28 September 2017

InfraCompass: Helping governments set their infrastructure policies in the right direction

Written by Chris Heathcote, Chief Executive Officer
28 September 2017

InfraCompass is an interactive tool which provides a guide for governments to create the best conditions to deliver infrastructure.

InfraCompass, pinpoints the leading policies and practices that lead to sustainable and equitable infrastructure through efficient markets, better decision-making, and delivery. The GI Hub analysed 130 infrastructure-related datasets and produced data on infrastructure markets in 49 countries accounting for over 90% of global GDP.InfraCompass online tool

The countries’ performance is rated in six key categories regarded as most relevant to infrastructure markets: institutions and governance; regulatory and competition frameworks; permits, licences, and land acquisitions; plan and select; procurement; delivery and operations.

InfraCompass: Countries were assessed in six categories of policy and delivery 
The data has been uploaded on an interactive, easy-to-use online tool where the performance of each country can be viewed, and compared with other countries.

And a report has been produced detailing the comprehensive analysis. InfraCompass pinpoints where countries can improve to provide the best conditions for their infrastructure markets.

We know that communities across the globe are in desperate need of new quality infrastructure: new roads, public transport systems, hospitals, schools, airports, ports, and electricity sources.

As the global population continues to expand, governments are struggling to keep up with demand for new infrastructure. Additionally, government budgets are under pressure—still constrained in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

We also know there are trillions of dollars in private investment that could be used to fund public infrastructure. Part of the GI Hub’s mandate is to promote reforms and practices that will unlock higher investment levels in infrastructure.

In order to access this investment and deliver transparent, well-planned and procured public infrastructure projects, governments around the world must ensure they have the right policy settings in place.

Country assessment on InfraCompass
InfraCompass guides countries to the most important drivers affecting their infrastructure delivery:

  • Robust governance, leadership and capable institutions that support the rule of law, transparency and consultation, and effective and independent decision making structures for infrastructure investment.
  • Consistent and predictable regulatory frameworks, that are transparent, open to investment and competition.
  • Permits, approvals and land acquisition processes that are timely, predictable, and navigable, minimising red tape to appropriate and justifiable levels.
  • Planning – not just of projects – but transparently setting strategic social-economic-environment goals, and integrated sectoral and system plans, so projects can be measured against agreed outcomes.
  • Procurement practices that are transparent enhance competition and provide certainty to all parties.
  • Delivering and operating infrastructure to ensure assets are maintained and continue to provide economic benefits after construction is complete.

InfraCompass shows importance of strong governance in infrastructure delivery

The key findings from the report include:

  • The rule of law is the strongest driver of investment across economies.
  • Developed nations with strong track records of delivery and trusted institutions remain the leaders in the delivery and operation of infrastructure assets.
  • But emerging economies are catching up with developed countries in terms of the quality of their infrastructure, with the list of top improvers over the past decade dominated by emerging countries.
  • Of the 49 countries analysed by InfraCompass, many had robust, transparent procurement practices, with low barriers to entry, but improvement was needed in planning and regulatory frameworks to enable more investment.

We anticipate that InfraCompass will become a useful source of data and guidance to governments seeking to reform and improve their infrastructure markets.

It will complement our other tools:

  • Global Infrastructure Outlook, a ground breaking online interactive platform revealing infrastructure investment needs across 50 countries.
  • Project Pipeline, an online platform with early stage data on government infrastructure projects to help the private sector.
  • Allocating Risks in Public-Private Partnerships, a guide to typical risk allocation in infrastructure projects between public and private partners.
  • Multilateral Development Bank Report for G20, which provides key advice to the G20 on how these banks can work to “crowd-in” private finance for public infrastructure.
  • Concession Management of Public-Private Partnership Projects, practical guidelines for project authorities to help concession management of PPPs to be released later this year.

By tracking progress over time, InfraCompass can be used to continue to improve infrastructure practices, incentivise reform and innovation, deliver quality infrastructure, and ultimately help economies to grow.

The tool can be accessed at: infracompass.gihub.org 

(This blog post was originally featured on the World Bank blog here)