23 September 2019

Prioritizing Infrastructure Investments in Panama: Pilot Application of the World Bank Infrastructure Prioritization Framework

Written by World Bank
Developed by The World Bank
23 September 2019
Infrastructure services are significant determinants of economic development, social welfare, trade, and public health. As such, they typically feature strongly in national development plans. While governments may receive many infrastructure project proposals, however, resources are often insufficient to finance the full set of proposals in the short term. Leading up to 2020, an estimated US$836 billion - 1 trillion will be required each year to meet growth targets worldwide (Ruiz-Nunez and Wei, 2014; World Bank). Global estimates of infrastructure investments required to support economic growth and human development lie in the range of US$65-70 trillion by 2030 (OECD, 2006), while the estimated pool of available funds is limited to approximately US$45 trillion (B20, 2014). The past twenty years have also seen a shift towards decentralized infrastructure planning. Many subnational governments, regional entities, and sector agencies have been delegated responsibility for infrastructure planning promote local responsiveness, but responsibility for allocating funds often remains with a centralized finance agency (CFA). While constituencies may propose numerous projects, governments often have insufficient financial resources to implement the full suite of proposals. This report presents the IPF methodology and results of the pilot application to a select set of transport and water and sanitation projects in Panama. The report first gives background information on infrastructure prioritization in Panama, then follows with a description of the IPF in technical and implementation terms. Next, we present the results of the pilot and close with recommendations for implementing IPF to a wider set of projects.