At a gala luncheon in the Savoy in London on December 8th, EASST received recognition by HRH Prince Michael of Kent who presented the team with his prestigious International Road Safety Award.
Since our launch in 2009-10, EASST has built a vibrant network of NGOs in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia all contributing to significant reforms in the region across all pillars of the UN Decade of Action. This has been done through a process of mentoring and close collaboration with country partners working continually with local stakeholders to promote road safety. EASST was established due to requests from local NGOs in the region, and we continue to work on a ‘bottom up’ basis promoting road safety and sustainable transport.
L-R Kate McMahon, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Emma MacLennan, Dmitry Sambuk
EASST received the Prince Michael Award due to our achievements under the following categories:
Achievement and Evaluation
EASST’s greatest achievement is its energetic network of road safety activists with expertise and experience needed for effective casualty reduction. EASST has awarded over €460,000 in grants to its partner NGOs during the last five years. EASST has also contributed over €40,000 to their training, or to supporting air fares and other costs to enable their voices to be heard at global road safety events. An EASST grant has made possible the establishment of the first road safety NGO in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
Evaluation is a key aspect of our work. A grant from EASST is closely monitored and accompanied by expert road safety advice and mentoring. Joint projects with EASST and other partners are encouraged, along with cooperation with UK and international experts, a communications network for sharing best practice and materials, assistance with financial due diligence, and other non-monetary benefits.
In addition, EASST has attracted over €330,000 in donor funding for road safety projects delivered in the region, working with the EBRD, UNDP and diplomatic missions to promote casualty reduction via its active partner network. In collaboration with IMC Group, EASST was selected by the EBRD to carry out technical cooperation projects under the Bank’s global road safety framework, enabling us and our partners to achieve a wide range of road safety initiatives throughout the region closely monitored and evaluated too by the Bank.
EASST has built a network of NGOs dedicated to road safety in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Prior to EASST’s establishment, there was limited communication between those working to reduce casualties in the region. Excellent work in one country was not necessarily being shared or replicated, common challenges and solutions were not being communicated, and reliable funding was limited – threatening the sustainability and impact of road safety initiatives. EASST has greatly enhanced the effectiveness of NGOs in the region, providing funding, expertise and support.
EASST has also helped to establish innovative programmes such as FIRE AID – tackling the 5th pillar of the UN Decade by matching the expertise of UK rescue service volunteers and sustainable equipment donations with local needs via our partner organisations. We have also partnered with the engineering company Kier Group to provide free high-vis equipment or child car seats to vulnerable road users in rural areas, among other innovations.
EASST has supported its network since 2009, both financially and through expert advice. Our core work – enabling our partner organisations to develop and achieve – continues to be of vital importance. EASST’s goals match those of the UN Decade of Action with a commitment to reduce road deaths by 2020. EASST is not a temporary or one-off initiative but a long-term pledge to improve road safety in a region facing some of the greatest challenges by working with local experts.
The WHO’s European Status Report on Road Safety 2009 showed that all countries in the European region with road fatality rates above the European average are located in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Baltics and the Balkans. The World Bank, in their 2009 report “Confronting Death on Wheels,” pointed to the fact that road deaths are three times higher in these countries than in Western Europe, despite smaller vehicle fleets. EASST’s founding was based on figures such as these and requests from local NGOs for support. All EASST partners undergo intensive due diligence before joining the EASST family, and funding for partner projects is based on achieveable and measurable goals.
EASST strongly encourages the replication of initiatives among its network – assisting a local organisation with setup and delivery of a project and often introducing that practice to other partners. This is a key strength of EASST.
One example is our work with the EBRD. In 2013 EASST launched a ‘Safe Villages’ project in Ukraine, working in villages and towns along a key road route being rehabilitated by the EBRD. The success of this project led to ‘Safe Villages’ being replicated along the R18 and R42 regional roads of Azerbaijan with our local partner HAYAT NGO. It also led to similar projects along vulnerable roads in Moldova and Georgia.
In autumn 2015 EASST is organised its first ‘all EASST’ conference in Georgia bringing all partners together to share experience and discuss future strategies. Our future work will include production of joint materials and project templates.
By working through local partners, EASST aims to build sustainable local programmes accompanied by institutional change. An example is our work with CSOs in vulnerable villages in Moldova, where our partner, the ACM’s, engagement with public authorities and civil society takes place on a regular basis.
EASST’s International Road Safety Award follows the success of three other EASST partners in winning awards from HRH Prince Michael: Poghos Shahinyan on behalf of the NRSC NGO in 2010; Gela Kvashilava and Irakli Izoria on behalf of the Partnership for Road Safety in Georgia in 2012; and Serghei Diaconu on behalf of the ACM in 2013.
For more information about the HRH Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards see this link: http://www.roadsafetyawards.com/