New Video on the Critical Role of Rural Transport in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

The Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP) has release a new video that explores the critical role of rural transport in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The video underwrites, with research evidence and expert views, five key messages that address the importance of improved rural access and how it contributes to realising key SDGs such as poverty alleviation, food security, gender equality, economic growth, good health and education, etc.

The video was produced in coorperation with the Roads Research Group in Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT).

The full video can be viewed here:

Rural Transport and SDGs

Rural Transport has a unique position in the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Although there is no dedicated target on rural transport, there is a considerable linkage and contribution between rural transport and Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDGs 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero Hunger), 3 (Good Health and Well-being), 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and 13 (Climate Action).

Furthermore, rural access is included under SDG Indicator 9.1.1. on the “Proportion of the rural population who live within 2 km of an all-season road”. ReCAP has supported work led by the World Bank to pilot updated GIS based techniques for measuring the RAI. During the first quarter of 2018, a Status Review was carried out to make recommendations to support achieving more rapid international progress with the updated measurement of the RAI. The outcomes of these efforts can be consulted here.

The video refers to a set of key messages on rural transport and SDGs which has been developed by SLoCaT and ReCAP to explain how rural transport plays a key role in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world governments to define development policy up to 2030: 

  1. Improved Rural Transport Drives Sustainable Rural Development and National Growth: Good rural road infrastructure and services promote connectivity and social cohesion, drives commercial activities as well as accessibility to social and economic facilities necessary to counteract poverty, isolation and social exclusion.
  2. Better Rural Transport is Key for Food Security and Zero Hunger: Improving rural access can lead to lower costs for farm inputs and lower transport costs for marketed outputs, thus increasing agricultural production to enhance food security.
  3. Poor Rural Transport Condemns the Poor to Stay Disconnected and Poor: Access to markets and employment opportunities through better rural transport infrastructure and services is an essential pre-condition to generating rural income and thus reduce poverty.
  4. Additional money AND commitment is needed to develop and maintain rural road networks and transport services: Existing funding sources need to be expanded and new funding sources need to be developed, piloted and implemented not only for building but also for managing and maintaining the asset.
  5. Better Rural Transport Calls for Local Solutions for Local Challenges: Rural access challenges require local resource-based solutions that are compatible with the local road sectors and conditions.

The video was developed under a joint project between SLoCaT and ReCAP to further promote sustainable rural access as a viable component of the implementation strategies for achieving the SDGs and to ensure its inclusion in the high-level, multi-lateral development discourse on sustainable transport and rural development. More details on the rural transport key messages can be found in the associated factsheet and supporting paper. For more information, please visit