One year ago, the multilateral development banks (MDBs) came together for the very first time to kick off a new approach to addressing infrastructure development. The Global Infrastructure Forum, an outcome of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, offered a platform allowing governments, MDBs, United Nations agencies, and other developmental partners to mobilize resources for infrastructure development.
This year, the Global Infrastructure Forum 2017 will be held on April 22nd in Washington D.C. Besides improving coordination, the Forum aims to stimulate infrastructure investment by both the public and private sectors and support implementation of infrastructure projects in developing countries.
Why is this important? Because the Forum brings all major players in infrastructure development to the same table around four key themes:
- Good data on infrastructure that helps governments and MDBs plan infrastructure development strategy more effectively, such as data on demand, spending levels (both public and private), and the investment climate.
- Building consensus on public-private partnership (PPP) standards to encourage the adoption of universal best practices.
- Strengthening project preparation to create a pipeline of bankable infrastructure projects, which is essential for closing the infrastructure gap.
- Promoting financing for infrastructure, particularly from the private sector—recognizing the private sector has an important role to play in infrastructure development.
Is it working?A full year has passed since the first Forum took place in April 2016, and it’s only fair to ask what impact it has had. In my view it has made a difference—I’ve seen an acceleration in activity and collaboration supporting the issues identified in the 2016 Forum. For example:
- As a follow-up to the first Forum, the Joint Declaration of Aspirations, to support infrastructure investment, is expected to be published in June 2017 and will cover the period to 2019.
- Joint knowledge platforms such as the PPP Knowledge Lab provides information and resources on the country and sector levels while a new PPP certification scheme was established by numerous MDBs to increase the number of professionals with knowledge of international best practices in PPPs. In addition, an updated version of the PPP Reference Guide is now available online to help PPP practitioners navigate the rich body of knowledge about PPPs.
- Source, (formerly called IISS), to develop common approaches to project preparation. Source supports over 60 projects valued at more than $16 billion and has over 400 global users from 20 governments. . As part of this, we’ve promoted and supported
- The Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) is helping governments design, structure and implement bankable infrastructure projects that are attractive to private investors and MDBs. In the last year, GIF approved 18 new grants to support this work.
Related PostsNext steps from the first Global Infrastructure Forum (April 2016)
A global conversation about collaborating for better infrastructure delivery
It’s time to change the way we talk about the “Infrastructure Gap”
We look forward to hear from you: Flagging a new World Bank Group consultation on the Guidelines for the Development of a Policy for Managing Unsolicited Proposals in Infrastructure Projects. Submit your feedback here - Now open through May 7, 2017.