Report: ‘A Fare Price: An investigation into the health costs of motorcycle taxi crashes in Kenya’

As the number of motorcycle taxis (boda bodas) continues to grow in Kenya, the report finds that the personal and economic price of a motorcycle taxi crash is high; helmet wearing prevalence amongst riders is low, helmet quality is low, head injuries are the leading cause of hospital admission, and hospital treatment for motorcycle taxi crashes can cost up to 4.5x the annual salary of the rider.

The report sets out the context of motorcycle taxis in Kenya, key findings from analysis of hospital records, national data analysis, observational studies and interviews, as well as case studies and recommendations to tackle motorcycle taxi injuries and deaths in Kenya.

To compile this report, Transaid worked in partnership with Multimedia University of Kenya, Safe Way Right Way Kenya, and Margie Peden, with support from the FIA Foundation.

Click below to download the full report.

Article: A collaborative approach to addressing motorcycle safety in Kenya

As Transaid continues to implement a project to establish a National Helmet Wearing Coalition in Kenya, funded by global road safety philanthropy the FIA Foundation, one thing that has become clear is the complexity of the determining factors linked to motorcycle safety.

The National Helmet Wearing Coalition currently comprises representatives from 17 different organisations including government, civil society, academia, private sector and rider associations. The Coalition has identified the urgent need for stronger enforcement to save lives on Kenya’s roads, and plans to support this objective in a number of ways.

The collective voice that a coalition of organisations and agencies offers is definitely a strength when it comes to instigating positive change, as is the pool of expertise that member organisations from various sectors bring to this particular Coalition. Indeed, there are challenges, not least building relationships and understanding the dynamics between members, but this approach is vital particularly where complex issues such as those influencing motorcycle rider safety are concerned.

Click below to read the full article.

Journal article: The lived experiences of women workers in Africa’s transport sector: Reflections from Abuja, Cape Town and Tunis

This paper draws on ethnographic research conducted 2019–2022 in three quite diverse city regions – Abuja, Cape Town and Tunis – to understand women’s lived experiences of work in the road transport sector.  The strength of connection between male identity and motor-mobility in Africa is ubiquitous and has rarely been questioned by transport sector actors. Women are still largely absent from the story, constrained at least partly by hegemonic norms of femininity and an ‘affective atmosphere’ that deters female entry. However, there are occasional cases across Africa where women have dared to disrupt this masculinist enterprise, either as employees or entrepreneurs.

This study explores and compares women transport workers’ everyday experiences, drawing principally on in-depth interviews with those in customer-facing roles (taxi and bus drivers, bus conductors). Relevant public sector organisations and major transport employers were also consulted, while focus groups with community groups of men and women explored their attitudes to women employed as transport workers, and with school-girls investigated their career aspirations and views regarding employment in the sector. A final section looks to the future, post-COVID-19. Although new opportunities occasionally emerge for women, they need much more support, not only in terms of skills training, but also through flexible working opportunities, union recognition and action, microfinance and financial management training. This support is essential in order to expand the visibility of women transport workers and thus make the wider transport milieu less overwhelmingly male and more welcoming to women transport users.

Article: Transforming Public Transport: Harnessing Local Collaborations to Combat Gender-Based Violence in Cape Town’s Minibus Taxi Industry

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive issue globally, and Cape Town, South Africa, is no exception. Here, women face numerous challenges as users of public transport.

Safety is a major concern for women using the minibus taxi system in Cape Town. Women are vulnerable to physical and sexual assault, particularly when travelling alone or at night. There have been reports of women being robbed, harassed, and even raped while using minibus taxis.

Another challenge that women face in the minibus taxi system is a lack of access to information and resources. Many women are not aware of their rights as passengers or of the services and support available to them. This can include access to emergency services or helplines or information on how to report incidents of harassment or assault.

All of these factors make it difficult for women to feel safe and secure when using public transport in Cape Town. In response to these challenges, the project “Youth engagement and skills acquisition within Africa’s transport sector: promoting a gender agenda towards transitions into meaningful work” was implemented in Cape Town (2019-2023). This action research project aimed to understand more about the vulnerability of women as both users and employees within the public transport sector, and, implement pilot projects to address these challenges.

The project team employed a multi-pronged approach, engaging female commuters and minibus taxi industry employees through skills development training, awareness campaigns, and the creation of a Safe Taxi Charter. Supported by strong local partnerships, including a gender justice non-governmental organization (NGO), academic and peer researchers, and the private sector, the project sought to foster a gender-sensitive and violence-free environment.

This article explores the impact of these interventions and highlights the potential of locally-led, interdisciplinary collaborations in driving positive change.

Click below to read the full article.

Article: Reflecting on the changing landscape of Emergency Transport Systems (ETS) in rural Zambia, a year after the conclusion of the MAM at Scale programme

In Zambia, through the MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) and MAMaZ Against Malaria at Scale (MAM@Scale) projects, Transaid delivered its largest scale-up ETS intervention to date which has reached nearly one million community members since its inception in 2017. Trained Community Health Volunteers (CHV) were instrumental in the running of a community-based ETS consisting of 70 bicycle ambulances. In an effort to prevent mortality in children under six due to severe malaria, the project sought to tackle the practical barriers and delays in accessing healthcare services at the primary healthcare level.

The MAM@Scale project shows the value of investing in rural mobility. When interventions are implemented in a manner that generates community ownership and are responsive to community needs, the benefits are far-reaching and sustainable. This approach changes the way communities are able to access vital health services and for health care to become people-centred as envisioned in the Sustainable Development Goals. At the very least, it is an incremental step in the right direction towards achieving universal access.

Click below to read the full article.

Report: MAM@Scale Endline Survey Report

The MAM@Scale project sought to support the scale-up of an evidence-based intervention that aimed at increasing access of hard-to-reach communities to effective treatment for severe malaria in high malaria burden settings. The project was implemented in phases, i.e., Transition to Scale 2 (TTS2) which was implemented in two demonstration districts and three National Scale Up (NSU) districts and TTS3 which was implemented in the five TTS2 districts and another additional five NSU districts. The endline was carried out in selected project areas during the months of October and November 2021 to determine the contribution of the project towards increasing the access of hard-to-reach communities to effective treatment for severe malaria in high malaria burden settings. Findings were compared to those of the baseline survey (February 2019) and the midline survey (July 2020).

Click below to read the full report.

Webinar slides: Diversifying Uganda’s Professional Driver Workforce

As part of the BMZ funded Professional Driver Training – Uganda 2 (PDT-U II), Transaid and Safe Way Right Way have sought to improve the gender imbalance within Uganda’s transport industry by bringing more women through professional bus and truck driver training and supporting them into employment.

Women face many obstacles in becoming professional drivers such as the prohibitive cost of training, a licence progression system that favours men, and discriminating work environments.

In this webinar we discussed the approaches taken during the programme, and highlighted the insights and learnings that were gathered.

Click below to download the webinar slides.

Technical Brief: Youth Engagement and Skills Acquisition within Africa’s Transport Sector – promoting a gender agenda towards transitions into meaningful work

Public transport in sub-Saharan Africa provides an essential means for young women to access education and employment opportunities. However, the sector is highly gendered, and results in limiting access to women both as users, and as workers within the sector.

The project “Youth engagement and skills acquisition within Africa’s transport sector: promoting a gender agenda towards transitions into meaningful work”, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council,
commenced in 2019 and sought to broaden our understanding of the challenges faced by women as users of public transport, as well as employees within the public transport sector.

The pilot interventions targeting female users focused on addressing the primary concerns of women as revealed by the research. For female employees within the public transport sector, employment skills training was delivered to facilitate the advancement  within their respective organisations or companies.

Click below to read the full technical brief.