China: China Western Roads Development Project (CIDA, 2001-2007)

CIDA contributed CAD $5 million to provide training and technical assistance in urban and village road construction and development in western China.

1) Project Introduction: Basic Facts

  • A government bilateral project between Canada and China
  • Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) contributed CAD $5 million
  • Project launched in 2003, completed in 2007
  • TTA, as the Canadian executive agency, arranged and provided in-Canada training for a total of 287 selected Chinese officials and technical personnel divided into 19 groups from 2003 to 2007
  • The project was designed to assist the Ministry of Communications in improving access to basic transportation services in western China through technical assistance and enhancement of the skills and knowledge of those involved in the planning, coordination and implementation of this road investment program at the provincial and central levels.
  • The project focused on feeder roads in urban centers
  • The project provided assistance to MOC at the provincial and central levels and to the selected county and municipal road departments in the 17 provinces, autonomous regions, and prefectures in western China.
  • The main content of the project included:

- Local road network planning and managementDSC02401
- Low cost roads design & construction
- Hazard mitigation technology
- Environmental impact assessment and management
- Road maintenance
- Low-cost road maintenance
- Management capacity building
- Technical capacity building
- Gender equality

  • The project was delivered through two types of activities:

-  Technical assistance (TA) in China to review existing policies/standards/techniques, discuss their rationale, identify areas for improvements and make specific recommendations; and to work with Chinese experts on case studies and pilot projects, as required, to test the recommendations' applicability to the Chinese context and the effectiveness of Canadian expert advice.
- Capacity building and training in China and Canada to enhance the skills of managerial and technical staff involved in western roads development and to promote gender equality; in-China workshops, on-the-job training, TA missions in China, “train the trainers" programs, vocational training, distance training (if feasible), study tours to Canada to allow trainees to meet with Canadian policy makers, managers and technical experts and the observation of practices in Canada.

2) Project Results

The impact of growth in economic activities in the Western and Central regions of China was reflected by the annual increases in GDP by 12% and in trade volume by 26% in weighted average from 2001 to 2006 in the 17 western provinces.

The outcomes were achieved through:

  • improved access conditions in the selected impoverished counties, comprising of 86 poor counties in Gansu province, 51 in Guizhou province, 4 in Jilin province, 27 in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, 20 in Hunan province, 49 in Guangxi Autonomous Region and 8 in Hubei province that benefited from improved access conditions through this project;
  • adoptions and applications of the project TA's outcomes in terms of Wind monitoringprocedures, guidelines, and techniques inroad design (for example, 17% of the total road projects in Ziyang County and 40% in Bazhong County of Sichuan, 5% in Jilin, 40% in Hunan, and 46% in Hubei were completed through this project);
  • applications of the alternative approaches developed and recommended by the Canadian specialists in the maintenance contracts (for example, the 93 km of Chuankou to Guanting Road in Qinghai province, 70% of the total road maintenance work in Ziyang County and 50% in Bazhong, Sichuan, 90% in Hubei province since 2006);
  • new technical standards developed under this project (for example, the Inner Mongolian Highway Drifting Snow Hazard Mitigation Technology Standard, which is being expanded to a national technical standard in 2008 by MOC); and
  • an increase of women's influence in the decision making for road development projects.

The outputs achieved through the undertaking of the project activities included but were not limited to:

  • the technical assistance provided to 13 provinces;2-4 TA Program1
  • the seven guidelines/manuals, three technical reports and one standard maintenance contract developed and applied in the pilot projects;
  • the 11 pilot projects implemented in seven provinces (Gansu, Guizhou, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, Qinghai and Heilongjiang);
  • the dissemination of these guidelines and technical results given to a wide audience and to all of the participating provinces (150 hard copies and 1,000 CDs containing all the technical guidelines/ manuals/ technical reports distributed among the 17 provinces; one copy of training materials in CD format prepared and distributed to each and every of the 286 trainees);
  • the seven project conference/ forum/ wrap-up seminars held with a total of 433 attendees;
  • the training of 286 people (including 54 females) in Canada through 19 study-tour/ training programs; and
  • the project website www.westernroads.cn developed and maintained on an ongoing basis.