Historical InformationBetween 2012 and 2013, the Employment Intensive Investment Programme supported the Government of Guyana in the implementation of a national Community Road Improvement Programme (CRIP) funded by the Caribbean Development Bank. The CRIP was a job creation programme that sought to enhance access to markets, schools, and health centres, social and economic facilities within rural communities through the improvement of community roads. The aim was to rehabilitate 93 km of community roads spread out over 244 communities, 38 km of these roads would be financed using local counterpart funds. EIIP was involved in the strengthening of the capacity of local government institutions and contractors to carry out routine maintenance and better assess the maintenance needs of community roads. By the end of the Programme, the initial objective was exceeded with more than 100 km of community roads rehabilitated in 244 communities.
The ILO carried out a road maintenance consultancy for the Government of Guyana under the CRIP. The road improvement initiative was an integral part of the capacity building component of the CRIP, with the objective of improving skills at local government level to maintain community roads. The first input of the ILO services consisted of an initial assessment of training needs. During the second input, a needs based training programme was developed and delivered to 47 staff members of local authorities, key central government organizations and local private sector. The courses focussed on the skills requirements relating to planning and implementation of maintenance of community roads in general in the neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC).
The intention of the consultancy was to use training as a means of boosting capacity in local government to deliver timely and correct maintenance to the NDCs involved in the CRIP. As such, the training not only focussed on the maintenance requirements of the roads improved in the CRIP, but also addressed the general maintenance needs on all community roads in the NDCs.
Some practical in-the-field demonstrations were included in the routine maintenance training, as well as practical sessions on the preparation of road condition inventories and planning of maintenance works.
A follow up mission was conducted at the beginning of 2013 by the enterprise and skills specialists of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean to evaluate the results of the training and to formulate any additional actions required to strengthen the capacity of the trainees to carry out road maintenance work.
The Mission visited the road where the trainees were taught to do patching by the consultants in June and agreed that the process was very good since the patches had been able to withstand the weather conditions as well as continuous use by vehicles. It was clear that the trainees acquired the necessary skills but were challenged in applying the skills due to budgetary and time management constraints.
In November 2013, the EIIP team from Geneva organized a third mission to visit the 4 districts where the maintenance activities were developed and to present the findings in a Roads Maintenance Workshop. The way forward was based on the international experience in this field, observations made during field visits, the feedback received from stakeholders during the visits and the workshop. The options formulated were related to: Empowerment of the NDC; Reinforcement of local level planning; Training and Funding.