World Bank Group Hosts the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Development through QII

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

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2. 1st QII Conference View

February 2-3, 2017, Tokyo, Japan

The World Bank Group hosted its second International Conference on Sustainable Development through Quality Infrastructure Investment (QII) February 2nd and 3rd, 2017, co-hosted by the Government of Japan. Over 150 practitioners from governments, international organizations, private sector and academia participated in the conference.

Infrastructure not only a critical component for the obtainment of economic growth and shared prosperity it also shapes the structure and location of economic activities, and the comparative advantage of countries, regions, and cities. Investment in infrastructure, if done correctly, fosters economic growth in myriad ways, through increases in trade, capital and labor productivity, economies of scale, and mobility. Fully reaping these benefits requires significant planning and coordination across geographic and administrative boundaries.

The first QII Conference, organized in January last year, successfully promulgated the definition and value proposition of the concept of QII which extols: Economic Efficiency; Safety; Environmental & Social Sustainability; Economic & Social Contribution; and Resilience against Natural Disaster.

With the aim of advancing the concept of QII from concept to implementation at scale, the 2nd QII conference program focused on addressing key challenges to the broad adoption of QII specifically looking at financing mechanisms, procurement frameworks, urban resilience, urban development, social inclusion and overcoming inherent inter-jurisdictional challenges with many infrastructure projects.

“The main objective of this conference is to move from concept to details. QII is not about good infrastructure and bad infrastructure, it is a spectrum of possible choices,” stressed Ede Jorge Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director of the World Bank’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice. “Quality Infrastructure cannot be achieved by looking at a single project. We must look at the network of infrastructures.”

The 2nd QII Conference additionally focused on two new key aspects of developing issues- territorial development and maintenance aspects of QII, where Japan offers tremendous experience. Both aspects are increasingly recognized in developing countries, as critical aspects of sustainable development through QII. 

Takeshi Mugishima, Assistant Vice-Minister of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) explained that the country development goes through different stages, and each stage has different requirements. Territorial development policies in Japan were heavily driven by the need to manage growth and balance spatial disparities of prosperity in light of changing socio-economic conditions of each era. It was also stressed that public-private collaboration played a key role in Japan’s successful infrastructure development.

Operation and maintenance has been a key factor of infrastructure development in Japan. Koichi Maekawa, Professor of Graduate School of Engineering at University of Tokyo stressed the importance of sustainability of infrastructure and explained that scaling up QII through front loading at the upper stream of infrastructure projects is a useful approach to address operation and maintenance lifecycle needs and achieve higher quality with lower investment and less reliance on individual skills.

The conference incorporated dialogues among development partners such as Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and ODA agencies in order to foster collaboration on QII initiatives. Panelists shared their efforts and agreed on the necessity of close collaboration between bilateral and multilateral development agencies.

“Japan has experienced in managing the compiled infrastructure which was rapidly built post-war. We encourage not only the quantity demand of infrastructure but also the quality demand of infrastructure around the world.” said Yoshiyuki Takeuchi, Director General of Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

Innovative financial mechanisms and procurement frameworks for QII were highly attended sessions during the conference, particularly by Japanese private sector entities. Risks, challenges and new approaches of financing urban infrastructure projects through public financing, PPP, co-financing were shared, and the importance of assisting client countries in incorporating quality elements into procurement qualification criteria and clear evaluation criteria was discussed. There was overall consensus that QII relies on efficient procurement mechanisms through proper understanding of the market, good governance, and fit for purpose evaluation and qualification criteria to achieve value for money.

Working across interjurisdictional boundaries and social inclusion were also highlighted in this conference. Governmental challenges of coordination were examined, and continuous efforts on capacity building were expected. Participants agreed that QII should benefit all society and be particularly inclusive and benefit the bottom 40% as well as other disenfranchised groups, and the engagement of private sector in future QII discussion is essential.


Session 2: Territorial Development as a New Dimension for Infra Development
D1S2_WBG.pdf D1S2_MLIT.pdf D1S2_JICA.pdf
Session 3: Operation and Maintenance as Key Aspects for QII
D1S3_UT.pdf D1S3_MLIT.pdf
Session 4: QII for Poverty Reduction and Inclusive Development
D1S4_WBG.pdf D1S4_Medellin.pdf
Session 6: QII Initiatives of Development Partners
D2S6_JICA.pdf D2S6_ADB.pdf D2S6_AfDB.pdf
Session 7: Innovative Financing Mechanisms for QII
D2S7_JBIC.pdf D2S7_SMBC.pdf
Session 8: Procurement Frameworks enabling QII Approaches
Session 9: QII for Disaster Resilience
D2S9_WBG1.pdf D2S9_WBG2.pdf
Session 10: Working Across Political and Interjurisdictional Boundaries to Realize QII
D2S10_WBG.pdf D2S10_MLIT.pdf D2S10_Kenya.pdf
Session 11: Winning Constituent Buy-in, Ensuring Inclusion through QII
D2S11_WBG.pdf D2S11_Mirairo.pdf




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