Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Infrastructure Advisor Anne Joselin visited the Kathmandu Medical College (KMC) and the Nepal Injury Research Centre (NIRC) in Duwakot, Bhaktapur in October to be briefed on the progress of one of the projects funded through HVT’s Transport-Technology Research and Innovation for International Development (T-TRIID) programme.
T-TRIID funds businesses, institutions and universities to explore ideas and concepts that could lead to sustainable, safer, greener and inclusive transport. Researchers in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur are gathering data on motorcycle taxi related deaths and injuries in Nepal where policy makers are reluctant to formalize this popular but unsafe form of public transport. Evidence is gathered from both the traffic police and media reports. The project aims to develop options for change, including the allocation of road space, improving passenger safety and using cleaner vehicles.
Anne Joselin was briefed by researchers on the activities of the project, entitled “Policy and regulation development for motorcycle taxi safety in Nepal”, conducted by the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, in collaboration with the NIRC and KMC in Nepal. The team led by Prof. Dr. Sunil Kumar Joshi and Senior Research Associate Sanjeev Poudel presented their work in the context of the wider road safety research agenda of the NIRC, which includes work on safer bus transport and further motorcycle taxi projects.
Anne then visited some of KMC’s medical facilities to see how the teaching hospital deals with the traumas resulting from road traffic crashes. She was interested to learn more about the economic burden of injuries on households as well as on the wider health system. She was encouraged to hear how this small funding project fits into the bigger picture of injury prevention in Nepal.
The research team intends to share its findings with other low- and middle-income countries. Professor Joshi shared examples of how other NIRC studies have been widely disseminated and cited, including by researchers in the Asian Development Bank.