Advances in data and technology have created new opportunities to work on the evaluation of large infrastructure investments. The ieConnect for Impact program is generating a significant body of evidence through the development of data systems and experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations that can transform the way we think of mobility as an economic force and at a scale that will substantially improve the evidence-base for policy making. The ieConnect for Impact program is a collaboration between DIME and the World Bank Transport Global Practice.

Program Snapshot

  • 33 impact evaluations (IEs) and 8 data projects across 24 countries
  • Focus on urban mobility, transport corridors, road safety, and rural infrastructure
  • Thematic emphasis on gender, female economic empowerment, fragile situations, environment, and climate

Leveraging Innovative Data 

Transport IEs are typically on a larger scale, have more intensive data requirements, and present unique methodological challenges compared with IEs in other sectors.  The ieConnect program has prioritized the development and expansion of data systems using new technologies to harvest large amounts of data at higher frequency or with greater geographic coverage and spatial resolution than traditional survey methods allow.  This includes geospatial, crowdsourced, or sensor data, coupled with new and existing datasets. The data systems being developed allow research teams to mitigate methodological challenges—such as the fact that selection of project sites is not random and is often integral to project design—using rigorous IE methods. This, in turn, can build local capacity and strengthen government agencies’ basis for evidence-based decision making for transport investments in the long-term.

From the ieConnect program we will learn about how to improve the availability and quality of data that can be used for measuring the impact of transport projects, and generate evidence that can be used to improve decision making for transport investments in the long-term.  

This program has been funded with UK aid from the UK government. 

ieConnect COVID-19 Task Force: Informing Government Response Using Mobile Phone Data and Computational Modeling

Projections of SARS-CoV-2 Cases in the country under study under different policy scenarios

Figure 6: Projections of SARS-CoV-2 Cases in the country under study under different policy scenarios

In an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many countries went into lockdown. While such measures helped to substantially slow the spread, we need to think about how lockdowns can be better planned to ensure they limit damage to households and economies. The ieConnect program has been collaborating with the Digital Development Global Practice and the DEC Analytics and Tools Team at the World Bank on the  COVID-19 Mobility Analytics Task Force. The Task Force investigates ways of informing government response to the spread of the virus, including by examining mobile phone data and using Agent Base Modeling (ABM), a computational approach that focuses on modelling dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Knowledge on mobility supports governments in their understanding of how lockdowns impact population movement, including from one district to another. ABM also makes it possible to capture the heterogeneity in population mobility, interactions and relative risk of severe disease, which are key determinants in the spread of a virus. The Task Force is already setting up the data and models needed for the analysis in multiple countries, and once they are in place, it will be possible to apply them in new ways as the pandemic evolves, such as in vaccine prioritization. For more information and early results click here to access a blog developed by the team that provides more details on this project.


Example Virtual Knowledge Sharing during COVID-19 | Presentation

On March 31, 2020, ieConnect presented on New Applications of Big Data for an Evidence-Based Analysis of Development Corridors in the virtual Transport Springboard Series organized by the Transport Global Practice. ieConnect has prioritized the development and expansion of large-scale data sets to support the projects Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework and examine the impact of corridor investments on trade-related outcomes, local economic development, land use, and access to essential services in less developed and remote regions. The presentation reviewed sources for geospatial, crowdsourced, or sensor data and showcased how ieConnect has used them to complement existing survey or administrative data and to strengthen the measurement of project indicators. The presentation also showcased preliminary results and research designs, as well as data and tools generated and used in ongoing impact evaluations looking at the impact of transport corridors. In particular, the session focused on cases (Tunisia, Iraq, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Malawi, Guinea-Bissau and Southern Africa), where wider economic benefits of transport corridors are investigated through innovative data and models.

Example Projects

Rwanda Feeder Roads Impact Evaluation | Presentation


The Rwanda Rural Feeder Roads IE analyses the impact of the large rural road upgrading program on markets and households, and its research questions are:  

  • How are market prices of village imports and exports affected by improvements in rural roads?
  • How do households adapt to these price changes in terms of goods produced and purchased?
  • What is the market valuation of improved road access as measured by land value changes?
  • To what extent do roads help a region develop as measured by total population?

The data system developed on the rural roads IE has also been adopted by the government. It will be used to additionally measure the impacts on corridor projects, thus forming the basis for monitoring and evaluation for the entire transport sector.


Smart and Safe Nairobi Transport (smarTTrans) Impact Evaluation | Presentation


The smarTTrans project is developing a detailed real-time geo-referenced crash map of Nairobi. In the first stage the team is generating high-frequency data on crashes and crash density around urban hotspots and using a real-time verification process to record characteristics related to the crash. Once this process has been successfully tested for Nairobi, the code will be open and available so that this type of data collection can be expanded to other countries. The second stage will use the information on the characteristics of the different crash sites to conduct a series of experiments testing different types of interventions. A better understanding of which road safety interventions are most effective can be used to mitigate the health impacts of increasing motorization in Nairobi.


Rio de Janeiro Gender Segregated Public Transport Impact Evaluation | Presentation

A male taking a train ride

Sexual harassment on a woman’s commute is pervasive and widens the gender wage gap. To capture the economic costs of this violence, we randomized the price of a women-reserved “safe space'” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We recruited 363 women riders to crowdsource information on their behavior and experience across 22,000 rides. Women riding in the public space experience harassment once a week. A fifth of riders are willing to forgo the equivalent of a 20% fare subsidy to ride in the "safe space". Randomly assigning riders to the “safe space" reduces the incidence of physical harassment by 50%, implying a cost of avoiding physical harassment of $1.45 per incident. While the reserved space is safer in relative terms, Implicit Association Tests reveal that commuters associate women riding in the public space with more openness to sexual advances. The welfare implications of creating women-reserved spaces are ambiguous.

Example Workshop

ieConnect for Impact Evaluation Workshop in Marrakech


From December 3–6, 2019 the DIME team and the Transport Global Practice (GP) held the fourth impact evaluation workshop of ieConnect in Marrakech, Morocco. The workshop brought together 69 participants from 28 organizations. The participants included project team leaders from the GP, government officials from 8 different countries, academics, and IE specialists from institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank.

The workshop consisted of training sessions on IE measurements, targeted project group work “clinics”, and panel discussions. Each project was assigned a research team to develop the IE designs. This process served to enhance the capacity of the GP staff and client counterparts to design rigorous IEs and of clients to generate data on the impact of transport interventions. The teams incorporated road safety, green transport, climate and gender considerations in the designs, which are key priorities for the GP. This workshop serves as an example of how ieConnect is influencing transport projects during design or implementation.

Ongoing impact evaluations
Title Country  Theme Links
Rio de Janeiro Gender Segregated Public Transport Brazil Gender, Urban Mobility Blog
Policy Brief
The impact of a targeted fare subsidy program on public transportation usage and labor market outcomes: a regression discontinuity analysis from Bogota Colombia Urban Mobility  
Ethiopia Expressway Ethiopia Transport Corridors Project Brief
Evaluating the Impact of Urban Corridor Improvement in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Road Safety; Urban Mobility Project Brief
Hawassa Industrial Park Community Impact Evaluation Ethiopia Gender; Transport Corridors Project Brief
Blog (1)
Blog (2)
Guinea-Bissau Rural Transport Project
Impact Evaluation on Rural Roads, Transport Costs, Women’s Access and Local Welfare in Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Bissau Rural Roads; Gender Project Brief
Impact Evaluation of the Iraq Transport Corridors Iraq Transport Corridors Project Brief
smarTTrans: Road Safety in Kenya Kenya Road Safety, Urban Mobility Project Brief (1)
Project Brief (2)
Working Paper
Matatu Efficiency and Safety in Nairobi Kenya Urban Mobility, Road Safety Paper
Liberia Road Safety Impact Evaluation Liberia Road Safety Project Brief
Trauma Incidence and Emergency Medical Services in Malawi Malawi  Road Safety Project Brief
Policy Brief
The Route for Development: Complementary Effects of Improved Roads and Agricultural Extension Services Mozambique Rural Roads Project Brief
Connecting the Dots: The Impact of Enhanced Bridge Connectivity  Nepal Rural Roads Project Brief
Slow down! Pilots to Decrease Speeding and Incidence of Fatal Traffic Accidents at Dangerous Road Sections Nicaragua Road Safety Policy Brief
Enhancing the Economic Impact of Rural Roads on Female Farmers in Nicaragua Nicaragua Rural Roads; Gender Project Briefs: English | Español
Efficiency of Informal Transit Networks: Evidence from Lagos, Nigeria Nigeria Urban Mobility Policy Brief
Impact Evaluation of the Rural Access and Mobility Project Nigeria Rural Roads Project Brief
Impact Evaluation of the Peru Support of the Subnational Transport Program Peru Rural Roads Project Brief
Impact Evaluation Rwanda Rural Feeder Roads  Rwanda Rural Roads Project Brief
Lake Victoria Transport Program Rwanda Corridor Rwanda Transport Corridors; Rural Roads Project Brief
Effects of Large Transportation Infrastructure Projects on Worker Well-Being Senegal Urban Mobility Project Briefs: 
English | Français
Measuring and Enhancing Mobility in Dakar, Senegal Senegal Urban Mobility Project Briefs: 
English | Français
Impact Evaluation of Emergency Response and Post-Crash Care in Tanzania Tanzania   Project Brief
Impact Evaluation of the Dar es Salaam BRT System Tanzania Urban Mobility; Road Safety; Gender Project Brief
Measuring Violence Against Women in Public Spaces: Drawing on Experimental Evidence Tanzania Gender, Urban Mobility Project Brief
Measuring the Impact of Highway Upgrading on National Integration Tunisia



Project Briefs: 
English | Français