This study is a part of a long-term monitoring and evaluation (M&E) program of the Eastern Indonesia National Road Improvement Project (EINRIP). A longitudinal qualitative social research, with surveys of local social and economic relationships, were carried out before (baseline) and after the road construction (monitoring). The objective of the 2018 social qualitative research is to make a longer-term assessment of the socio-economic outcomes and impacts of the improvement of the EINRIP project roads in South Sulawesi and Flores. The main focus of the research is the relationship between road improvements and economic development in the areas served by the road. Particular attention is given to examining differential impacts on different social groupings including livelihood, gender, ethnicity, and disabilities. This study found that national road improvements by EINRIP have been shown to contribute positively to the enhancement of the economic activity which then leads to increased income and welfare of the community. The increased accessibility and the flow of transportation in the region has encouraged people's mobility to carry out economic activities. Thus, the community has better access to production inputs to increase the quantity and quality of production, as well as a broader market reach to sell their commodities. However, other factors identified are also important, although it is difficult to see how much each factor contributes because they are interconnected. In both locations, different livelihood and commodity price change, private sector investment, government policies and programs, and socio-cultural factors defined the economic activities as well as determined the magnitude of benefit of the national road improvement for economic development.
Keywords: road improvement, economic activities, transportation, access