Context and Objectives of the Report
Infrastructure is essential for sustained economic growth, competitiveness and social progress. While building new infrastructure assets ranks high on the global agenda, governments in both developed and developing countries often neglect their existing infrastructure assets – witness the increasing congestion, unnecessary operational costs and inadequate maintenance. Against the backdrop of increasing user demand, constrained financing and an ageing asset base, it is imperative for governments to make the most of their existing infrastructure assets – specifically, to increase the assets’ productivity and longevity. This report recommends ways of doing just that. It provides a structured and comprehensive framework for implementing operations and maintenance (O&M) best practices, as well as many real-life examples. In addition, it covers the enabling factors for O&M such as funding, capabilities and governance. Using the guidance provided in this report, governments and operators can systematically consider all possible optimization levers and so reap the full potential of their infrastructure assets.
Audience of the Report
This report is designed primarily for senior government leaders and for the officials responsible for managing infrastructure assets on the strategic and operational level. Other stakeholders would also benefit from the report – the private sector, multilateral development banks, the donor community and civil society – as it enables them to have a more productive engagement with governments. Finally, private infrastructure operators as well will value the report, as many of the best practices listed in it can be applied equally to privately operated infrastructure assets.
Scope of the Report
The report is intended to serve as a “roadmap” for directing governments and other stakeholders to the critical success factors in infrastructure O&M. It does so by providing a comprehensive framework, actionable lessons learned and more than 200 real-life examples and case studies. The framework and recommendations can be applied broadly in developed and developing economies, and across many sectors of economic and social infrastructure. The O&M best practices are collected from infrastructure assets that are delivered under public or private modes, or under public-private partnerships (PPP), and can likewise be applied to all kinds of delivery modes. The report is not a compendium of the whole infrastructure life cycle: it excludes initial design and construction, and takes those decisions as a given; and, its focus is exclusively on O&M and end-of-life-cycle decisions of existing assets (including rehabilitation, upgrade and replacement), as project origination and preparation have been covered in the initiative’s previous reports.
In the context of this report, infrastructure is defined to include the following sectors:
- Economic infrastructure: assets that enable society and the economy to function, such as transport (airports, ports, roads and railroads), energy (gas and electricity), water and waste, and telecommunications facilities
- Social infrastructure: assets to support the provision of public services, such as government buildings, police and military facilities, social housing, health facilities, and educational and community establishments
This definition specifically excludes two other kinds of infrastructure: soft infrastructure (the public institutions required for maintaining society, notably the legal and judicial system, the education and health systems, and the financial system) and industrial infrastructure (such as mineworks, or the interconnected roads within a large factory complex).