INCLUDE Platform

Feeder road development

Feeder Road Development for Inclusive Productive Employment

Improving feeder roads, i.e. small roads that connect rural areas with main roads and urban centres, is important. This provides a direct source of low-skilled labour, as well access to and mobility in the areas that are being opened up. Road development, however, does not come without its costs. Land prices may increase, but this is not necessarily to the benefit of the rural population, for example, when land is ‘grabbed’ or if road construction creates environmental problems, such as erosion and waterlogging. In addition, it is important to consider who is employed, what workers earn and whether their safety is guaranteed. Ethiopia still has a low-density road network but it is expanding rapidly. It is, therefore, necessary to take a more comprehensive look at both the costs and benefits of road construction and to establish under what conditions road development can optimally enhance inclusive productive growth.

This project will provide a detailed, comparative analysis of exemplary case studies in Tigray, Ethiopia. The focus is on employment generation, changes in local economies and the impact on the natural environment. Diverse methods will be used to examine the issues from both qualitative and qualitative perspectives. Specifically, interviews and surveys will be carried out to determine the longer-term impact of road development.

A group of policy-makers, farmers, donor representatives and staff from the road-building authority will ensure that the knowledge that is generated is shared with all stakeholders. The aim is to help road prioritization by providing a wide and fuller perspective of the impact of road construction, including how to contract for inclusive productive employment and the need for support activities, such as skills training.

Watch a video pitch of the research group:

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  • Bureau of Construction, Road and Transport (BoCRT), Tigray Regional National State
  • Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
  • Mekelle University
  • MetaMeta
  • The Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute
  • Utrecht University

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