Throughout 2012, Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) worked in close cooperation with the Russian Red Cross (RRC) on developing their first ever road safety advocacy project. GRSP undertook the technical guidance role in assisting the RRC as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies funded Road Safety in Ten Countries (RS10) programme.
“145-year-old Russian Red Cross has long traditions of humanitarian diplomacy but has never applied these skills in road safety,” said Lilia Chibisenkova, RRC Head of Disaster Management and Road Safety Project Coordinator. “Apart from our day-to-day consultancy with GRSP, we attended two GRSP workshops on the subject that helped us better understand road safety issues and the challenges for the decade, assisted us to more clearly define Red Cross roles and responsibilities, and started us identifying the main political players and decision makers in this field”.
The first GRSP workshop conducted in Moscow in July 2012 clarified road safety risk factors, outlined the principles of approach and put together the foundations for the RRC’s next steps for engaging with decision makers in relation to improving Russian legislation regarding child safety.
Apart from the theoretical and practical knowledge, the workshop also triggered the setting up of a RRC road safety working group, chaired by the RRC President, that took the challenge of developing a RRC road safety strategy in a wider context and involving other RRC branches, mainly those in Moscow and the Moscow region.
To further assist the RRC with its advocacy plans, GRSP invited the RRC to a workshop for all the Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies involved in the RS10 programme.
“During this project, we have seen some tangible results in terms of defining the RRC role, developing a strategy, defining partners, conducting a public survey, becoming a member of Moscow road safety commission and making public announcements of the RRC position on child restraints at various national and international road safety forums in Moscow,” Ms Chibisenkova said. “We hope that the knowledge, skills and experience gained in 2012 will allow us to achieve changes in the Russian legislation and people’s attitude towards use of child restraints. We also plan to extend our road safety experience to other National Societies in CIS countries,” she added.