Managing Local Infrastructure Assets: Presentation of the New UNDESA-UNCDF Handbook for UNDP Staff
Webinar held on 19 February 2021
From roads and buildings to equipment and natural resources, public infrastructure assets are essential for the delivery of basic public services, especially in changing urban landscapes. These services face a multitude of risks, whether it’s from poor planning, climate change, or the COVID-19 pandemic. Good asset management practices ultimately ensure that public investments in urban infrastructure will adequately serve present and future generations. Improved asset management also lends itself to sound fiscal management by supporting debt sustainability, fostering creditworthiness, and enhancing revenue potential. Consequently, well-planned investments attract further investment.
UNDP hosted a webinar, in collaboration with UNDESA and UNCDF, on “Managing Infrastructure Assets for Sustainable Development” to provide UNDP staff, both at Headquarters and in the field, the opportunity to increase their knowledge about infrastructure asset management and build capacity towards achieving the SDGs through strategic, risk-informed urban planning.
The webinar also provides an opportunity for staff to interact with experts engaged by UN DESA and UNCDF in the elaboration of the recently released publication Managing Infrastructure Assets for Sustainable Development: A Handbook for Local and National Governments.
The Handbook provides a conceptual framework for asset management, along with step-by-step guidance on practical tools that readers can apply within their own communities. There are also interactive exercises and worksheets for hands-on learning. The content was elaborated by international experts and includes various country case studies, with an in-depth focus on Bangladesh, Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda – the pilot countries of the UN-DESA/UNCDF asset management project between 2017-2020.
The Handbook is accessible and resourceful to both beginners and experts on the matter. The first half covers the fundamentals of asset management and lays out two instruments that have already been tested in the field. Governments can use them to measure and evaluate their awareness of asset management before developing actionable steps for improvement. The second half delves into selected issues such as data and information systems, climate change, and public health emergencies. These are actively impacting how governments can manage their assets and ultimately deliver services to their communities. The Handbook also introduces a process on how to establish a national enabling environment that supports ongoing asset management across the entire local government sector.