Adapting advocacy to overcome roadblocks to road safety in Turkey

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There are a number of challenges road safety advocates face in promoting policy and legislative change for improved road safety. The ongoing instability in Turkey as a result of regional security challenges and following general elections in June has had a huge impact on the Turkish Red Crescent’s ability to advocate for the passage of amendments to the Turkish Traffic Law to address critical exemptions in current seat-belt wearing mandates.

A grantee of the GRSP Global Advocacy and Grants Programme within the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, the Turkish Red Crescent (TRCS) and GRSP have taken action to reorient the interim goals of the project in anticipation of indefinite political deadlock at the national level. This pre-emptive step enables TRCS to refocus attention on building capacity of its extensive network of branches to advocate for road safety policy change, while continuing to advocate with national-level policy makers. This shift focuses on the long-term sustainability of TRCS’s advocacy capacity, harnessing the strength of TRCS’s branches and provincial reach to achieve the long-term goal.

With support from the Bloomberg Advocacy Incubator (BAI) and GRSP, the TRCS has already started work on building the capacity of branches to effectively advocate with local policy-makers and representatives in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

In June, the TRCS’s project manager worked with GRSP and BAI in Washington to design a training programme for branches to enhance their advocacy knowledge and skills. While in Washington, the project manager also spent time with the government affairs office of the American Red Cross to build an understanding of how National Societies advocate for policy change.

In October, the Turkish Red Crescent, BAI and GRSP will jointly run a training programme for TRCS branches to increase their technical capability, as they inch ever closer to progress on the passage of amended regulations.

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