Global Road Safety Facility

About the Program

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 World Bank’s transport sector work 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

GRSF Objectives


In its recent history, GRSF has:

  • Leveraged loans in road and urban transport projects.
  • Provided pure road safety grants to initiatives independent of World Bank lending aligned with the achievement of the road safety SDG.
  • Given grants for road safety related research and development.
  • Provided grants for the development of road safety related data collection, management, and analysis systems.
  • Provided global leadership influencing the understanding of and advocacy for road safety action.
  • Played a major role in the creation of the new Road Safety Global Solutions Group within the World Bank, which will play the key role in training staff and promoting road safety across the World Bank. This will allow the World Bank to self-generate greater road safety action without GRSF funding and simultaneously allow GRSF to further expand its global road safety role. 
  • Delivered more effective and sustainable road safety solutions by supporting the shift away from fragmented, one-off interventions (often referred to as the “first generation approach”) to a more systematic, results-focused approach that recognizes the multi-sectoral nature of road safety (called the “second generation” or “Safe System” approach). GRSF-supported interventions are aimed at creating an environment for countries to sustain safety results across sectors, reinforcing the linkages between improved health, economic growth, poverty reduction, and community development.

As the funding demand for road safety continues to increase, GRSF continues to allocate its limited 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. 

Toward this goal, the GRSF works closely with the World Bank to leverage and influence road safety interventions in World Bank lending projects and operations. 

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 FY15, as in past years, there was no institution able to leverage road safety investments as effectively or substantially as GRSF.

GRSF: Leveraging Road Safety in the World Bank


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. While GRSF is not as heavily involved in implementation as the World Bank task teams; it also to requests for technical assistance and advisory services during implementation.  Mainstreaming road safety interventions and road safety informed projects has taken a great deal of work, engagement with the World Bank’s operational teams and managers, and the building up of road safety focal points in each World Bank region.  It is the combination of this work and joint effort from GRSF and the World Bank that has led to substantially scaling up road safety in World Bank operations.

How GRSF Works with the World Bank for the Client


How GRSF Leverages Road Safety Lending in the World Bank


Other Examples of GRSF Leveraging The World Bank’s Road Safety Portfolio


GRSF’s impact on the World Bank’s Road Safety Portfolio has been substantial as highlighted by the facts that:

·         Over the last 10 years (since the establishment of the GRSF in FY06), World Bank road safety lending has grown at an annual rate of 15.6% (From $56 billion in FY06 to $239 billion in FY15); an increase of 326% over the period.

  • Road safety lending during the FY06-FY15 period was 239% higher than the previous ten year period when GRSF had not yet been established. 
  • After a decade of mainstreaming efforts by GRSF, 100% of World Bank road projects now contain a road safety component, compared to 23% at the time of GRSF establishment.

Key achievements in the World Bank’s Road Safety Portfolio in FY15 include:

  • $239 million in road safety lending.
  • For the first time, 100% of road transport projects included a road safety component. 68% of projects with a road safety component covered more than 1 of the 5 pillars of road safety from the global plan.

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.

World Bank Road Safety Lending Since GRSF Establishment


World Bank Road Safety Lending Before & After GRSF Establishment


Overall, the World Bank’s road safety portfolio continues to show great promise moving forward.   The World Bank’s transport projects and urban development projects continue to provide the most effective way to substantially leverage the Facility’s limited resources.  The key for GRSF and the World Bank will be to continue to push for road safety components in 100% of road projects, while working to increase the number of well-designed road safety components that incorporate several of the five pillars of the global plan, and that contribute to the development of a safe system in the client country.  Furthermore, it will be essential to ensure that all road safety components in World Bank projects are well monitored, that results are delivered, and that next steps can be formulated using an evidence-based approach.

Focus Areas

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:

  • Capacity building
  • Safe infrastructure
  • Enforcement
  • Global Advocacy
  • Research & Analysis

Capacity Building

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 developed the Road Safety Management Capacity Review, an appraisal tool to help assess a country’s road safety management capabilities. The review guides the process of shifting from weak to strong institutional management capacity by working with client governments to identify systematic gaps and prioritize investment areas.

GRSF’s Road Safety Management Capacity Reviews 


“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.”  

Capacity Building through Effective Data Collection & Analysis 



Training that Builds Road Safety Sustainability 


Safe Infrastructure

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.

GRSF & World Bank Approach to Infrastructure Safety


  • The Global Road Safety Facility is pioneering the use of Safety Ratings on road networks, in partnership with the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP)
  • The Facility supported the development of a free toolkit with iRAP to help engineers, planners and policy makers develop safety plans for car occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, heavy vehicle occupants and public transport users.

iRAP: From Inspection to Implementation


GRSF’s Partnership with the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP)



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.

  • GRSF is funding an initiative to develop a police engagement model designed to improve the governance of road safety enforcement by targeting the Police Chief/Commissioner/Executive leadership levels in country police agencies through a global police network, the International Road Policing Organization (RoadPOL).

Police enforcement through RoadPOL


Global Advocacy

Efforts to stem the global road safety epidemic took a major step forward in May 2010, when the United Nations declared 2011-2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety. 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.

  • GRSF has supported the global road safety advocacy movement from the onset, contributing substantial resources to global road safety awareness-raising in the period leading up to the U.N. declaration.
  • The Facility continues to support global advocacy through its active role in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, by endorsing regional and country-based workshops and working with NGOs that promote the road safety agenda.

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.

Research and Development with influence and impact


Some research highlights include: 

  • GRSF commissioned Harvard University to develop an injury metrics framework for deriving best estimates of the burden of road injuries in 18 countries, as the 2010 Global Burden of Disease and Injury Study.
  • Partnering with the OECD's International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) to helps developing countries to improve their data management systems and eventually become members of IRTAD.
  • Actively contributing to the Road Traffic Injuries Researchers Network (RTRIN) a partnership of 660 individuals and institutions from 73 countries that collaborate to further research on the impact and causes of RTIs in LMICs.

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:

  • Strengthen global, regional and country capacity to support sustainable reductions in road deaths and injuries in low and middle-income countries.
  • Catalyze increased levels of road safety investment in low and middle-income countries.
  • Accelerate safety knowledge transfer to low and middle-income countries.
  • Promote innovative infrastructure solutions to improve the safety of mixed traffic, mixed speed road environments in low and middle-income countries.
  • Harmonize, scale up, and strengthen road safety activities of the UN, multilateral and bilateral agencies.
  • Support the Decade of Action and assist client countries in developing the institutions and systems to implement the Decade of Action Plan
  • Assist World Bank operational staff in building capacity to implement safe system projects, through the development of a guidance note and certification process that will provide the staff with the knowledge and skills to ensure that road safety is adequately considered at project preparation stage and during the implementation of Bank funded projects
  • Coordinate the collaboration between the MDBs and promote a harmonized, collaborative, and cost-effective approach to road safety in our client countries
  • Develop coordinated Safe System training programs for MDB partners and client countries.
  • Partner with donors to deliver effective road safety solutions to specific challenges through the use of existing Facility products and services

To receive Facility support , activities should generally meet the following criteria:

  • Proposed global and regional activities must be aligned and harmonized with other related facility initiatives;
  • Proposed country activities commonly have official, written government endorsement prior to Facility consideration, and in many cases the undertaking of a Facility funded country safety management capacity review is a mandatory first step for countries seeking Facility assistance;
  • Proposed global, regional and country activities must support the implementation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 (World Health Organisation).

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:

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.

Please direct your enquiries to:

You can also Contact us for more information.

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.  Without these partnerships, many of GRSF’s successes in mainstreaming road safety in the World Bank and globally could have never been achieved.  Indeed, all of GRSF’s success includes partnership based activity.


Current Donors

The Department for International Development (UK)

The UK Government recognizes that the primary responsibility for road safety lies with country governments and the donor agencies, including the MDBs, which provide significant financial resources to road building. To support the global effort on road safety, DfID has agreed to allocate resources to the Global Road Safety Facility to achieve measurable results in improving road safety in developing countries. 

Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies is the largest single donor for global road safety to date. As one of the recipients of this grant, the Facility has worked with the Bloomberg Philanthropies in designing a program of activities that have leveraged over US$500 million worth of road safety investment projects. 

The FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society

The  FIA  Foundation  for  the  Automobile  and  Society  has  been  a  sustained Facility  contributor  and  a  major  voice  in global  road  safety,  notably  through its Make Roads Safe platform. Most recently, the FIA Foundation has campaigned for the recognition of road safety as a development goal, a cause strongly backed by the Global Road Safety Facility.

GRSF’s Partners

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, with limited resources, and taken impactful action to further mainstream road safety around the world.  Today, while there are still many challenges and progress may not be as fast as road safety advocates would like, our partnerships are the reason why road safety is understood to be a major development burden in many countries around the World, and an absolute human and economic necessity.  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 Road Safety Facility (GRSF) - background information

Global Road Safety - Fact Sheet (pdf, 116KB)
Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020
 (WHO | pdf, 1.03MB)
Global Status Report on Road Safety
 (WHO | pdf, 16.34MB)


Road Safety/GRSF Documents - by Focus Area

Our Strategy
Global Road Safety Facility Strategic Plan 2013-2020

GRSF Annual Report - Fiscal Year 2012

GRSF: Building Capacity for Safer Roads (pdf, 3.56MB)
Global Road Safety Facility Activities Report 2006-2008

Our Donors
Leading the Worldwide Movement to Improve Road Safety (pdf, 3.65MB)
Australia and the World Bank: Unlocking Potential, Achieving Results

Make Roads Safe - Time for Action
 (FIA Foundation | pdf, 9MB)

Capacity Building
Road Safety Management Capacity Review Guidelines

    - Download Guidelines (pdf):    Original | Condensed | Highlights 
Improving Global Road Safety: Towards Equitable and Sustainable Development

- ------ Practitioner Resources ------
Sample Terms of Reference (doc, 175KB)
Review Checklists (xls, 54KB)
Lead Agency Structures (pdf, 176KB)
Country Case Studies (pdf, 647KB)

Safe Infrastructure
Star Rating Roads For Safety: The iRAP Methodology
  (iRAP | pdf, 2.47MB)
The True Cost of Road Crashes: Valuing Life and the Cost of a Serious Injury
 (iRAP |pdf, 2.08MB)
Safe Roads for Development - A Policy Framework for Safe Infrastructure on Major Road Transport Networks
  (IRF | pdf, 3MB)

Road Safety Enforcement and Traffic Policing in Moldova
 (pdf, 2.13MB)
Speed Management: A Road Safety Manual for Decision-makers and Practitioners
 (WHO | pdf, 1.23MB)
Drinking and Driving: A Road Safety Manual for Decision-makers and Practitioners
 (WHO | pdf, 3.05MB)
Helmets: A Road Safety Manual for Decision-makers and Practitioners
 (WHO | pdf, 1.88MB)

Global Advocacy
Advocating for Road Safety and Road Traffic Injury Victims: A Guide for NGOs
 (WHO | pdf, 1.55MB)
MDB Road Safety Initiative: A Development Priority
 (pdf, 1.12MB)

Research & Analysis
Transport for Health: the Global Burden of Disease from Motorized Transport

Transport Note: Road Traffic Injuries in MENA
 (pdf, 632KB)
Burden of Road Injuries in Sub-Saharan Africa
 (pdf, 5.81MB)
Road Injuries in 18 Countries
 (pdf, 2.47MB)


More Resources

Improving Global Road Safety: Towards Equitable and Sustainable Development 
     - view on Online Knowledge Repository
World Bank Global Road Safety Facility Strategic Plan 2006-2015
World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) facts and figures : 2006-2010

SSATP Annual Report 2011: A turning point for SSATP
Guidelines for mainstreaming road safety in regional trade road corridors (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)


Here are just a few of the highlights of World Bank road safety projects from recent years:

Recent Highlights

Michelle Yeoh | Actress and Ambassador
Meet Michelle Yeoh, actress and road safety advocate.

As Global Ambassador for the Make Roads Safe campaign, Michelle addressed the UN General Assembly in 2010 and 2014 to advocate for road safety.