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We get by with a little help from our friends: NGOs working hand-in-hand to eliminate high-risk roads
(Image credit: Global Alliance of NGO’s for Road Safety)

NGOs are making an incredible difference across the world ensuring road safety is a political and investment priority and road risk is eliminated in local communities. As members of the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety (the Alliance) gather this month for the Seventh Global Meeting of NGOs Advocating for Road Safety and Road Victims, iRAP is proud to be supporting NGOs’ efforts with training, tools, data and connections for safer roads.

Here’s just a few ways NGOs are partnering with iRAP for success:


Supporting High-level Action: A letter in the hand for Ministerial meetings

On 30 June and 1 July, global leaders will gather at the United Nations in New York for the first ever High-level Meeting on Road Safety.

iRAP is actively supporting this and has written to Heads of State in every country calling on them to participate in the Meeting, share success and commit to implement the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-30.

Country letters detailing valuable national data and road safety success can be downloaded here.

NGOs are helping to ensure the impact of the national letters by sharing them with their Heads of State and Ministers for Transport and relevant Ministries to support their Call to Action. High-level commitment is far more likely when being requested by someone local.

From SORSA on receiving iRAP’s UN High-level Meeting letter: “Thank you. It couldn’t have arrived at a better time. The Society of Road Safety Ambassadors will take it forward to His Excellency President Mokgweetsi. I will also provide the same letter to contacts in the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Department of Road Transport and Safety, National Road Safety Committee, Motor Vehicle Accident Fund and WHO to start the hierarchy to high level and with Road Safety Stakeholders to advocate and lobby for their support.”

The June High-level Meeting follows the Preparatory Event held in December 2021 during which iRAP CEO Rob McInerney shared with UN Member States and parliamentarians how NGOs, including iRAP, provide the passion and the purpose for road safety action; the push and the evidence-based products to support the business case for investment and how they need long-term partnerships to maximise the life-saving potential of their work. See his presentation here.


Supporting safer school journeys

Road crashes are the leading killer of children and young people worldwide.

NGOs have been integral to the development and success of iRAP’s award-winning Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) Programme helping to improve the safety of school journeys in 52 countries. The SR4S Programme is funded by FedEx, FIA Foundation and 3M.

The Alliance is a Programme Lead Partner and many members are using the tool to enhance their safer school projects and programmes including AIP Foundation Vietnam, Kwapda’as Road Safety Demand (KRSD) Trust Nigeria, TRAX Sports Society India, Amend, Automobile Club of Moldova, Avoid Accident India, Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST), Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez, Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), Road Safety Pioneers, Safe Kids USA, SORSA Botswana, Thiago Gonzaga Foundation, United Way Mumbai, Youth for Road Safety (YOURS) and Zambia Road Safety Trust.

For example, KRSD Trust is working with Lea Primary School and local authorities to advocate for safer infrastructure and speeds in Nigeria:

Fundacion Gonzalo Rodriguez is working with Star Rating for Schools to improve the safety of school journeys in Latin America:

Almost 100 schools have been assessed, and many upgraded, in Vietnam led by AIP Foundation. Read more here.

 (Image credit: AIP Foundation)


Connection to road safety funding

The FIA Road Safety Grants Programme is supporting FIA mobility clubs to upgrade the safety of school zones through projects that apply the School Assessment Toolkit and SR4S. EASST, Automobile Club of Moldova and Zambia Road Safety Trust received a share of almost €250,000 dispersed worldwide in 2021 to protect children on their journey to school.

In addition, the Alliance’s Incubator Programme has supported SR4S partner and Alliance member Thiago Gonzaga Foundation to expand their Caminho Seguro project using the SR4S methodology.


Building capacity to make roads safer

48,000 people have received iRAP training worldwide, including many NGOs.

Alliance trainings in Kenya and India in 2018 saw 41 NGOs from 21 countries each assess the safety of a school using the SR4S tool to identify where children were most in danger. They took the results to local decision makers and secured political commitment for evidence-based interventions to improve safety. On 29 March 2018, Kenyan policy makers agreed to implement the NGO-recommended measures to improve the safety of 2,000 children walking to a Nairobi school each day, informed by SR4S.  In October 2020, Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam Muhammad Bello, committed to not only implement the recommended improvements around City Royal School but also to improve safety around all schools in the Federal Capital Region. Safer school journeys continue to develop from the initiative.

Alliance NGOs reflected on their experience using SR4S at the Asia training and future plans to address school zone safety in their countries:

NGOs have been very effective at leveraging their learnings to achieve real change on the ground and build the capacity of road safety decision-makers in their communities.

Staff from 3 Alliance NGOs have become iRAP Accredited Suppliers helping to ensure that iRAP assessments are performed to the same consistently high level of quality worldwide.

Alliance members in 6 countries attended an exclusive SR4S Train the Trainer Course last year to learn how to plan and on-deliver SR4S training to build the capacity of governments, local organisations and school communities to make school journeys safer in India, Iran, Nigeria, Zambia, Brazil and Senegal.

In addition, the Youth Star Master Trainers Programme delivered by YOURS and funded by FedEx, has trained 5 young road safety leaders as SR4S Master Trainers. These youth trainers then trained 24 Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety members to assess the safety of roads around schools, universities and other educational institutions.

Youth Master Trainers gather online (Image credit: YOURS)


Advocacy partnerships

In the same way iRAP is partnering with the Alliance and its members this year to build advocacy and momentum for the UN High-Level Meeting, our partnership has also supported a global focus on lower speeds for #StreetsforLife.

During last year’s UN Road Safety Week, iRAP released ten videos featuring Alliance members from Iran, Zambia, Venezuela and The Philippines sharing their experience in their communities and calling for 30km/hr speed limits to reduce local road risk.

The campaign of videos and supplementary Street Design animations saw #Love30 messaging reach over 227,000 people online in 2 weeks.


Leading collaboration for national iRAP programmes

National Road Assessment Programmes (RAPs) bring together key stakeholders for coordinated effort to assess and improve road infrastructure safety in countries, build capacity, implement evidence-based investment and programmes to save lives, and celebrate success.

The Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, Automobile Club of Moldova, Laser International and National Automobile Club of Azerbaijan are just a few of the NGOs playing a critical role coordinating iRAP activities in their countries.


Looking to the future – How can iRAP support NGOs?

iRAP is a global registered charity providing the free tools, training and support to help road safety NGOs, governments, development banks, mobility clubs, research organisations and industry in more than 100 countries make their roads safer.

iRAP’s tools are freely available and supporting NGO advocacy and activities:

  • Vaccines for Roads and in particular the Big Data Tool – Highlights the impact of road crash injury in countries, how safe the roads are by road user type, the road attributes that matter and the Business Case for Safer Roads.
  • Road Safety Toolkit – Provides free information on the causes and prevention of road crashes that cause death and injury.
  • Star Rating for Schools – An evidence-based tool and programme for measuring, managing and communicating the risk children are exposed to on a journey to school. It supports quick interventions that save lives and prevent serious injury from day one.
  • iRAP Where We Work map – See RAP work being done and national programme lead contact details for connecting NGO and safer roads activities.
  • How safer roads appear in the Global Plan and iRAP is working with partners to achieve it
  • RAPTools – Shares the iRAP methodology as the global road infrastructure safety standard and tools to support partners to make their roads safer.
  • Global Road Infrastructure KPIs – Key performance indicators that can be included in road safety strategies, action plans and project scopes to set and measure safer roads success.

iRAP’s Plan for the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety is focussed on “Partnerships for 2030 Impact” and aims to save 2,000,000+ people from death or injury, make 200,000+km of roads safer and influence USD$200 billion of road infrastructure investment to save lives in the next 10 years.

NGO partnerships will be critical to achieving this and for countries’ attainment of UN Global Targets 3 and 4, to ensure all new roads are built to a 3-star or better standard for all road users (Target 3), and more than 75% of travel is on the equivalent of 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030 (Target 4).

We congratulate the Global Alliance on their global impact and empowerment of 295 NGO members working in road safety in 99 countries. We are so proud of the achievements of our NGO partners. Their grassroots activism, passionate dedication and incredible hard work is reaching from the roadside to the halls of government, making roads and school journeys safer and protecting children and families in communities across the world.

We look forward to our continued partnerships, as together, we #CommittoAct, this year and beyond.

For more information on the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety, visit

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The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a Registered Charity with UN ECOSOC Consultative Status.
iRAP is registered in England and Wales under company number 05476000
Charity number 1140357

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