High-quality public infrastructure supports growth, improves well-being, and generates jobs. Yet, infrastructure investment is complex, and getting from conception to construction and operation is a long road fraught with obstacles and pitfalls. Poor governance is a major reason why infrastructure projects often fail to meet their timeframe, budget, and service delivery objectives. Regardless
of how public infrastructure services are delivered.
Governance challenges are diverse and occur all through
the policy cycle.
Designing a strategic vision is crucial but difficult. Many countries have no integrated strategy but instead rely on
sectoral plans. Infrastructure projects are vulnerable to corruption, capture and mismanagement throughout the
infrastructure cycle; most countries have recognised this, yet integrity instruments often leave gaps.
Political dynamics may undermine sound decision-making with regards to infrastructure when processes for
identifying priority projects and choosing delivery modes
are not sufficiently formalised.
Good regulatory design and delivery are necessary to
ensure sustainable and affordable infrastructure over the life of the asset
Infrastructure development serves multiple objectives, with multiple policy goals such as growth, productivity, affordability, inclusive development and environmental objectives potentially being in opposition.
Coordination across levels of government is difficult despite the fact that a majority of public investment is made at the subnational level. This increases the risk of wasted resources and poor integration of services.
Establish a national long-term strategic vision that addresses infrastructure service needs. Ideally the strategy should provide guidance on how the needs should be met, although there has to be room for adjustment as more information is gathered. The strategy should be politically sanctioned, coordinated across levels of government, take stakeholder views into account and be based on clear assumptions.
A necessary condition for a successful infrastructure programme is appropriate strategic planning. This requires identifying which investments should be undertaken, determining the essential components, needs and trade-offs, and how they should be prioritised.
Conversely, weak or insufficient planning often impedes their successful implementation and operation later in the project cycle.
The reason why designing a clear and coherent strategic vision is difficult stems essentially from the complex nature of infrastructure investment