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  • A practical pathway forward: removing barriers to designing, financing and building climate resilient infrastructure Chemonics
    United States Agency for International Development

    Date: 27 Sep 2018
    Country: United States of America
    City/State: Washington

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A practical pathway forward: removing barriers to designing, financing and building climate resilient infrastructure

MAIN HOST(S): Chemonics
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Type: Training Course Date: 27 Sep 2018 Location: United States of America (Washington) Venue: Chemonics International. 1717 H St. NW, Washington D.C. 20006

A live webinar of the event will be available here. 

This event is part of the monthly USAID Adaptation Community Meetings. For more information and to stay up-to-date on similar events, sign up to receive event updates.

A practical pathway forward: removing barriers to designing, financing and building climate resilient infrastructure 

The global infrastructure investment needed to keep up with projected economic and demographic growth is US$94 trillion by 2040, yet we are only on track to meet 18% of that need. At the same time, floods, wildfires, and droughts are increasing in frequency and intensity and compromise existing infrastructure. In 2017, global losses from weather-related disasters totaled US$320 billion – the costliest year ever. As a development community, we know the need is great and the risks are high, but what practical steps can we take to change our behavior and make smarter decisions about how we design, finance and build infrastructure? 

At the September Adaptation Community Meeting, panelists from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and USAID and its implementing partners will discuss the infrastructure challenge at hand and propose practical solutions, drawing on case studies in Jamaica, Nepal, Cambodia, Kenya and Pakistan. Audience members will be invited to participate in an informal conversation about how we can shift our behavior to develop and scale up climate resilient infrastructure and accelerate learning - today, tomorrow, and into the future.

About the speakers:

Danielle Miley (Moderator)

Climate Change Adaptation Specialist, USAID/E3 Global Climate Change Office


Danielle Miley is a Climate Change Adaptation Specialist in USAID/Washington's Global Climate Change (GCC) Office in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3). Danielle has 14 years of experience in urban environmental management and international development, focusing on the Southeast Asia and Latin America and Caribbean regions. Danielle leads USAID/Washington's urban adaptation portfolio, is COR on the Adaptation Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS) project and AOR on the C40 Cities Finance Facility grant agreement with GIZ. Prior to working in international development, Danielle worked as a building and urban environmental designer for the UK based architecture and engineering firm, Buro Happold. Danielle holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College and a MEM from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Doug Mason 

Director, Environmental and Social Performance at Millennium Challenge Corporation 


Each year billions of dollars are invested in infrastructure that may not withstand future conditions. Africa must double its investment in infrastructure in the coming years, while developing Asia will require an investment of $1.7 trillion per year in infrastructure through 2030. Developing infrastructure requires a broad range of actors, including policy makers, planners, funders, engineers, researchers, beneficiaries, and communities. People working in each of these roles are attempting to integrate the consideration of climate risk into infrastructure decisions. Yet innovative ideas and strategies for addressing climate risks are not yet common practice. How can we design, fund, and build resilience into infrastructure? We are in a race against time to develop better answers.


Doug Mason is Director of Environmental and Social Performance at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Prior to that, he guided environmental performance in the private sector (in the development of over $30 billion of infrastructure) and at other international development organizations (including the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Bank).

John Pasch 

Chief Engineer, USAID Office of Energy and Infrastructure 


John will present the engineer's perspective and discuss how USAID 'front-loads' risk management of infrastructure activities in the planning and design stages of project development. He will speak to a school construction project example in Sindh province, Pakistan to illustrate how detailed planning can lead to adaptive design and influence sectoral infrastructure development in the countries where USAID works.


John Pasch is the Engineering Division Chief in the Office of Energy and Infrastructure. Mr. Pasch is a Civil Engineer with more than 20 years of experience in infrastructure development and environment and water resources management. He has lived and worked on engineering and infrastructure projects in Eritrea, Morocco, West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Thailand and Egypt. Prior to joining the Engineering Division, Mr. Pasch served as the Director of the Office of Water. Mr. Pasch holds a Professional Engineering License in the State of Colorado. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and of Colorado State University with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering. 

Chris Perine

Chief of Party, USAID Adaptation Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS) Project 


Jamaica’s transportation system is already affected by weather extremes. Damage to roads, bridges and supporting infrastructure, such as drains and culverts is commonplace, as a result of extreme events, outdated designs and inadequate maintenance. The USAID-funded Adaptation, Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS) project worked with USAID/Jamaica and the Jamaican Ministry of Transport and Mining to examines the vulnerability of the transport sector’s assets to weather, climate variability and climate change, and identifies locations within the system that either currently experience negative impacts, or are likely to experience negative impacts in the future. The analysis sheds light on priority regions for action and identifies specific vulnerabilities. With a revision of Jamaica’s National Transport Policy (NTP) planned, this assessment aims to offer guidance on how to improve the climate resilience of current and future investments.   


Chris Perine is an environmental management specialist with more than 25 years of experience working internationally on climate change mitigation and adaptation, urban environmental infrastructure development, environmental impact assessment and natural resources management. He currently is the Chief of Party for the USAID-funded Adaptation, Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS) project. ATLAS analyzes climate risk associated with USAID programs and host country government policies and plans worldwide, identifying vulnerabilities and providing actionable recommendations to improve resilience.

Sam Huston 

Chief of Party, USAID Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance (WASH-FIN) project


Closing the financing gap for universal access to water and sanitation is becoming more challenging, as a result of climate change impacts on financial viability, water availability and the longevity infrastructure investment.


Sam Huston is a water resources and infrastructure professional with expertise working in emerging markets and developing countries. Mr. Huston has 15 years of project management experience working on water supply, infrastructure financing, urban sanitation, utility reform, business planning, corporatization, water resource management, climate change, water-related conflict and construction management in numerous countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

Currently, Mr. Huston serves as the Chief of Party for USAID’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Finance (WASH-FIN) project.  Among other positions he previously severed as a technical expert for USAID’s African and Latin American Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC). He has a a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford, UK.

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CONTRIBUTED BY: Antonio Ortiz-Mena