Pathways to project delivery success and failure in Indian road public–private partnership projects

Vinod Vasudevan, Nitish Goenka, Michael Garvin


This study examines conditions that impact PPP delivery success or failure in the roadways sector in India using Qualitative Comparative Analysis. QCA is well-suited for problems where multiple factors combine to create pathways leading to an outcome. Past investigations have compared PPP and non-PPP project delivery performance, but this study examines performance within PPPs by uncovering a set of conditions that combine to influence the success or failure road PPP project delivery in India. Based on data from 21 cases, pathways explaining project delivery success or failure were identified. Specifically, PPPs with high concessionaire equity investment and low regional industrial activity led to project delivery success. Projects with lower concessionaire equity investment and low reliance on toll revenue and with either: (a) high project technical complexity or (b) high regional industrial activity, led to project delivery failure. The pathways identified did not have coverage values that they were extremely strong. Coverage strength was hindered by lack of access to information on additional conditions that could be configurationally important. Further, certain characteristics of the Indian market limit generalization. Identification of combinations of conditions leading to PPP project delivery success or failure improves knowledge of the impacts of structure and characteristics of these complex arrangements. This study is one of the first to use fuzzy QCA to understand project delivery success/failure in road PPP projects. Moreover, this study takes into account factors specific to a sector and delivery mode to explain project delivery performance.


public–private partnership; evaluation of public–private partnership; qualitative comparative analysis; project delivery performance

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