Appraising the impact of rural road maintenance in Sub Saharan Africa

Michael Burrow, Gurmel Ghataora, Richard Shumbusho, Charles Bopoto, Camilla Lema

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A number of agencies have commissioned empirical studies to demonstrate the impacts of investment in rural road infrastructure. This paper by an evidence based systematic review, analyses published methodologies and draws a number of lessons which can be learnt for similar studies in SSA. These findings are utilized to devise an econometric approach which has been developed to assess the impacts of rural road maintenance on the livelihoods of rural communities in thirty communities in three rural districts in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia. The results of the study suggest that road condition has an impact on travel times and transport costs to the local markets. However, the sale prices at the nearest largest market of a variety of goods that have been exported from the communities considered, or imported to the same, were not found to be related to road condition. This suggests that vendors agree, formally or informally, to fix the prices of goods and therefore transport cost savings are retained by the village or market vendor rather than being passed on to the consumer. In some areas it was found that transport availability and costs are governed by the presence of large numbers of motorcycles and their overloading of motorcycles, rather than by road condition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 SARF/IRF/PIARC regional conference for Africa
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2018
Event2018 SARAF/IRF/PIARC: regional conference for Africa - Durban international conference centre, Durban, South Africa
Duration: 9 Oct 201811 Oct 2018


Conference2018 SARAF/IRF/PIARC
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
Internet address


  • Roads & highways
  • unpaved roads
  • developing countries


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