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New Areas of Work

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Much work has been carried out on the identification of indicators to measure the effect of transport interventions. Previous work within the World Bank Anchor is now archived. Also within the World Bank, evaluation has taken place to assess the impact of transport investments. There has been some work already carried out by ETW and SSATP but conclusive recommendations need to be made.

Within countries there is a patchy and varied approach to collecting data and analysing results. Indicators often measure outputs such as kilometres of road and are not necessarily indicative of the effectiveness of the investment in terms of quality, efficiency and outcome. The identification and implementation of these indicators varies between donors and are not always connected to national data collection and systems.

There is a need to investigate existing national data collection systems, and to identify the type of data that would be most beneficial to national governments to identify the effectiveness of transport investments. There is also a need to identify significant, realistic and practical indicators that can be measured from existing data or allow to collect data from existing and new programmes. These indicators and their relationship with positive outcomes need to be established through the evidence-based connections with a healthier, better educated and wealthier population in addition to access to opportunity and social priorities. Evidence from reliable data is needed to measure what works and what is not as effective in transport interventions.

The objective of this new work is to assist the maximisation of the purpose of the investment, economic growth facilitation, and employment potential of transport interventions by creating the enabling environment to achieve harmonisation and unification in optimum data collection and appropriate and practical transport indicators.

The Rural Access Index (RAI) is one of the indicators which measure the effect of transport interventions. The RAI was developed in order to respond to the requests of the 2003 World Bank Infrastructure Action Plan. As this plan has as its objectives to respond to the United Nation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from the infrastructure point of view, the RAI has been expected to be one of the strongest indices which link it to the MDGs. Moreover, The RAI has been adopted as one of the indices of the Results Measurement System (RMS) which defines the progress measurement for the monitoring and reporting by the IDA countries. Around six years have passed since the RAI was developed. Several issues have been pointed out as follows.

Interpretation
Interpretation of the RAI definition varies from country to country.

Platform
As the data resources vary in each country, comparisons among all countries’ values have less meaning.

Updating
Updating is one of the most important procedures, but both inconsistent methodologies and the lack of continuous systems of data collections and calculations will seriously diminish the meaningfulness of the updated data. Also, the collection of RAI data is based on the low frequency of surveys. These problems are a negative factor in the quality of data, and diminish the usefulness of one of the World Development Indicators (WDI).
Improving statistical capacity is not an end in itself; improved statistical capacity will be sustained only where there is a demand from country level stakeholders and agencies for improved results and managerial capabilities that improved information flows enable. The RAI is one of the strongest and most easily-understandable indices to assess the development of rural areas. The study is strongly supported by the needs for improving the quality of the data and the systematic updating.
The objectives of the report are: (1) to technically assess the introduction of GIS for estimating the value of RAI, (2) to practically consider the key factors which should be carried out for the introduction of GIS, and (3) to comparatively analyse the data pre and post 2005.




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