Road deaths and trauma are a major and rising cause of death and serious injuries across the world. In poor and middle income countries the issue is particularly stark. More than 1.2 million people currently die on the world’s roads each year, with an estimated cost of 2-3% of global GDP and the toll is rising. This is a public health priority in the Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by the global community in September 2015 and in the United Nations decade of road safety to 2020.
The FIA Foundation commissioned Impact Strategist to lead a team including Social Finance UK and Effective Philanthropy to explore how social innovation and impact investment approaches could lead to a breakthrough.
The initial report: Breaking the Deadlock co-authored by Impact Strategist and Social Finance UK was designed to provide thought leadership and inspire concrete action. It highlights opportunities for lessons and benefits of social impact investment to be applied to the across high, middle and low-income contexts. The breakthrough thinking transparently links investment to health outcomes, including through ‘payment for success’ approaches, in a way that also has potential to engender new understanding and build new alliances for road traffic injury prevention.
The next stage of work released in 2016 as Investing to Save Lives involved case studies to illustrate a concrete and compelling impact investment approach. This included a clear financial return on investment, reductions in death and serious injury and broader social and economic benefits.
This work informed a global initiative, Vaccines for Roads, which better quantified the investment case for safer roads adapted for different country and development settings. That work informed multi-lateral Ministerial commitments toward meeting United Nations Resolution 74/299 for a second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.
In 2020 the World Bank took up the case for investment in road safety and developed Saving Lives through Private Investment in Road Safety 2021 Knowledge Report (Published 2022).
In December 2021 the World Bank issued the first sustainable development bond for road safety