Civil society and road safety engagement in the Eastern Partnership Countries
Last month, EASST and ISET – the International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University – hosted a unique event with the support of the World Bank with the aim of involving civil society in national and regional road safety interventions in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region (see below for more information on the Eastern Partnership).
The event was held online and was joined by over 60 civil society organisations (CSOs) from across the region. CSOs of all types were encouraged to attend – not just those specialising in road safety – to learn how they too can support the UN road safety goals.
The UN SDGs include two specific global targets on road safety: SDG target 3.6 and SDG target 11.2. But many other SDGs are implicated when considering why road safety is a global concern.
These include issues related to poverty and inequality, gender, energy use, economic development, and climate change.
Representatives from EASST, the Global Youth Coalition on Road Safety, FIA Foundation, and WHO presented on the various ways in which these issues intersect with road safety, all emphasising the importance of looking at road safety as a systemic issue.
Not surprisingly, effective road safety management requires a holistic approach, with inputs from many different players. At the heart of this is the ‘Safe System Approach’ and a ‘Vision Zero’ determination for safe roads.
The event included the official launch of a report prepared by the Technical Secretariat of the soon-to-be-launched Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory (EaPRSO). The report sets out the positive role civil society and non-governmental organisations can play in supporting road safety interventions and illustrates the inter-connectedness of road safety concerns with other development issues.
The EaPRSO is joint initiative uniting member countries with the common aim of advancing quickly and efficiently towards achieving the UN Global Road Safety goals. The Observatory will launch in the coming months and will be hosted by the Government of Georgia and facilitated by ISET and EASST.
What is the Eastern Partnership?
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) region includes five countries in Eastern Europe, outside of the EU. They are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership Transport Panel is supported by the EU to improve road safety “by facilitating technical virtual meetings on road safety and corridor development.”
In April 2018, the EaP Declaration on Road Safety endorsed the global target to reduce the number of fatal and serious road traffic injuries by 50% by 2030. To support reaching this target, a Regional Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory (EaPRSO) was established, funded by the European Commission—DG NEAR, under the umbrella of the World Bank. In 2021, we shared that EASST had been selected as part of a consortium along with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and ISET to host the Observatory, which is due to launch soon.
Civil Society Road Safety Engagement in Eastern Partnership Countries
This report prepared by the Technical Secretariat of the soon-to-be-launched Eastern Partnership Road Safety Observatory (EaPRSO) sets out the positive role civil society and non-governmental organisations can play in supporting road safety interventions and illustrates the inter-connectedness of road safety concerns with other development issues. (2022)