Building Local Government Capacity for Rural Infrastructure Works

Rural infrastructure development works often consist of a large number of comparatively small sub-projects dispersed over a geographically large area. It is well known that work programmes of such nature are difficult to supervise due to the demanding logistics requirements. For this reason, agencies such as road administrations, public works ministries, irrigation departments have established depots and offices at regional, provincial and district levels. In the past, works were normally carried out through force-account operations or by engaging large-scale contractors from the capital cities, relying on staff from central government agencies for supervision and management. Recent trends to decentralise this authority to local governments, and move from force account operations to relying on the private sector for work execution, have led to a demand for a complete new set of management arrangements for the construction and maintenance of rural infrastructure.