Infrastructure is the backbone of economic growth and development. It is estimated that realization of over 90 percent of the sustainable development goals is directly or indirectly pegged to infrastructure. This means that unless significant investments in infrastructure are made, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 is highly unlikely. In many developing countries, the quality of infrastructure, especially transport, energy and communication is below par. Governments have fallen short in allocating public resources towards capital-intensive infrastructure projects, including resources needed to sustainably manage existing infrastructure assets over their entire lifespan. Investment needs have grown further, as COVID-19 not only reversed years of progress on the SDGs, but also revealed critical infrastructure gaps, for example in healthcare and digital connectivity.
Infrastructure asset management (IAM) can improve the capacity of local and national governments to undertake sustainable, inclusive development. IAM entails a systematic approach to managing assets – over entire life cycles and within a broader asset portfolio. It ensures that initial public investments in infrastructure are not wasted and that they adequately serve communities for generations to come. The growing number of risks and challenges stemming from climate change, public health crises and advances in digital technology make the case for effective asset management as compelling as ever. Effective asset management helps "make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable" – Goal 11 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is also key to building capacity at local level across the globe for SDG financing, as called for in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
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