The Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF), a global partnership program administered by the World Bank, was established in 2006 with a mission to help address the growing crisis of road traffic deaths and injuries in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). GRSF provides funding, knowledge, and technical assistance designed to scale-up the efforts of LMICs to build their scientific, technological and managerial capacities. Since its inception, the GRSF has operated as a hybrid grant-making global program, allowing it to distribute funding externally for global, regional and country activities, and internally through World Bank-executed grants, which enhance the work of the World Bank’s transport global practice and leverage road safety investments in transport operations in client countries. Through this process over the last several years, GRSF has established itself as one of the highly impactful leaders of the global road safety agenda.
The Global Road Safety Facility has three main objectives, which are detailed in the Strategic Plan for 2013-2020.
In its recent history, GRSF has:
As the funding demand for road safety continues to increase, GRSF continues to allocate its resources toward leveraging substantial and effective road safety interventions. To achieve this, Facility resources are frequently mobilized in the early stages of larger initiatives with priority given to helping clients build the institutional capacity to sustain and improve on road safety solutions over the long-term.
Requests for support to recipient executed grants (GRSF provides funding to an organization, partner, or government who implements their proposed program) are received on a rolling basis and evaluated against the facility’s objectives, along with the project’s ability to positively affect road safety outcomes at the city, country, and/or regional level. Written government endorsement accompanying these requests guarantees stronger country ownership, favors more sustainable outcomes, and provides a greater possibility for additional road safety investment in the client country. Projects are results driven with ambitious, but pragmatic and measurable outcomes.
GRSF continues working toward its strategic objectives, highlighted in the Strategic Plan for 2013-2020, while supporting the UN Decade of Action’s goal of reducing road traffic deaths by 50% by 2020, and improving the longer-term sustainability of road safety interventions. GRSF has also continued to shift its focus toward low-income and lower-middle income countries, with 73% of its disbursements in calendar year 2015 being provided for road safety activities in these countries. GRSF is also dedicated to the new Sustainable Development Goals, which call for halving road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020, and continuing to improve road safety and access to safe transport by 2030.
GRSF has played a critical role in mainstreaming road safety in the World Bank’s operations leveraging scaled up road safety lending in World Bank projects. In fiscal year 2015, GRSF disbursed approximately US$3.9 million in grant financing supporting institutional management capacity reviews, infrastructure assessments, technical assistance, and other advisory services, leveraging $151 million in road safety lending across World Bank projects (GRSF’s internal leveraging ratio equivalent to 1:39). GRSF funding and technical assistance played a significant role in World Bank’s total road safety lending of nearly $239 million in FY15, which is up 326% from $56 million in road safety lending the year of the Facility’s inception in FY 2006.
In order to achieve this substantial road safety leveraging, GRSF monitors the World Bank’s portfolio of both active and “pipeline” projects in order to provide early stage input in the design of road safety components and assistance to the World Bank teams that will help develop and support the Safe System approach in client countries. In certain cases, where GRSF sees the strong possibility of leveraging substantial road safety lending in a World Bank project, GRSF might fund an institutional management capacity review and/or road safety infrastructure assessment or audit. This work shows the client and World Bank team the road safety related challenges, provides detailed recommendations for intervention, and both encourages and allows the client country to fund a well-designed road safety component through the World Bank project. GRSF also responds to requests for technical assistance and advisory services during implementation. The joint effort from, and collaboration between, GRSF and the World Bank has led to the mainstreaming and scaling up of road safety in World Bank operations.
GRSF’s impact on the World Bank’s Road Safety Portfolio has been substantial as highlighted by the facts that:
Key achievements in the World Bank’s Road Safety Portfolio in FY15 include:
After years of efforts by GRSF to mainstream road safety in the World Bank’s Africa region, which was lagging behind while experiencing the highest rate of fatalities compared to other regions; Africa region finally led the World Bank’s road safety lending in FY15, with over $80 million in road safety activities that will ultimately save lives. South Asia region had the 2nd highest amount of road safety lending with $68 million. Europe and Central Asia showed increased road safety lending in the order of $56 million. The World Bank’s road safety portfolio continues to show great promise moving forward.
Road crashes are the leading cause of death worldwide for youth aged 10-24. Of the 1.3 million killed on the world’s roads each year, 90 percent are in developing countries. As part of its efforts to fight this epidemic, GRSF has outlined five focus areas in its 2013-2020 strategic plan.
GRSF has five main focus areas as outlined in the 2013-2020 Strategic Plan:
In developing countries, setting up good road safety practice is a challenge due to a variety of issues including weak agency capacity, insufficient funding, and absence of political will.
GRSF also engages in road safety capacity building by helping the client country improve its road crash data collection and management system. Training programs are another key activity used by GRSF to help build and align both the capacity of the client and the World Bank to maximize the design of, and effectively implement road safety interventions.
Developing countries are rapidly expanding their road networks to accommodate increasing motorization, trade routes, and access to markets for rural communities. In developing countries, roads are used by a mix of actors, including significant numbers of motorcyclists, non-motorized vehicles, and pedestrians. Existing road networks were often designed for a different mix of traffic and vehicles. Newer roads, particularly high-speed arterial networks, frequently neglect important safety considerations in their design features, often with deadly implications.
A crucial ingredient for success over the Decade of Action will be effective and efficient road policing in LMICs. Traditional technical assistance to police focused on equipment provision or campaigns and fell short in delivering sustained outcomes, frequently because of lack of oversight from senior commanders. Simultaneously, issues of corruption and poor public perception of traffic police forces have hindered success.
Efforts to stem the global road safety epidemic took a major step forward, when the United Nations declared 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, and again in 2015 as road safety targets were established for 2020 and 2030 within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Decade of Action aims to save 5 million lives and prevent 50 million serious injuries by helping countries around the world improve their road safety outcomes. Civil society organizations have an important advocacy and operational role to play in supporting the initiative.
Research & Analysis
GRSF funds research and analysis across and beyond the five pillars of road safety from the global plan. GRSF’s research is influential and impactful, meaning that it an addition to building and sharing knowledge, it is often highly applicable in an operational context in order to positively influence road safety outcomes on the ground.
Some research highlights include:
GRSF’s work has strongly contributed to positive road safety outcomes in many low- and middle-income (LMICs) countries around the world. Several broad and individual examples of GRSF’s impact and success are detailed in Global Road Safety Facility: Leveraging Global Road Safety Success.
In fiscal year 2015 (FY15), GRSF achieved a leveraging ratio of 1:39 (on average, each dollar of grant funding provided by GRSF resulted in $39 spent directly on road safety through World Bank project lending). GRSF will continue to fund and prioritize activities that have the potential for similar leveraging capacity of donor-aided funds. Funded projects include the following initiatives, among others:
Some individual examples of GRSF’s impact include:
Other outcomes include:
With technical and funding support from GRSF, ChinaRAP became the first country-owned Road Assessment Program (RAP) in any low- or middle-income country. GRSF supported the Building the China Road Assessment Program (ChinaRAP) in partnership with the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) to develop and field test risk assessment models for application in China. Recent developments and successes within China and abroad now show that ChinaRAP is both sustainable and internationally competitive. Click here to read more about GRSF’s support for ChinaRAP and its achievements.
Karnataka, a state in south India, presented a unique opportunity for GRSF to collaborate on a road safety demonstration corridor program encompassing two World Bank–funded projects led by the transport and health sectors. The project is ongoing. The transport project focuses on infrastructure as well as police training and awareness programs. GRSF provided technical assistance and grant support of $233 thousand, which leveraged a $14 million component in the loan project. The health project concentrates on building capacity for emergency care systems and for estimating the baseline burden of injuries related to road crashes. Click here to read about the achievements of our work in Karnataka to date.
GRSF and the World Bank have funded road safety management-capacity reviews across Brazil in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande du Sol, Sao Paulo and Minais Gerais. State-level capacity reviews have garnered increasing state and federal government interest in road safety. This resulted in GRSF funding the federal-level road safety management capacity review of Brazil, the largest such review ever undertaken. Brazil has already announced commitment to some key recommendations for improving road safety.
GRSF has funded elements of this $112 million commitment made by the Government of China for road safety and provided advisory services. Interventions include building institutional management capacity, data collection, safe road infrastructure, road safety education campaigns, enforcement, and capacity for post-crash and short- and long-term care.
A GRSF-funded road safety management-capacity review played a critical role in decreasing the number of deaths on Poland’s roads (2011—2014), leading to a 31% reduction in road fatalities. Poland has since asked GRSF and the World Bank for further assistance in developing data systems, road safety education programs and road safety communication campaigns.
GRSF guided the development of a Road Safety Strategy, a management-capacity review and the design of the Fourth East-West Highway project. In 2015, a new Road Safety Strategy was drafted; because of GRSF guidance, most critical issues highlighted in the draft had already been covered by the initial strategy, and several issues were addressed by the stakeholder agencies in advance of the final draft of the strategy.
GRSF funds directly influenced the creation of Colombia’s National Road Safety Agency, which has been employing an investment strategy that uses both traditional and innovative techniques— including bringing insurance companies and other sources of funding on board. This work has already leveraged an Inter-American Development Bank loan of $10 million for the team setting up the operational structure of the new lead agency to implement a national road safety policy.
The World Bank has several well-designed, multi-sectoral, safe system — based road safety interventions underway in Karnataka, Gujarat, Kerala, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. GRSF has played an influential funding and advisory role in several of these World Bank projects.
Since 2006, the Facility has grown into a globally recognized institution for funding road safety activities related to lead agency development, road infrastructure improvement, monitoring and evaluation, and technical assistance in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Facility funding has been channeled to over 20 countries and resulted in over US$500 million committed to road safety investments.
Proposed activities of Facility grant recipients must conform to the goals and activities of the Facility as detailed in the Facility’s Strategic Plan 2013-2020.
Specifically, Facility goals are to:
To receive Facility support , activities should generally meet the following criteria:
The Facility Implementation Unit currently accepts proposals for review on a rolling basis. A brief description of the proposed activity (not to exceed one page) should be sent by e-mail to: email@example.com
The Facility Implementation Unit (FIU) will normally respond to initial funding inquiries within 15 business days.
Full application forms are sent to prospective applicants whose funding requests have been reviewed by the FIU and designated as falling within the Facility’s criteria for funding eligibility.
Guidelines for working with the Facility are reviewed on a yearly basis and changes to this form will be reflected as needed.
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The Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) is a partnership platform that provides funding, knowledge, and technical assistance that helps low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) establish and develop their road safety capacity, while designing and implementing effective road safety interventions. The World Bank, GRSF’s host organization, and GRSF’s past and current donors including DFID, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the FIA Foundation, DFAT, SIDA, and the Government of the Netherlands have all been essential partners in funding and supporting GRSF operations.
Beyond these essential internal partners that make up GRSF, GRSF has developed strong partnerships with many different organizations within and outside the global road safety community including:
GRSF and its partners have worked together and taken impactful action to further mainstream road safety around the world. Today, while there are still many challenges, our partnerships are the reason why road safety is understood to be a major development burden in many countries around the world. The global road safety agenda only continues to gain momentum as new partners, understanding the burden road crashes present to life and economic growth, join our movement. With greater funding for the GRSF, along with more substantial collaboration based on past success and new and innovative partnerships; we can meet the SDG target to halve road traffic fatalities by 2020. GRSF is now in the process of strengthening old relationships, developing new partnerships, and stands ready to work with any old and new partners alike to help meet the goals of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and the Sustainable Development Goal targets for road safety.
This resource page contains links from the World Bank and its partners to research, publications and other resources on global road safety.
Global Plan for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety
The Sustainable Development Goals: Road Safety
The World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention
The Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015
Transport for Health: The Global Burden of Disease from Motorized Transport
A Shared Approach to Managing Road Safety (MDB joint statement)
The Road Safety Manual (World Road Association)
Towards Zero: Ambitious Road Safety Targets and the Safe System Approach
Best Practices in Road Safety: Handbook for Measures at the Country Level
iRAP Toolkit (website)
UK Department for International Development (DFID)
DFID Annual Report 2015-2016
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Annual Report
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Road Safety
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)
Road Safety Management Guidelines (Bliss)
Improving Global Road Safety (Bliss, Raffo)
Strengthening Road Safety Legislation: A Toolkit for Road Safety Legislation Workshops
Data Systems-A Road Safety Manual
Measuring Road Safety Through Regional Observatory in Latin America
The Road Safety Cent: Management and Financing of Road Safety in Low-Income Countries
Managing Road Safety in Africa
Road Safety Management in Brazil, India, Russia, and China
Road Safety Management (European Commission)
ISO 39001-Road Traffic Safety (RTS) Management Systems
Urban Road Safety
Speed Management: A Road Safety Manual
Drinking and Driving: A Road Safety Manual
Helmets: A Road Safety Manual
Road Safety Enforcement and Traffic Policing in Moldova
Traffic Law Enforcement Across the EU
Corruption, Traffic Enforcement, and Road Safety (Arrive Alive)
Post-Impact Care (European Commission)
Post-Crash Response in the Ibero-American Countries
Other Important Resources
Transport Note: Road Traffic Injuries in MENA
Guidelines for mainstreaming road safety in regional trade road corridors (Africa)
Burden of Road Injuries in Sub-Saharan Africa
On the Road to Safe School Transport in China (East Asia and Pacific)
Reducing Traffic Accidents in China: Strengthening the Use of Road Safety Audits
(East Asia and Pacific)
Confronting “Death on Wheels” Making Roads Safe in Europe and Central Asia
(Eastern Europe and Central Asia)
Road Injuries in 18 Countries
For questions regarding road safety resources contact us at email@example.com