Specification for rural road asset management performance.

Michael Burrow, Robert Geddes, Mike Pinard, Kingstone Gongera, Charles Bopoto, Gurmel Ghataora, Rob Petts

Research output: Contribution to conference (unpublished)Paperpeer-review


In the 1990s a number of countries within Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), encouraged by donor organizations, introduced various road sector reforms including the development of road funds and semi-autonomous road authorities (Heggie and Vickers, 1998). Despite significant challenges, the reforms are regarded as being at least partially successful in the recognition of the benefits of commercial management practices, reducing under-funding of maintenance, partial arrest of declines in the quality of road networks and, the efficiency and effectiveness of road management services (Pinard, 2012).
The benefits of the reforms however, have been almost exclusively associated with strategic road networks. Far less progress has been made with respect to rural road networks, where the benefits from investment are less tangible but still significant. This can be attributed to a number of interrelated reasons including political factors (e.g. preference for new construction over maintenance), insufficient road maintenance budgets, lack of a maintenance culture, institutional arrangements, lack of a suitable means of motivating a strong case for funds for maintenance and ineffective rural road asset management.
To address this, the Africa Community Access Programme (AFCAP) is funding a major research and capacity building project to achieve economic and social benefits for local communities in rural areas through improved road asset management. This will incorporate a structured process, which utilizes peer review, so that meaningful advances in road asset management can be locally driven and improvement in rural road network performance realised. Part of this project is to develop a road administration specification which can be used as a self-assessment tool by rural road administrations. The objective of this paper is to describe a draft of one aspect of this specification, namely that associated with road asset management, so that that stakeholders and practitioners can comment on its practicality and usefulness. The specification incorporates road asset management performance criteria developed by a panel of experts utilizing guidelines suggested in various documents including BSI ISO 55000 (2014) and the International Infrastructure Management Manual (IAMM, 2011). The performance criteria are associated with: sectoral efficiency; institutional effectiveness; life cycle processes; asset management support systems; data; asset management plans; and maintenance benefit outcomes and; network condition. For a road administration, each performance criterion can be compared against a benchmark to target improvements in asset management. The relevance of the proposed approach to SSA countries will be tested during a conference workshop and thereafter further developed to include measures associated with all four building blocks of commercialised road management.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
EventInternational Conference on Transport and Road Research - White Sands Hotel, Mombasa, Kenya
Duration: 16 Mar 201618 Mar 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference on Transport and Road Research


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