Project Case Study
Analysing small-scale infrastructure investments options in the Greater Mekong sub-region
Analysing the impact of the Australian Government's investment in infrastructure projects in the Mekong countries
A key component of Australia’s approach to regional development in the Mekong region is to focus on increasing regional integration to accelerate economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty.
In order to maximise the impact of the infrastructure projects it finances, in June 2013 the Australian Government contracted us to develop both a detailed study of infrastructure project financing options in the Mekong and further programming recommendations.
A key focus of the study was on the feasibility and impact of supporting small-scale infrastructure projects in the transport and energy sectors.
Following field work in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam and an extensive literature review, we assessed the type of small-scale infrastructure investments which had the greatest impact on economic growth and poverty reduction. We also identified potential points of future engagement for the Australian aid programme. Our analysis was conducted within the framework of Australia’s comparative advantage and value for money considerations.
The final report included:
- A rationale for investing in small scale infrastructure to support the Australian Government’s economic integration agenda and inclusive growth across the Mekong countries
- A summary of current approaches and plans of major stakeholders to support small-scale infrastructure in the Mekong region and suggestions of how the Australian Government could partner with them or avoid duplication
- Options for small-scale transport and energy infrastructure investments which included specific delivery models that could be prioritised for reducing poverty and promoting economic integration
- Recommendations to inform the Australian Government’s strategy to ensure the Mekong bilateral and regional infrastructure programs are well positioned to prepare for and respond to future economic shocks; and
- Recommendations on programme management, monitoring and evaluation and risk mitigation arrangements specific to small-scale infrastructure investments in the Mekong region.
The report has been noted by Australian Government officials as being clear and thorough and being very useful to the aid programme. The project completion report noted our performance as ‘very good’.