IDG is assessing the impact of MCC’s road investments for the Burkina Faso Roads Economic Analysis and Evaluation Services Project. In July 2008, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Burkina Faso signed a five-year, $480.9 million Compact, designed to increase the country’s economic growth and reduce poverty. Under the Compact, MCC rehabilitated Burkina Faso’s primary and rural roads and established an incentive matching fund for periodic road maintenance. After extensive literature reviews and consultations with local stakeholders, IDG developed a rigorous, yet realistic evaluation design and methodology to offer MCC a comprehensive overview of the impact of its 2009-2014 road investments on Burkina Faso’s economic growth and level of poverty.
IDG is working to address five principal areas of research:
- The economic viability of MCC-funded road projects, determined through a cost-benefit analysis (CBA), and estimation of economic rates of return (ERR) and net present value (NPV);
- Evaluation of assumptions about the sustainability of improvements in infrastructure based on political economy analysis (PEA);
- Road users, patterns, and traffic volume studies through O-D data collection;
- Evaluation of the transportation market structure through a market analysis to understand how benefits of road improvement projects are distributed across transport consumers, and the implications of the formal and informal institutions that regulate and govern the transportation market; and
- Change in traffic growth and patterns over the project’s duration
A main component of the evaluation is use of the Highway Development and Management (HDM-4) model, as IDG is conducting a CBA of Burkina Faso’s MCC-funded primary, rural, and periodic maintenance roads using the HDM-4 software. This model also proves helpful for determining the economic rate of return and net present value of roads sections. Following all economic analyses, a performance evaluation of the MCC-funded periodic road maintenance activities, as well as an in-depth market analysis of the country’s formal and informal transport structures, will explore the benefits of improved road conditions for transport consumers and determine possible distortions in the transport market.
IDG is developing data collection protocols, sampling strategies, O-D survey instruments, and quality assurance mechanisms. Such will assist in determining road users, traffic patterns and volumes, and how these measures change over the duration of the project. IDG pursues the highest degree of quality throughout data collection processes.
As part of the evaluation, IDG has initiated a comprehensive PEA of Burkina Faso’s road maintenance regime to verify MCC’s assumptions on Post-Compact road maintenance. Identifying relevant stakeholders in road maintenance, as well as their interests, is crucial for detailed power and influence mapping. Similar efforts will investigate the level of gender equity within the sector and how social factors, like ethnicity, do or do not influence maintenance and budgetary allocation. With heightened contextual knowledge, coupled by thorough quantitative data, IDG will be best-suited to assess whether MCC-sponsored capacity building activities and investments ultimately improved road maintenance in the country as intended.
Services and analyses for the MCC Burkina Roads Project are ongoing until April 2020.