Internal and external transparency in public-private partnerships-the case of barcelona’swater provision

Monica Reig, Mila Gasco-Hernandez, Marc Esteve

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the efforts devoted to open government, transparency is mainly considered an issue for public organizations. However, various tasks such as public services delivery and management are being increasingly privatized or outsourced to public-private partnerships (PPPs). Our study aims to contribute towards bridging this gap by answering two research questions: (1) What determines internal and external transparency in PPPs? and (2) To what extent does internal transparency contribute to external transparency? We answer these questions through a qualitative case study, consisting of 38 in-depth interviews, on the transparency in water provision and management in the city of Barcelona. We conclude that in the case of PPPs, transparency goes beyond making data available; thus, politicians and managers must build a narrative around the data they provide that guides citizens and partners in their interpretation of the information. Furthermore, our results show that internal transparency influences external transparency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1777
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • External transparency
  • Internal transparency
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Water provision and management


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