Transport and urban infrastructure are key ingredients for economic growth and poverty reduction. Rural roads and bridges give poor people access to vital public services and markets to sell their goods, while highways, railways and ports link economically deprived areas to national and regional trading opportunities and can help reduce the prices of goods for consumers. Cities in developing countries will gain almost two billion new residents in the next two decades, putting urban infrastructure – including public transport, waste management and energy supply – under enormous strain. Growing cities can be engines of economic growth, but without well-planned infrastructure they can generate poverty and deprivation.
Experts agree that investment in transport and urban infrastructure in developing countries falls well below the level required to support economic growth and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
This review, published in October 2018, examines DFID’s transport and urban infrastructure investments, which over 2015 and 2016 consisted of 57 programmes with combined budgets of £3.9 billion. We made four recommendations and awarded a green-amber score.
The follow-up for this review was published in July 2020.