Women & Infrastructure

Infrastructure Working Group of G20

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Milano, 28 March 2019

In Melbourne, the Infrastructure Working Group of G20 gathered experts from across the world to talk about Women & Infrastructure.

Among them, Veronica Vecchi, Associate Professor of Practice of Government, Health and Not for Profit at SDA Bocconi School of Management, was invited to provide the theoretical framework to improve public procurement and infrastructure financing in order to better address the specific needs of women.

To do so, Veronica Vecchi suggested to rethink, by using the “public value lenses”, the Value for Money methodologies and the infrastructure/service pipeline design-delivery process.

Over the last thirty years, public sector programs have been conceived by following the new public management paradigm, based on a focus on efficiency and organizational performance, where private operators are mere providers. Even though “doing more with less” remains a primary issue, the capacity to tackle societal needs shouldn’t be compromised and the Public Value framework has emerged to capture the way in which public and private sectors are engaged in the delivery of services to achieve superior social impact.

The achievement of social outcomes, such as more inclusion and protection of women’s interests, is not just a matter of cost benefit analysis run at project level, but it requires the design of a pipeline of projects able to potentially reach a scale and a procurement process that considers the social dimension. However, the real innovation should come from at execution level, where outcome-based contracts can provide the incentive to reconceive the ways in which infrastructure and services are designed and delivered. Since societal issues can’t be tackled by governments alone, and there is a growing interest by the private sector towards society as witnessed by the emergence of, inter alia, impact investing and shared value creation is mandatory to experiment and consolidate new forms of public private partnership contracts, to challenge public and private stakeholders to find innovation that really is capable of balancing economic sustainability, financial returns, and superior social outcomes. In this framework, V. Vecchi underlined that new skills and competencies are required in the public and private sector, to move forward the frontier of government - business relations for a superior economic and social development.

 

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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