The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Timor-Leste Road Sector Improvement project was specifically designed to engender sustainability, and include stakeholders and beneficiaries such as women and the poor that have been ignored in typical road improvement projects. The methods and tools used include various stakeholder consultations and field data collection efforts that provided the groundwork for the social analysis and the distribution and poverty analysis (DPA). Throughout the stakeholder consultation process, the study team undertook a number of initiatives to ensure integration of women, particularly in the field of consultations, such as holding women-only focus group discussions and employing female interviewers/surveyors for the small-sample surveys. These enabled women to express their concerns and perspectives freely. The project incorporated specific socially inclusive and gender-responsive features in the project such as: vehicle fleet transformation; labor-intensive maintenance; involvement of women; connection of rural areas with community-based initiatives; community empowerment initiative; budget allocation; and specific assurances.

Socially Inclusive and Gender-Responsive Transport Projects: A Case Study of the Timor-Leste Road Sector Improvement Project