Last Updated:
7 Aug 2022

The Infrastructure Prioritization Framework

An Alternative Approach to Project Selection Author: Darwin Marcelo, Cledan Mandri-Perrott, Schuyler House, Jordan Z. Schwartz

Governments must decide how to allocate limited resources for infrastructure development, particularly since large financing gaps have been projected for the coming decades. Social cost-benefit analysis provides sound project appraisal and, when systematically applied, a basis for prioritizing projects. However, in some instances, capacity and resource limitations make extensive economic analysis across full project sets unfeasible in the immediate term. This paper responds to a need for expanding the available set of tools for project selection by proposing an alternative prioritization approach that is consistent and systematic, yet pragmatic and feasible within the current resource means of government.

The Infrastructure Prioritization Framework (IPF) is a multi-criteria decision support tool that considers project outcomes along two dimensions: social/environmental and financial/economic. When large sets of small- to medium-sized projects are proposed, resources for implementation are limited, and basic project appraisal data are available, IPF can be used to inform project selection.


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