Despite the benefits from investments in transport research, acquisition of funding for research projects in developing countries is difficult to obtain. There may be a number of reasons for this, including a lack of awareness of the potential benefits of research and a poor appreciation of the link between transport and the Millenium Development Goals for poverty reduction by funding agencies and collaborating governments alike. Another factor is constraint due to the research capacity of local institutions in many less developed countries. There is a need for research to find innovative solutions to meet the demands for improved access and mobility by the rural and urban poor. The need for close collaboration with locaI practitioners is an essential factor in identifying local problems and devising appropriate solutions. Information on the benefits of transport research in relation to the global investment in transport is scarce. Examples are available of the qualitative and quantifiable benefits from some past DFID-funded research projects in the sector. DFID support for current transport research is evident in the programs in Asia (SEACAP) and Africa (AFCAP). There is a need for a long-term commitment to road infrastructure and transport research for the benefits of this investment in research to be realised.
SEACAP Practitioners Meeting (SPM) 2008, Laos, 4-7 November 2008. 15 pp.