The CCRIP was one of the first LGED projects to integrate climate resilience features in infrastructure and to develop a network of small, medium and large roads and markets as the basis for rural economic development in Bangladesh. Other innovations included research on environmentally friendly technologies and the testing of new approaches to women’s empowerment.
The newly released IOE report notes the value of this pioneering approach, and discusses its impacts on the livelihoods of the 3.7 million people who reside in the CCRIP market catchment areas. Benefits include an 11% increase in incomes in market catchment areas, a reduction in food insecurity, better management of local markets, and more connected and vibrant rural communities and markets.
These results were driven by increased sales of agricultural outputs, and were made possible by virtue of improved road and market infrastructure – able to withstand monsoon flooding and extreme weather events. More resilient roads and markets led to a significant increase in the activity of traders, producers and transport providers, and enabled year-round access to services for households in remote rural communities.
The IOE project performance evaluation began in February 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. In light of the travel bans and social distancing requirements introduced to fight the pandemic, IOE decided to change its approach in conducting the PPE to perform its first fully remote evaluation. Various adaptations were made to address the associated methodological, practical and ethical concerns. These included the leveraging of national consultants and of modern technologies, especially Geographic Information Systems and satellite imagery.
Looking ahead, the IOE report highlights the importance of accompanying investments in infrastructure with broader support for climate-resilient livelihoods, tailored to project area contexts. Other recommendations include the need to undertake activities to enable value chain development, enhance women’s participation in labour markets, and engage with central and local governments to enable the development of policy responses and strategies to deal with systemic issues related to market leasing and maintenance.