Determination and selection of infrastructure policy
A key issue in the delivery of infrastructure is the capacity to develop and implement policies as it has a significant influence on the level of co-ordination, financial and technical resources available to improve the level of services. To enable countries to develop infrastructure at a national and local level, an effective policy framework is necessary to identify specific infrastructure needs, facilitate the selection and implementation of infrastructure projects, and to monitor the performance of infrastructure assets and services. Developed nations have been able to strengthen their policy capacity where there is a need to improve infrastructure delivery, to remain internationally competitive and to cope with the increasing challenges of globalisation. However, developing nations have had to rely increasingly on the policy expertise of development agencies such as the World Bank, regional development banks, multi-lateral and bi-lateral development agencies to improve their policy capacity. This is vital in the context of globalisation to facilitate integration with developed nations, and to increase both private sector and foreign direct investment necessary for economic growth and the reduction of poverty. For example, the Rapid Response Unit recently set up by the World Bank is in recognition of the need to improve policy capacity in developing countries in terms of the design and implementation of infrastructure projects. This unique knowledge resource provides access to a global community of policy makers and advisors, and acts as a forum for debating critical policy issues.