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Global policy programme will enable better infrastructure

04 December 2019

ICE launches new resources to help global policy-makers better plan infrastructure for the good of society

Global policy programme will enable better infrastructure

ICE has partnered with several major organisations to deliver a new global policy programme to help decision-makers grappling with the challenge of designing and delivering infrastructure for the long-term benefits of communities around the world.

The Enabling Better Infrastructure programme offers insights to governments and decision-makers around the world on how best to plan and deliver infrastructure which achieves the most effective social and economic outcomes.

The programme was developed by the Institution alongside a steering group chaired by Sir Michael Bear, which included individuals from organisations including OECD, UNOPS, KPMG, Pinsent Masons, the University of Sydney and the Environmental Change Institute.

Sir Michael Bear, ICE Hon. Fellow and Enabling Better Infrastructure Steering Group Chair, said:

“Strategically planned infrastructure can help countries achieve the best social and economic outcomes for their citizens. The Enabling Better Infrastructure programme collates global case studies and learnings, across all areas of the infrastructure lifecycle, to help governments and decision-makers to achieve this.

“Civil engineers play an important role in helping deliver infrastructure that meets future needs and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, so it’s important that we harness our collective experience and work together to make a real difference.”

Nick Baveystock, ICE Director General, said:

“Infrastructure is critical to society’s economic, social and personal wellbeing. Delivering infrastructure effectively, efficiently, and with a focus on whole-life value to the end user is essential.

“Decision-makers across the world face many of the same challenges. This report draws out some common principles to support them, wherever they are in the world, in balancing and making choices as they plan their national infrastructure systems.”

The 12 guiding principles

As part of the programme, ICE and the steering group, produced a report, Enabling Better Infrastructure: 12 guiding principles for prioritising and planning infrastructure. The report will help decision-makers at the early stages of the infrastructure lifecycle, from planning to prioritisation.

It identifies 12 key principles for decision-makers to use as a straight-forward guide to the best ways to plan, implement and deliver major infrastructure. These include best practice methods for undertaking infrastructure visioning exercises, conducting needs assessments and developing national infrastructure strategies.

The report can be used as high-level guidance and a source of insight as to what decision-makers could do differently to improve infrastructure planning and prioritisation.

The resource hub

Also launching today is a comprehensive resource hub on ICE’s website. Having recognised that a large amount of guidance exists globally on how best to plan and deliver infrastructure, this one-stop shop brings together case studies, advice and expert insight into how governments can undertake the process of planning and delivering infrastructure.

Accepting that there is no off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all approach to planning, delivering or maintaining infrastructure, the hub collates case studies from across the world, and across all areas of the infrastructure lifecycle.

The hub will be updated regularly – and ICE encourages people to identify and share new examples. To get in touch, contact [email protected]

Launching in… London, UK

Left to right: Paul Sheffield, ICE President; Jagoda Egeland; Lina Liakou; Prof Denise Bower OBE & Nick Baveystock
Left to right: Paul Sheffield, ICE President; Jagoda Egeland; Lina Liakou; Prof Denise Bower OBE & Nick Baveystock

Infrastructure industry leaders, senior policymakers and high-level representatives from international business communities attended the UK launch of the programme, at ICE’s One Great George Street headquarters.

Guests were introduced to the programme and resource hub, with ICE President Paul Sheffield chairing a panel of relevant industry experts to discuss the aims and next steps for the programme.

Jagoda Egeland, Steering Group member and Advisor to the Secretary-General, International Transport Forum at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, spoke about the programme’s report. She outlined the 12 guiding principles that governments and planners should use to improve their approach to prioritising and planning infrastructure networks.

Nick Baveystock, ICE Director General and Secretary, spoke about the new resource hub, which was launched at the same time. He discussed ICE’s ambitions for the Enabling Better Infrastructure programme during 2020, from running further stakeholder engagement events (both domestically and internationally) to sourcing further content for the hub from global stakeholders.

Lina Liakou, Managing Director for Europe and the Middle East at Global Resilient Cities Network, spoke about how infrastructure planning, investment and procurement challenges that exist at the national level are transferable to the city level. She discussed how the 12 guiding principles contained within the report have important read across and can help facilitate significant improvements to local networks.

Professor Denise Bower OBE, Executive Director, Major Projects Association, spoke about the difficulties that many governments face in moving from the infrastructure planning and strategy development stages through to delivery. She highlighted how the principles were relevant and why it was important decision-makers fully understand the need to cultivate the right enabling environment for infrastructure.

Global launch events

The programme was simultaneously launched in Melbourne, Singapore and Pretoria. Updates from these events will be available in the coming days.

Further launch events are set to take place in Dubai and New York.

Getting involved

As part of the ongoing work to support the programme in 2020, ICE with the support of its partners and members, will organise a number of international thought leadership roundtables to glean further insights into the steps that are being taken around the world to improve the planning and delivery of infrastructure.

Discussions will be captured and added to the resource hub as case studies.

If you'd like to participate in or host an event, or if you have a case study that would like to share through the resource hub, you can get in touch by emailing [email protected].

  • Emma Beer, media relations manager at ICE