This paper describes how many governments struggle with the management and financing of the vast network of local roads which serve communities. This is a particularly large problem in the rural areas of developing countries. Private ownership and management of low volume roads is often assumed to be an unviable option. The experience of Sweden, where sixty thousand private road associations own and manage 140,000 kilometers of road (one third of the country's network) contradicts this assumption. In Sweden the government has opted to provide incentives for private road ownership of low volume roads. The result is a private-public partnership where government subsidizes road costs with grants from the budget. The Swedish model shows that a well-structured institutional framework, including a law on private roads, and financial and technical incentives for private ownership of low-volume roads, can bring impressive results. Most developing countries, however, do not have anything close to an institutional or legal framework for low volume or community roads. An adaptation of the Swedish model of private or community ownership of roads to local contexts could improve physical access in a constrained budget environment also in developing countries. A private-public partnership for road management and financing is particularly relevant for countries whose most numerous private sector group are small-scale farmers. The interest of this group in good roads and value for money constitutes a significant source of development potential.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Full conference proceedings available on CD-ROM.
  • Corporate Authors:

    World Road Association (PIARC)

    La Grande Arche, Paroi Nord, Niveau 5
    F-92055 La Defense Cedex,   France 
  • Authors:
    • Ivarsson, S
    • Calvo, C M
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2003


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 9p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00987819
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 2 2005 12:00AM