11 Dec 2020

OSEVI, ARSO and APRSO organise the 1st global meeting of regional road safety observatories

In December 2020, the IberoAmerican Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI), the African Road Safety Observatory (ARSO) and the Asian Pacific Road Safety Observatory (APSRO) conveyed the 1st Global Meeting of Regional Road Safety Observatories, in collaboration with several international institutions: the Fédération Internationale de l´Automobile (FIA),the World Bank (WB), the International Transport Forum (ITF), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Sub-saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the African Union (AU), and the International Organization serving Ibero-America (SEGIB).

The three-day event was structured in two parts. 

Held on 8-9 December, the first part was open to the general public, on registration. More than 170 people from 120 countries attended  the event, which was broadcasted with simultaneous translation in English, Spanish, French and Russian via Zoom. A replay, as well as the presentation slides are now available on the regional observatories websites (,, as well as at the links below:

Held on 10 December, the second part was restricted to the Steering Committee members of the three Regional Road Safety Observatories.  More than 50 people attended the event. The presentation slides used by the speakers are available to attendees through their respective technical secretariats.

The meeting opening day, which was moderated by Mrs. Femi Oke, included the participation of:

  • Jean Todt, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety and FIA President,
  • Harwig Schafer, WB Vice President for South Asia,
  • Young Tae Kim, ITF Secretary-General.

Dr. Naoko Yamamoto, WHO Assistant Director General, Mr. Bambang Susantono, ADB Vice President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, SEGIB Secretary General, Ms. Amani Abou-Zeid, AU Commissioner or Transport, and Mr. Mathew Baldwin, on behalf of EU Commissioner of Transport Ms. Adina Vălean, joined the discussion to highlight progress over the past two years in the establishment and operations of Regional Road Safety Observatories to facilitate efficient data and policy discussions nationally and globally. 

Ms. Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary, joined Ministers Ms. Angela Orozco (Transport, Colombia), Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari (Transport and Highways, India), Ms. Dagmawit Moges (Transport, Ethiopia), Mr. Khalid Cherkaoui (on behalf of Minister of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water of Morocco), and Mr. Sun Chanthol, (Works and Transport, Cambodia) on a discussion on resource allocation for evidence-based road safety investments. 

More specifically, the meeting focused on the role of Regional Road Safety Observatories in the global agenda and emphasised the importance of collaboration to build evidence-based road safety decisions within regions in a country and between countries in order to reach SDG 3.6 by 2030.

It was also announced that the African and the Asian Pacific Regional Road Safety Observatories had received the Prince Michael of Kent Award (which had been previously awarded to OISEVI).

The second day of the event focused on four specific challenges that National and Regional Road Safety Observatories are currently facing:

  • the discrepancy between country reported fatality figures and WHO estimates published to monitor SDG 3.6;
  • the difficulties in recording geolocation of most serious crashes;
  • augmenting data collection beyond crash data into performance-related indicators;
  • and issues related to data management (i.e., collection, storage, analysis, sharing). 

For each of these challenges, experiences from countries belonging to all existing Regional Road Safety Observatories were shared and debated. This problem-focus agenda was very welcome by attendees who were, for the most part, technical officers in National Observatories participating in one or another of the Regional Road Safety Observatories.

The third (and last) day focused on organisational and administrative matters of relevance to all Regional Observatories, ranging from membership criteria and benefits, existing workplans and foreseen needs to future plans, the possibility to have joint projects across Regional Observatories and some targeted common data-related objectives, policies related to financing, budget development and execution, issues of transparency.  In particular, the following possibilities were discussed and agreed upon:

  • Shared learning events, webinars (with simultaneous interpretation). Possibility to create a common calendar and include, among other topics, the issues of evidence-based decision making.
  • Development of a score board for data completion and quality, including aspects related to fatality counts (addressing gaps), geolocation, performance indicators, exposure, economic costs, and communications.
  • Development of a joint document to highlight the importance and value of data.
  • Submission of a joint proposal to the UN Road Safety Fund for a project involving countries in all three RSO, possibly acting as pilot test for later expansion to other countries.
  • Collaboration with WHO in next Global Status Report (scheduled to be released in 2022) and on the development of the 2nd Decade action plan (The deadline was on 10 December 2020.)
  • Participation in the UNRSC and (if possible) in the UN General Assembly meeting in September 2021 if the Road Safety Action Plan is unveiled.
  • Investigation on the best way to formalise the collaboration between Observatories. Development of a common logo to be used together with regular logos to showcase collaboration with global network.
  • Collaboration with other countries exploring to develop new Regional Road Safety Observatories.
  • Planning for a 2nd global meeting of Regional Road Safety Observatories to be held towards end of 2021 (a three-day event starting on either 30 November or 14 December — to be determined)

To conclude, here are the key takeaways of this three-day meeting:

1) strong sense of value and relevance of these Regional Road Safety Observatories as a mean to improve national and subnational data collection and analysis as well as policy decision-making at national and regional levels;

2) strong commitment from international institutions to participate in these developments which are considered as being a more efficient way to prioritise and secure engagement and capacity building initiatives;

3) interest in collaboration between Regional Road Safety Observatories, both by setting data improvement joint targets and by collaboration in joint projects,

4) desire to maintain this global meeting, at least once a year.