Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Developing Strategic Approaches to Infrastructure Planning


This report documents trends in the use of strategic planning in a range of countries and the associated establishment of independent infrastructure advisory bodies. It documents practices in the areas of project identification, appraisal and selection. It considers the appropriate scope of impact assessments, including the use of wider economic impacts and the role of ex post evaluation in contributing to better appraisals of future investments. Finally, it looks at how the effective stewardship of existing infrastructure assets can maximise their ongoing productivity.

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Policy Insights

  • Governments should adopt a strategic approach to infrastructure planning. This should be communicated clearly via an explicit, detailed and periodically updated strategic infrastructure plan.
  • Strategic infrastructure plans should be linked to explicit infrastructure funding envelopes, with project pipelines identified, at least in broad terms.
  • Governments should consider the merits of establishing independent infrastructure advisory bodies to provide transparent, expert advice on long-term, cross-sectoral infrastructure strategy, planning and policy development, as well as priorities for medium-to-longer-term infrastructure investment.
  • Arrangements for the establishment of independent bodies should address key governance principles, such as those identified in the OECD’s Principles for the Governance of Regulators.
  • Infrastructure project appraisal should, as far as possible, be based on a consistent and transparent methodology.
  • The OECD/ITF should publish a review of government and private sector infrastructure-related responses to the Covid‑19 pandemic.
  • A formal policy framework should guide decisions on the stewardship of major infrastructure assets.
  • Governments should review their infrastructure regulatory frameworks.
  • Ex post performance assessment should be undertaken for all major projects.
  • National infrastructure institutions and statistical agencies should co‑ordinate internationally to develop consistent infrastructure performance measures.
  • Where cross-border infrastructure projects are adopted, they should be managed by a specific-purpose body with all parties represented. Policy objectives and performance standards should be clearly specified and governance, funding and accountability mechanisms established.

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