Improving and Maintaining National Road Access for Rural and Urban Populations in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is made up of more than 20 islands and so roads are vital to its people. The island is reliant on ships and planes but it needs connectivity. It is roads that connect schools, hospitals, and other basic amenities.
The project/what we are doing about this challenge:
R4D2 is unique in that it is embedded in the Public Works Department. This enables it to work side by side with its government counterparts. The project also works with the private sector and other development partners in coordination with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities.
The goal of R4D2 is to support the government to manage its road network effectively and efficiently, and to build sustainable, improved connectivity. Typically, this hasn’t involved buying mixing trucks, but instead holding workshops, developing systems, and designing better IT policies. R4D2 also delivers projects. An important goal of R4D2 is to minimise the need for the labour managed and owned by the Public Works Department. The project is doing this by increasing contracts with local communities and small private companies.
What the project has achieved so far / intends to achieve:
- R4D2 advisors have submitted 10 New Policy Proposals to the government to fund a Public Works Department restructure and other roads projects to the value of AUD 41 million. A careful phasing model allows the government to commit to the full cost, but only fund the projects year-to-year.
- R4D2 has initiated a Public Roads Strategy and Policy. This provides direction for the next 18 years for the government and its partners, like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.
- R4D2 has trained 29 mostly unskilled school graduates in roles such as site and supervision inspectors. These graduates now have full-time government funded roles. R4D2 has targeted 90 more positions to be filled by 2025.
- In 2021, R4D2, with the support of the Public Works Department, ran a Small Scale Contractors Training program to increase the number of persons qualified and available to undertake minor road works. It is predicted that 70 % of trainees will continue in the field.
- This year, R4D2 has a goal to upgrade 3.75km of previously unsealed road to a fibre reinforced concrete pavement from the Sola Airport to the Sola Provincial Headquarters. This will connect a school, a health centre, market, and other services.