In his October 2018 Budget Statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed that the National Infrastructure Commission would be examining the resilience of the UK’s infrastructure. The terms of reference for the study can be found here. It builds on the Commission’s first National Infrastructure Assessment and will form the basis for resilience to be addressed in future assessments.
In the final report of the study – Anticipate, React, Recover: Resilient infrastructure systems – the Commission concludes that there is a need for a new framework for resilience which anticipates future shocks and stresses; improves actions to resist, absorb and recover from them by testing for vulnerabilities; values resilience properly; and drives adaptation before it is too late. The Commission has made three recommendations to government, which will help to deliver the framework for resilience.
The study was undertaken in two phases. The first part was a scoping phase, which concluded in September 2019 with the publication of the Resilience Study scoping report. As part of the scoping work, the Commission initiated expert reviews of:
- Arup (2019), UK levels of infrastructure service (with technical annex)
- Atkins (2019), Case studies of international approaches to levels of service
- BritainThinks (2019) Research on public views of resilience
- UCL (2019), Questions for resilience assessment
- UCL (2019), Analytical approaches to resilience.
The Commission also undertook extensive consultation through a scoping workshop, expert engagement and written consultation, which closed on 1 April 2019. A summary of the consultation responses was published alongside the scoping report.
In the main phase of the study, the Commission gathered further evidence and undertook in depth analysis to help answer the questions raised by the scoping report. This included:
- Arup (2020), System mapping for UK infrastructure systems decision making
- Bristol University (2020), Understanding emergent behaviour within the economic infrastructure system-of-systems
- ITRC (2020), Systems analysis of interdependent network vulnerabilities
- Steer (2020), Investigating the methods used to set committed levels of service
- UCL (2020), Review of emergent behaviours of systems comparable to infrastructure systems.
The Commission also considered responses to a call for evidence, which was launched alongside the scoping report and closed on 20 October 2019.
In addition to the main report, the Commission has published a set of technical annexes: