2020 Infrastructure and Public Procurement Weeks



1 : 30th October 2020
5th Forum on the Governance of Infrastructure - Opening remarks
Plenary session: Re-building Together - Infrastructure Governance for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
Infrastructure investment and delivery will be at the core of economic and social recovery. While many countries have already pledged to invest more in infrastructure, it will be first and foremost about investing better and smarter than before. Restoring sustainable growth cannot ignore infrastructure, and we cannot afford to waste time, money and efforts in unfit-for-purpose – or worse failed – infrastructure projects. This is why infrastructure governance matters more than ever to address the lasting consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The current economic, fiscal and social context calls for institutions and decision-making processes that are both coherent and transparent, and effective and responsive to rapidly evolving contexts. The new Recommendation on the Governance of infrastructure, which was launched at the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting, provides good practices to strengthen the infrastructure planning, delivery and decision-making process. It supports a whole-of-government approach and covers the entire life cycle of infrastructure projects, putting special emphasis on regional, social, gender, and environmental considerations. This session will focus on how to build the right institutional capacities and develop the appropriate decision-making processes to ensure that public investment contributes to a sustainable rebound. In particular, it will discuss how the recommendation can serve as a tool to support the linkages between expected large economic stimulus interventions, long-term infrastructure programmes and multidisciplinary objectives, such as resilience, social inclusion, sustainable growth and gender equality. It will also discuss the role of countries and international organisations in promoting the sustainability agenda for better infrastructure.
Coffee break
Breakout sessions
The breakout sessions will look at some specific recommendations on the governance of infrastructure in more detail, and will discuss how they can contribute to the achievement of government policy objectives such as resilience, sustainability, private sector participation, multilevel governance and regional disparities. Each session will discuss practical tools for the implementation of the Recommendation and serve as an opportunity to promote an open dialogue on the tools and good practices identified in the OECD Implementation Handbook on Sustainable Infrastructure.
Breakout session 3: Addressing regional imbalances and supporting the development of sustainable infrastructure through effective multi-level governance
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of ensuring regional and local resilience to crisis, shock and unexpected change. Subnational governments are responsible for almost 60% of public investment in OECD countries. They play an important role in long-term investment choices related to energy, transport, water, digital and health infrastructure. Constructive relationships among levels of government can help decision-makers collaboratively identify the infrastructure necessary to achieve post-crisis economic and societal objectives. Yet, such relationships are frequently challenged by limited institutional ability and constrictive frameworks. Upgrading decision-making processes and tools to ensure coordinated national, regional and local infrastructure investment objectives is long overdue. So is supporting a more strategic approach to infrastructure investment at all levels of government. This session focuses on how multi-level governance systems can support better and smarter infrastructure investment and how they can ensure the COVID-19 recovery process also generates more balanced and sustainable regional development.
Breakout Session 1: Thinking about the future: how could better governance pave the way for more sustainable infrastructure?
As a result of the pandemic outbreak, governments are facing greater pressures to achieve sustainable long-term growth. The coronavirus crisis has highlighted the important benefits of planning and delivering infrastructure that actively contributes to environmental and social objectives. As highlighted by 77% of the participants of the webinar on “Strategic Planning of Infrastructure for the Recovery Phase”, providing environmental and social benefits is considered one of the most important priority objectives of infrastructure programmes in the COVID-19 context. While new infrastructure assets need to be planned, designed and built existing infrastructure assets will also need to be retrofitted or adjusted to support different uses and increase resilience against future shocks. Good governance can help governments ensure that both public and private resources can fund these initiatives. This session will cover how a robust infrastructure governance framework could provide countries with the right tools to integrate resilience at the core of infrastructure policies and implementation and to ensure that infrastructure investments work towards meeting sustainable development objectives.
Breakout session 2: Joining forces - designing robust governance frameworks for sustainable infrastructure that support innovative private financing and adequate risk transfer mechanisms
Infrastructure governance will play an important role to increase funding effectiveness for infrastructure investment in a post-crisis scenario. In order to meet investment needs, governments can turn to improving resource efficiency and collaboration with the private sector. To maximise the benefits, these efforts need to be accompanied by the development of appropriate financial instruments to encourage both debt and equity financing. Infrastructure governance frameworks that allow for innovative approaches to fund and finance infrastructure programmes linked to economic stimulus packages could be a powerful tool to mobilise investors, diversify sources of financing and optimise risk allocation. This session will discuss how governments could facilitate channels for private investment, promote innovative structures to increase access to infrastructure project financing, and to mobilise further resources from institutional investors in a post-crisis scenario.