In developing countries as well as in the developed world, transport of goods and people is required to facilitate economic activity as well as provide people access to goods, education and health services. High transport costs lead to individuals, communities and enterprises becoming isolated and creates a barrier to poverty alleviation. Transport improvements mean that these people and companies can reach wider markets, services and new opportunities.

The rapid motorisation of transport in the developing world comes with intensified versions of the same problems motorised transport causes in developed countries; noise, pollution, and safety. Motorisation has caused traffic congestion and pollution in cities, is the cause of more than 350,000 deaths and tens of millions of injuries a year, and contributes to climate change.

In addition, developing countries must sacrifice valuable foreign exchange to purchase and maintain motorised traffic; foreign-manufactured cars, trucks, vans and buses that require continual supply of foreign-manufactured petrol and spares, as well as foreign expertise to repair and maintain them. Motorisation generally serves only a small segment of the population, and contributes to the isolation of the majority non-motorised population, particularly women, elderly people, and families and children. As in the developed world, the increase in motorisation has reduced the viability of, or eliminated, less expensive nonmotorised options.

Little accurate information is available, particularly on non-motorised traffic. As in many other economic sectors, development in transport is typically top-down, with international development institutions and national governments designing and implementing large projects; the market is dominated by large public and private players, possibly to a greater extent than in other areas. Real solutions, however, must be created in consultation with the people affected, and be tailored to local needs and constraints; our research should investigate small scale/bottom up strategies and technologies.

Get involved
To get involved and contribute to our Transport Community of Practice, sign up to the EWB-UK Transport Google Group and click "join this group".




Engineers Without Borders UK work to date


When using any information taken from this website please adhere to our terms and conditions, in particular those relating to intellectual property rights.





Current opportunities with Engineers Without Borders UK






Other interesting links


If there are other things that you would like to see on this page then contact us.

Creative Commons Licence
Placement and Bursaries work are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.