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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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    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 ; Diehl, Adam
    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.
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    Creating Pro-Poor Transport: Connecting the Dots - Transport, Growth, and Poverty Reduction
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10) Alam, Muneeza Mehmood
    Transport plays a crucial role in connecting people to goods and services and fostering sustainable development. The literature links improved transport infrastructure to economic growth and poverty reduction through five key mechanisms: (1) reducing transport and production costs, (2) creating jobs, (3) expanding productive capacity, (4) improving access to markets and basic services like health and education, and (5) reducing prices of final goods and services. These benefits depend on supportive conditions in other sectors, such as access to credit, functioning land markets, low trade barriers, and so on. Therefore, any assessment of potential gains from transport infrastructure and services should also account for the interaction with complementary markets. However, the analysis of such interactions, assessing how and when transport infrastructure can help reduce poverty and income inequality, is largely missing from the literature, leaving significant knowledge gaps across the spectrum of transportation settings. This note highlights existing findings and some limitations in the literature on three basic types of transport infrastructure: large projects such as regional or national highways and railroads; rural transport; and transport in urban areas.
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    The Next Step for Transport in the SDGs: Devising the Right Indicators Shaping Transport’s SDG Impact
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-09) Ensink, Bernhard ; Minovi, Shokraneh ; Gorham, Roger ; Vandycke, Nancy
    Transport was not part of the millennium development goals (MDGs) for 2000-15, which were adopted at the United Nations in September 2000. The omission was widely viewed in the transport community as a missed opportunity to use the strong linkage between transport and economic development to advance the attainment of the MDGs. Now a new 15-year development framework, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) for 2015-30, are about to be endorsed at the United Nations summit to be held September 25-27, 2015. This time, transport will be part of the framework as a key contributor to sustainable development. The SDGs comprise 17 goals and 169 targets; five of those targets directly involve transport, and attaining at least another six will critically depend on it. But efforts to influence the post-2015 development agenda will go on after the summit because the question of what indicators will be used to measure success is yet to be resolved. Attention in the transport community must now pivot toward that question to assure the selection of the most effective measures.
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    Impact Evaluation to Inform and Transform Investments in Transport and ICT
    (World Bank Group, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Vandycke, Nancy ; Legovini, Arianna ; Liaplina, Aleksandra ; Di Maro, Vincenzo
    A new World Bank initiative, ‘Impact Evaluation (IE) - connect for impact,’ aims to radically transform and better inform the way that transport and information and communications technology (ICT) projects are designed and implemented. Although multilateral lending to this key strategic sector comprises 29 percent of all global assistance, only 0.4 percent of impact evaluations have had transport as a subject. This initiative aims to fill the gap and bring high quality and valuable feedback to projects, improving design, enabling mid-course corrections, and informing ex-post evaluations. For the first time, this initiative will offer a systematic sector approach to generating concrete evidence of what works, what does not, where, when and why. It will greatly increase the impact and value add of investments in transport and ICT projects, which is especially important given global trends toward increasing urbanization, with 70 percent of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050.