Few developing countries can afford to close the infrastructure gap. To acquire funds civil servants have to bring viable projects to the market. They need help to do this. Our IN-COUNTRY, IN-MINISTRY, IN-PROJECT action learning approach does this.

Faculty experience

Members of the CBS faculty have been senior executives in UK contracting and consulting engineering companies and have been involved in major projects initially as junior engineers and later as project directors. They have;

  • Delivered several 1 or 2 year Diploma and MBA programmes for senior managers of companies across various infrastructure sectors, ie in civil engineering (Costain, Tarmac), building (Wates, Gleeson), power (National Power), and engineering consultancy (Mace).
  • We then took this diploma/MBA based, infrastructure approach overseas to Singapore Telecom, Indonesia Telecom, to Malaysia's major ports (Westport, Northport) and to the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority
  • Entered the PPP area with a publication entitled 'Better Public Service through PPP; A New Approach to Infrastructure Development', published by International Financial Services London.
  • Delivered for the Ministry of Finance of Ghana a 15-month, part-time, action learning Diploma in the Management of PPP and 3-day workshops in the Asian Development Bank and the Indian Ministries of Highways and Urban Development on the same subject
  • Our initial focus has been on projects in the water, power, ports, roads, telecoms and health care sectors. Our delivery teams are made up of senior executives who have worked in each industry supported by action learning specialists with front line experience in several infrastructure organisations. For example, the ex-Chief Executive of Thames Water, the UK largest Water Company, worked with the Chairman of CBS in delivering the Diploma in Water Management for the Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority.

The Problem

The level of physical infrastructure in developing countries is grossly inadequate. National Development Plans feature this acute need but implementation is limited. Not enough viable projects are produced by governments even though investors are lined up to cover the costs of projects. Even when projects are built their costs, quality and delivery are often not of a high order.

Few developing countries can afford to close the infrastructure gap. Donor agencies continue to play a key role but the gap is getting bigger with population increases and rising expectations. Some argue the private sector funds should fill the gap through PPPs for example. For this to happen the risks have to be reduced and the competence of the public sector to bring projects to market and to work effectively with private sector consultants, designers and contractors etc has to be improved.

Our Answer

The pressing need is to train civil servants and staff of SOE in how to prepare bankable projects and how to manage the build process in the most effective way. CBS faculty have designed and delivered many projects in the conventional, non action learning way and delivered in-company, action learning programmes for several infrastructure companies such as Shell, National Power, Singapore Telecom, Costain, Wates, Gleeson and Mace. Based on this experience we have developed action learning programmes to help entire countries define and implement their infrastructure strategies at national, ministerial and project levels across all infrastructure sectors.

These IN-COUNTRY, IN MINISTRY, IN-PROJECT programmes will be implemented within action learning envelopes at every stage in their delivery

All our previous programmes have been delivered by specialists in the client's business and in the action learning process. They have resulted in major improvement in organisational performance, in individual participant's competence and in creating a 'critical mass' for change in each organisation.

We argue that the IN-COMPANY/IN-MINISTRY/IN-PROJECT approach is far better at producing organisational and individual performance improvements than open programmes where participants come from many different organisations. This is largely because programmes customised to single organisations and ideally to actual projects can focus on solving specific problems where learning can take place at the same time as problems are being acted on. This simultaneous learning and doing is the key to improving organisational and individual performance, to improving processes and service quality AND improving the competence and commitment of individuals.