Good infrastructure is the foundation for thriving human communities and economic growth
Well-planned infrastructure – roads, railways and airports, telecommunications, energy, water and sewage systems – provides basic services and leads to economic growth. And infrastructure is a fundamental part of mitigating and adapting to climate change.
Without good infrastructure, the private sector will not become an engine of growth
Infrastructure investment has an exponential impact. It enables economies and societies to grow through jobs, empowerment, poverty reduction and improved health. Competitive and reliable infrastructure can reduce the cost of goods and services, particularly benefiting women and poorer communities.
An adequate and sustained supply of electricity, appropriate transport networks and IT systems are necessary for a competitive entrepreneurial and effective private sector to grow.
Areas of expertise
Strategy & Policy
In partnership with our clients, we identify where infrastructure can be improved to promote growth, efficiency, employment and a wide range of social and economic aims. Based on rigorous technical analysis, political awareness and economic modelling, there must be a clear strategy for well-planned infrastructure, to establish accurate budget and risk management, and involve relevant participants to adopt policies for infrastructure reform.
Institutional Reform & Strengthening
Governments are the key to providing the right infrastructure. Improvement of infrastructure usually starts with designing, creating or reforming government planning and regulatory institutions and helping government bodies to harness the expertise and financial ability of the private sector.
We help to enhance technical skills from project design, planning, management, procurement, financing and operation — for example, by creating a new and professionally managed agency outside the civil service that can pay market rates for the skills required.
Enabling Environment Reform
Developing new infrastructure often depends on new ways of doing business, requiring governments to improve regulation, legislation or policy. An enabling environment is a prerequisite to successful infrastructure development. It will involve the design of regulatory frameworks and bodies, draft legislation and recruitment and organisational planning to establish institutions.
Involving communities, populations and businesses is vital – from community road maintenance schemes to sophisticated public-private partnership airport projects. Private sector participation can take many forms and is powerful when smaller scale businesses or communities are engaged in infrastructure delivery. Involvement of lower income communities, women, or the small business community enables infrastructure with far-reaching impact.
Private sector participation in infrastructure and public-private partnerships require financing structures based on value for money, affordability, risk allocation, competition, transparency, stakeholder engagement, political will and pragmatism. We have created federal and public-private partnership units across the developing world.
Government institutions must acquire sufficient skills to design, negotiate and manage contracts in order to avoid costly and risky problems with public-private partnerships. That will often involve technical assistance and capacity building to improve the public-private partnership options available to governments.
Technical assistance can provide valuable help in policy, legal, regulatory, institutional and organisational reform of energy policies – from electricity sector reform to policies for sustainable domestic fuel. We have experience across the energy value chain, from major hydropower yield management to rural energy access, tariff management, privatisation approaches, project finance and stakeholder engagement.
Roads are the national arteries that assure commercial flow in a country, moving workers to their jobs, carrying goods, and helping people to access services.
Urban and rural road networks require planning, management and maintenance. With well-designed road networks, the private sector benefits from an extended supply chain, and goods and services can reach national markets at a lower cost and with greater reliability. Good roads contribute to a lower mortality rate and greater mobility and opportunity for all. Managing road networks through regulatory bodies and with cohesive planning tools ensures that road development achieves national environmental, social and economic goals.
Transport systems, from shipping to urban bus networks, keep economies running. Many developing countries seek help to plan and build transportation infrastructure, and they need to maintain, upgrade and make transportation sustainable, for example through climate proofing.
We have worked across Africa’s transport sectors, on bus mass transit, bus rapid transit, light rail, long-distance rail and public ferries, as well as providing technical assistance in areas such as supporting the haulage industry to deliver promptly.
Rapid urbanisation is a sign of rising prosperity and through technical assistance to turn cities into economic hubs and centres of excellence.
Urban development includes climate friendly, economically vital urban transport and supporting planning systems, water and sanitation support and managing solid waste.
The most effective approach to urban development is to focus first on the institutional environment so that decisions can be coordinated with future-proofed master plans.
We have worked to improve municipal services and built capacity in some of Africa’s largest and most dynamic cities – Lagos, Abuja, Freetown and Dar Es Salaam.
Rural Infrastructure Development
Connecting rural areas with markets through resilient infrastructure can spread economic opportunity across communities. Along with transportation and communications, infrastructure development also involves power, potable water access and local institutional capacity.
We have experience in designing reform for rural areas to address barriers such as the physical infrastructure of an area or specific climate hazards affecting rural areas, which tend to be more agrarian and sensitive to weather changes.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene
For a safe, reliable water sector, service providers often need help to build their capacity for effective management of water resources. And there must be government institutions in order to formulate policies and enforce regulations.
The first step is to identify the structural and regulatory barriers to investment, and the obstacles to good management of the water companies so that investment and access can be maximized without jeopardizing poorer communities.
Our technical assistance has helped countries to manage the integration of shared water resource and the management of transboundary basins.
Telecommunications infrastructure requires robust regulatory frameworks and effective regulators. The foundation to strong telecommunications is an in-depth analysis of markets, accurate demand forecasts and comprehensive competition policy, as well as developing the capacity to attract long-term private sector investment.