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South East Asia Community Access Programme (SEACAP)

 South East Asia Community Access Programme (SEACAP)
 DFID Research
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 Karen Harries (Crown Agents), John Gothard (Crown Agents), David Salter (UNOPS), HE Suos Kong (Secretary of State, Cambodian Ministry of Rural Development), Laokam Sompheth (Deputy Director General, Laos Ministry of Communications, Transport, Post, and Construction), H.E. Eric Illiyaparachchi (Secretary (Development), Sri Lankan Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government), Hoang Cong Quy (Head of Rural Transport Unit, Vietnam Road Administration, Vietnamese Ministry of Transport)
  , , , , ,

 Asia, Eastern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, Southern Asia
 Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam

Goal: Livelihoods of poor and vulnerable peoples in SE Asia improved sustainably.

Purpose: Sustainable access to health, education and trade for rural communities, creating pro-poor growth

Sustainable and affordable rural access is a necessary precondition for expanding social and economic opportunities for rural women and men, thereby enhancing pro-poor growth and poverty alleviation efforts.

SEACAP was a poverty-targeted transport initiative within the Global Transport Knowledge Partnership (gTKP) framework. It was aimed at improving the sustainable access of people in rural communities to health, education, employment and trade opportunities, with projects in Cambodia, Laos PDR, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

SEACAP provided funding for applied research to solve rural access problems. It communicated information about the research outcomes to stakeholders, and supported the mainstreaming of the solutions.

The programme identified and supported the uptake of low cost, proven solutions for rural access. Focused on the needs of poor women and men, it aimed to maximise the use of LOCAL resources, including labour, materials, enterprise and most ingenuity.

*Best practice on road technology mainstreamed in SE Asia.
*Evidence of effect of appropriate rural road technology disseminated.
*Sustainable ownership mechanisms for construction and maintenance of local road systems.
*Knowledge and research capacity in SEA improved and key knowledge disseminated and adopted.
*Status of improving access to basic infrastructure for the poor in Cambodia reviewed and further work proposed.

The Project was completed on 30/06/2009.

The Project Completion Report made the following comments:

SEACAP has improved knowledge about what constitutes good practice in the construction of rural access. However, this information still needs to be more fully disseminated amongst all those involved in funding, planning and implementing rural transport in SEA to provide a sustainable basis for lasting strategic change.

SEACAP has made progress at the level of formulating improved practice, standards and specifications. But "mainstreaming" of this framework into influencing investment decisions is a long way from complete and deserves continued support. Considerable risks remain that this knowledge is not absorbed and that outputs such as standards and specifications can still be ignored by practitioners on the ground - through ignorance or perverse incentives - thereby continuing inefficiencies in the choice of rural road technologies.

SEACAP has made a considerable body of relevant knowledge on rural road construction and maintenance accessible. This has been achieved through a combination of original research based on existing knowledge and good practice. These outcomes of research have been disseminated through a great variety of mechanisms, to the academic world in the region, to government and to development partners. However, as yet this has not been "mainstreamed" to the extent that had been the original intention. It is therefore too early to state that SEACAP has contributed to improving access to health, education and trade.

No baseline measurements on poverty were made under SEACAP. Beneficiary target communities were not defined in the Project Document. But SEACAP has contributed significantly to the level of knowledge about cost effective rural road construction technologies in SEA. This knowledge has been distributed widely amongst decision makers and practitioners.

Considerable progress achieved with the formulation of policy, standards and specifications representing the outcome of SEACAP-funded research. Some of these accepted into law or decree.

The outcomes of SEACAP research have been disseminated through numerous appropriate channels, including (a) academic world in SEA; (b) relevant government departments controlling rural infrastructure at central and provincial level; and (c) donor community.

Rural Transport Strategy in Viet Nam, and "Inter Ministerial and Program cooperation for Rural Transport Development”. Road Law and Rural Road Policy in Cambodia re-formulated and approved at technical level; suitable for adoption by Cabinet. Road policy in Lao PDR already in place.

Considerable interaction with main development partners involved in road sector in all three project countries. However, adoption of technologies agreed by Government at strategy or specification level not necessarily followed by all donor funded programmes.

Training delivered down to local (district and commune) level in road construction and maintenance techniques. Funding presents main risk.

SEACAP has interacted considerably with local research institutions, and has increased or improved the profile of applied research in road construction issues. However, with present availability of skills and priorities for spending, it is not likely that a SEACAP-style research programme would continue without external funding, management and encouragement.

SC 2 (Transport Mainstreaming Partnership for Cambodia) reviewed many aspects of rural transport.

The overall relationship between improved rural access and reduced rural poverty is well established. The main contribution that SEACAP has made is improving the sustainability of investments in rural transport.

SEACAP did not select target communities. It worked through other programmes that were investing in rural transport infrastructure. Reports from these programmes indicate that the investments were reducing poverty in the targeted communities.

The impact of SEACAP on poverty reduction efforts will increase with time as the approaches developed are increasingly rolled out.

SEACAP contributed to the sustainability of rural access in all three target countries. This was done by influencing the stakeholders to use appropriate technologies and assisting with the development of key building blocks such as policy, strategy, standards and specifications. The SEACAP supported policies and strategies in Vietnam and Cambodia are leading to enhanced local participation nationwide.

Total cost including joint funding is £14,750,000


SEACAP 1: Vietnam, Rural Road Surfacing Research.

SEACAP 4: Vietnam, Rural Road Gravel Assessment Project.

SEACAP 8: Cambodia, Low Cost Rural Road Surfacing Trials, Phase 2.

SEACAP 17/001: Laos PDR, Local Resource Solutions to Problematic Rural Roads Access.

SEACAP 17/002: Laos PDR, Performance Monitoring of the NEC/ADB Package #1 Trail and Gravel Roads.

SEACAP 21/001: Laos PDR, Local Resource Solutions to Problematic Rural Roads Access - Slope Stabilization Trials.

SEACAP 19/001: Cambodia, Development of Local Resource Based Standards.

SEACAP 21/002: Laos PDR, Feasibility Study for a National Programme to Manage Slope Stability

SEACAP 24: Vietnam, Module 1 - Case Study of Dak Lak Rural Road Surfacing Trials (RRST) Pavement and Surface Deterioration.

SEACAP 27: Vietnam, Mid-Term Pavement Condition Monitoring of the Rural Road Surfacing Research.

SEACAP 30: Vietnam, Rural Transport Project 3, LVRR Trials Preparation, Rural Road Surfacing Research.

SEACAP 31: Laos PDR, Trialing the new LVRR Standards and Specifications, and the EOD Guidelines, and, extending the Laos LVRR surface and paving knowledge base.

ENA 0406 0651/1321/001A
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