UNDP in Armenia's SDG Innovation Lab and UNICEF launched a joint project on reframing road safety in Armenia, funded by the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF). The project aims to connect data, people and policies, instilling evidence-based and experiment-informed road safety policies in the country.
More than 300 people, including children, die on the roads of Armenia every year, which represents a significantly higher per capita rate than in neighboring countries. At the same time, unlike the trend in the European countries, the numbers of road accidents, fatalities and injuries are on the rise. The underlying causes are many, ranging from low quality and maintenance of growing fleet to road infrastructure and law enforcement - all exacerbated by unsafe road user behavior, particularly being unaware of traffic safety rules, speeding, and drunk driving.
The overall objective of the “Re-framing road safety in Armenia: connecting data, people and policies for safe roads” project is to help inform and implement the National Road Safety Strategy in the country through data analytics and behavioral science, and facilitate coordination, planning, and evaluation of road safety interventions, thus contributing to achieving a 50 percent reduction of road deaths by 2030.
"Every 24 seconds, a life is lost because of preventable road traffic injuries globally. In Armenia, more than 300 lives are lost each year to road accidents. It is our collective responsibility to prevent this from happening. Through this project, UNDP in Armenia's SDG Innovation Lab will introduce evidence-based and experiment-informed policy making practices in Armenia to support the implementation of the National Road Safety Strategy," mentioned UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Natia Natsvlishvili in her welcome remarks.
The data analysis tool developed within the framework of this project, will help identify black spots and root causes of accidents through systemic and continuous data analytics, thus providing the opportunity to design evidence-informed measures in specific locations. These insights will allow for more targeted behavioral and educational interventions.
The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, and the RA Police. Additionally, SweRoad - Swedish National Road Consulting will be engaged in the project as a responsible party bringing its extensive expertise and experience of data-driven road safety practices to Armenia.
Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia Kristine Ghalechyan welcomed the project and highlighted the importance of the event as a unique platform for establishing new collaborations and applying novel solutions and approaches to improving road safety.
Head of the RA Police Headquarters, Police Colonel Armen Mkrtchyan pointed out that one of the goals of the current police reforms is to extend the use of IT solutions in different aspects of their operations, with the end goal to increase work efficiency.
“Within the scope of this project, UNICEF will design behaviorally-informed educational materials for community stakeholders and children, integrate road safety issues into parental education and counseling through the health system, as well as organize edutainment sessions for parents of young children and for adolescents,” noted Silvia Mestroni, UNICEF Deputy Representative.
The project was launched with a welcoming message from UNRSF Head Nneka Henry.
SDG Innovation Lab Lead Tigran Tshorokhyan presented planned activities in detail, followed by a round-table discussion on road safety situation in Armenia that helped to identify potential areas of collaboration among stakeholders.