Trail Bridge Sub-Sector Program

Project completed

The project supports the Government of Nepal to institutionalize trail bridge building under the new federal structure. Due to the ongoing state restructuring process, Swiss support is required for a last phase to ensure the transfer of the institutional and human capacity built-up in trail bridges over the past four decades to the new state and local governments. Walking remains a major mode of travel in Nepal, and trail bridges are still essential for people to access basic public services

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Business support & economic inclusion
Rural development
01.12.2019 - 30.06.2024
CHF  9’400’000
Background Reduced physical accessibility and connectivity for the people living in the remote areas of Nepal has resulted in a high incidence of poverty, which contribute to income disparity and social discrimination with respect to their access to public services. While Nepal till recently made impressive gains in the field of trail bridge building, the re-organisation of the government structures has led to dispersement of the trained human resources.  The newly established local and State governments lack institutional and technical capacities to implement Trail Bridges building programme
Objectives Nepalese citizens economically and socially prosper through better physical connectivity
Target groups

More than 4.3 million additional people will benefit from 2400 new trail bridges for safer crossings;

About 5.5 million person days (p-days) employment generated with at least 2.7 million p-days targeted to disadvantaged groups and 2 million p-days targeted for women in the construction of trail bridges;

Private sector (consultants, non-government organizations, fabricators, contractors);

All 753 local governments, 7 State Governments and the Federal Government will benefit from enhanced capacities to implement and enforce the trail bridge strategy in a federal context.

Medium-term outcomes

The three expected outcomes of the programme are:

  • Nepali citizens use Trail Bridges to have safe and equitable access to basic services and employment opportunities.
  • Governments at all levels (Local, State and Federal) implement Trail Bridge Strategy to construct and maintain trail bridges equitably.
  • Private sector engages in effective delivery of good quality Trail Bridges.

Expected results:  

Output 1.1 & 1.2: Users Committees strengthen their capacity to organize and build trail bridges.

Output 2.1& 2.2: Department of Local Infrastructure strengthens its capacity to update Trail Bridge related policy frameworks; and to plan, budget, procure and implement technically complex Trail Bridges.

Output 2.3& 2.4: State and Local Governments strengthen their capacity to build and maintain trail bridges equitably.

Output 3.1: Consultants/contractors and fabricators strengthen their capacity to effectively and efficiently provide services for the construction of good quality Trail Bridges.

Output 3.2: Engineering institutes produce qualified technical personnel in Trail Bridge sector.

Results from previous phases:  

From mid-2009 to mid-2018, an additional 8 million people benefited from 3175 new trail bridges, on average gaining 2.3 hours per person on every 2 way trip they make using a trail bridge. The main reasons for people to cross the bridges were to perform household chores (30%), go to schools (30%), markets (17%), social functions (12%) and access health facilities (10%). Over 1.3 million people cross the bridges daily. Over 7.9 million person days of employment were generated during the construction (Source: Trail Bridge Strategy Information System 2018).

There is increased record of school attendance rates (16%), and number of patients accessing health facilities increased by 23% in the areas. Women’s representation in the Users’ Committees of Trail Bridges was 46% while the representation for discriminated groups was 67%. New shops or markets came up at 20% of the trail bridge sites creating new economic opportunities. Four consortia of Nepali private consultants and non-government organizations are providing technical services in 5 regions.17 private steel fabricators are providing services in 4 states, while 7 Engineering Institutes are offering trail bridge courses in their curriculum.  (Source: Annual Project Report 2017).

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • Foreign private sector South/East

Coordination with other projects and actors Synergies with in principle all e+i projects. Particular synergies with PSD, MSD, EPS projects. Synergies with Quality Assurance Division in connection with the DCED Results Measurement Standard which is increasingly applied within SDC.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’400’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    9’200’000
Project phases

Phase 5 01.12.2019 - 30.06.2024   (Completed)

Phase 4 01.08.2014 - 30.11.2019   (Completed) Phase 3 01.01.2011 - 30.09.2014   (Completed)