To build a road network, you need lots of money – and asphalt, of course. But, what else do you need?
A World Bank team of transport experts, working closely with Bulgaria’s Roads Administration over the past 18 months, can answer that question with three words: planning, practices, and people. Adequate planning, well-established institutions with effective and efficient practices, and well-trained and skilled people are all essential to ensuring that new roads are safe and reliable.
In 2012, the Bulgarian government availed of the World Bank’s reimbursable advisory services to request advice on how the country could invest in building new roads and upgrading infrastructure through more efficient use of public funds. As part of the strategic partnership that Bulgaria has established with several international financial institutions, this guidance was requested with a view to making the most of EU funds currently available for infrastructure development.
In June 2014, the results of this cooperation were discussed at a national workshop held in Bansko, attended by Desislava Terzieva, Bulgaria’s Minister of Regional Development, Danail Papazov, Minister of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, and eng. Stefan Chaykov, Chairman of the Management Board of the Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA). Other high-level attendees included Jose Luis Irigoyen, World Bank Global Practice Director for Transport & ICT, as well as experts from the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The concept of the ‘3Ps’ in road network development was presented by Rakesh Tripathi, the World Bank’s advisory group team leader. “The 3Ps are: plan, practice and people,” he explained. “An Infrastructure agency needs well prepared people who, through thoughtful practice design, can implement the comprehensive strategic plan of the agency and the Ministry.”