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Project Case Study

Accelerating DFID’s Urban and Infrastructure Programming

Supporting DFID implement the Economic Development strategy

More effective infrastructure and urban programming is key to the strategy. Inadequate infrastructure service delivery is a major impediment to economic and human development in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. For hundreds of people in these regions, basic services such as energy, water and sanitation, transport and communications are costly and out of reach.

Infrastructure spending in DFID’s focus countries is often limited by a lack of financially viable projects and weak institutional and governance arrangements. Furthermore, there has been a lack of focus to date on harnessing the potential of cities and urban areas to drive growth and create jobs. Underlying these issues are wider challenges related to the enabling environment for investment in infrastructure and cities.

Project info

Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development (ICED)


  • 2016-2019



Infrastructure and Cities for Economic Development (ICED) aims to improve the way DFID’s infrastructure and cities initiatives across the world contribute to poverty reduction and to rapid, resilient and inclusive economic growth. Central to ICED is positioning DFID as a leading actor in the infrastructure space by shaping a portfolio of programmes that support infrastructure investment.

Project support

  • Programme scoping and design support to DFID Country Offices and Regional Groups
  • Provided technical support to shape delivery of existing infrastructure programmes
  • Build the evidence for infrastructure programming through rapid technical advice from sector and cross-cutting experts, research, and policy briefings
  • Working with DFID’s international partners to promote robust infrastructure initiatives

ICED is managed by PwC and draws on expertise from an alliance which includes Arup, ASI, Engineers Against Poverty, the International Institute for Environment and Development, MDY Legal and Social Development Direct.

Achievements to date

  • The project was awarded A+ in its 2019 annual review;
  • Supported the development of business cases amounting to £300 million in new DFID programming;
  • ASI led the development of 20+ pre-scoping, scoping and business case designs spanning 23 countries across energy, FCAS, water, waste management, transport and cities;
  • Strengthened DFIDs knowledge of infrastructure policy enabling effective implementation of existing infrastructure and cities programmes.

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