Performance Evaluation of Ethiopia’s Road Network Development Planning Policies and Strategies: The Case of RSDP.

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It would be an understatement to begin by suggesting that road network development is one complex issue that transcends beyond engineering into political, socio-economic and environmental dimensions. As the Government of Ethiopia strives to uplift the nation into the list of lower middle income countries by 2025, the road transport sector, as a result of its immense contribution to enhancing the expansion of infrastructure development, was identified as one of the seven pillars of the first Growth and Transformation Plan and continues to be a key point in the second phase of the same Plan. However, as determined in this research through analysis of interviews and desk reviews, two basic challenges were identified: the planning of Woreda roads is far from being seamlessly integrated with its implementation; and the maintenance of these roads is still not yet fully embraced by any entity. As a result, the need for proper organizational set up with clear regulations and public responsibilities is now important more than ever. In the aspect of policy performance evaluation schemes and targeted road network indicator values, the study showed that individual indicators like road density should not be isolated and treated separately to measure accessibility. Instead, interpreting road density together with different indicators such as road condition and rural access index gives a better understanding of the actual situation on the ground. Meanwhile, the targeted road density which was set as a guarantee for ‘lower middle income’ status has been determined to be overly simplified as variations in road densities among similar economies are rampant and such an approach overlooks other important factors which are more strongly associated with the economy. The research also indicated that the involvement of indigenous road contractors showed improvement only in terms of number of projects contracted and not in the value of contracts, indicating that they are largely locked out of lucrative road projects which are dominated by international contractors. Lastly, analysis of the funding arrangement revealed that traditional and non-traditional donors have played a fairly massive role in the Ethiopian road network development even though these two groups of donors follow significantly different partnership policies.



Access, ERA, DP, Evaluation, Fund (ING), Indicator, Policy, (IES), RAI, Road, RRA, RSDP, Rural, URRAP, Woreda, WRO