Improving Rural Access in Tanzania – An Impact Evaluation

Project Timing

Baseline: June – October 2015, Endline: September 2018 – January 2019


Infrastructure: Roads




Department for International Development (DFID) and ITAD

Current Status



DFID is seeking to improve the accessibility of rural communities by investing in repairing “bottlenecks” along selected rural roads. This was a baseline study of 1,600 households before construction took place using 5 case study roads to assess the socio-economic characteristics of those affected by the road improvements, as well as access to selected health, education and other services and agricultural markets. The study roads were located in the districts of Morogoro, Gairo, Kilombero, Bahi and Wanging’ombe. The survey also included 13 market price surveys of food and non-food items and qualitative data collection from 60 focus group discussions.

Using a realist evaluation approach, comparison of baseline and endline data allowed evaluators to explore not just what changes have occurred as a result of road improvement, but also why and how, with regards to how various contextual factors and behavioural mechanisms combine to lead to the desired outcomes. EDI also conducted preliminary analysis of the baseline and endline data.


The endline survey took place in late 2018 to assess the impact of the road improvements. EDI repeated the same three survey elements as at baseline – Household Surveys, Market Surveys and Focus Group Discussions. For each road, EDI visited, where possible, the same villages, sub-villages and markets as at baseline and tracked and interviewed the same households.