12 Years of Shaping Infrastructure Investments in Asia and the Pacific

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From 2007 to December 2019, CDIA has supported 111 cities across 20 countries in Asia and the Pacific. As a result of CDIA interventions, 77 PPSs and 153 projects in 87 cities have been successfully linked to an estimated $11.2 billion investment.

In 2019, CDIA has completed 10 PPSs in 21 cities; while 9 PPSs in 15 cities are still ongoing. What has been the value of CDIA’s support to these cities? What key lessons can be derived from these studies? Together, let’s look back to our completed PPSs this year:

In West Georgia, an operational performance assessment and improvement action plan was done to enhance water services in Kutaisi, Poti, Anaklia, Zugdidi and Ureki. It proposed measures to resolve operation and management (O&M) issues so that continuous supply can be provided, non-revenue water and electricity costs can be reduced, efficiency of assets financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) can be improved, and the new water and wastewater systems can be operated successfully.

A key lesson derived from the study is the value of tackling O&M issues as early as project development stage to ensure the viability of investments.

In Pakistan, CDIA worked with Sargodha, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur and Muzzaffargarh to upgrade their basic infrastructure and services, many of which are currently outdated and inoperable. The PPS identified investments to improve water supply, sanitation and solid waste management services; and introduce green spaces leading towards better health, environment and livability.

The urban resilience concept was introduced to the cities and became a key element in prioritizing investments. Also through the PPS, stakeholders from the national, provincial and city-levels had the chance to work together to identify institutional bottlenecks that could hamper project implementation.

In People’s Republic of China, a PPS was undertaken to support the Chongqing Innovation and Human Capital Development Project pipelined for ADB financing. The project seeks to advance innovation for the next generation of technical professionals, entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

CDIA’s involvement led to the shift in project orientation, where a more holistic approach of integrating human capital development with infrastructure investments was pursued. In 2018, CDIA organized training activities attended by 600 participants who exchanged insights on incubation-based education and business incubation.

In Panaji, India, a PPS was carried out to: 1) modernize water operations to achieve 24×7 supply; and 2) restore the St. Inez Creek. The first PPS component recommended ways to bring the water system under control and modernize its operation to ensure continuous provision through the distribution network. The second component proposed a more environmentally friendly approach to the creek’s regeneration [after years of neglect] while maximizing community and youth engagement in finding acceptable solutions.

In Vanuatu, CDIA’s PPS produced the Luganville Integrated Urban Development Plan (2018-2034), which will guide Luganville City to achieve its development aspirations. It also supported feasibility studies for some projects to upgrade water supply, solid waste management, sanitation and drainage.

The PPS took off from a prioritization exercise, which allowed various stakeholders to discuss investment options and determine the projects most appropriate to develop.

Meanwhile, Balikpapan and Singkawang in Indonesia were both looking for alternate raw water sources for their present and future needs. Through the PPS, Balikpapan has ascertained the suitability of Tengin River. Similarly, Singkawang has established the viability of Lake Serantangan; and came to understand the value of diversifying their water sources to increase resilience and mitigate risks to water security.

Still in Indonesia, CDIA helped define the concept of Slum Improvement in Strategic Human Settlement Areas (SISHA). Unlike traditional slum alleviation projects, SISHA integrates the broader development framework. Cirebon, Banjarmasin, Palembang, Sorong and Makassar were identified for the project and sector-specific interventions tailored to their respective needs were subsequently recommended.

In Cambodia, the PPS was in line with The World Bank’s financial assistance to Siem Reap to construct secondary and tertiary sewer lines that will facilitate household connections and efficiently convey sewage to the wastewater plant. Key outputs include a wastewater development plan, a feasibility report for sewerage system development, preliminary and detailed engineering designs and due diligence outputs.

In Myanmar, two PPSs were completed to assist its capital Yangon in: 1) implementing bus priority measures and improving traffic flow along Pyay Road corridor; and 2) ensuring consistent supply of high-quality water and connecting more households to the sewerage system.

The first PPS proposed a 19.8-km busway with pedestrian facilities, parking and traffic management improvements set to benefit at least 840,000 passengers/day.

The second PPS was in line with the Yangon Urban Services Improvement Project supported by ADB. It is CDIA’s biggest single PPS to date, having provided the pre-feasibility study, preliminary engineering design, and due diligence documentation for the ADB loan. CDIA assessed the development of a 33-km pipeline from Ngamoeyeik Reservoir to Nyaunghnapin water treatment plant and recommended the necessary infrastructure components.

It also proposed sewerage sub-projects to serve the priority areas adjacent to the city center. When implemented, these will connect additional households to the sewerage system thereby reducing health problems and pollution to the Yangon River.

Finally, where necessary and appropriate, CDIA integrates capacity building and institutional strengthening actions to reinforce the investments proposed in our PPSs. Capacity development roadmaps are made part of PPS to identify training activities in the short-, medium-, and long-term horizons. This way, we help ensure that the cities can be able to implement the infrastructure investments on their own after our engagement with them comes to an end.

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