Social Development

Personal mobility and access to adequate transport has a direct impact on access to essential goods and services such as education, healthcare and employment. Many of the poorest communities are also those with the fewest mobility options. This makes it even more difficult for them to access support and opportunities and makes it more difficult for governments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly reducing global poverty, combating epidemic diseases, reducing child mortality rates and introducing universal primary education.

Access to goods and services depends not only on the physical availability of infrastructure (such as tracks, roads, bridges) but also on access to vehicles and transport services, both public and private. Factors affecting access include location, cost, frequency of services, journey time and physical accessibility.

The impact of transport provision on social development is increasingly given explicit consideration in transport policy, planning, procurement and monitoring and evaluation. Tools such as the ILO-ASISTs Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning (IRAP) tool also recognise the importance of directly engaging the community, in order to ensure that transport infrastructure is appropriate for the real needs of a community, whether urban or rural.

Social development in the transport sector focuses generally on:

  • improving access to transport for everyone;
  • mitigating the negative impacts of transport on society and communities (such as involuntary resettlement, pollution etc. ) while maximising the opportunities that transport can present (access to jobs, markets, education, etc.);
  • using transport to promote and achieve social inclusion and cohesion;
  • reducing the social and health risks and dangers associated with transport;
  • sharing the social, economic and cultural benefits of transport more equally;
  • improving the design of transport systems and equipment so that they meet the needs of all, including users with specific needs (such as women, children, poor people, handicapped people, etc.);
  • ensuring all voices are well-represented in transport planning and decision-making.

gTKP social development theme:

Social development is a broad and cross-cutting theme in gTKP that relates to and includes issues in other themes. Nathalie Pereira is the social development theme champion. You can contact her with questions, comments, suggestions and technical queries on

**gTKP focuses primarily on road transport in developing countries**


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