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How can governments gain the clarity they need to deliver on infrastructure needs?

18 January 2024

The ICE-convened Enabling Better Infrastructure (EBI) programme launched actionable guidance to help governments upgrade their strategic infrastructure planning.

How can governments gain the clarity they need to deliver on infrastructure needs?
Updated guidance draws on three international consultations to help drive ongoing learning. Image credit: iStock

The ICE-convened Enabling Better Infrastructure (EBI) programme has launched updated guidance for governments to help them drive purpose, certainty, and pace in strategic infrastructure planning.

ICE President Professor Anusha Shah launched the new guidance in Singapore at an event on 18 January, co-hosted with Pinsent Masons MPillay.

Speakers at the launch outlined how governments can use the guidance to be more deliberate about planning infrastructure, highlighting examples in Singapore and from the region.

In her remarks, Professor Shah said, "The new EBI guidelines will help more governments deliver nature- and people-positive infrastructure", which forms part of creating a world where people and planet thrive.

Why do governments need to be more deliberate?

Strategic infrastructure planning is challenging in all parts of the world.

Governments need to balance the growing demands for high-cost infrastructure services with the need to limit spending.

Addressing multiple needs in infrastructure planning isn’t easy.

This is because it’s unclear what actions are needed to address them, and when and where they need to be considered in the infrastructure planning process.

Being more deliberate helps governments to know which inputs are needed to set up an infrastructure strategy. This includes their national objectives and infrastructure, economic, and social needs.

It also helps them understand how these key components come together.

How does the new EBI guidance help?

The EBI programme was established in 2019 to help governments create stable, sustainable, and investable infrastructure project pipelines.

The programme’s first report outlined 12 principles for prioritising and planning infrastructure.

The new version, which draws on three international consultations, has helped drive ongoing learning, allowing EBI insights to be refined and made simpler.

The outcome features actionable, example-driven, tried-and-tested guidance from governments worldwide.

The report is also supported by an online hub, outlining evidence of how countries from around the world have set up their strategic planning approach.

What does the new guidance cover?

Updated EBI guidance has three key components:

  1. Eight principles to set up a strategic planning process – updated EBI principles set out all the key inputs governments need to consider when creating a strategic planning process.
  2. A core three-step process for building an infrastructure strategy – an easy-to-follow process helps governments develop an infrastructure strategy, with links showcasing how other countries have done it.
  3. Strategic planning gap assessment tool – a tool setting out questions to help countries benchmark themselves against international best practice in strategic infrastructure governance, regulation, data gathering and use.

Who else can benefit from using the new guidance?

  • arms-length bodies and the private sector – includes technical and data-based insights for assessing and managing infrastructure needs, including how to develop evaluation measures and monitor inputs
  • research and academia – outlines thought leadership on the steps required to set up a strategic planning approach, where it incorporates reflection and (re)assessment
  • civil society – identifies how national and regional needs can be incorporated into strategic planning
  • the public – sets out opportunities to scrutinise government plans and processes

Find out more

Learn more about the new EBI guidance and how it can be of value to you, and explore the EBI webpage.

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