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Rural transport should be seen within the overarching objective of rural development. Development planned to increase agricultural productivity and facilitate remote communities to the opportunities of improved health, education, and social mobility. Rural development, and provision of rural transport in particular, is the major contributor to rural poverty alleviation. Recognizing, planning and implementing rural development strategies that include rural transport provision is often a low priority but a high achiever.

Many World Bank programs in rural development are grant-assisted through the funding of IDA. Conventional cost/benefit analysis is not designed to take into account rural factors of social and humanitarian dimensions. Little is known about the indirect benefits of rural transport provision that attributes investment to outcomes. More is now being done to assess impact and in particular, the increased mobility measured buy a rural access indicator (RAI). People who, as a result of the investment, are judged to be within 2 kilometers of an all season road are assessed to be connected by the transport project implementation. This allows some qualitative analysis to take place in assessing the benefit of the investment. Read more...


The objective of the Bank’s transport strategy, consistent with sustainable transport and aligned with the principle of country ownership is: to help partner countries to establish the governance, strategies, policies and services that will deliver transport for development in a way that is economically, financially, environmentally and socially sustainable.

Sustainable transport established this underlying objective. The strategic directions planned by the World Bank over the next five years will widen the scope of the Bank’s interventions and deepen its treatment of the issues of environmental and social sustainability. Read more...


One of the most signficant examples of the Bank’s efforts is the setting up of the Rural Transport Group. The group will form a network where experience, innovation and news can be shared. Communication has been increased in varying formats. Blogging, for example, has become part of the routine of sharing information. One blog, for instance, details the mission diary of a tour of rural road innovations in Vietnam.

There is currently a report being formulated to update the work on financing and managing rural access as well as rural transport services. By late 2010, this report will incorporate feedback material and focus on institutions, regulatory frameworks and agricultural gains from RT provision. Revisions and investigations on the Rural Access Indicator (RAI) will produce easier methods of data collection and increased verifiable indication on the impact on poverty and economic growth of transport interventions.



Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP)
UK Department for International Development (DFID)
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