Course: Road Safety and Security - Leadership for Building Kenya’s Future
June 6-20, 2013 at Maasai Mara University
Instructors: Dr. Russ Marion, James Nampushi, Dr. Kim Alexander, Dr. Philip Pidgeon IV
Course Description: This executive leadership course covers skills needed to analyze social dynamics in social systems and to lead for change in those systems relative to road safety and security. Activities are planned that will help candidates better understand the scope of the problems with which they struggle and to help them develop strategies for addressing those problems. Students will learn to analyze problems as systems of interrelated events, to create models that explain those dynamics, to find ways to change systems, and to lead for change. Topics covered include systemic and complexity problem solving, data mining, data analysis, dynamic model building, leveraging change, and effective change leadership. It is a practitioner-oriented course tailored to meet the needs of working professionals and scholars particular in the area to road safety and security.
A Nation in Need
Road traffic crashes have long been recognized as a significant challenge to the achievement of health and development goals established by the United Nations and its member countries. When the UN proclaimed the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, Kenya was among the first countries to sign on because more than 90% of all traffic deaths occur in middle and low-income countries. More importantly, each injury from such crashes represents a tragedy for the victim, the victim’s families, and a community. Causalities are particularly poignant if the victim is a child, as is too often the case. Kenya generally reports about 3,000 traffic fatalities and more than 12,000 not-fatal road traffic injuries annually. The United Nations considers Kenya as one of the most dangerous countries in the world in terms of road safety. CU-IGRSS met with a team from the Global Road Safety Partnership in October of 2011 to discuss partnership in the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. It was during this meeting that a plan to aid Kenya with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of their local and national road safety programs began to take shape.
First Steps: South Carolina Road Scan with Kenyan Delegation
A unique partnership has been created between Clemson University Institute for Global Road Safety and Security, Maasai Mara University, and the Government of Kenya to address road safety and security in Kenya.
During the week of November 4‐13, 2011, CU‐IGRSS hosted a series of meetings with an official delegation consisting of representatives from the Kenyan government and Maasai Mara University. Among the distinguished guest attending the collaborative meetings at Clemson University was Ms. Anne S. Ferro, Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). After Ms. Ferro remarks, she was presented with traditional Maasia queen outfit and made honorary Maasai queen by Chairman Ole Kamwaro from Kenya.
Field tours were conducted at the facilities of key surface transportation safety stakeholders around the state of South Carolina for the purpose of sharing insights regarding transportation safety issues and best practices in road safety interventions. During the meeting with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV), Colonel Kevin A. Shwedo, Executive Director SCDMV, presented a formal letter of acknowledgement and support to the Kenya delegation from the Office of the Governor signed by the Honorable Nikki R. Haley. (See Below for descriptions and pictures of the SC Scan.)
The meetings resulted in a commitment on the part of the Kenyan delegation to form a partnership with CU‐IGRSS to identify evidence‐based, data‐driven strategies that can be effectively deployed to reduce the needless carnage occurring on their nation’s roadways. Furthermore, a commitment was made to establish an institute for road safety and security between CU‐IGRSS and Maasai Mara University with the Kenyan government through which students, stakeholders, road users, and various sectors of the road safety workforce can be trained, research can be conducted, and road safety countermeasures can be delivered. The government commitment in Kenya involves both the central government and the Government of Narok County - the county in which Maasai Mara University is located.
The Future: A Kenya Institute for Global Road Safety and Security (K-IGRSS)
The partners agreed to establish the Kenya Institute for Global Road Safety and Security (K-IGRSS). The mission of K-IGRSS is to provide policy support, teaching, research, and outreach in road safety and security based on a fundamental analyses of the Kenyan human-vehicle-road system. The partners envision the creation of three program thrusts within the structure of the institute: (1) Road Safety Management Program, (2) Road Safety Programs, and (3) Road User Behavior Program. These program areas within the Institute will be responsible for teaching, research, and outreach in 4 interrelated functions: (a) social research on safety issues, (b) education to promote road safety engineering and cultural/organizational change, (c) policy analysis and governmental change, and (d) engineering research on road safety.
The Maasai Mara and Clemson Universities’ Institute for Global Road Safety and Security will demonstrate how government policy, academic research, and public and industry/business support can be leveraged for safer and more secure roads in lower income countries. Multidisciplinary planning efforts in Kenya could serve as a model for other East African and Southeast Asian countries.