Treating access as a means to an end: an example from Nepal
The Project, which the Government, Asian Development Bank and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation considers a flagship project for addressing the under-lying causes of the conflict in Nepal, has had encouraging results since its inception in 2007. The project approaches are aimed to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods using local infrastructure development as a means to an end rather than, as previously, an end in itself.The depth of poverty, high degree of social exclusion of many groups and vulnerability of most subsistence livelihoods have all pointed to the need for interventions much broader than the construction of roads, bridges, and trails alone. Previous road projects have not always enabled disadvantaged groups to benefit from the opportunities and services that roads were assumed to generate.
Within DRILP, 350,000 person days of work have been generated through the construction of roads and trail bridges in 2007. Of equal importance is that the majority of those works went to the disadvantaged members of the community. As a result, 40% of all the works were carried out by women and more than 70% of the construction workers were from these disadvantaged communities. Equal emphasis was also given to ensure at least 100 days of work per family and for the first time all workers were insured against accidents.
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