On 3-4 December 2019, around 70 representatives of Asian-Pacific governments, international road safety experts, key stakeholders, donors and other groups convened at the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) headquarters in Bangkok to determine next steps for the development of the Asia-Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APRSO). IRF was represented by Julia Funk, Senior Programme Manager and Head of Statistics.
Measuring road safety performance is fundamental in order to monitor progress towards the road safety-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For many countries, including many Asian-Pacific countries, large discrepancies exist between official national statistics and estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO). To facilitate policy-making in driving substantial interventions to effectively reduce road casualty figures, improved data collection and management is necessary.
Following the successful establishment and operation of the Ibero American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI) since 2012, several countries and international organisations suggested that similar regional initiatives would be beneficial in other regions. Africa started the process of establishment of a regional observatory in early 2018, and launched the governance structure of the African Road Safety Observatory (ARSO) in November 2018.
In March 2019, during a first workshop held in Singapore, participants agreed on the need of the establishment of an Asia and the Pacific-wide Road Safety Observatory. Two task forces were established to focus on the minimum set of road safety indicators required, as well as the Governance framework for the proposed APRSO.
Consequently, the second workshop this December focussed on seeking country endorsement of the development of the APRSO. The meeting clarified the mission of APRSO, which is intended to support countries improve their understanding of road safety issues, raise awareness, share experiences and best practices to reduce fatalities and injuries, generate robust road crash data, undertake analysis and develop policies for road safety in the region. Further, consensus was sought on how to facilitate APRSO to become an interactive and cooperative forum for road safety knowledge and data sharing among countries.
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