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Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Gina Porter

Porter, G. (2002). Living in a walking world: rural mobility and social equity issues in sub-Saharan Africa. World Development 30(2): 285-300.

Author(s) from Durham


Accessibility and mobility are embedded in the development nexus in far-reaching ways. Field studies of mobility among women and men in rural settlements with poor road access illustrate the frustrations and costs of living off-road. They are frequently marginalized and invisible, even to local administrations. State decentralization appears to have had little positive impact in reducing “tarmac bias” and improving rural service delivery. A range of potential interventions, from Intermediate Means of Transport to electronic communications is reviewed, and opportunities for building social capital in off-road areas through nurturing improvements in state–civil society relations are considered.