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Strengthening regional connectivity

Strengthening regional connectivity with the establishment of a Geographical Information System (GIS) in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank

The project will comprise four different components including establishment of a GIS database, preparation of the list of potential investment projects and their prioritization, and two regional studies on “benchmarking of transport construction and maintenance costs” and “establishment of multi-donor RCI financing facilities”. 

Establishment of a GIS database

Under this component of the project, a transport Geographical Information System (GIS) application will be created to facilitate the analysis, dissemination and visualization of data and information on transport infrastructure including international transport operations and trade flows in the MCs of the IDB, ECO and the UNECE’s EATL initiative. This task will be accomplished by acquiring and customizing GIS software and establishing of GIS database for transport infrastructure networks and infrastructure projects (under development, planned, funded and non-funded), and cargo and trade flows.

Preparation of the list of potential investment projects and their prioritization

This component of the project will include collection of data and information about the investment projects for filling the missing links and upgrading or modernization of the existing networks. Such a pipeline will include priority projects, which will form a regional investment program/plan consisting realistic short, medium and long-term interventions. This will include an extensive inventory of specific road, rail, inland waterway, port, inland terminal and other infrastructure projects for the participating countries, together with their estimated budget and an implementation plan.

Benchmarking of transport construction and maintenance costs

The benchmarking of transport infrastructure construction costs is a critical step for having realistic construction costs, efficient governance and a stable investment programme without unexpected cost increases. The use of benchmarking of construction costs could also be useful for cost estimates as well as for control of project costs. The analysis of construction costs should include road, rail, inland waterways, ports and intermodal transport and logistic centers construction costs.  

The use of benchmarking of construction costs will enable estimation of project costs, existing financial gap at regional level and effective planning for resource mobilization initiatives needed for implementation of the projects to be identified under the previous component of this project.

Study on good practices/success stories for financing RCI and regional transport connectivity

Due to relatively underdeveloped infrastructure in the region, there is a huge investment gap, which needs to be filled through conventional and innovative financial resource mobilization mechanisms. Moreover, regional projects, by nature, are more complex than national ones necessitating additional financial resources and higher coordination efforts. Therefore, after the preparation of the pipeline of regional investment projects, there will be a need to consider necessary mechanisms for preparation, financing and implementation of the bankable identified projects. The preparation of the projects pipeline would be the first step to maximize investor participation in financing regional connectivity.

In order to address the challenges and difficulties of infrastructure financing in the region, the project will consider and recommend possible mechanisms for mobilization of additional (mainly external and private sector) resources for implementation of the selected infrastructure projects and capacity development at national and regional levels. This will be carried out through analysis of good practices of RCI financing in the region and the rest of the world. The consultant will also come up with recommendation of innovative solutions/mechanisms for financing regional infrastructure such as public private partnership and traditional ones e.g. infrastructure/trust funds.