Appropriate and efficient maintenance of low cost rural roads. Report 1: Addressing maintenance effectiveness.
The research focuses on constraints to maintenance, which currently
result in inefficient and inappropriate maintenance regimes and on technical aids to maintenance in the form of manuals.
The research explored the unstructured perceptions of a range of practitioners to identify those issues that raised most \"anxiety\", and analysed these issues and the manner in which they were raised. The research was undertaken by conducting a literary review of existing documents, and a
series of unstructured interviews with a group of 100 people considered to be practitioners and possibly \"experts\" in this field.
The results imply that appropriate and efficient solutions can only be found by first understanding the social and organisational environment, and then fully incorporating them into the development process. The research strongly suggests that there is no generic solution the problem, but that bespoke maintenance regimes will have to be developed for each specific
social and organisational environment. The research also suggests that indigenous solutions should be allowed to evolve from the bottom-up, but must be complimented by first developing appropriate enabling environments of good governance and stakeholder participation.
Overall the approach has shown that there is a need to adopt improved methods of research, planning, management, monitoring and evaluation that fully incorporates the social dimension of the road sectors impact environment. This will be new to engineers. A number of established techniques and methodologies are available from other sectors and
disciplines, but further work is required to collate and asses these, and produce suitable practical tools for practitioners in the field.