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PIARC (World Road Association), founded in 1909 and comprising 125 member governments from all over the world, is the global forum for exchange of knowledge and experience on roads, road transport policies and practices. With consultative status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the Association is contributing to a stable and sustainable global development of the road and transport sector.

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Strategic Theme 1 - Road Administration

The external operating context related to road infrastructure and road transport is constantly evolving in response to large social, economic, and environmental shifts. This affects the financing and risk managing for the construction, rehabilitation, and maintenance of road assets that are priorities in transportation, since some times the public-sector budgets are not enough to meet future funding requirements. In addition, safety and security in road systems, technological advances, data-driven and digitalization of road infrastructure, as well as resilience to climate change and extreme weather events are challenged issues that all Road Administrations are facing.

This external context meets with the Strategic Theme 1 to study "Road Administration" developing five Technical Committees and two Task Forces.

Technical Committees

Task Forces

Interview with Ernesto Barrera Gajardo

Strategic Theme 1 "Road Administration" Coordinator

Ernesto Barrera is a senior official of the Ministry of Public Works in Chile with a long history of cooperation with PIARC, serving for several cycles as member of PIARC Technical Committees.

Ernesto was Strategic Theme A "Management and Finance" Coordinator during the 2016-2019 cycle, and he has been appointed again to Coordinate Strategic Theme 1 “Road Administration”.


The main objective is to analyze how Road Administrations are addressing these issues for a better performance, an accurate planning of road infrastructure and transport to enhance economic and social development, obtaining the necessary funding for construction and maintenance of road networks, increasing resilience to climate change and the disaster management.

This objective may be updated in the next future due to Covid-19 pandemic, since the issues addressed will be affected by this pandemic and therefore, it is something to take into account within this Strategic Theme.

Technical Committee 1.1 "Performance of Transport Administrations" focuses on identifying best practices for establishing a framework for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of Transport Administrations, including the establishment of assessment indicators/evaluation indexes (benchmarking) that can be used to recognize opportunities for improving the overall performance of transport administrations, with a particular focus on overall customer experience and communication of performance information. All this, taking into account the impact of the sharing economy and other disruptive technologies on the performance of Transport Administrations.

One of the aims of Technical Committee 1.2 "Planning Road Infrastructure and Transport to Economic and Social Development" is to analyze the role of innovation in road planning. Other objectives are to analyze the area of transport studies and traffic models applied to freight transport, bimodal and multimodal, including the metropolitan context; and to review new approaches to the study of mobility of people and freight, based on the Internet, big data and other innovative sources of information.

Obtaining sufficient funding for road infrastructure construction and maintenance remain a key challenge for roads authorities globally. In addition, likely there will be an impact of new propulsion techniques on funding that should be considered. One of the aim of Technical Committee 1.3 "Finance and Procurement" is to analyze traditional funding and financing options and explore for developing innovative and hybrid solutions, addressing especially the needs and circumstances of LMIC’s.

Road owners and operators are required to manage a very broad spectrum of threats in the future. The aims of Technical Committee 1.4 "Climate change and resilience of road networks" are to identify hazards and environmental threats within the context of road infrastructure resilience, in consultation with other relevant TC’s, and to asses several approaches to increase resilience –taking into account the economic, environmental and social aspects of resilience management-

Developing a reliable information collection and sharing system is the first step of proactive disaster management toward engaging with internal and external stakeholders and understanding their information needs and expectations. The aims of Technical Committee 1.5 "Disaster management" are to study disaster management techniques using Big Data and Social Network Data as well as to analyze the financial aspect of disaster management in preparedness, mitigation response, and recovery phase, and to update the Disaster Management Manual.

The aims of Task Force 1.1 "Well-Prepared projects" are to review literature and existing project preparation software and analyze good practices of project management for improving and optimizing public and private investment, as well as to define strategies to accelerate project delivery and reduce project lifecycle costs. It will also facilitate to identify how well-prepared projects contribute to a culture of transparency and accountability.