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Do rural infrastructure investments benefit the poor? Evaluating linkages : a global view, a focus on Vietnam

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  • Songco, Jocelyn A.
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    Abstract

    What are linkages between rural infrastructure investments, and household welfare? In the past, most of the evaluations to assess the effectiveness of a project, focused on physical outputs, and success of project implementation. In recent years, more attention has been given to the impact of investments, particularly its effect on the poor, both in economic, and non-economic terms. The author presents findings from a survey of the existing literature on such impacts. Although evidence exists for improved household welfare from rural infrastructure investment, little evidence was found of studies that provided concrete linkages between specific investments in rural infrastructure, and increased welfare of the rural poor. This is due in part to the complexity, and oftentimes the concurrent nature of interventions, that make attributing welfare improvements, to a particular project, virtually impossible. The evidence is presented in this three-part paper. Part I gives examples of past, and current attempts to assess the impact of rural infrastructure projects, and provides suggestions for future evaluations. Part II discusses in detail some observed economic, and non-economic impacts on the poor, from different rural infrastructure interventions. Part III presents lessons learned from the literature on how to maximize the impact of rural infrastructure interventions on household welfare. Specific project, and country examples from the literature, and new data from a recent qualitative study in Vietnam, are presented as evidence for, and illustration of key ideas, and issues.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2796.

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    Date of creation: 28 Feb 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2796

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    Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Decentralization; Health Economics&Finance; ICT Policy and Strategies; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Environmental Economics&Policies; ICT Policy and Strategies; Poverty Monitoring&Analysis; Agricultural Research; Engineering;

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    1. Komives, Kristin & Whittington, Dale & Wu, Xun, 2001. "Infrastructure coverage and the poor : the global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2551, The World Bank.
    2. Jacoby, Hanan C, 2000. "Access to Markets and the Benefits of Rural Roads," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 713-37, July.
    3. van de Walle, Dominique, 2000. "Are returns to investment lower for the poor? Human and physical capital interactions in rural Viet Nam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2425, The World Bank.
    4. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2664, The World Bank.
    5. Cabraal, A. & Cosgrove-Davies, M. & Schaeffer, L., 1996. "Best Practices for Photovoltaic Household Electrification Programs: Lessons from Experiences in Selected Countries," Papers, World Bank - Technical Papers 324, World Bank - Technical Papers.
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    Cited by:
    1. Carlos Aparicio & Miguel A. Jaramillo & Cristina San Román, 2011. "Desarrollo de la infraestructura y reducción de la pobreza: el caso peruano," Working Papers 11-00, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Sep 2011.
    2. Fan, Shenggen & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2004. "Road development, economic growth, and poverty reduction in China," DSGD discussion papers 12, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Getachew, Yoseph Yilma, 2010. "Public capital and distributional dynamics in a two-sector growth model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 606-616, June.
    4. Bery, Suman & Gupta , D B & Krishna , Reeta & Mitra , Siddhartha, . "The Nature of Rural Infrastructure:Problems and Prospects," Working Papers, National Council of Applied Economic Research 94, National Council of Applied Economic Research.
    5. World Bank, 2008. "INGENS - Income Generation through Energy and Complementary Services : Status Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12548, The World Bank.
    6. World Bank, 2004. "Chile - Rural Infrastructure in Chile : Enhancing Efficiency and Sustainability," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14371, The World Bank.

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