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Mitigating Infrastructure Disaster Losses Through Asset Management Practices in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Despite expanding infrastructure investments in developing countries, maintenance of constructed infrastructure is not keeping pace and there is a growing need to focus on the long-term operational demands of new assets to reduce vulnerability. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, natural hazards and civil conflicts continue to undermine development and disaster risk management. This research sought to examine how infrastructure asset management can reduce the impact of disasters in the MENA region. Twelve interviews were conducted with asset management and disaster risk reduction experts the MENA region and Australia – the latter to identify transferable asset management best practices. Qualitative analysis of interviews identified regional lessons to advance asset management practice as a disaster risk reduction tool. The four main findings were: (1) asset management practice can be a proactive disaster policy; (2) there is need for appropriate levels asset management policy in the MENA region; (3) asset prioritisation improves the effectiveness and decision making in risk management; and (4) whole of life consideration enables effective planning for asset management practices. In alignment with the priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, this research unpacks geopolitical factors affecting disaster risk and provides knowledge to strengthen governance to manage disaster risk in the MENA region. The research further outlines the barriers and challenges that hinder successful asset management policy implementation, as well as proposes recommendations for disaster mitigation strategies using infrastructure asset management.

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Briefing Note

Mitigating Infrastructure Disaster Losses through Asset Management in the Middle East and North Africa Region

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen the number of disasters triple since the 1980’s. These losses are amplified by vulnerable infrastructure and are increasingly linked to poor maintenance of transportation links. Asset management and disaster risk reduction professionals from the MENA region and Australia were interviewed to understand how asset management can reduce disaster impacts on transportation infrastructure systems. Twelve interviews were completed with experts from the MENA region and Australia. Australian participants were included to shed light on more developed asset management practices with a lens for applicability of lessons to the MENA region. The asset managers interviewed worked in the public and private sector, as well as for multilateral organisations.

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