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2022 Year in Review: Behind the Numbers

On Nov. 17, the city of Buenos Aires carried out a tactical urban planning project aimed at redistributing the use of streets, gaining space for pedestrians, and achieving a real change in drivers' behavior so that they adapt their speed to 20 km in school environments. Children and adults painted streets with messages calling for slower speeds and dedicated bike lanes.
Discussing the challenges of lead poisoning
Local leaders discuss the challenges of lead poisoning at a site in Indonesia as part of Vital’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program.
As a part of the Partnership for Healthy Cities initiative, high-fatality intersections in the downtown of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic were given crosswalks and other pedestrian protections and traffic-calming measures to reduce speeding.
Terrel is a harm reduction advocate and worker, who appeared in Vital Strategies' Overdose Prevention Initiative’s national Support Harm Reduction campaign which was launched in February 2022 and seen over 5 million times.
Youth Union in Vietnam advocate for smoke-free beaches
Young people from Binh Thuan Youth Union in Vietnam advocate for smoke-free beaches.
Vital Strategies trains Accredited Social Health Activists
Vital Strategies trains Accredited Social Health Activists, professionals who act as a bridge between the health care system in India and the community, on air pollution and how to mitigate its effects on health.
Rwanda has quadrupled its registration of deaths in the country with Vital Strategies support. At this hospital in Kigali, Sister Fortunata Nzwige (midwife and vital events notifier) and Happy Mwkizu (data entry clerk) enter data at the hospital.
Elected Officials and community members with the National Support Harm Reduction Campaign Memorial in Newark, NJ 1
Vital Strategies created the first traveling national Overdose Memorial, and the first installation was unveiled in Newark, New Jersey on International Overdose Awareness Day with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and local advocates.
Participants during the amendment of the maps_Cameroon_Oct 22 1
Vital Strategies' Civil Registration and Vital Statistics program, part of the Data for Health initiative, supported a workshop in October 2022 in Mfou, Cameroon to develop an action plan for institutionalization of CRVS process maps.
Barbados Food Policy Campaign
"Are We Drinking Ourselves Sick?" was a 2022 campaign supported by Vital Strategies in Barbados which called on the government to support policies that reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Slowing Down Drivers and Preventing Deaths on Ghana's Roads

Schoolgirl: It’s 30 for a Reason” was Accra, Ghana’s first anti-speeding mass media campaign. Supported by Vital Strategies, the campaign aired on television in 2019 and contributed to a decrease in speeding throughout the city in the years since then.

More than 90% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low- and middle-income countries, even though these countries have 60% of the world's vehicles. Speeding makes crashes more likely and more deadly. Vital Strategies has helped Accra make fast progress to slow drivers down:


decrease in speeding on Accra's roads from 2019 to 2022.

How did Accra get more of its drivers to slow down?

Since 2015, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety has worked in Ghana and around the world to implement proven strategies to reduce road traffic crashes. Vital Strategies’ Road Safety program plays three main roles in the initiative: coordinating among the partners and local and national governments; strengthening cities’ capacities in road crash surveillance; and supporting strategic communication efforts to shift driver behavior and change narratives about road safety. Vital Strategies has worked with Accra and Kumasi, Ghana’s largest cities, and with the national government to reduce road crashes.


Schoolgirl: It’s 30 for a Reason was the first campaign airing in Ghana with the aim of reducing speeding on roads. When drivers in Accra, where it aired, were asked if the campaign made them less likely to speed, 60% said it made them much more likely not to speed, and 30% said it made them somewhat more likely not to speed.

Ghana Police

To reinforce the campaigns, Accra also enhanced its enforcement by police. Here, the Ghana Police Service receive six new TruCAM II speed detection devices from the city’s mayor to help with enforcement.

Vital Strategies plays a key coordination role across the road safety initiative, forging productive relationships between the international partners and local governments, and supporting recruitment and co-management of embedded staff in each partner location.

Although our dear city has recorded a slight decrease in deaths, we cannot rest until our roads are safe for all users. This decrease must stir us up to double our efforts in our various interventions leaning against the confidence that we can achieve so much by putting in more effort.”
Elizabeth Sackey
Mayor of Accra
In Ghana, we knew we had to work at both the local and national level to make the greatest difference and to slow drivers down. We worked with local partners to coordinate an anti-speeding campaign, paired with enforcement. The results have been great, and we are optimistic that this drop in speeding rates will ultimately save lives."
Asmeret Nigus
Vital Strategies

What does Vital Strategies do?

Vital’s technical assistance as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety supports city and national partners to: strengthen road crash surveillance systems; develop city-specific road safety reports to inform and monitor implementation of interventions; develop and implement work plans; and create strategic communication to improve road safety.

Vital’s coordination team connects the initiative’s multiple global partners, governments, and city agencies to align efforts in infrastructure, enforcement, communication and surveillance.

In partnership with the cities and countries, Vital supports the creation, testing, production and implementation of mass media campaigns designed to change risky driver behaviors, shift narratives and social norms, and promote policy changes.

Vital Strategies supports recruitment of staff who are then embedded in key government agencies such as roads agencies, traffic police, and city mayors’ offices, and co-manages the staff with the cities.

Challenges and Solutions

How do we understand and track how many people are dying in road traffic crashes when they have traditionally been underreported?

Vital’s surveillance team worked with major trauma hospitals in the city to access road traffic injury and fatality case data and linked it to police crash data to provide a basis for re-estimating road traffic mortality.

How could the city of Accra coordinate and align across departments and sectors without a history of doing so?

Vital's coordination team guided the formation of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s Road Safety Council in collaboration with the mayor’s office. This council brings together senior-level directors of road safety agencies for quarterly strategic meetings aimed at addressing road safety issues in Accra.

How did we scale the work in Accra to the national level?

Our team ensured that stakeholders at both city and national levels were engaged throughout every step of the campaign development process, including research, design and evaluation of the campaign materials.

Our Impact

A 77% speeding rate in Accra in March 2019, decreased to 47% in November 2020

A 77% speeding rate in Accra in March 2019, decreased to 47% in November 2020. The rate has increased slightly since then, to 51% in May 2022, reinforcing the need for continued communication and enforcement efforts (observational data collected by the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit).

To increase impact, Kumasi, Ghana's second-largest city, also developed and aired an anti-speeding campaign featuring James Musah

To increase impact, Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, also developed and aired an anti-speeding campaign featuring James Musah, who lost his wife in a fatal bus crash. And “Surgeon,” a campaign featuring a surgeon in an operating room urging drivers to slow down, aired nationally.

Lasting Results

Mass media campaigns paired with enforcement have been shown to change road user behavior in Ghana and many of the 30 cities Vital works in on road safety, but the campaigns need to be regularly implemented to sustain improved behaviors. Government commitment, sustainable funding and inclusion of mass media campaigns within long-term road safety strategies are key to sustainability.