Improving rural transport is a critical catalyst for change
IFRTD Dfid White Paper Submission. (Full paper attached)
From the introduction:
Seventy five percent of the world’s poorest people, 1.05 billion women, men and children, live in rural areas.
Transport is a cross-cutting issue and appropriate transport interventions can act as a powerful and
multi-faceted catalyst to socio-economic development in rural areas.
Issues of physical access and mobility have a direct effect on the security of poor people’s livelihoods by determining
agricultural productivity and the success of other income generating activities; they also determine the degree to
which poor rural people can access basic services such as health services, educational services, water and sanitation.
Absence of transport infrastructure and services leads to physical disconnection and isolation. Isolation of poor
people not only affects their ability to thrive as individuals, families and communities but deters wider economic
growth. The real transport needs of poor rural communities must be addressed in order to achieve sustainable and
equitable socio-economic development and economic growth.
DFID now has the opportunity to optimise socio-economic development for the world’s rural poor by recognising
and promoting the importance of appropriate transport provision to efforts to achieve sustainable socio-economic
development and economic growth.
In this submission to DFID’s White Paper consultation the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development
(IFRTD) highlights the critical role of rural transport in catalysing economic growth, particularly through sustainable
agriculture development and improving access to basic services. This submission also explores the need to innovate
for good governance and to maximise the potential rural transport offers to deliver low carbon growth.
Overall IFRTD recommends:
• Explicit referencing within the White Paper of the role rural transport plays in eliminating world poverty. In
the past, where referencing has been implicit eg. the MDGs, we have seen as a consequence transport
concerns slip from the global development agenda.
• Recognition that while macro infrastructure interventions are important they do not always meet the needs
of the poorest and most vulnerable communities. A broader approach to transport that looks beyond roads
is still needed.
• Integration of rural transport
concerns across DFID departments, particularly for example to address
maternal mortality with the health sector. By cementing cross-sectoral partnership we will support the
implementation of integrated programmes.
• Clear mechanisms to ensure that appropriate transport (access and mobility) data is systematically collected
and monitored against meaningful transport and poverty indicators.
Network and Events Co-ordinator
t. +44 (0) 20 7713 6699
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“The IFRTD is a global network of individuals and organisations working together towards improved access, mobility and economic opportunity for poor communities in developing countries"