Initiative: Randomized Controlled Trial in Rwanda
Partners: Mortenson Center in Global Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, Yale University, Arizona State University, Amazi Yego
Approach: This study leveraged the operational scale program B2P launched in partnership with the Government of Rwanda in 2019 to conduct a rigorous longitudinal investigation to understand the effects of new trail bridges on key outcomes related to poverty graduation, including education, health, climate resilience, agriculture, and economic outcomes at the household, village, and regional level. The randomized controlled trial (RCT) includes 15,000 households, 428 villages, and 73,000 people affected by 150 crossing sites throughout the country and is expected to be completed in 2024. The study design, magnitude, and duration are unprecedented within transportation infrastructure and present an exciting opportunity to gain a much deeper understanding of the effects of safe and reliable access within rural communities.
Results and impact: A pilot study conducted in 2019 – 2020 with 24 bridge sites found a 25% increase in wage income following the construction of new trail bridges. Baseline results from the full-scale study indicated that 57% of households must cross a river to reach a hospital, 57% must cross a river to reach a market to purchase food, 61% must cross a river to reach a bank, and 30% must cross a river to reach a school. Early interim results from the full-scale RCT indicate significant benefits for farmers, including large gains in farm profits.