have an active say in the project, then the public is much more likely to support is over the long run. Things have changed today, of course. In today’s world, it is possible to provide this avenue for feedback through social media and the Internet. The important thing is making sure that there is a chance for people to actually feel like they have had their voices heard. Likewise, studies and other feasibility projects should be undertaken to ensure that individuals are given the chance to weigh in on the potential downsides of a given project. Mitigation is critical for gaining support in the public eye. If it becomes certain that the project is bound to cause significant disruption, then this could become a major problem on the whole. To gain public support, it would be necessary to have in place ideas to mitigate any environmental damage, human displacement, or other issues.
One of the most visible examples of a public-private partnership has come from the military and Department of Defense. The DOD has been using private contractors to carry out various functions needed for the public. For instance, there are contracts for private companies to make planes, ships, and other things needed to power the military. One of the key strengths of this approach is that companies like Boeing and Northup Grumman have more competency when it comes to building and developing new technology (Roerich et al, 2016). They are always coming up with new ideas and are able to operate in ways the government cannot. However, there has also been tremendous waste with these partnerships (Rendon & Rendon, 2016). Reports indicate that hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted in the War on Terror because of overbilling from contractors and because of various other problems. When one adds a profit incentive into something that should just be public, it allows private companies to them benefit and sometimes take advantage of the deep pockets of the public at large.