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Posted on 12 June, 2018 by

Categories: News,

Doing the right things and doing them well

Juliet Miam

Juliet Mian

A key programme milestone in May was our fourth Programme Board meeting¹. We shared with our board our approach to assessing our impact in a meaningful way, in order to provide us, the board, and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation with assurance that we’re doing the right things, and that we’re doing them well. Our impact framework is proving a valuable tool for determining that our activities (i.e. projects, investments, events, outputs) fit well with our vision and outcomes. It helps us scope and define what we are doing, see where there are gaps, and also supports decisions where we say ‘sorry, not for us…’.

Our mission is to create a shift by accelerating the uptake of theory in practice, and we need to be as sure as we can be that we are investing in work that will actually move the dial. The value chain is another excellent tool for ensuring we think about end-users – who they are, and how our work will help them to do things differently on a Monday morning. Nancy Kete, our Executive Director, tracked down the featured image below – a great example of how we don’t want to measure our work!

(Copyright Jonathan Koomey, 2001. All rights reserved. Used with permission)

Bringing safety to life

On the 9-10 May we attended the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s International Conference at the IET in London. The conference provided a great opportunity to understand the work of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation grantees, and we were excited to get an opportunity to network with the wider group. We also held a workshop, which you can read more about here. If you couldn’t make the event, don’t worry, Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s YouTube channel provides videos of all talks here.

We passionately believe, along with our funders at Lloyd’s Register Foundation; that life matters, and that life relies on the resilience of critical infrastructure (often referred to as lifeline infrastructure for exactly that reason). Planning, designing, delivering and operating critical infrastructure systems to be resilient will not only create a safer world, but also a better one. Nancy articulated this very convincingly at the conference, along with our areas of focus to achieve this, in the ‘Life Matters: 3 minute pitches that will change the world‘ panel session.

Current activities

Our project to create a repository of tools and approaches – connecting the developers of the tools with the customers, and responding to our finding in our ‘Understanding the Landscape‘ report that while many tools exist, awareness of these, who they are for, and how they add value, is limited – is progressing well. We are very focused on not reinventing any wheels here, which is why we want to work with a number of organisations already active in this space, and build on what has already been done. ‘Tools and approaches’ is certainly not expected to ‘finish’ in 2018, and we’re looking forward to sharing our initial work in this space, and using it to inform our next steps. This work is fundamental to making resilience tangible, practical and relevant to those responsible for financing, planning, designing, constructing, and operating critical infrastructure.

Working in critical infrastructure sectors, to transfer theory to practice, and engage with sector leaders to really understand and influence a shift, started with the water sector. We have projects ongoing in this space, dealing with the challenge of mapping and understanding governance, in order to improve the governance response during ordinary and extraordinary circumstances. Arup and SIWI have been busy running governance workshops, with some great feedback, in the diverse cities of Amman, Miami and Mexico City – with Cape Town and Hull in June.

We’re delighted to have Fred Boltz and Casey Brown working with us to influence the highest levels of government about the importance of resilience-based approaches. The open letter to the UN High Commission, that supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, which Fred discusses in a guest blog, is a great start to this influencing strategy. We’re thinking strategically about which sectors to look at next, and the important focus area of transferring learning between sectors. For me, and my ‘day job’ advising infrastructure clients on their resilience challenges, this is really exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing this work stream gain momentum.

For our followers, potential collaborators and partners

One of our key guiding principles is to be open, and this applies to everything we do. We’re committed to working collaboratively and openly, and sharing all our work publicly. Please get in touch if you have questions, comments, or ideas about our vision and outcomes impact framework, we’d love to hear from you.

We think real stories, particularly success stories, are a great way of influencing critical infrastructure decision makers that there is a need to shift current practice. If you’ve got any to share, then please let us know. As an example, our Programme Board Chair, Michael Bruno, recently shared his views on the relationship between academia and government during the volcanic alerts in Hawai’i.

Things we liked this month

A select few, due to the length of this blog!
The American Society of Civil Engineer’s Annual ‘Infrastructure report card‘, which provides a comprehensive assessment of America’s infrastructure, told us that the US infrastructure stock is ‘Poor, at risk’. This report considers the ‘resilience’ of the infrastructure, and therefore represents an opportunity for us to help improve this situation together.

A short topic insight by David Singleton, Chairman of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) on ‘What are the best infrastructure investments to make? Is it based on economics, or resilience, or both?‘ has considered how the launch of the ISC’s v2.0 of the IS Rating Scheme, which will provide input into how we should best plan, design and operate infrastructure, should look beyond purely the economic value of projects.

In summary, May was another busy and rewarding month for the Resilience Shift team and our partners – we’re busy with interesting, satisfying work, with genuine potential to make a difference, and what more can we ask for?

 

¹In the spirit of being open, minutes from our Programme Board Meeting will be published on our website shortly.

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