A recent external evaluation of the Mobility Support Mandate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) highlighted the need to increase SDC's knowledge management in order to strengthen its institutional memory and to demonstrate how mobility and transport are contributing to the achievement of the MDGs. To this end SDC, in collaboration with the local SDC office in Chad and Skat Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development organised a regional workshop from 18th to 21st of September. The objective of the workshop was to share experiences and to reflect on common findings for practitioners involved in rural roads.
Twenty-one participants attended amongst whom people responsible not only for rural roads but also other rural transport and local development initiatives from SDC and Helvetas as well as resource organisations such as Skat and IFRTD. The workshop was set up in a participatory way to optimise the experiences from Niger, Chad, Nepal and Burkina Faso. This meant small group work enabling people to go into in-depth discussion. This was complemented by a field visit allowing the participant to get a better understanding of the critical questions with regard to (1) finance and management systems for rural road maintenance, (2) capacity building of local actors and (3) the impact of rural road rehabilitation.
Based on the discussions and small group work, synergies were identified and future action points developed. Some of the direct outputs of the workshop are:
Exchanged knowledge and practices of the different programmes and projects.
Shared lessons learned and identify the knowledge gaps and future challenges in terms of sustainability.
Identified future actions and defined the requirements that are needed for these actions to materialise.
Ensured additional commitment of the partners involved to take the action points forward.
Some examples of the action points are:
To continue efforts to introduce labour-based methodologies to other sectors (universities, schools and local communities).
To strengthen the performance capacity of local partners.
To promote advocacy activities to include local partners in the decision-making process at local and regional level.
To promote improved and new developments for financing mechanisms for rural road maintenance.
To document the various existing mechanisms for rural road maintenance.
To consider the various stages of decentralisation in the countries.
To refine and finalise the impact assessment methodology developed in Burkina Faso in order to share this with other countries.
Disseminate research results and other significant developments.
To promote south-south exchange (between programmes and countries)
To put in place a Francophone rural transport exchange platform under the auspices of SDC but open to other interested parties.
For more information about the workshop and its proceedings, please contact:
Thomas Zeller E-mail: email@example.com
Roger Schmid E-mail: Roger.Schmid@skat.ch