May 2011


In this issue

As I was reading my two girls The Water Hole, a rather unusually insightful children’s book, a particular bit of reptilian dialogue made us laugh and think. Nine tortoises are lumbering around an ever-diminishing water hole, looking for a drink, when one says, “Okay, which of you wise guys hid all the water?” Predictably, the ending is a happy one—the tortoises’ problem is solved simply when the rains come and the water hole is filled. If only life imitated art.

Handshake , the new quarterly journal from IFC Advisory Services in Public-Private Partnerships, addresses complex real-world problems that are not quite so easily solved. Our first issue, “Water & PPPs” explores the pragmatic and innovative solutions that the public and private sectors create together to tackle the challenge of water scarcity and distribution.

Future issues of Handshake  will address a wide range of sectors and themes. Throughout, we will give our readers insight into our world—the emerging markets—with readable news and analysis, relatable challenges and solutions, and replicable transaction structures that examine the real people behind the projects: those who benefit and those whose handshakes seal the deal.

IFC is in the business of improving people’s lives. It’s not always easy to remember this in the intricate details and complicated logistics of the transactions we advise. Only by humanizing each initiative can we be reminded of our mission. That’s where Handshake comes in.

Handshake’s goal is to show how public-private partnerships can bring practical, innovative solutions to complex global problems like water scarcity, climate change, access to quality healthcare, the complications of urban development, and countless others.

We hope these stories will help stimulate discussion on how we can all help implement sustainable solutions, and we look forward to your feedback.