In 2019, the International Road Federation (IRF) and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety launched an initiative called “LEARN” (Learn, Examine, Apply, Replicate, Network), with the aim to enhance the data knowledge, skills, and actions of a selected group of road safety professionals and stakeholders via a hands-on, real-time and contextual capacity development process in African countries.
The program uses multi-sectoral coalitions in each country, co-ordinated by a local NGO and involving government officials, academics, police, private sector, and anyone involved in the implementation of safer roads. Through LEARN, each coalition is equipped to use data more effectively for road safety planning and implementation and is tasked with building a joint action plan. Using the action plan, the coalitions implement a data-driven pilot project, defined by the coalition. The coalition collects data that it uses to recommend interventions, jointly seeks funding, and implements them.
After the pilot countries Kenya and Senegal, over the past months, the LEARN Project has been introduced also in Uganda, Cameroon, and Zambia through an interactive data workshop built around the specific needs of each country and during which the multi-sectoral coalitions are formed. In the case of Uganda, for example, the coalition is looking into ways to improve overall the crash data collection processes in the country.
The long-term objective is to support the creation of a multi-stakeholder community in the respective countries to improve road safety policy and action. Once the workshop is completed, mentoring from IRF and the Global Alliance continues to ensure support to the country coalitions moving there the first steps and by ensuring they connect to other ongoing processes and initiatives in the country and Africa as a whole.