November 01, 2018

Building road access for rural communities in Vanuatu

From July 2013 to June 2018, SMEC was Managing Contractor for the Department of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid) Roads for Development (R4D) program, supporting Vanuatu’s Public Works Department (PWD).

From July 2013 to June 2018, SMEC was Managing Contractor for the Department of Foreign Affairs (Australian Aid) Roads for Development (R4D) program, supporting Vanuatu’s Public Works Department (PWD). The program aimed to provide the rural communities of Vanuatu with increased access to a well-maintained, sustainable road network. SMEC was responsible for the delivery of both the physical works component of this program and a corresponding institutional development component. 

The end of program evaluation concluded that the proportion of Vanuatu’s rural population who have access to an all-year passable road increased by around 13%. This equates to an increase of around 2.6% per year during the 5-year program, much greater than the initial target of around 1% increase per year. These outcomes were achieved with broadly the same level of Australian Government investment as originally planned. With a more strategic focus combined with efficiency gains, R4D had a greater impact in terms of promoting accessibility.