UN Handbook on Infrastructure Asset Management

IAMH Front Cover

Managing Infrastructure Assets for Sustainable Development: A Handbook for Local and National Governments

How to cite this publication:
Navid Hanif, Caroline Lombardo, Daniel Platz, Claire Chan, Jaffer Machano, Dmitry Pozhidaev and Suresh Balakrishnan, eds., Managing Infrastructure Assets for Sustainable Development: A Handbook for Local and National Governments (New York, United Nations, 2021), available at https://www.un.org/development/desa/financing/document/un-handbook-infrastructure-asset-management

Infrastructure Asset Management Handbook in the official languages of the UN:


Other languages and further resources:


This UN/DESA-UNCDF Handbook represents a significant contribution to the Financing for Sustainable Development agenda, advancing both thought leadership and action. Finalized in the crucible of the COVID-19 crisis, the Handbook brings global visibility to infrastructure asset management as a critical, high impact area for investing in local capacities to mobilize and manage financing for sustainable development, including in emergencies.

With trendy focus on the ‘new and shiny’, old assets often go neglected, while new ones are built without putting in place effective asset management frameworks. Underinvestment in infrastructure maintenance has been estimated to cost some developing countries up to 2 per cent growth in GDP. 

The Handbook calls national and local governments to action and provides them with concrete guidance on how to ensure the resilience, sustainability and accessibility of existing and planned infrastructure investments. It contains practical tools to improve infrastructure asset management, plus recommendations on how to adapt them to socio-economic and environmental challenges of our time, including climate change and public health emergencies.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Reader’s Tools


Chapter 1: Basic tenets of asset management
Chapter 2: The dynamics of asset management
Chapter 3: Assessing asset management needs and capacity
Chapter 4: Taking action with asset management action plans

In Focus:

Chapter 5: Capturing and utilizing the right data and information
Chapter 6: Improving climate resilience
Chapter 7: Strengthening public health emergency preparedness and response
Chapter 8: Establishing and sustaining a national enabling environment


Annex A: Asset Management Action Plan (AMAP) template
Annex B: Local government experiences
Annex C: UN system capacity development support for life cycle asset management


The Handbook draws on the diverse experiences of local governments in the implementation of UN asset management toolkits. It has resulted from numerous consultations with top experts in the field, within the UN system, multilateral and regional development banks, local government associations, universities and think tanks. Contributing entities have expressed strong interest in joint capacity development activities to apply the tools contained in the Handbook in their constituencies and Member States, in close collaboration with UN/DESA and UNCDF.

The Handbook is proud to feature contributions from UNDP, UNEP, UN-Habitat, UNOPS, UN Regional Economic Commissions, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development, United Cities and Local Governments, Cities Alliance, Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV), Overseas Development Institute and Talking Infrastructure.