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Social Benefits, Indices & The Ghana Feeder Road Prioritisation John Hine World Bank Social Benefits: Why the Concern ? There is unease with conventional appraisal based primarily on transport cost savings to traffic
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Consumers and producers surplus approaches are very economic in their orientation. Yet roads provide ‘social benefits’ – including improved access to health and education facilities and improved social mobility that cannot be easily translated into conventional economic benefits. – Although they may have important long term ‘economic’ consequences. Improved health and education and more secure social networks increase long term earning capabilities but so far the economic forecasting framework does not include this.
When roads are impassable to motorized traffic we know that the quality of health care and schooling falls. Drug supply and supervision drops. Likewise no NGO, government agency or commercial enterprise will establish or support a service which cannot guarantee all year round access.
e.g. i) cost of improvement / population
ii) estimated trips / cost
Advantages: Speed , simplicity, transparency, many factors can be incorporated
Disadvantages: How do we value widely different factors ? (adding up apples and pears); weightings are not stable ; cannot easily address questions of road standards, timing etc, ; possible double counting
i) Andhra Pradesh
cost effectiveness = cost of upgrading/ population served
But – no measure of condition change and no importance to traffic
ii) Airey & Taylor
1st for impassable roads
rank = cost per head of establishing basic access
2nd when access is there:
estimated trips x access change
prioritization index = --------------------------------------------
rehabilitation cost per km
Benefits are the sum of traffic and social benefits per year.
The index is: total benefits/ construction costs
(accessibility improvements and full rehabilitation improvements are estimated separately)
An adjustment is made to engineering costs for structures (x 0.5) because these last longer than other improvements
The index is contained in an easy to use spread sheet.