On May 20 2019, the President of Tunisia announced the creation of a supreme committee for road safety attached to the presidential office. This is a significant move because it brings together all the fragmented elements of road safety in different government departments and other organizations in one committee under supervision of the President’s office.
This is a common problem in many countries. Road safety cuts across several different government departments, normally including the ministries responsible for health, transport, and infrastructure, and often also including the ministry for education and others. Other stakeholders, such as NGOs and private sector are also actively implementing road safety programs. However, without government coordination, efforts are fragmented, lack ownership, and do not achieve their maximum potential. Having one committee responsible to the President, unifies the response of different road safety stakeholders in Tunisia and consolidates action.
Alliance member and recent FedEx Award winner Ambassadeurs de la Sécurité Routière has pushed for this committee for many years, knowing that, if there was one specific road safety body gathering the various stakeholders, a more strategic approach and better solutions and outcomes could be achieved. It now hopes that the committee will be operational soon and will continue to push to make sure that the commitment is put into action.
About this achievement, Afef Ben Ghenia, founder of Ambassadeurs de la Sécurité Routière says to other NGOs, “My advice is to keep up the pressure, because when you believe in it, you can really get things moving. The beginning, to establish good links and relations with all the actors of the road safety in your country, is the most difficult step but it is important to work with them because you can never succeed alone. Road safety is a team effort, involving government and non-governmental organizations. Your NGO needs to be a good mediator between all these stakeholders so that you can act together and make things better. Always try to show your decision makers that your NGO is there to support and strengthen the efforts of the government and not to criticize it.”