Roads are vital in the stabilization and reconstruction of a conflict-affected country. These initiatives impact population groups and their relationship with one-another through infrastructure construction and maintenance, through processes of decision-making and participation, and most significantly through their outcomes. The impacts of roads sector initiatives are felt by large sections of the population and can have effects not only on those directly benefitting from the project but on economic growth, resource distribution, governance, and security. These wide-ranging effects can in turn impact conflict and a country’s prospects for stability and resilience.
While the roads sector can have profound impacts on societies as well as on conflict, positively and negatively, violent conflict can also affect the way roads sector activities are carried out and whether projects achieve their objectives. In a conflict setting, social relations – including ethnic relations – may have deteriorated, security may be a concern, and governance and political institutions may have weakened. The ability for implementing a roads project may be lower both because of limited government strategy and institutional capacity, and because of weaknesses in the private sector, including its technical capacity to implement initiatives.
This note aims at helping teams understand the interaction between the conflict context and the roads sector. This understanding should help teams adapt project design and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms with the purpose of addressing conflict-related challenges and contributing to sustainable impacts.