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Connections is a weekly series of knowledge notes from the World Bank Group’s Transport & Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Global Practice. It covers projects, experiences, and front-line developments.

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  • Publication
    Advances and Challenges in 'Intelligent Transportation': The Evolution of ICT to Address Transport Challenges in Developing Countries
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-11) Wang, Winnie; Krishnan, Raman; Diehl, Adam
    Transport efficiency and safety in the advanced economies have long benefited from information and communication technology (ICT). However, these ICT applications have typically been high-cost, customized infrastructure systems. Now the era of the Internet, digital mobile communication, and ‘big data’ analysis has created a new global potential for less costly and more powerful ‘intelligent transport systems’ (ITS). The World Bank is supporting client transport agencies in deploying these new tools, including cloud-based services, open data standards, and smartphone applications, to more efficiently manage transportation assets and improve road safety. In the process, such projects have also demonstrated improvements in the traveler’s experience and the attractiveness of public transit. Moreover, the greater potential of the new technologies to reduce congestion and travel times means that the new era has also strengthened the potential of ITS to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, realizing the potential of ITS in developing countries depends on improvements in assessment practices to find what works best and in the data capabilities of domestic institutions. Significant improvements in these areas are critical to the success of ITS.
  • Publication
    A New Measure of Rural Access to Transport: Using GIS Data to Inform Decisions and Attainment of the SDGs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10) Iimi, Atsushi
    In rural areas of the developing world, where the majority of the poor live, good transport connectivity through road infrastructure and transport services is an essential part of the enabling environment for sustainable growth. A lack of detailed nationwide data has limited previous efforts to develop measures of access to roads in rural areas that would guide policy and investment. The World Bank, with support from DFID, has been piloting a methodology that exploits advances in digital technology to assess population distribution and infrastructure location and quality. The resulting Rural Access Index (RAI) may serve as a useful and cost effective tool for governments planning their rural transport programs and as an indicator of progress towards the achievement of several of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets.