April 10, 2019 was an exciting, rewarding night in New York City for Amend and our School Area Road Safety Assessments and Improvements (SARSAI) program. On a crisp spring evening, SARSAI received the inaugural World Resources Institute (WRI) Ross Prize for Cities, a $250,000 award focusing on urban transformation.
SARSAI was chosen from among 200 applicants by a world-class jury of experts. On the heels of the program’s December receipt of the Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Awards, this was thrilling news and confirmation that the world is recognizing SARSAI’s impact on saving lives.
The Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Awards annually recognize the most outstanding examples of international road safety initiatives. And Prince Michael of Kent knows how to treat a guest.
We know this, because on December 11, 2018, Amend received an award for our School Area Road Assessment and Improvement (SARSAI) program. The judges described SARSAI as “a fine example of the effective research-based approach taken by Amend.”
The ceremony at The Savoy hotel was followed by a proper British gala, hosted by the elegant Prince Michael of Kent. Award winners were feted with royal hospitality and toasts, and we are grateful for the reception as well as the recognition this brings to SARSAI and all our work to save lives and provide healthy, safe journeys for the world’s most vulnerable road users.
On November 13, 2018, Zoleka Mandela, ministers of transport from a dozen African countries, and our partners joined us onstage at the 1st African Road Safety Forum in Marrakech to launch Un grand pas en avant: Un programme d’action pour la sécurité piétonnière des enfants d’Afrique, our new report on child safety, directed toward Francophone Africa.
In her moving opening speech to the forum, Mandela, who lost her 13-year-old daughter Zenani to a drunk driver, said: “As a mother standing here, I represent the thousands upon thousands of families who have suffered the scourge of road traffic injury.”
Proving, scientifically, that a public health program works (or doesn’t) is challenging, especially in a developing country where primary government data (e.g., from hospitals and police records) are unreliable. In this context, the only way to gather accurate data is to design a gold-standard, randomized control study and then go door-to-door, systematically interviewing residents — for months, in the rain and the mud and the heat. So that’s exactly what we did: designed a study in partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and hit the streets, to determine if our school area infrastructure program actually saves lives.
And now we have proof that it does, detailed in the recently published paper, “School Area Road Safety Assessment and Improvements (SARSAI) programme reduces road traffic injuries among children in Tanzania.”
We are proud to announce that the FIA Foundation and the Puma Energy Foundation will support Amend’s safe-school-area work in 10 African countries (Benin, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia) with more than USD $1.7 million in funding over the next three years.
During this project, 30 high-risk school areas – where at least 2% of the student population is injured in road traffic every year – will receive Amend’s proven-effective school-area road safety program.
In collaboration with the FIA Foundation and the Global Initiative for Child Health and Mobility, Amend has produced a report called Step Change: An Action Agenda on Safe Walking for Africa’s Children.
This 60-page report explains how and why sub-Saharan Africa’s schoolchildren are among the highest risk populations in the world for road traffic injury, and details practical, proven solutions to save lives on Africa’s roads.
In addition to all the facts and figures, Step Change also features moving profiles of individuals whose lives have been affected by road traffic injury and striking original photography.
Download a PDF of Step Change here.
Amend’s work to keep children safe around high-risk schools in Africa is featured in the latest edition of the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety, the bible of global road safety, as a model program.
Download a one page PDF with the piece from the Global Status Report on Road Safety about Amend’s work.