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Colin Relf AwardColin Relf Young Voices Award

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Colin Relf 2010 Winners

1st place: Rabindra Bahadur Singh Rural Transport and Health in Nepal

2nd place: Muhammad Adnan Rural Transport and Health in Pakistan

3rd place: David Sunday Akeju Rural Transport and Health in Nigeria

The Colin Relf Award 2010 is now open and IFRTD would like to encourage all young people (35 and under) from developing countries with an interest in rural transport and development to submit an entry to this year’s award.
For this award round, which has been kindly sponsored by IT Transport (, there will be two questions to choose from examining the important issues of rural transport and climate change and rural transport and health provision.
Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners and the winning entries will be published on the IFRTD websites. The closing date for submissions is 15th October 2010.
Please see below for the full details of this award, including the 2010 award questions, details of how to enter, the rules  for the award and tips on what the judges will be looking for.
Please also see below for details of winning entries from previous rounds.

Background to the Award

Colin Relf was a founding member of IFRTD and a strong supporter of the network and its activities throughout his life.  He was a pioneer in highlighting the fact that large-scale investments in transport infrastructure were not sufficiently improving the lives of rural people, and the need for an integrated approach to transport taking into account socio-economic considerations.
The Colin Relf Young Voices Award celebrates Colin’s interest in rural transport and his concern with promoting and motivating the people with whom he worked.  The aim of this award is to encourage young people from developing countries to express, in writing, their innovative ideas, perspectives and approaches to rural transport and sustainable development. 

Award Basics


Award open to young people (35 years and under) from developing countries


An opportunity to have your writing published and disseminated by IFRTD


Submissions welcome in English, French and Spanish


1st  Prize of USD 600


2nd Prize of USD 300


3rd Prize of USD 200


2010 Award Questions

Please answer either Question 1. or Question 2.
Question 1: Rural Transport and Health
It is widely recognised that the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are seriously off track.  For instance, it is estimated that every year 536,000 women die as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth mainly in developing countries; and in 2008, 8.8 million young children died from preventable diseases or treatable causes. In addition, an estimated 2 million people die each year due to AIDs-related illnesses worldwide. 
This situation is critical and key barriers need to be addressed in order for improvements in healthcare in developing countries to be achieved. Among them are weak and poor functioning health systems and inadequate access to healthcare services.  The ability of rural people, in particular, to reach health services can be limited by distance, geography and costs among other factors. 

Drawing on examples from a local and/or national context, discuss the role that transport infrastructure and mobility (ie transport services) play in improving poor communities’ access to health services in the face of the urgent need to achieve MDGs 4, 5 and 6. Explain major constraints facing developing countries in ensuring efficient rural transport infrastructure and mobility to meet basic access needs.  What strategies would you suggest to ensure transport infrastructure and mobility are improved, and bring about better synergies between the transport and health sectors?

Question 2:       Rural Transport and Climate Change

The transport sector contributes up to 14% of Greenhouse Gas emissions. Most of these emissions are produced in urban areas and consequently countries are prioritising climate change mitigation activities.  However, the impacts of climate change will also be evident in rural transport infrastructure and services.  It is expected that basic access will become worse, travelling to and from the road networks will become more difficult and existing infrastructure may be seriously damaged and/or require more frequent maintenance.
What are the likely effects of climate change on rural transport in developing countries? Reflecting on examples from a local and/or national context discuss the role that non motorised transport systems and means of transport – including footpaths, trails and rural waterways - can play in addressing the accessibility and mobility needs of poor communities in a climate challenged world. What must be done to ensure that these options are not neglected by decision and policy makers?

How to Enter

Submission deadline: 15th October 2010
Entries should be sent to the attention of the Award Coordinator by post, fax or email using the following details:  Colin Relf Award Coordinator, IFRTD, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London.  N1 6AH.  United Kingdom .  Email:   Fax: +44 (0)20 7250 2323

Award Rules

Judging Criteria

Judging will be carried out by a panel of experts engaged with IFRTD.  The judges are
looking for entries that:


Award Question - "Poor rural farmers are central to any solution to today's global food crisis and the long term problems of hunger and poverty" Lennart Båge, President of IFAD, April 2008. Discuss, with examples, the role that rural transport interventions can play in achieving sustainable agricultural development and poverty reduction.

Click here to visit the web page of the 2009, 2nd Award round of the Colin Relf Young Voices Award where the winning entries are featured.


Award Question - Rhetoric versus reality – There is a perceived mismatch between the analysis of rural transport problems in developing countries and the implementation of solutions. Discuss and present innovative solutions for bridging this gap.

Click here to visit the web page of the 2008, 1st Award round of the Colin Relf Young Voices Award where the winning entries are featured.