Rural infrastructure (RI) may be seen as the complex of physical structures or networks within which social and economic activities are carried out. These structures are means to achieving the broader goals of poverty reduction and economic growth. Rural infrastructure contributes to these goals by providing essential services such as water and sanitation; energy for cooking, heat and light and employment generating commercial activities; transmission and communication of knowledge and information. The updating of the global rural development strategy "From Vision to Action" provided an opportunity to take stock of experiences, consolidate lessons learned and synthesize emerging strategies for achieving sustainable RI service delivery in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, a participatory process was undertaken among RI practitioners at the Bank to develop a "building block" paper, which focused on four RI sectors: a) rural transport; b) rural water supply and sanitation; c) rural energy; and d) rural telecommunication and information. This paper summarizes some of the main conclusions and recommendations emerging from this exercise, with a focus on policy and institutional models.
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