From 2004 to 2008, the IRF project provided support to the Europe & Eurasia Bureau USAID Missions in the technical areas of infrastructure reform and financial matters. The IRF project was intended to provide the necessary data, information, and analysis to support the bureau's strategy development, and to provide strategy assistance and analytical and implementation services to E&E Missions, linking strategy development with program design, initial implementation assistance, and periodic activity refinement. Project activities included:
Infrastructure Country Reports:
These recommendations to Missions focused on drawing out solutions to relieving the infrastructure-bottlenecks preventing social and economic development. Most of these solutions built on USAID comparative strengths and the ongoing activities of our development partner (donors, banks, NGOs, and the private sector). The advice provided by the IRF Team sought to find practical, cost-effective ways to leverage investments by others in the energy, water, transport, and information/telecommunications sectors.
In 2005, several countries in the region were considering the establishment of “pooled financing facilities” to accelerate private sector investments in local infrastructure projects. To facilitate a greater understanding of the benefits, challenges, and opportunities for pooled financing institutions, the IRF Project organized a Regional Workshop with delegations from Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Montenegro, Russian Federation and Ukraine, and prepared an Introduction to Pool Financing booklet as well as country-specific preparation reports to guide the discussions.
Montenegro Water Supply and Water Management Services:
Following the Pooled Financing Workshop, representatives of the Government of Montenegro (GOM) expressed a great interest in the potential application of pooled financing to the plight of communal infrastructure. The GOM launched a water utility reform initiative in 2006. USAID was requested to assist in moving forward water supply and sewerage utility sector reforms by providing data and information, and by facilitating a Working Group for the preparation of a Water Utility Reform Plan for Montenegro.
The IRF team produced a report evaluating the issues to be addressed should Kazakhstan choose to create a revolving fund or bond bank for financing municipal and other public infrastructure.