The Improving Mobility Workshop Series
(Sept 2002 - February 2004)

Issue: Mobility

'Improving Rural Mobility: Options for Developing Motorised and Non Motorised Transport in Rural Areas'
Starkey et al 2002
(download pdf 613kb)

Picture Brochure:
'Local Transport Solutions for Rural Development'
by Paul Starkey (2002).
Publication available by request to
(Available in French or English, please state preference).

Eliminating poverty requires the reduction of isolation and social exclusion. It means improving mobility and access so that poor women, men and children can build their assets, reduce their vulnerability and develop sustainable livelihoods. Many of the world's poor live in rural areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America where there is a low density of demand for transport, rural infrastructure is poor, cash flows are seasonal, and means of mobility are generally arduous and time-consuming. If poverty is to be eradicated in these areas the vicious cycle of poverty and transport deprivation must be broken, and replaced with a virtuous cycle of greater mobility, stimulating more productive activities and diverse, sustainable transport services.

IFRTD's Improving Mobility Workshops are a series of 4 linked events being held in Asia, Africa and Latin America to discuss how this can be done. This programme, co-funded by the World Bank, RTTP and DFID builds upon the consultations that fed into the publication:

'Improving Rural Mobility: Options for Developing Motorised and Non Motorised Transport in Rural Areas'
prepared for the World Bank by P Starkey, S Ellis, J Hine, and A Ternell (2002).

The workshops aim to widen debate and deepen analysis on inadequate transport services for poor people, to share knowledge and practical experience, to develop strategies to increase rural mobility and influence policy, and to propose realistic and collaborative actions. They have adopted a participatory methodology and progressed through four consecutive stages of;

  • situation review and problem analysis
  • prioritisation of options for intervention
  • field visit to consider local practicalities and priorities
  • and output oriented group work to develop realistic proposals for individual and joint action that will make an impact.

The workshops were held in India, Tanzania, Guinea, and Nicaragua. The proceedings from each workshop are available in hard copy from the IFRTD Secretariat. Please email to obtain a copy. They can also be downloaded here in pdf format:

A synthesis of the outputs of all 4 workshops will be published in English, French and Spanish and distributed with a future edition of Forum News. If you do not already receive Forum News please click here to join our mailing list.

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