The Department of Transport has published AECOM/ TIHR’s evaluation report and seven thematic papers highlighting good practice and lessons learnt in delivering local road safety.
The process evaluation and action learning methodology helps to understand what is being delivered at local authority level and identifies lessons and good practice in road safety.
The Department for Transport (DfT) commissioned AECOM, in association with the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, to design and deliver a three-year independent evaluation of the delivery of local road user safety. The evaluation was commissioned to consider the following objectives:
- to evaluate the different strategies and plans for delivering road user safety;
- to assess what is being delivered, the key processes and how efficient local authority practices are; and
- to identify lessons and areas of good practice in road user safety investment.
The evaluation involved a detailed review of engineering, enforcement and education, training and publicity (ETP) interventions. A process evaluation considered the extent and quality of integration between officers responsible for the different elements of road user safety. Two areas of particular focus were local authority capacity building and the synergy effect of integrated delivery and partnership working.
The evaluation team worked in collaboration with 14 case study authorities to understanding the key challenges, barriers and constraints to road safety delivery. The evaluation also aimed to identify good practice in delivering interventions targeted towards specific road user groups, such as young road users and motorcyclists, as the targeting of investment becomes a more central element of local area strategies.
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations’ contribution to the evaluation included leading on the design of the process evaluation methodology (Appendix A), undertaking interviews with road safety practitioners in the 14 local authorities and contributing to thematic case studies on partnership working (Appendix D) , the policy and context of road safety (Appendix G) and local road safety structure (Appendix C).
The process evaluation methodology builds on the Tavistock Institute’s expertise in theory of change evaluations and action learning. The Tavistock team facilitated theory of change workshops with 14 local authorities to map out specific interventions, explore good practice and identify factors helping and hindering the achievement of anticipated outcomes. Three action learning groups were convened to discuss the following topics:
- young road users, including drivers and motorcyclists;
- accessing and using data more effectively; and
- road safety and sustainable travel.
The three action learning groups consisted of road safety practitioners from local authorities, regional government offices and the DfT and met four times throughout the study in order to learn from each other and develop their practice. Feedback on the action learning events highlighted the benefits of this method. In the words of one participant: “I have been fortunate to be part of these action learning sets… The sessions have been the catalyst for me to bring about some changes in our team regarding the issues brought up during the sessions and it has been really really beneficial” (participant).