What is the IFRTD

The International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD) is a global network of individuals and organisations working together towards improved access, mobility and economic opportunity for poor communities in developing countries.

At the heart of IFRTD is a clear understanding of the sort of world we would like to see, how we can work towards that goal and the values we abide by. Therefore IFRTD's vision, mission and values stand above the rest and inform the organisation, its governance and its work.


Poor and vulnerable communities in developing countries are able to improve their lives through enhanced mobility, access and economic opportunity.


As a Southern-driven global network IFRTD works to improve policies and practices in transport operations, infrastructure, access and service provision that will benefit the lives of poor rural communities in developing countries through dialogue, information sharing, capacity buidling, research and advocacy.


  • IFRTD is committed to addressing the accessibility and mobility needs of poor and vulnerable communities as a catalyst for improving their lives.
  • We aim to work together with others to add value to the transport and development sector and we strive to work with other non-transport sector organisations to ensure a holistic approach to the mobility and access needs and potentials of poor communities.
  • IFRTD strives for gender equality both in the transport and development sector and within its own network.
  • We empower and support network members to influence both mainstream policy and to promote and uphold marginalised issues related to access and mobility.
  • We are a Southern-driven global network of individuals and organisations whose strength lies in the collaborative use of our collective knowledge, skills and interests.
  • We uphold the principles of non-hierarchical and democratic networking. We are committed to the decentralisation of decision-making and implementation. We strive to provide all members with equal opportunities to participate in the activities of the network and take ownership of the network.
  • We have a participative governance structure that is representative of the network.
  • We are a flexible, dynamic and innovative network through self questioning and learning.
  • We freely share knowledge and information to promote change in a multi-disciplinary, cross-regional, multi-lingual way.
  • IFRTD is committed to disseminating information to the widest possible audience using both print and electronic media.
  • We respect cultural diversity and oppose all forms of discrimination due to sex, race, age, social status or religion.
  • Membership of IFRTD will be open to all those who share our vision, mission and values.  Members will have the right to engage in the Forum in a non-hierarchical, democratic and participatory manner.
  • We recognise and value the contribution of our members for amongst other things the time, experience, expertise, communications, contacts, services and locally raised funds they bring to IFRTD.

We aim to achieve our vision and mission by strengthening and supporting networking, identifying priority issues for change, and pursuing a programme of advocacy work to influence donors, policy makers and practitioners. We seek to fill gaps in knowledge by promoting and disseminating research in a way that enhances networking, generates awareness of issues and advocates for appropriate changes and resource mobilisation. IFRTD is committed to ensuring that the interests of developing countries are represented in the global rural transport agenda, and that the interventions of it's members both support and are informed by these interests.

Members of the IFRTD network include representatives from governments, academia, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, consultancies, technical institutions, national and international NGOs and community organisations. Membership of IFRTD is open to all who share its vision, objectives, values and principles. IFRTD strives to provide all members with equal opportunities to participate in the activities of the network. It encourages members to take ownership of the network and participate in decision-making processes. Please click here to find out more about joining the IFRTD.

IFRTD receives core support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

What is the IFRTD?
     Financial Information

Additional Resources:

Evaluating the IFRTD
(IFRTD Update 5 (173 K PDF file)

IFRTD Annual Report 2005
(1.3MB PDF file)

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Photos © IFRTD or Paul Starkey - Content © IFRTD