Social costs and benefits

Social costs and benefits

Social costs and benefits

Development corridors interact with the social landscapes of their host countries in complex ways. Facilitating flows of capital, commodities and people, they create opportunities for some social groups, whilst placing significant constraints on others.


Infrastructure developments associated with corridors can generate favourable circumstances for socio-economic development. As corridors trigger economic growth, areas next to transportation routes experience high levels of domestic migration, often of individuals from remote areas who want to expand their social networks and diversify their livelihood strategies. These developments can particularly benefit groups that have the social and economic capital to participate in accelerating development processes.


With the expanding economic activity, corridor development results in increasing competition for access to land and other resources. This can lead to spatial exclusion from corridor development processes, particularly of vulnerable social groups. In some cases, to make way for infrastructure developments, development corridors displace communities and entire villages. This impacts people’s existing livelihood patterns and mobility, which worsens existing socio-economic inequalities and impedes human development at a local level. This is particularly true for people with mobile livelihoods such as livestock raising.

How will the partnership contribute to understanding these dynamics?

The partnership will undertake research on how development corridors and associated infrastructure developments are experienced by communities living near to them. We aim to identify what benefits and costs these processes bring at a local level, enabling us to provide research-based policy recommendations for decision makers in planning and delivering socially sustainable corridors.