To better grasp the interconnected range of socioeconomic impacts from the implementation of rural roads in northern Ethiopia, we have experimented with Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs), a tool commonly used in systems dynamics, but generally under-used in development research. The expansion of the rural road network in Africa is praised for reducing spatial isolation, lowering transport cost, increasing access to markets, and bringing services closer to home. However, different segments of society will benefit differently from the establishment of a rural road. This difference may lead to dynamics that either exacerbate or reduce existing inequi- ties, which forms the central question for this paper. As part of a broader study on the multiple (in)direct effects of rural roads on pro- ductive employment, we undertook oral testimonies in four municipalities to explore how people perceive road impacts on livelihoods, mobility, and work. CLDs were then used to assemble those seemingly loose observations into a systematized view of the whole. The exercise reveals conflicting feedback processes that may dominate system at different times and drive the inequities between surplus food producers and laborer households up or down. The method used can be particularly useful for studying similar infrastructures that seem- ingly bring benefits to all, but may cause subtle, concealed or delayed effects, and ultimately surprising system behavior. Temporary free access online:,6yxCxJ6S

Related items

5 Key insights for greening TVET in the solar industry in Africa

This year INCLUDE joined the Solar Hands-on Training and International Network of Exchange (SHINE). In this EU-funded consortium, we are working together with African VET schools and European partners on greening Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for the solar industry in Africa. As the research partner, we are laying the project's theoretical foundation. Through literature review and discussions with experts and practitioners, we have gleaned key insights that are shared in this blog. 

Siri profile picture
Infographic: How to Make Plastic Waste Work for Green & Decent Jobs for Youth in Africa

Plastic waste recycling presents an opportunity to create sustainable jobs while benefiting the environment. But the question remains, how can stakeholders contribute to a conducive waste recycling ecosystem, unlocking its green job potential among Africa’s youth? We are excited to present an infographic showcasing the pathways and recommendations for Green & Decent Jobs for Youth in Africa.

Closing the loop: 3 barriers to decent youth employment in Africa’s waste management sector

This blog is part of a research project on the opportunities for decent work for youth in Africa’s Waste Recycling Sector, in collaboration with the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE). Waste management in Africa is a major challenge for sustainable and inclusive development. Due to poor management, 90% of the waste generated in Africa is disposed of in landfills and uncontrolled dumpsites with severe consequences for the environment and people working in the waste management sector.

Green jobs & the future of work in Africa: the story of Olivia Onyemaobi and Pad-Up Creations

In this video, we present the story of Olivia Onyemaobi, Nigerian entrepreneur and founder of Pad-Up Creations, a social enterprise producing affordable and eco-friendly sanitary pads in partnership with CFYE.

Inclusive Youth Agripreneurship in Africa: A New Report and a Comprehensive Policy Brief on Advancing Youth Entrepreneurship in Agriculture

The Inclusive Youth Agripreneurship in Africa research project is a joint venture between The Broker and two Dutch knowledge platforms, the Netherlands Food Partnership and INCLUDE. The project's goal is to strengthen the existing research on best practices for youth agripreneurship programs and policies, catalyzing action from policymakers and youth organizations alike. The project was finalized with two innovative knowledge products, both of which are now available for download.