Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez road tests Star Rating for Schools app
The Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez (FGR) has successfully piloted a new iRAP star rating app for assessing road infrastructure around 54 schools in Uruguay during October 2017.
The app will also shortly be piloted in the assessment of road infrastructure at 29 schools in Argentina. Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) is a mobile app, developed by the International Road Assessment Programme ( iRAP), used for measuring and communicating the risk children are exposed to on their journey to and from school.
This is the first time the SR4S app has been road tested in Latin America. As a part of the ’Children Safe in Traffic" programme in Latin America, iRAP team trained four members of the FGR and its partner agency in Uruguay on using SR4S. The FGR team trained by iRAP will be further training 8 participants on the SR4S in Argentina during November. The ’Children Safe in Traffic in Latin America’ programme seeks to generate evidence on road risks for children; mobilize the evidence through advocacy and media campaigns; and develop a regional knowledge management platform to bring about changes in policies and practises around road safety.
The road testing of the SR4S and its use for assessing road infrastructure around project schools will help FGR generate tangible evidence and data on the road risks for children on their journeys to school. Alongside the use of SR4S, FGR is also conducting a non-participant observation study that focuses on behaviour of road users, including drivers, pedestrians, commercial transport providers, that pose a risk to the safe access of children to primary schools.
As a result of the training by iRAP and the pilot testing of the SR4S app, FGR now has the capacity to carry out basic road infrastructure assessment using a simple app. It has helped FGR further in generating better data and evidence on road safety programmes. The results from the assessment as well as the behavioural study will be help inform a child road safety campaign FGR plans to start in 2018. FGR also helped translate the SR4S Manual into Spanish, enabling the app to be used in other Spanish speaking countries and communities. iRAP received feedback on SR4S related to its functioning and its usage in different contexts. The feedback has been crucial to further development of the application.
On their collaboration with iRAP, Florencia Lambrosquini, Research Coordinator of the FGR remarked “iRAP´s tool is very useful and the data collected represents very important input. Having iRAP representatives in Montevideo for the first training session on how to correctly enter information was of fundamental importance. Our joint work will surely contribute to better-quality data and will facilitate the use of the app by other organizations."
Reflecting on the partnership, Julio Urzua, Regional Director for iRAP remarked: “The work we have initiated with the Gonzalo Rodriguez Foundation in Montevideo, Uruguay, is crucial for iRAP and the development of the Star Rating for Schools App, as it represents the first use of the tool in Latin America. There is no doubt that the results of these assessments will provide the opportunity to improve road safety around schools and create safer school journeys for children”
Evidence based programming is one of the key principles of the Foundation’s grant making. Partnerships and collaborative work, like the one between iRAP and FGR play a critical role in facilitating knowledge exchange and local capacity building to bring about the impact of the Foundation’s grant making. Both FGR and iRAP are long term partners of the FIA Foundation. The iRAP star rating app was sponsored by FedEx together with the FIA Foundation and the Child Health Initiative.