Rural Road Prioritisation Model

Client: ReCAP Project Management Unit, Cardno Emerging Market (UK) Ltd

Funded by: UK Department for International Development (DFID)

Pakistan is one of the five countries which forms the selected community of the Asian Community Access Partnership (AsCAP). The AsCAP is an initiative under the Research in Community Access Partnership (ReCAP) programme funded by United Kingdom government as aid to developing countries for research, capacity building and knowledge dissemination purposes. This project is initiated by DFID with the aim to facilitate Planning and Prioritisation of rural roads in Punjab through adoption of a robust methodology allowing subsequent development of a web-based digital decision-support system. The Urban Unit secured this project in 2019 through competitive bidding and is working to deliver the project. Main objectives of the project are:

  • Investigating suitable approaches to the development of a Planning and Prioritisation Model for the Punjab Province of Pakistan.
  • Piloting the proposed methodology and developing a bespoke model within the Punjab Province.

The total length of Punjab road network is around 76,234 km. Further, sub-classification of Punjab road network includes approximately 2,062 km of National Highways, 553 km of Motorways, 10,519 km of Provincial Highways and 39,029 km of Farm to Market roads and Sugar Cess roads. In addition, around 970 km of motorways are currently under construction in Punjab as shown in the figure below.

Currently, planning process of development projects in Punjab start at district and departmental level and depending upon the scope and scale of work, may contemplate Federal entities. Both “Top Down” and “Bottom Up” approaches are used in Punjab to conceive a project. In most cases bottom up approach is used wherein a project is conceived locally based on the demand of the locals, district administration or political representation and put forward to the relevant department. The department assesses the need of the project based on department’s plan and vision. If approved, the project is put forward to appropriate approval committee based on the scope and cost of work (Manual for Development Projects (2017), Figure below gives the overview of the planning and approval committees working at different levels in Punjab Pakistan.

Keeping in view previous efforts of prioritization made at the provincial level and the techniques implemented around the globe and in the developing countries, Multi-criteria analysis is key to develop the prioritization model. This technique enables the beneficiary to customize the model by selecting the indicators and their importance based on the needs, laws, customs and procedures of the area. The Urban Unit is developing a bespoke model for prioritization of rural roads in Punjab in consultation with key stakeholders. The developed model, will be presented to all the stakeholders through a stakeholder workshop and focus group discussions with the key departments. The finalised model will also be piloted in one of the district of Punjab as part of this project and after the success shall be forwarded for implementation in the Punjab Province.