Infrastructure Investment Trust
Public-Private Partnerships that Build
Infrastructure is the circulatory system of any geography. It supports and moves people, food, water, and even information. Infrastructure is what makes business and economic growth possible. It is one of, if not the, most important resource allocation priorities for a jurisdiction.
Allocating resources to infrastructure is a challenge. The costs are real and often immense. The benefits are less than concrete and, as public goods, enjoyed broadly but asymmetrically. Even if priorities can be set, managing projects with a longer term than than the political administration that sets them is highly complex and brings with it a host of challenges.
Every allocation decision means choosing priorities - picking winners and losers. Finite resources can only be spread so thin. Choosing who gets what risks alienating interest groups and that risk creates a social bias in decision-making. Even if a jurisdiction can agree on priorities, they will still need to raise the funds to invest. With the embedded social risk, those funds can be hard to come by.
Jurisdictions of all sizes and the organizations within them need to find effective ways of (a) allocating capital to infrastructure, (b) working among disparately interested stakeholder groups, and (c) raising funds to make strategic investments that drive economic growth.
What to do
Individual actors can start change but institutions make it last. Infrastructure trusts are a way to create an institution dedicated to improving infrastructure. Additionally, they have the ability to solve many of the complex allocation decisions through means not available or not palatable to governments, including how they raise funds.