Infrastructure governance forms part of both the politics of infrastructure and of infrastructure development and transformation. Infrastructure governance is not constrained to fixed processes, nested and uniform levels of authority or pre-determined performance characteristics for decision-making. It is complex, and it can change, it is not then easily captured in large scale, numerical modelling but ITRC-MISTRAL takes on the challenge of finding ways to couple governance understanding with the powerful techno-economic analyses of NISMOD. These complementary approaches are brought together in methodological framework to set up analyses aligned with a relevant governance context.
ITRC Infrastructure Governance Research:
- Applies a multi-level governance approach to infrastructure (as a system of systems)
- Completes a governance analysis of the early, national-level application of NISMOD 1.0 within the National Needs Assessment
- Develops and trials a methodological process for co-ordinating infrastructure performance modelling with governance understanding of infrastructure development – this has the potential to include governance variations within analyses.
Governance analysis of National Needs Assessment Modelling
This governance analysis of the modelling that contributed to the National Needs Assessment (2016) highlighted the complexity of governance arrangements across and between infrastructure systems. The sector strategies used in the modelling reflected both different policy priorities and different approaches to infrastructure change. Additional work would be needed to align strategies for cross sector developments and co-ordination within the system of systems approach.
This analysis provided a first step in exploring ways to generate systematic and rigorous use of governance knowledge with infrastructure modelling. It highlights a need to create an approach to allow the capture of information that can be modelled as well as information that cannot, and to integrate these into analyses. A process that would also be the basis to build a more robust picture of governance possibilities within the infrastructure analysis.
Not all infrastructure decisions are national and many decisions occur between or across sectors. Further, the governance of infrastructure and its development is fluid and not easily captured in either stage-gate type processes or numerical representations. Such complexity and variety in governance activities has implications for infrastructure decision-making at the national level and for modelling to support decision-making at all levels.
Different governance arrangements for infrastructure decisions can shape different infrastructure futures. The methodological framework developed in ITRC-MISTRAL provides a tool for incorporating governance factors into infrastructure analysis and an approach for using NISMOD modelling to explore infrastructure futures. It can be used by many different groups and in a variety of applications to integrate governance understanding with modelling and analytics for decisions. The framework provides a structure and logic to important points in developing analyses and it is a communication tool amongst different groups of infrastructure actors as well as a methodological tool for integrating modelling and non-modelling approaches.
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