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The Capacity Assessment Tool for Infrastructure [CAT-I]

  • Published on March 27, 2023

The CAT-I is a tool for assessing a government’s enabling environment at the national, regional, and municipal levels to plan, deliver, and manage their infrastructure systems to achieve sustainable, resilient and inclusive outcomes. CAT-I achieves this by helping governments to identify challenges and opportunities across the three main stages of infrastructure development – 1) Infrastructure Planning; 2) Infrastructure Delivery; and 3) Infrastructure Management (i.e. operation, maintenance, and decommissioning).


The specific objectives of the CAT-I are to:

  • Create a common language and framework for the infrastructure enabling environment; 
  • Identify challenges and opportunities in the planning, delivery, and management of infrastructure systems; 
  • Support the identification of potential solutions to improve the enabling environment; 
  • Create a pipeline of programmes and projects to improve the enabling environment; and 
  • Show progress against a measured baseline.

The objectives of the tool are to

•Assist partner governments in identifying and understanding the gaps in their capacity to plan, deliver, and manage infrastructure; and

• Assist partner governments in identifying potential opportunities to build and address the gaps in their infrastructure planning, delivery, and management capacity.



The main outcomes of the tool are to:

• Improve the infrastructure planning, delivery, and management of partner governments;

• Improve government capacity to reach development targets through the

implementation of sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructure; and

• Reduce the impact of shocks and stresses on countries through the

implementation of risk-informed infrastructure development.

Item Assessment information

Needs addressed

  • c-check Developing strong governance and policies

Leaving no one behind

  • c-check Addressing SCP needs of the national population (including vulnerable groups)


  • c-check Tested


  • 12.1
  • 12.2
  • 12.4
  • 12.5
  • 12.6
  • 12.7
  • 12.a

How does the tool make an impact on SDG12?

CAT-I was developed in recognition of the critical role that infrastructure plays towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive development. The sustainable consumption and production of resources for infrastructure development and maintenance is the key. CAT-I identifies major areas of intervention or gaps through infrastructure development and management assisting in identifying strategies for the improvement of such channels.

How does the tool make an impact across SDGs?

Infrastructure influences 92% of SDG targets. From the material consumption and production, the supply of energy and water, the treatment of waste, and the provision of healthcare and education services, it is infrastructure that enables a society to function effectively, grow, and prosper. Infrastructure also acts as a protector of development Therefore, assessing the capacity of governments with CAT-I  is critical to ensure that infrastructure systems are planned, delivered, and managed effectively to ensure sustainable, resilient and inclusive development that supports countries to achieve their SDGs.



Before the assessment begins, the team, scope, and timeline need to be confirmed.

Desk review

The first step is to complete a desk review where the necessary key data and information for the use of the tool and the completion of the analysis is identified and collected.

Two checklists are available to implement the desk review and to map:

  1. The context analysis
  2. The enabling environment

Stakeholders analysis

The second step is to identify the critical stakeholders who should be interviewed as part of the assessment. This helps to identify the stakeholder interests in advancing sustainable construction, material policies and how they can influence the outcomes in this policy area.

  • It is the first step before mapping the stakeholders.
  • It maps the stakeholder interests and influences so that specific stakeholders can be targeted for interviews.

It helps identify the governing bodies, their roles, coordination mechanisms, key policies, laws and regulations that structure the building sector and decision-making processes.

Government processes analysis

The third step to be completed parallel to the stakeholder analysis is a mapping of government decision-making processes to understand the path that all infrastructure projects must go through throughout their lifecycle.

The aim of this government analysis is to identify timeline, decision making processes, entities involved and possible gaps for improvement.


The fourth step helps create questionnaires for interviewing key stakeholders that had been previously identified to confirm assumptions and findings and collect missing information. In addition, conducting interviews offers a more nuanced understanding of the context and the enabling environment.

Descriptive analysis

The fifth step structures a descriptive analysis through question tabs. This helps pinpoint critical indicators and measure the "status" and "effectiveness" of the assessment.
The descriptive analysis consists on:

  • 7 enabling environments
  • 10 building lifecycle phases.

Exploratory and causal analysis

The sixth step follows the answering of the descriptive analysis questionnaire (step 5) Once the questions have been answered,the tool  automatically generates graphs. These charts or diagrams support transversal analysis and trend identification per domain of analysis and are the base for a tailored analysis of the country status quo and forecast.

Assessment reporting and roadmap creation

The seventh step consists of a base report structure that helps to develop a detailed report towards the country's roadmap creation.

Implementation of the roadmap

The eighth step follows the initial assessment and generation of the roadmap. The overal objective of the previous steps are to set the base towards the implementation of the roadmap.

  • Endorsement of the pertinent authorities.
  • Identify the actionable activities and an implementation strategy
  • Set up indicators and monitoring strategy.
  • Create a monitoring deadline


The final step is to reevaluate and conduct the assessment again as a monitoring tool towards achieving the targets. The process for the reassessment focuses on:

  • Updating the “Descriptive analysis tool” step 5.
  • Conducting additional interviews and consultation to the stakeholder and experts.

The end goal of the reassessment is to evaluate the performance after the initial assessment, identify new activities for implementation and conduct a re-prioritization of the actions looking forward to progressing in the objectives of the roadmap.

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