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Have your say on the EBI new self-reflection tool for government departments

12 July 2023

The institution is calling for feedback from infrastructure experts across government, the private sector, research, academia, civil society, among others.

Have your say on the EBI new self-reflection tool for government departments
Self-reflection plays a critical role in helping governments understand how to strengthen their planning process. Image credit: Shutterstock

Stakeholders involved in infrastructure planning have been invited to provide feedback on the ICE’s new self-reflection tool for leading government departments..

The tool, launching as part of the ICE-led Enabling Better Infrastructure (EBI) programme, provides an understanding of the current state of infrastructure planning processes, and which areas need improvement.

It’s part of a wider call for feedback as earlier this year, the institution announced a green paper consultation on its updated guidance for governments on how to strengthen strategic infrastructure planning.

In its latest insights paper, the ICE is calling for input on the tool specifically to ensure that it’s fit for purpose and its intended audience.

Written responses to the questions set out in the insights paper should be sent to [email protected] by 26 July 2023.

Find out more and take part

Who are infrastructure planning stakeholders?

The institution welcomes responses from anyone involved in strategic planning and prioritisation to help ensure the self-reflection tool is practical and relevant for its intended audience.

This includes:

  • governments
  • arms-length bodies
  • private sector
  • research and academia
  • civil society (ie. NGOs, community groups, external institutions, etc.)
  • the public

What is in the self-reflection tool?

The tool guides governments through a series of questions to reflect on how they currently plan infrastructure at national and regional levels.

It also includes information on how EBI guidance can help them take the next step in their strategic planning journey.

The self-reflection tool consists of a matrix covering the following:

  • a list of key considerations for setting up stable, sustainable, and investable infrastructure pipelines
  • a series of questions to encourage self-reflection and support a better understanding of the key considerations
  • multiple ways to meet the key considerations, including a comparison of areas where extra work is needed

After completing the matrix, governments will gain awareness of their existing activities and supporting structures.

This will highlight where and how they can work more efficiently to address any areas that need improvement.

Completing the matrix should then make it easier to set up stable, sustainable, and investable infrastructure pipelines.

Knowing where to start is key

To strengthen strategic infrastructure planning, it’s critical for governments to know where to start.

This includes having a good understanding of the strategic process already in place, and what further steps need to be taken.

In this respect, benchmarking tools, like the self-reflection matrix, can be a helpful asset.

Several tools are available to help governments understand how their infrastructure governance compares with other countries.

These tools can also highlight which areas or sectors require more work.

At a recent UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and EBI event, which drew together stakeholders involved in infrastructure decision-making, this need for benchmarking tools was highlighted.

But it also noted that while a range of tools exist, governments need help to understand their value.

The latest insights paper clarifies what the EBI self-reflection tool has to offer. More specifically, how it can help develop a more strategic approach to infrastructure planning.

The EBI Green Paper consultation

Government departments around the globe have needed to adapt how they plan and prioritise infrastructure to respond to changing demands.

These changes have been caused by demographic, behavioural, supply chain, and climate shifts.

Speaking to Civil Service World, ICE policy director, Chris Richards, explained: “What we’ve picked up [...] is frustration that it’s almost accepted that the way we strategically plan and prioritise infrastructure is not perfect, but we can’t be bothered to change or it’s too difficult to change.”

To respond to these frustrations and help governments strengthen their strategic planning process, the EBI programme has updated its guidance with:

  • a three-step process for setting up a robust, strategic infrastructure plan
  • supporting guidance to ensure governments can follow the three-step process in any country
  • a self-reflection tool to help governments identify where to start

Following this guidance can help governments set up more stable and sustainable infrastructure pipelines.

This would then help to attract funding and meet societal needs.

Take part in the green paper consultation

  • Dr Kerry Bobbins, head of Enabling Better Infrastructure programme at ICE