"Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value"

Albert Einstein

What do we mean by value?

Value is a relative concept. It depends on who we are delivering value to, and for what purpose.

We want to focus on the value that critical infrastructure provides to society in delivering critical socio-technical functions - i.e. to protect, provide and connect - under both ordinary and extraordinary circumstances to end users and beneficiaries.

To assess the approaches and tools to enhance critical infrastructure resilience, we are developing an understanding of how this value is created, using a value chain approach.

resilience value-chain reviewing value

What is a value chain?

A ‘value chain’ describes the activities required to bring a product or service from conception, through the different phases of production (involving a combination of physical transformation and the input of various producer services), delivery to consumers and disposal after use (see diagram below).

Value chain analysis is widely used to understand how to create value (reduce costs, increase efficiency, provide access etc.) and to develop plans for change. Value chains are used for the simple reason that they help focus attention on the right questions and provide practical answers to them


resilience value-chain investigating value

Using the value chain approach

In applying and testing the value chain approach to the resilience of critical infrastructure, we can follow a 3-step process:

Step 1

Develop a suitable value chain framework to work with. This helps establish what the value is that we want to create and what are the steps involved to deliver that value.

Some initial work has gone into developing a resilience value chain framework and the various stages involved in delivering the critical functions. We started this from the traditional critical infrastructure value chain.

The purpose of the value chain framework is to provide a holistic view of all activities that contribute to the creation of value i.e. delivering the critical functions (provide, protect and connect) in ordinary and extraordinary circumstances.

Step 2

Map everything we do, and everyone that our work is aimed at helping, according to their role and contribution to the value chain and how they support one or more steps or connections between steps to deliver value.

This analysis will support our understanding of the beneficiaries of our work, their role in the value chain and how the Resilience Shift will help them in their work.

Step 3

Identify gaps. For example, in our work on tools and approaches, where are there gaps to create opportunities for new tools and approaches?

The value chain approach will also help us identify how we can translate tools and approaches from one sector to another understanding the specific value chains.

Using the value chain approach

resilience value chain - step by step

Kaplinsky, Raphael & Morris, Mike. (2001). A Handbook for Value Chain Research