Trail Bridge Capacity Building Programme (TBCBP)

Transforming TBCBP from “bridge builders” to “institutional capacity builders or trainers”

Project Goal

To contribute towards poverty reduction through improved access to social and basic services, economic resources and opportunities of the local people by promoting trail bridge and goods ropeway technologies. 

Objectives & Outcomes

  • Promote trail bridge construction in tandem with capacity building of partners tailored to the specific situation of regions
  • Advocate an evidence-based policy dialogue on the integration of trail bridge technology into the rural road plans, programmes and strategies of federal and regional governments
  • Institutionally and technically capacitated stakeholders; plan, implement, and maintain trail bridge projects, mainly through public-private partnerships 
  • Increased number of women and men in target regions have improved and all year round safe access to social and basic services as well as economic resources and opportunities
  • Trail bridge technology and processes are adhered to and operationalized at Federal, Regional, Zonal and Woreda levels


  • Technology transfer through “South-South Cooperation” with HELVETAS Nepal
  • Support to community initiatives concerning the construction of trail bridges 
  • A three- tier approach to capacity building: (a)  transform project team from ‘bridge builders‘ to ‘institutional capacity builders or trainers‘ to cater for immediate needs, (b) capacitate future implementers (government, private sector and NGOs) to build sustainable implementation capacity, and (c) capacitate training institutes and technical universities to build in-country capacity for maintaining and further developing trail bridge building know-how
  • Promote gender equality and social equity
  • Ensure transparency and social accountability through public hearing, review and audits
  • Commitment of the regions and Woredas to institutionalize the trail bridge programme and to share up to 60% of the total costs of the respective trail bridge projects

Results Achieved

Achievements until December 2016; 
  • TBCBP is found to be relevant and aligned with government strategy of promoting economic growth through improved access of rural communities to services and opportunities.
  • 82 trail bridges have been constructed and benefited around 360,000 women and men to have improved year round safe access to basic services and socio-economic opportunities.
  • Local government partners share up to 60% of bridge construction costs.
  •  The Nepal version Trail Bridge manuals were adapted to the Ethiopian context and these adapted technical manuals are integrated into national Low Volume Roads standards.
  • Ethiopia is much ahead as compared to other African countries and has the potential to develop itself as Centre of Excellence for trail bridge expertise. 
  • The trail bridge technology is currently includede  into the Government's Growth and Transformation Plan II (2016-2020). 
  • Working with higher education institutes mainly with Bahir Dar and Mekelle Universities on  trail bridge technology knowledge transfer and inclusion of the technology into their curricula and research activities.  
A man crossing over Abay River (“Sebara Dildy”), Amhara, 2005
A man crossing over Abay River (“Sebara Dildy”), Amhara, 2005

Partners and Supporters:

Phase: Phase III (July 2015 - June  2019) 

Overall Budget:
CHF 3 Million (CHF 1.45 million by HELVETAS & CHF1.55 million by partners)

Tigray, Amhara, SNNPR, and Oromia regions

  • Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA)
  • Ministry of Agriculture/Agricultural Growth ProgrammeRegional Agricultural Growth Programme Coordinating Offices
  • Rural Roads Authorities of Amhara, Tigray, Oromia,  and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regions
  • Regiona, Zonal and Woreda administrations
  • Civil Engineering Department of Technical Universities , TVET Agencies
  • Various small and medium enterprises (SME)
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation; 60% regional and local contributions to bridge construction

Implementing Agency:
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in partnership with regional and local governments

Local communities in remote areas of their respective Kebeles & Woredas;
Bridge Users' Committees, government partners, and private sector enterprises

Project Office

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation  
Trail Bridge Capacity Building Programme
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Kirkos Sub-City, Kebele 02/03 
House No. 9999/1, P.O.Box 27507/1000,
Tel: + 251-11 467 29 34/35/36
Fax:+ 251-11 467 29 49