A systematic review investigated the question, ‘Does the extension of the rural road network have a positive impact on poverty reduction and resilience for the rural areas served? If so how, and if not why not?’. This paper draws significantly from excerpts from the original Systematic Review.
The evidence has provided a strong direct relationship between rural transport infrastructure and reducing transport costs and increasing traffic volumes. In addition, there is strong evidence that over the medium to long term, this leads to an increase in employment, income and consumption, and expansion of the agricultural sector. There is evidence to suggest that the health impacts are generally positive, but increased connectivity is also shown to lead to an increase in communicable diseases.
With respect to marketing activity, the evidence base presents a mixed conclusion whereby communities closer to the transport improvement benefit but negative impacts are found in distant areas. There is a weak evidence base with regard to educational impacts. Not enough studies provided a sufficiently long-term measurement of impacts to test the ‘resilience’ of local communities in their ability to absorb benefits over time and after periods of external shocks.
Hine, J.; Abedin, M.; Airey, T.; Stevens, R.; Anderson, T. The Poverty Reduction Impact of Rural Roads: A Systematic Review. Cardno IT Transport, Thame, UK (2015) 7 pp.