WYG shortlisted for work in Western Balkans
10 JANUARY 2013
International multi-disciplinary consultancy WYG has recently been shortlisted for the British Expertise International 2013 award for ‘Outstanding International Development Project’ for its work on the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).
According to the judges, the finalists are “among some of the most respected UK professional services firms working internationally and the strength of the entries means that achieving a place among them is a remarkable achievement.”
The International Development award is presented for the most sustainable and influential development project undertaken by a UK-based company, with key criteria including: Sustainable Result; Achieving Customer Satisfaction; Teamwork and Working with Local Partners, and Meeting Changing Needs and Cultural Challenges.
The Western Balkans Infrastructure Projects Facility (IPF1), a joint initiative of the European Commission, the Central European Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development and the European Investment Bank, pools funding to leverage loans for priority infrastructure and socio-economic development projects which are the key to the long-term stability of the region.
The success of IPF1 on which WYG acted as consortium leader is demonstrated by the fact that the EU is funding two more phases of the programme, with WYG continuing as partner.
When IPF1 was introduced there was little enthusiasm but the situation has now changed drastically thanks to its three main components:
- Working with stakeholders to maximise opportunities for funding and building sufficient capacity within NIPACs (National Instrument for Pre Accession Co-ordinators) and Ministries to manage the project life cycle
- Developing a pipeline of high quality, bankable infrastructure projects by developing robust systems to help with drafting and approval of terms of reference and undertaking feasibility studies
- Training and capacity development to achieve sustainable project outcomes, and building skills at national level to allow beneficiaries to assess and prioritise investment opportunities now and in the future. 90% of IPF1 training agreements are delivered by national experts
All of this is underpinned by robust project management and an on-line management information system.
The programme is the single largest EU investment in infrastructure development in the world with a planned EU investment of €85m so far. To date, IPF1 has approved 123 grants and 112 projects, with loan agreements totalling €2.1 billion, exceeding the initial expectation of €1bn. The leverage achieved through IPF is remarkable - €280m of grants have so far generated more than €13 billion of new infrastructure investments.
IPF1 has a small nucleus of 4 international sector experts supporting national beneficiaries to develop bankable projects. They are supported by WYG’s network of country managers and national technical experts who provide the essential link between IPF1 and its beneficiaries. A recent independent evaluation of IPF reinforced the value of this network.
WBIF IPF governance is based on ownership by beneficiaries. Which reduces transaction costs for IFIs and beneficiaries and increases the effectiveness of joint cooperation in line with the Paris Declaration, the Accra Agenda for Action and the European Consensus on Development.
WYG’s networks of experts facilitate local, regional and cross-border collaboration and provide assistance at all stages of the project life cycle. A high degree of regional and cross-border collaboration has steadily increased as IPF has become embedded in beneficiary institutions and more than 50% of projects now have a regional focus.
WYG has been active in the Western Balkans since the early 1990s, working on a range of technical assistance projects funded by multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies. Early engagement in the Western Balkans focused initially on socio-economic development projects, including governance, public administration, finance, education and SME development, supporting the needs of the newly formed countries in the Western Balkans. WYG has successfully diversified its service offering into technical services disciplines, utilising expertise from the core business in the UK to implement projects under WBIF and other donor projects. This has enabled the company to establish and grow its businesses in a number of countries including Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as a key part of its localisation strategy.
There are a total of ten categories in the 2013 Awards, with WYG itself sponsoring the category of ‘Outstanding International Business Award’. The winner is expected to be announced in the Spring.
Picture caption: Infrastructure investment under IPF1 supports sectors that contribute to the development of the Western Balkans including the environment, energy, transport and social sectors and also private sector development.
Notes to Editors
WYG is an established global management and technical consultancy to the built and natural environment that collaborates with clients in over 40 countries to help them realise their corporate and project ambitions.
A top 15 European consultancy and employing more than 1,300 people around the world, WYG has the expertise for every stage of a project’s life-cycle from planning and design to building and completion.
WYG takes enormous pride in the work it does and has been recognised with several prestigious industry awards including: ROSPA Gold Medal Award 2012; Institution of Structural Engineers (Lancashire & Cheshire Branch) ‘Best Large Project in the North West’ and Concrete Society sustainability awards 2012 for Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Student Hub & Business School; S-Lab ‘Best New Laboratory Building’ and ‘Best Student Accommodation’ in the Your Move Property awards 2012 for University of Liverpool, Vine Court.