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Bricks and dollars: improving public investment in infrastructure

Published by: ODI


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The world is hungry for infrastructure investment. In 2014, the IMF declared 'the time is right for an infrastructure push'. Yet the development community has been here before. There have been earlier periods of infrastructure enthusiasm, with the white elephants to show for it, but precious little growth. How can governments avoid the mistakes of the past? What institutions and processes are needed to invest in infrastructure, and to invest well? The 2015 CAPE conference paper discusses what it takes to invest in infrastructure, and to invest well.

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General Information

SDGs Goal 9: Industry, innovation, infrastructure Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals
Published
2015
Thematic Area
Public private partnerships
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Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Sustained investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important, as are the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies.

Technological progress is also key to finding lasting solutions to both economic and environmental challenges, such as providing new jobs and promoting energy efficiency. Promoting sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research and innovation, are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development.

More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet, and 90 percent are from the developing world. Bridging this digital divide is crucial to ensure equal access to information and knowledge, and as a consequence foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Investment in infrastructure and innovation is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 9.

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Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Sustained investment in infrastructure and innovation are crucial drivers of economic growth and development. With over half the world population now living in cities, mass transport and renewable energy are becoming ever more important, as are the growth of new industries and information and communication technologies.

Technological progress is also key to finding lasting solutions to both economic and environmental challenges, such as providing new jobs and promoting energy efficiency. Promoting sustainable industries, and investing in scientific research and innovation, are all important ways to facilitate sustainable development.

More than 4 billion people still do not have access to the Internet, and 90 percent are from the developing world. Bridging this digital divide is crucial to ensure equal access to information and knowledge, and as a consequence foster innovation and entrepreneurship.

Investment in infrastructure and innovation is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 9.

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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund understands that access to technologies and resilient infrastructure may have a long-lasting impact on inclusive growth. Some SDG Fund programmes include infrastructure and technology elements to bring opportunities to the most vulnerable and those left out of inclusive value chains.

For example,

  • In Nigeria, the SDG Fund is working to promote food security and nutrition and alleviate poverty through strengthening the agro-food value chains, improving agricultural productivity and yields and promoting access to markets. The programme will establish a food processing facility and help it transition into an independent centre, capable of covering its own costs with a hybrid, public-private ownership structure. The centre will serve as a one-stop-shop training facility and Centre of Excellence providing vocational training in agriculture and agro-processing.
  • In Samoa, the SDG Fund is supporting the construction of an organic food processing facility. Young people, including vulnerable youth, are being trained to find job opportunities in organic production and processing within the key economic sectors of agriculture and tourism.
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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund understands that access to technologies and resilient infrastructure may have a long-lasting impact on inclusive growth. Some SDG Fund programmes include infrastructure and technology elements to bring opportunities to the most vulnerable and those left out of inclusive value chains.

For example,

  • In Nigeria, the SDG Fund is working to promote food security and nutrition and alleviate poverty through strengthening the agro-food value chains, improving agricultural productivity and yields and promoting access to markets. The programme will establish a food processing facility and help it transition into an independent centre, capable of covering its own costs with a hybrid, public-private ownership structure. The centre will serve as a one-stop-shop training facility and Centre of Excellence providing vocational training in agriculture and agro-processing.
  • In Samoa, the SDG Fund is supporting the construction of an organic food processing facility. Young people, including vulnerable youth, are being trained to find job opportunities in organic production and processing within the key economic sectors of agriculture and tourism.
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  • Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
  • By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
  • Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 18
  • Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities
  • Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020
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  • Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all
  • Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and, by 2030, significantly raise industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, in line with national circumstances, and double its share in least developed countries
  • Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets
  • By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
  • Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
  • Facilitate sustainable and resilient infrastructure development in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support to African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States 18
  • Support domestic technology development, research and innovation in developing countries, including by ensuring a conducive policy environment for, inter alia, industrial diversification and value addition to commodities
  • Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020
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Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be realized with a strong commitment to global partnership and cooperation. While official development assistance from developed countries increased by 66 percent between 2000 and 2014, humanitarian crises brought on by conflict or natural disasters continue to demand financial resources and aid. Many countries also require Official Development Assistance to encourage growth and trade.

The world today is more interconnected than ever before. Improving access to technology and knowledge is an important way to share ideas and foster innovation. Coordinating policies to help developing countries manage their debt, as well as promoting investment for the least developed, is vital to achieve sustainable growth and development.

The goals aim to enhance North-South and South-South cooperation by supporting national plans to achieve all the targets. Promoting international trade, and helping developing countries increase their exports, is all part of achieving a universal rules-based and equitable trading system that is fair and open, and benefits all.

Strengthening global solidarity is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 17.

[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can only be realized with a strong commitment to global partnership and cooperation. While official development assistance from developed countries increased by 66 percent between 2000 and 2014, humanitarian crises brought on by conflict or natural disasters continue to demand financial resources and aid. Many countries also require Official Development Assistance to encourage growth and trade.

The world today is more interconnected than ever before. Improving access to technology and knowledge is an important way to share ideas and foster innovation. Coordinating policies to help developing countries manage their debt, as well as promoting investment for the least developed, is vital to achieve sustainable growth and development.

The goals aim to enhance North-South and South-South cooperation by supporting national plans to achieve all the targets. Promoting international trade, and helping developing countries increase their exports, is all part of achieving a universal rules-based and equitable trading system that is fair and open, and benefits all.

Strengthening global solidarity is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 17.

) ) ) [field_the_sdgf_work] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => SDG Fund’s programmes contributing to SDG 17 [format] => [safe_value] => SDG Fund’s programmes contributing to SDG 17 ) ) ) [field_icon_with_text] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [fid] => 335 [uid] => 1 [filename] => E_SDG_Icons-17.jpg [uri] => public://E_SDG_Icons-17.jpg [filemime] => image/jpeg [filesize] => 100789 [status] => 1 [timestamp] => 1450140562 [type] => image [field_file_image_alt_text] => Array ( ) [field_file_image_title_text] => Array ( ) [rdf_mapping] => Array ( ) [metadata] => Array ( [height] => 466 [width] => 466 ) [alt] => [title] => [height] => 466 [width] => 466 ) ) ) [field_the_sdg_fund_response] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] =>

The SDG Fund response

SDG Fund bridges the efforts of different development partners such as UN agencies, national and local governments, businesses, civil society, and academia.

All SDG Fund programmes are cooperative or joint in nature, which means UN agencies coordinate with one another and their national partners to establish integrated responses that address community-wide issues such as poor access to potable water, child nutrition, income generation for vulnerable populations, and gender parity at the institutional level. 

Sustainable development must be inclusive and people-centered. Efforts to increase the effectiveness of development cooperation should be based on basic principles of country ownership, inclusive partnerships, transparency and accountability.

For example,

  • The SDG Fund has introduced the use of matching funds that are provided by national and local governments, international donors and the private sector. This increases sustainability, impact, national ownership and the potential to scale up.  55% of the overall SDG Fund programme budget comes from matching funds.
  • To contribute to developing strong public-private partnerships, the SDG-F established a Private Sector Advisory Group formed by business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide. These leaders are helping the SDG Fund build a roadmap for how public-private alliances can provide large-scale solutions for achieving the SDGs. Its aim is to collaborate and discuss practical solutions pertaining to the common challenges of contemporary sustainability. The Advisory Group is committed to identifying areas of common interest and deciphering the best methods of UN-private sector engagement, as well as offering suggestions for how to work more effectively at the country level.
  • A clear interest in South-South Collaboration is being incorporated from the inception of programmes. For example, in Paraguay the SDG-F is supporting the creation of a national observatory on the Right to Food in order to improve food security, nutrition policy-making and implementation. The initiative is promoting the exchange of experiences with countries that have already established similar mechanisms. In Tanzania, the SDG-F is supporting the national government to build and scale-up a pro-poor and child-sensitive national social protection system. The programme is promoting South-South Cooperation among countries that have implemented similar schemes in order to build the capacities of the Minister of Finance.
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

The SDG Fund response

SDG Fund bridges the efforts of different development partners such as UN agencies, national and local governments, businesses, civil society, and academia.

All SDG Fund programmes are cooperative or joint in nature, which means UN agencies coordinate with one another and their national partners to establish integrated responses that address community-wide issues such as poor access to potable water, child nutrition, income generation for vulnerable populations, and gender parity at the institutional level. 

Sustainable development must be inclusive and people-centered. Efforts to increase the effectiveness of development cooperation should be based on basic principles of country ownership, inclusive partnerships, transparency and accountability.

For example,

  • The SDG Fund has introduced the use of matching funds that are provided by national and local governments, international donors and the private sector. This increases sustainability, impact, national ownership and the potential to scale up.  55% of the overall SDG Fund programme budget comes from matching funds.
  • To contribute to developing strong public-private partnerships, the SDG-F established a Private Sector Advisory Group formed by business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide. These leaders are helping the SDG Fund build a roadmap for how public-private alliances can provide large-scale solutions for achieving the SDGs. Its aim is to collaborate and discuss practical solutions pertaining to the common challenges of contemporary sustainability. The Advisory Group is committed to identifying areas of common interest and deciphering the best methods of UN-private sector engagement, as well as offering suggestions for how to work more effectively at the country level.
  • A clear interest in South-South Collaboration is being incorporated from the inception of programmes. For example, in Paraguay the SDG-F is supporting the creation of a national observatory on the Right to Food in order to improve food security, nutrition policy-making and implementation. The initiative is promoting the exchange of experiences with countries that have already established similar mechanisms. In Tanzania, the SDG-F is supporting the national government to build and scale-up a pro-poor and child-sensitive national social protection system. The programme is promoting South-South Cooperation among countries that have implemented similar schemes in order to build the capacities of the Minister of Finance.
) ) ) [field_targets] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] =>

Finance

  • Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
  • Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries
  • Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
  • Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress
  • Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries

Technology

  • Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
  • Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
  • Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

Capacity building

  • Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation

Trade

  • Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda
  • Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020
  • Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access

Systemic issues

Policy and institutional coherence

  • Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence
  • Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
  • Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development

Multi-stakeholder partnerships

  • Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability

  • By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

Finance

  • Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
  • Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries
  • Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
  • Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress
  • Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries

Technology

  • Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism
  • Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed
  • Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

Capacity building

  • Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation

Trade

  • Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda
  • Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020
  • Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access

Systemic issues

Policy and institutional coherence

  • Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence
  • Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development
  • Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development

Multi-stakeholder partnerships

  • Enhance the global partnership for sustainable development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals in all countries, in particular developing countries
  • Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Data, monitoring and accountability

  • By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts
  • By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries
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Public and private institutions are converging towards the achievement of development results. One of the SDG Fund priorities is to facilitate this convergence, leading to a shared responsibility in development challenges.

The SDG Fund’s private-sector strategy has two goals: involving businesses in each of our programmes in the field from the start and creating a global business advisory council.

To better align public-private partnerships for sustainable development, the SDG Fund has established a Private Sector Advisory Groupformed by business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide. 

The experience of the MDG-F suggests that public-private partnerships can contribute to achieving development goals, capacity building, wealth distribution, and sustainable economic growth.

The private sector is understood as micro-, small, medium, and large companies, self-employed workers, business associations, unions, chambers of commerce, and foundations.

For example, the SDG Fund programmes took into account the following criteria for designing programmes regarding public private partnerships:

  • Has the project included the private sector in its design and implementation?
  • Does the project include solutions to development challenges through core business activities and initiatives that include low-income groups in value chains and as producers, suppliers, employees, and consumers?
  • Does the project facilitate discussion between the public and private sectors and civil society on a specific development theme or industry sector?
  • Does the private sector include micro-, small, medium, and large size companies?
  • Does the project promote entrepreneurial activities of disadvantaged or low-income persons?
  • Does the project promote public and private sector representatives’ joint decisions?
  • Is a results-based management approach used in the design of the project?
  • Does the project include measurable activities and indicators related to the number and size of private institutions participating in the program?
  • Does the project include measurable joint activities between private institutions/private sector and public sector?
  • Does the program aim to enable companies to improve and develop corporate social responsibility? Does it include synergies with current corporate social responsibility initiatives?

More information on the SDG Fund Private Sector Advisory Group: link.

For further information, see:
Document HR/PUB/11/04, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights

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Public and private institutions are converging towards the achievement of development results. One of the SDG Fund priorities is to facilitate this convergence, leading to a shared responsibility in development challenges.

The SDG Fund’s private-sector strategy has two goals: involving businesses in each of our programmes in the field from the start and creating a global business advisory council.

To better align public-private partnerships for sustainable development, the SDG Fund has established a Private Sector Advisory Groupformed by business leaders of major companies from various industries worldwide. 

The experience of the MDG-F suggests that public-private partnerships can contribute to achieving development goals, capacity building, wealth distribution, and sustainable economic growth.

The private sector is understood as micro-, small, medium, and large companies, self-employed workers, business associations, unions, chambers of commerce, and foundations.

For example, the SDG Fund programmes took into account the following criteria for designing programmes regarding public private partnerships:

  • Has the project included the private sector in its design and implementation?
  • Does the project include solutions to development challenges through core business activities and initiatives that include low-income groups in value chains and as producers, suppliers, employees, and consumers?
  • Does the project facilitate discussion between the public and private sectors and civil society on a specific development theme or industry sector?
  • Does the private sector include micro-, small, medium, and large size companies?
  • Does the project promote entrepreneurial activities of disadvantaged or low-income persons?
  • Does the project promote public and private sector representatives’ joint decisions?
  • Is a results-based management approach used in the design of the project?
  • Does the project include measurable activities and indicators related to the number and size of private institutions participating in the program?
  • Does the project include measurable joint activities between private institutions/private sector and public sector?
  • Does the program aim to enable companies to improve and develop corporate social responsibility? Does it include synergies with current corporate social responsibility initiatives?

More information on the SDG Fund Private Sector Advisory Group: link.

For further information, see:
Document HR/PUB/11/04, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights

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Joining efforts and sharing responsibilities of governments and business to achieve sustainable development.

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Joining efforts and sharing responsibilities of governments and business to achieve sustainable development.

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