Spotlight on Our New Program Manager, Ramon Abracosa

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“A CDIA that is more efficient in its project development activities and continues to deliver project preparation studies that have the highest potential for funding and implementation.”

This is what Ramon Abracosa wishes to achieve with the team upon joining them as Program Manager. He replaced Neil Chadder in November 2021.

Ramon is a civil and environmental engineer with more than 30 years of consulting experience in resource planning, urban planning and environmental improvement projects. His work has ranged from project preparation activities to policy and institutional interventions, financing, and capacity building. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Philippines.

He holds a doctoral degree in Resources Planning and Management, and a master’s degree in Infrastructure Planning from Stanford University. He likewise holds a Master of Engineering degree in Water Resources Engineering, and Master of Science in Land and Water Resources Management from the University of the Philippines.

What drew him to CDIA was his desire to help with its prospects. “First, CDIA has a long history in infrastructure project preparation. Second, the importance of resilience as a theme has been increasing with funding partners embracing climate change management as a primary development impact agenda. Since climate change is a theme I care about, I thought of taking the opportunity.”

Ramon understands that the market for project development is changing, and he considers it a key challenge for CDIA in sustaining its relevance.

“Governments can no longer afford to depend solely on sovereign loans for their urban development projects, and so it becomes imperative to attract private financing,” says Ramon.

“CDIA can build the case for their participation and allow them to see that its worth investing!”

On the other hand, he recognizes that not all urban development projects are bankable for the private sector. That is why, he sees the value of blended modes of project finance, thereby combining public sector and private sector capital in ways that are mutually reinforcing.

“The blending of sovereign and private sector financing is the best way to ensure that all basic needs, including sanitation and other basic services not appealing to private sector are not left behind,” says Ramon.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented shortfalls in infrastructure financing and maintenance. Already, governments are heavily burdened by debts resulting from massive demand for healthcare. As they are now setting the stage for economic recovery, revitalizing their infrastructure becomes a top priority.

For Ramon, this is where CDIA can best contribute – to help cities make investments in a way that is sustainable, well thought out and aligned with the Paris Agreement.

“Many cities just want to rebound from the pandemic and want to invest in quick-disbursing projects to stimulate their economy without looking at the longer-term prospect,” says Ramon.

“By partnering with us, we can help cities and downstream financiers think strategically to consider not only their project’s value for money, but more importantly ensure that they are resilient and sustainable in the long run.”

The road ahead for CDIA is full of challenges. But for a person who enjoys walking, they will have to be tackled one step at a time.

Join us in welcoming Ramon Abracosa to the CDIA Team.

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