Infrastructure decisions: easy choice?
For senior decision makers, infrastructure used to be a relatively simple matter – assign different teams of engineering and finance specialists to determine if it could be built and could be afforded. Infrastructure decision making is no longer simple, more a matter of juggling many factors, each of unknown severity and immediacy. This is why I have introduced the ‘big picture’ issues now being dealt with by the world’s financial elite at the World Economics Forum, and the many practical issues essential for economic, social and environmental sustainability, that the United Nations are grappling with in the 17 SDGs, the sustainable development goals.
Being aware of the issues is clearly the first step, but then what?
How would you go about including these goals in your own infrastructure decision making? And how would you know when you have been successful? The Australian Senate has recently launched an inquiry into the implementation of the SDGs. Here is what they are looking at. (Note that the last 4 line items refer to Australia’s work in supporting other nations.)
Questions for Today:
- Are they the right questions for the Senate? What is missing?
- Are they the right questions for You in your own infrastructure decision making? What questions would you add, or modify?
Here is the Senate Inquiry’s Terms of Reference
An inquiry into:
- the understanding and awareness of the SDG across the Australian Government and in the wider Australian community;
- the potential costs, benefits and opportunities for Australia in the domestic implementation of the SDG;
- what governance structures and accountability measures are required at the national, state and local levels of government to ensure an integrated approach to implementing the SDG that is both meaningful and achieves real outcomes;
- how can performance against the SDG be monitored and communicated in a way that engages government, businesses and the public, and allows effective review of Australia’s performance by civil society;
- what SDG are currently being addressed by Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) program;
- which of the SDG is Australia best suited to achieving through our ODA program, and should Australia’s ODA be consolidated to focus on achieving core SDG;
- how countries in the Indo-Pacific are responding to implementing the SDG, and which of the SDG have been prioritised by countries receiving Australia’s ODA, and how these priorities could be incorporated into Australia’s ODA program; and
- examples of best practice in how other countries are implementing the SDG from which Australia could learn.