Rural Road Construction Strategy - Main Users / Purpose

files/images_static/user.jpg Development agencies, government authorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs)

files/images_static/thinker.jpg The target population of labour-intensive rural road construction measures are generally poor households who suffer from food insecurity and a lack of income opportunities, both chronic and in the context of complex emergencies. The road construction process itself provides them with short-term employment. In the long-term improved accessibility promotes the creation of additional social and productive assets as well as access to markets within the target areas. Because the construction process is largely implemented by the community-based organisations (CBOs) of the target population, the Rural Road Construction Strategy supports self-help capacities and socio-economic empowerment of the beneficiaries. Ethnically and socially marginalised groups can especially benefit, when they are appropriately addressed by a socially inclusive approach. In detail, objectives of the strategy are as follows:

Short-term objectives (direct impact):
  1. Enable large numbers of people in food deficit areas to meet their minimum daily needs by providing supplementary income and food during road construction.
  2. Enable beneficiaries to save and purchase new assets by providing immediate (off-farm) employment opportunities.
  3. Reduce out-migration of unemployed, young men, and thus decrease the workload of women.

Medium-term objectives (direct impact):
  1. Improve the nutritional status and stabilise the socio-economic conditions of target beneficiaries by improving market access, decreasing transportation costs, and time savings.
  2. Improve access to existing public and private services.
Long-term objectives (indirect impact):
  1. Promote long-term socio-economic development in target areas through improved access to market centres and services.
  2. Create new enterprises and small market centres along the road, which offer additional off-farm employment and income opportunities.
  3. Increase productivity of land through improvements in and diversification of agricultural production, contributing to additional farm employment and income.
  4. Develop decision-making capacities of marginalised and disadvantaged groups promoted by active participation and social inclusion approaches applied during road construction.
  5. Extend the geographical outreach of government and private sector services to remote areas.
For the achievement of the medium and long-term objectives a timely completion of the construction work is essential. Therefore, a reasonable and not overly ambitious project time and scope should envisage completion of a road within three years. As beneficiaries must be able to maintain the road with local means for several years, it is of major importance to select an alignment that avoids unstable areas prone to landslides and erosion processes. In order to stimulate and sustain the long-term impacts, road construction should be seen as a “backbone” intervention. It should be accompanied by support measures such as agricultural extension services, non-farm income generation activities, market-based vocational, life skills or business creation training. Rolled out as supplementary micro projects, these activities further strengthen the creation of additional livelihood opportunities and assets, and the empowerment of target groups.