Directorate for Public Governance
Developing a strategic vision for infrastructure
OECD Framework for the Governance of Infrastructure
1. DEVELOPING A STRATEGIC VISION
Establishing a national long-term strategic vision that addresses infrastructure service needs. Ideally the strategy should provide guidance on how the needs should be met, although there has to be room for adjustment as more information is gathered.
The strategy should be politically sanctioned, coordinated across levels of government, take stakeholder views into account and be based on clear assumptions.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Designing a clear and coherent strategic vision is difficult due to the complex nature of infrastructure investment.
- The infrastructure issue cuts across different institutions, jurisdictions, levels of government, policy areas and professional disciplines, which makes it difficult to aggregate into a coherent view. Analysis tends to be done in silos reflecting the various stakeholders.
- Infrastructure development serves multiple objectives, with multiple policy goals such as growth, productivity, affordability, inclusive development and environmental objectives potentially being in opposition.
- Infrastructure has long-term impact and gestation periods, and requires predictability and sober analysis, but infrastructure is extremely sensitive to political and economic/business cycles that vary markedly over time.
- Good infrastructure planning requires identification of necessary complementarities across sectors - e.g., investments in housing need to be complemented by the right investment in transport.
KEY POLICY QUESTIONS:
- Is there a whole of government vision for infrastructure investment in the medium to long term?
- Is there an established process for generating, monitoring and adjusting a national strategic infrastructure vision?
- Is there a dedicated unit or institution responsible for monitoring, generating, assessing, costing and creating debate around infrastructure policy?
- Are there appropriate tools and processes that link the allocation of public resources to the strategic infrastructure vision?
WHAT ARE THE KEY DRIVERS OF STRATEGIC PLANS?
- Presence of a strategic infrastructure plan;
- Strategic frameworks for public investment implementation;
- Budget allocation to projects in plan;
- Dedicated process/units;
- Presence of inter-departmental/ministerial committees/platforms to design infrastructure strategies.
GETTING INFRASTRUCTURE RIGHT
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