Editorial: Tracking change, NGOs in road safety advocacy

A recent Mobility Snapshot by GreenLight Initiative in Abuja, Nigeria, revealed that 1,488 people used the Utako market and A.E. Ekukinam Street intersection during peak hour. Yet, the intersection did not have traffic signals or crossings to protect pedestrians. These 1,488 people’s daily journeys and right to safe mobility have been overlooked. The Mobility Snapshot in Abuja is just one example among many, highlighted in last month’s #CommitToAct campaign, that demonstrates why road safety needs a strong, effective, data-driven NGO community. 

NGOs are the eyes, ears, and voices of their communities. Our role is to strengthen the evidence base by bringing the perspectives of communities, such as through the Mobility Snapshots, to be road safety advocates, and to hold governments accountable. To be effective in that role, we must also hold ourselves accountable for doing our job well, scrutinizing our own progress as well as that of our governments. We must make sure that our work is always based on relevant data and evidence and that we are building credibility with our communities and governments.

This month, to support NGOs in evaluating their advocacy, we have added a new tool to our Alliance Accountability Toolkit. The Accountability Tracker (the Tracker) invites NGOs to record their advocacy activities and their government’s response. Divided into four stages, advocacy, commitment, implementation, and promotion, the Tracker encourages NGOs to think about what has been achieved so far, what have been the challenges, and what are the next steps. Using the Tracker, we can better demonstrate the impact of our work and make sure that our advocacy strategy is relevant and on track. 

Strong NGOs are an essential partner in achieving the 2030 target to halve road deaths and injuries. It is our responsibility therefore to fulfill that role effectively, regularly evaluating our advocacy and government’s response to keep on track.