Meet David Baxter, the Infrastructure Specialist and PPP Advisor helping build a sustainable future - one complex infrastructure project at a time.
There are a lot of information flows that have to be stored, so you can very, very quickly find yourself in a situation of disorder. What the Ansarada platform brings is a coherent, cohesive, seamless system that introduces order to the whole process.David Baxter, Infrastructure Specialist and PPP Advisor, World Association for PPP Units & Professionals
David Baxter is an Infrastructure Specialist and PPP Advisor, working in collaboration with the World Association of PPE Units, where he serves on their steering committee. Over the years, his work has focused on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) – structured agreements between the public sector and the private sector.
“These could be developers and investors looking to provide a service to build critical infrastructure like hospitals, health care, education, large toll roads, bridges, dams. In these instances, the private sector will introduce innovation, resources, and financing to bridge the funding gap that often exists where the government doesn't have the money to build these projects; they will be given a concession and they will provide the service where they share the risk.”
With these megaprojects, any number of things can get risky. “If they meet the desired outcomes and provide the deliverables, they get a good score and they get paid. If they don't, they can often be asked to undertake corrective mitigations and then they won't get paid until it's fixed. You do unfortunately have circumstances where some of these projects go south and they go wrong – very badly – and they fail. And that's one of the biggest challenges that people face, is, you know, winning over multiple stakeholders and ensuring that all parties, interests, and stakeholder interests are met.”
Apart from independent consulting, David is also a PPP advisor to the International Sustainable Resilience Center (ISRC). ISRC was a spinoff of some of the initiatives by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's initiative out of Geneva, to improve the practice of peace through creating centers of excellence, focused on sustainable and resilient infrastructure.
“This is a pressing concern and an issue that faces infrastructure projects, and it just takes a major event like the Ukraine conflict, for example, to significantly derail a project.. From the availability of manpower to the accessibility of the raw materials needed for construction, if these get impacted, projects can go under stress and fail.
And so looking at infrastructure resilience is required. Understanding what sustainability means, understanding what resilience means, and then also coming up with adaptive strategies to combat this. We don't know even in five years’ time what's going to happen. If you just think of the pandemic – you know, three years ago we were naively enjoying our world as it exists, and now, it's completely different.”
With any complex project, there are huge volumes of information and processes that can lead to risk.
“There are a lot of information flows that have to be stored, so you can very, very quickly find yourself in a situation of disorder. What the Ansarada platform brings is a coherent, cohesive, seamless system that introduces order to the whole process. You know, you might work comfortably for two, three years and then somebody comes in and says, I'll give you twice your salary if you come and work with us. And people do that and it's understandable, but then you've lost that knowledge of the project. But with Ansarada Procure, you don't have this concern because all the information will still be there. And I think that's one of the biggest advantages.
Not only are we looking at sustainable and resilient projects, but we are also looking at sustainable and resilient platforms that can support these projects which the Ansarada platform has done well.”