Archives: Including Gender in the World Bank Transport Strategy (2006)

Africa togo women loaded cocnts

World Bank Position Paper of August 2006

How far have we come on the issues that bring us here over the last decade?  What better way to find out than to have  a look at the position paper prepared by the World Bank in August 2006.

Including Gender in the World Bank Transport Strategy

  – By John Roberts and Mika Kunieda

This paper describes the need to update the World Bank’s transport sector strategy to respond to important changes of approach in international Development. The paper recognizes the valuable contribution made by the independent Gender and Transport Network (GATNET) in providing consolidated comments on draft Transport Sector strategy (2007-2015). It outlines the process and summarises the comments which were made.

The new strategy has not yet been drafted in response to the wide range of comments received. The paper examines the scope in the new Transport Strategy for addressing the points raised by GATNET and for reflecting them in the final document of the strategy. It considers how the points might be integrated with other key issues, taking into account the context of World Bank operations.

The continuing role for an international community of practice is considered with the potential for GATNET to continue to make a key contribution in relation to the World Bank’s Transport and Social Responsibility Thematic Group alongside specialist groups


For the past decade there have been efforts by the World Bank to strengthen the gender balance of its assistance. This has been supported by the preparation of multi-sectoral guidance and the formation of the Transport and Social Responsibility thematic group which facilitates access to good practice on gender and other issues in the planning, design and implementation of transport assistance. However, there is concern in the Transport Sector over the disappointing results of attempting to scale-up and mainstream gender interventions. This concern is now shared widely within the World Bank, prompting the preparation of a multi-sectoral Gender Action Plan to which the Transport Group and TSR will contribute. The World Bank Transport Strategy 2007-2015 will endorse this position and will foster approaches which improve the gender outcomes of future support in the sector.

GATNET, an independent network of specialists on gender issues in transport set up a process to discuss the draft Strategy and to achieve consensus on comments about its gender perspective amongst a large number of participants. These consolidated comments provide the strategy review team with valuable guidance for sharpening this aspect of the Strategy. The paper summarises the main points which were identified by GATNET and examines options for addressing these points in the final document and in practice. It sets this in the context of the constraints within which the World Bank has to work and examines the extent to which gender issues need to be integrated with other concerns for inclusion and social considerations

The TSR thematic group will continue to contribute to a wide community of practice which promotes good practice in multi-disciplinary approaches for social and gender analysis within the World Bank transport sector and amongst other professional groups. In particular it encourages sector teams in the Bank’s Regions and with other development agencies the collection and use of gender disaggregated data for planning, implementing and evaluation of transport interventions and for analytical sector work in the various regions.

The TSR thematic group values the participation of GATNET members to continue to contribute in policy discussions, sharing good practice, monitoring and evaluation. Alongside other specialist groups they can actively contribute to delivering the paradigm of inclusive transport – ‘transport for all’.

Specific Recommendations by GATNET team

GATNET recommends that the realignment of the World Bank’s development support should

  1. • provide increased lending not just to urban projects and trade-based freight transport infrastructure, but also to providing priority access to those households and communities outside the 2km range of access.
  2. • ensure that investments in roads and highways incorporate supporting infrastructure such as separate roadside toilet facilities and women only rooms/rest places, women only train/bus compartments.
  3. • incorporate the underlying gender distinction in the patterns and purposes of urban trip making into its increased engagement in urban transport especially with relevance to the development of IMTs, infrastructure and services, public transport facilities, routes, fares and service schedules
  4. • expand its increased engagement in transport for trade to consider the significant gender and transport issues for women working in town-to-town trade, crossborder merchandising or in export oriented industries and horticultural farms
  5. • stimulate the market for women friendly transport services, especially services based on non-motorised and intermediate means of transport
  6. • widen the application of social and environmental issues by incorporating gender analysis and impact assessment into all transport interventions, identification, design, appraisal, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and by paying explicit attention to tackling issues relating to the impact of transport on women’s health and maternal mortality, and the gender impacts of road safety

If the World Bank is to engender the realignment of its development support to the transport sector as outlined above, GATNET feels that it needs to mainstream gender into its way of doing business. This would require realigning the Bank’s approach to

• Include gender budgeting into the policy dialogue on transport governance and reform and promote greater involvement of women in the transport sector of client countries.

• Increase partnerships with social development units within the Bank, and in client countries, and also engage more proactively with global communities such as GATNET and the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD).

• Use gender disaggregated data to assess the performance of the transport sector in developing countries and strengthen capacity to carry out gender analysis and planning within the transport sector in client countries and within the transport units in the Bank. Develop a gender and transport checklist that can enable task managers to mainstream gender into all Bank lending to the transport sector.

• Ensure that all ‘flagship reports’ commissioned by the TSB mainstream gender and take greater cognizance of the Bank commissioned studies on gender and transport. Ensure allocation of resources to the commissioning of studies that will increase the Bank’s understanding of gender and transport, at a global, regional and national level. Document best practice of mainstreaming gender.

• Carry out a continuous gender review of the strategy in order to ensure consistency between policy and practice. Establish an independent mechanism that allows for

  • o (At the design phase) confirmation that any loan, grant or project (document) complies with the engendered strategy and MDGs; o (At appraisal) all World Bank projects conducting routine gender reviews of the design;
  • o (During Implementation) Monitoring to ensure that the operations on the ground are compliant with the engendered strategy, MDGs and World Bankrecipient agreement.
  • o Evaluation: To ensure that the evaluation and impact reports document impact on gender and MDGs and to certify that the evaluation team is engendered too

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Institutional Support International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD)

Moderators Peter Njenga, IFRTD Priyanthi Fernando, CePA

Consultants: Maha Khan (US DOT) and Eric Britton (EcoPlan International Association)

Consultation Coordinator Nite Tanzarn, Professor (Uganda)

# # #

About the authors:

Peter Roberts, World Bank, Lead Infrastructure Advisor, Transport and Urban Department, 1818 H St. NW Washington DC 20433 tel: +1-202-473-3482

Mika Kunieda, World Bank, Consultant, Transport and Urban Department, physical address: c/o World Bank Ethiopia Country Office PO Box 5515 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, tel: +251-91-1416141

# # #

About the editor:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at and @ericbritton

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