In this report we set out how ministers responsible for infrastructure policy can help to deliver high-quality infrastructure for the country by making better decisions. It focuses on economic infrastructure – energy, transport, water, utilities and digital communication – where relevant ministers may oversee the building of better roads, railways, flood barriers, broadband and electricity networks for the country. Well-planned economic infrastructure will help to tackle many of the key challenges facing the country, such as stagnant productivity, regional inequalities and post-Brexit competitiveness, and avoid ‘white elephant’ projects that waste public money and fail to deliver economic benefits.

The report builds on the Institute for Government’s 2017 research programme on infrastructure decision making in government and from a public event held at the Institute for Government: ‘How to be a minister: making decisions on infrastructure’. We also draw insights both from our Ministers Reflect project, a unique archive of more than 80 interviews with former government ministers, which records – in their own words – what it takes to be an effective minister.

This work has been supported by the Association for Project Management.