MERIT was initially developed by the Economics of Resilient Infrastructure (ERI) team as part of a 4-year research project funded by the New Zealand government. Funding of $2.8 m for this project was granted in the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's 2012 Investment Round. The project ran from 2012 to 2016.
The aim of the ERI research programme was to develop an integrated spatial decision support system to enable users to value improvements in infrastructure resilience, and to assess the economic implications of infrastructure recovery decisions. In particular, the project sought to explore:
- Temporal and spatial changes in GDP, employment, income, and capital markets from different types and scales (size, duration) of infrastructure failures.
- Causal mechanisms through time (interdependencies, cascading effects, feedbacks and lags) that explain the temporal and spatial changes.
- Major changes in post-event business behaviour that influence the economic impacts.
- Effects of pre-event mitigation and post-event adaptation options (e.g. policy, choices, infrastructure provider actions, business behaviours).