Improving access in rural areas

Access is an important factor in rural development. People need to have adequate access to water,energy, land, health services, education, transport services and markets. A lack of access limits the opportunity that people have to improve and sustain their social and economic well being. Improving access and reducing poverty are correlated. A lack of access is perceived as one of the main underlying factors of poverty, particularly in rural areas in developing countries.

The ILO has been involved in developing a planning process for improving access in rural areas designed for application at the
local government level. This approach is called “Integrated Rural Accessibility Planning” or “IRAP”. IRAP simultaneously seeks to improve the rural transport system and distribution of facilities and services. The objective of the process is to - in a costeffective way - improve access to
goods and services in rural areas,
in particular for poor and disadvantaged communities. IRAP introduces a set of planning tools.