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Assessing Rural Accessibility and Rural Roads Investment Needs Using Open Source Data (English)

Rural accessibility is the only metric used in the Sustainable Development Goals to track progress toward better transport services in low- and middle-income countries. This paper estimates the rural accessibility index, defined as the proportion of the rural population who live within 2 kilometers of an all-season road, in 166 countries using open data. It then explores the cost of increasing the rural accessibility index in 19 countries, using an algorithm that prioritizes rural roads investments based on their impact on rural access and connectivity. Investment costs quickly balloon as the rural accessibility index increases, questioning the affordability of universal access to paved roads for many countries by 2030. If countries spent 1 percent of their gross domestic product annually on the upgrade of rural roads, even under optimistic assumptions on growth of gross domestic product, rural accessibility would only increase from 39 to 52 percent by 2030 across all developing countries. Alternative solutions to rural integration must thus be implemented in the short run until countries can afford to increase significantly access to all weather roads. For example, drones that supply regular food and medicine supply to remote communities are much more affordable than roads in the short term.


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    Mikou,Mehdi, Rozenberg,Julie, Koks,Elco Eduard, Fox,Charles James Edward, Peralta Quiros,Tatiana

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    Policy Research Working Paper

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    The World Region,

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    Assessing Rural Accessibility and Rural Roads Investment Needs Using Open Source Data

  • Keywords

    rural accessibility; access to the internet; secondary road; paved road; rural population; remote rural area; access and connectivity; rural road investment; kilometers of road; gross domestic product; rural population distribution; kilometers per hour; tertiary road; global environmental change; negative environmental impact; household survey data; high growth rate; rural road network; tertiary road network; cost of supply; long-term economic growth; secondary road network; high population growth; types of road; rural access index; number of road; social science research; multilateral development bank; concentration of population; impacts on biodiversity; consequences of population; gravel road; road upgrade; road access; remote area; social integration; road work; Population Projection; medical supply; rural investment; transport service; road agency; census data; global population; road quality; Agricultural Extension; rural transportation infrastructure; road cost; satellite imagery; local area; ancillary data; road base; Learning and Innovation Credit; unpaved road; surface type; high share; remote community; Population Change; spatial analysis; large damage; extreme scenario; agricultural economics; road type; coastal area; smaller road; transport operation; population increase; consumption growth; flood risk; deep uncertainty; drainage structure; dry climate; accessibility index; investment option; candidate road; rainy season; long-term impact; dynamic panel; investment cost; earth road; road building; development policy; quality datum; Road Networks; transport investment; global policy; world development; road condition; ecological destruction; school supply; educational opportunity; non-governmental organization; delivery targets; household consumption; ecological impact; reduced poverty; household expenditure; monsoon season; dry countries; Population Density; open access; conservative assumption; knowledge system; road classification; spatial model



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Mikou,Mehdi Rozenberg,Julie Koks,Elco Eduard Fox,Charles James Edward Peralta Quiros,Tatiana

Assessing Rural Accessibility and Rural Roads Investment Needs Using Open Source Data (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 8746 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.