Enhancing the efficiency of infrastructure projects to improve access to finance

Jyoti Bisbey, Seyed Hossein Hosseini Nourzad, Ching-Yuan Chu, Maryam Ouhadi

Abstract


While there has been much discussion about the large infrastructure needs in Asia and the Pacific, less attention has been paid to public expenditure efficiency in infrastructure services delivery. New constructions are not the only solution, especially when governments have limited capital to invest. Globally, new infrastructure projects face delays and cost overruns, leading to an inefficient use of public resources. The root causes include the lack of transparency in project selection, the lack of project preparation, the silo approach by public entities in assessing feasibility studies, and the lack of public sector capacity to fully develop a bankable pipeline of projects. To tackle these issues, governments need a smarter investment approach and to do so, enhancing public service efficiency is very crucial. The paper suggests a “whole life cycle” (WLC) approach as the main strategic solution for the discussed issues and challenges. We expand the definition of WLC to include the entire life cycle of the infrastructure asset from need identification to its disposal. The stages comprise planning, preparation, procurement, design, construction, operation and maintenance, and disposal. This is because we believe any efficient or inefficient decision throughout such a wide life cycle influences the quality of public services. Hence, in this holistic approach, infrastructure life cycle consists of four phases: planning, preparation, procurement, and implementation. Governments could enhance public efficiency and thus improve access to finance throughout the WLC by several solutions. These are (i) preparing infrastructure master plan and pipelines and long-term budgeting during the planning phase; (ii) establishing framework and guidelines and improving governance during preparation phase; (iii) promoting standardization, transparency, open government, and contractual consistency during the procurement phase; and finally (iv) continued role of government and total asset management during the implementation phase. In addition to these phase-specific means, key WLC solutions include proper use of technology, capacity building, and private participation in general and public-private partnership (PPP) in particular.


Keywords


efficiency; infrastructure; finance; public sector; PPP; whole life cycle; planning; preparation; procurement; implementation; disposal; PIMA; public services

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24294/jipd.v4i1.1175

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