Gela Kvashilava

Chairman of Georgian Road Safety Partnership

Gela has over 10 years of professional experience in road safety and sustainable transport issues.  He has a track record in securing legislative change as well as working on EU and development bank projects.

Gela Kvashilava
Georgia

Road safety education and awareness campaign consultant in Results-based Road Maintenance and Safety Project for NTU International, 2019 – present, Albania

Involved in the working process to prepare and advise (providing in-job training) in implementation of the campaigns targeted to road users, covering strategy development, message creation, campaign materials production, and media planning and buying, aimed to change destructive behaviours of road users.

Lead National Consultant for UNECE, 2016-2017

Based on the available documents, information and statistics in the country, in cooperation with government stakeholders, academia, NGO and private sector representatives, local and international experts and UNECE staff prepared the Road Safety Performance Review (RSPR). The review identified the most critical aspects for the development of the national road safety system of Georgia and offered recommendations for its improvement. It included analyses of the following topics: the legal and institutional framework for road safety, the current road safety situation and trends, limitations in capacities, financial and human resources, gaps in the national legal and regulatory framework, compliance of Georgian legislation with international road safety instruments, and coordination among road safety stakeholders

Invited Lecture of the course: Sustainable Urban Transport and Mobility Course, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, 2016

Its goals are to enhance the capacity of local decision makers and urban and transportation planners to formulate and implement appropriate policies that contribute to sustainability in urban transport in Georgia. It allows students to an analysis of the main issues of sustainable transport including transport demand management, improved public and non-motorized transport, environmental protection, road safety, and gender in transport. Other course topics include economic and financial instruments, institutional improvements, regulation of markets and environmental standards.

Chairman of Partnership for Road Safety
The Partnership for Road Safety works to make Georgia’s roads safe for all road users and to reduce Georgia’s high number of road casualties and injuries.  It promotes joint projects between the public, private and NGO sectors to reduce traffic deaths, raise awareness of road safety issues, promote a road safety culture and support road safety education. The Georgian Partnership for Road Safety is a proud winner of a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.  The Georgian Partnership for Road Safety is a proud winner of a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award.

Elected Member, Board of Directors of the Global Alliance NGOs for Road Safety
In 2017, Gela was elected to serve a four year term as a Director of the Global Alliance NGOs for Road Safety.

“Preparation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for Tbilisi”, Senior Road Safety Expert, Rambøll Danmark A/S, DK, Tbilisi city Hall, ADB, 2020 – present

The objective of project is the preparation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) for the Tbilisi metropolitan area. It should build on the Tbilisi Sustainable Urban Transport (SUT) Strategy and other previous studies, assess diverse development scenarios, define investment priorities and provide a clear roadmap for implementation. Road safety assessment and developing street/Vision Zero guidelines for Tbilisi.

“Georgia: Safe Fleets and Waste Management”, Project Manager, EBRD, 2020

The objectives of this project were to raise awareness among fleet managers, policy makers and key EBRD clients of the importance and benefits of fleet road safety management, improve occupational road safety management practice and knowledge in Georgia and provide specific training road safety to Municipality Waste Management companies and Bus companies. This will be augmented by site visits by occupational road safety trainers. The scope of the assignment was to: translate the EASST Academy Occupational Road Safety Management course and its materials into Georgian – A module will be added specific to Waste Management road safety; identify fleet managers to participate in specific training; carry out Occupational Road Safety Training in a face-to-face course; organise site visits to Waste Management facilities – to give added thrust to the specialized fleet road safety management training and to scope their training needs; organise a Policy Seminar and Awards Ceremony – A half-day seminar aimed at policy makers; work with Key Fleet Mangers to Develop an Occupational Road Safety Working Group.

“Strengthening Knowledge Management in Central and West Asia: Road Safety Awareness Improvement Program in Georgia “, Project Manager, British Petroleum (BP), 2018

Under the direction and financial support of BP the foundation “Partnership for Road Safety” implemented road safety awareness raising project for children. : Within the project, 20 trainings were conducted in 10 schools; 4 schools were Georgian, 4 – Azerbaijani, 2 –Armenian. The trainings covered two sessions for elementary and high schoolchildren. Approximately 900-1000 children attended the trainings. The sessions included the theoretical and practical lessons.

“Safe School Zones and Road Safety Knowledge for Georgian Children”, Project Manager, Tbilisi City Hall, 2018

The project included the creation of safe school zones through the infrastructure improvement, increase of the children’s awareness and knowledge through the road safety lessons, and advocacy campaign for building the safe school zones in Tbilisi and regions. Training were carried out to increase understanding of road safety risks specific to the school zones including incident statistics, common traffic incident causes, key road risks faced locally and nationally, pedestrian visibility and road safety regulations which apply to children. With the support of Tbilisi City Hall Safe School Zones were arranged.

“The Legislation on the Demerit Points System”, Project Manager, EWMI, 2015-2017

The project objective was to present recommended practices to policymakers, decision makers, parliamentarians, government representatives for designing and implementing a Demerit Point System to ensure the largest possible safety benefit. Aspects that were presented include: Basic design characteristics, e.g. offences to be included, points to be assigned, road user groups to be distinguished, as well as determining thresholds for intermediate measures and consequences when reaching the maximum number of points; Accompanying measures, like warning letters, driver improvement courses, general information and communications, and enforcement; Measures to regain a license, e.g. driving test, medical and psychological tests; Administrative and organizational issues. Within the project the policy document was prepared; meetings were held, forums, seminars with the involvement of parliament and government representatives and non-governmental organizations, actively implemented radio, TV and Internet media campaigns. As a result, on July 1, 2017, the law entered into force on the demerit point system.

“The Safety of Street Children on Georgian Roads”, Project Manager, 2017

The project included data analysis and a survey of street children in high-risk locations; development of targeted materials and methods to protect street children; implementation of safety activities with a sample of street children in high-risk areas; development of recommendations; and an advocacy/media campaign that aimed to improve the safety of street children.

“The Development of National Strategy and Policy framework on Sustainable Low-Carbon Urban Transport in Georgia”, Project Manager and National Expert Contributor, UNDP, 2017

The development of Georgia’s first national strategy on sustainable urban transport together with a range of stakeholders, such as the Government and Parliament, local authorities, civil society organizations, academia and international partners. The Project is part of the wider initiative “Green Cities: Integrated Sustainable Urban Transport for the city of Batumi and the Achara Region” ISTBAR. The project is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNDP. The purpose of this assignment is to facilitate and support the formulation of the National Strategy and Policy Framework on Sustainable Low-Carbon Urban Transport to encourage the development of low-carbon urban transport systems and improvement of the quality and sustainability of urban transport (including all modes of urban transport) and road traffic safety in Georgian cities. In this project, Gela’s responsibilities were to carry out analysis of current status of transport systems and transport related infrastructure based on data gathered and information received through interviews in Georgian cities and municipalities. Compile a comprehensive diagnostic report describing current status and future challenges of urban transport systems in Georgian cities and municipalities. Analysis of the current legal and regulatory framework of urban transport sector on local and national level and clearly outline the inconsistencies, gaps and impediments with regard of Institutional Responsibilities and Arrangements. Review of best international experience and examples of sustainable urban transport frameworks relevant to actual and future challenges of Georgian cities and municipalities.

“Project STOP – Safer Transit Options for Passengers”, Project Consultant, Caucasus Research Resource Center-Georgia, EWMI, 2016-2017

To address this issue, the CRRC-Georgia and the Partnership for Road Safety reviewed Georgia’s obligations under the Association Agreement in the sphere of transport and analyse policy options in the context of European experience in intercity transport safety. It also conducted interviews and focus groups with passengers of minibuses, representatives of minibus companies, and drivers to study their attitudes toward this issue. As a social experiment, the implementing organizations will negotiate with the minibus companies and drivers to place Safe Driver stickers on the select number of minibuses and have the drivers sign the safe driving pledge, thereby committing themselves to observe traffic safety rules. With the support of EWMI ACCESS, the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) Georgia and the Partnership for Road Safety launched a new project STOP – Safer Transit Options for Passengers – aimed at increasing the safety of intercity transport in Georgia and reducing road accidents through applying internationally practiced approaches.

“Cycling is Healthy, Cycling is Good!”, Project Manager, Tbilisi City Hall, 2016-2017

The project aimed at increasing the awareness about cycling as a transport among the public. The program highlighted the advantages of cycling for health and creation of healthy transport environment in Tbilisi. The Partnership for Road Safety in Georgia has launched a joint-project with the Tbilisi Cycling Club, supported by Tbilisi City Hall, to promote cycling as a means of sustainable transport in the country’s capital.

“Reducing Road Traffic Crashes on Georgia’s main East-West highway E60”, Team Leader, Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, 2016

Training sessions for international and local drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who live in communities near to the E-60 Highway, including children. The campaign included a contest for Georgian journalists to produce analytical articles as well as TV and radio reports around road safety on the E-60 Highway. The project’s main objectives were to increase road safety awareness amongst international and local drivers and passengers, increase knowledge of traffic rules and rights of all the road users living in the communities near to the E-60 Highway, change the behaviour and attitude of drivers, passengers and pedestrians through public awareness campaigns.

Road Safety Awareness Campaign, EBRD, Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC

As Project Manager, in 2015, Gela carried out training to increase understanding of road safety risks specific to the local areas including incident statistics, common traffic incident causes, key road risks faced locally and nationally, fitness to drive, pedestrian visibility and road safety regulations which apply to the local roads. The aim of the campaign and training was to reduce road risks faced by local populations living near the hydropower development work being carried out in the region.

Seat Belt Use in Georgia, USAID, BP, the FIA Foundation for Automobile and Society and Toyota Caucasus
As Chairman of the Partnership for Road Safety, Gela headed up the three year project to increase seat belt use in Georgia. In 2010, by building effective coalitions between public and private sectors, the project contributed to establishing legislation that made the use of seat belts mandatory in the front seat of all vehicles in Georgia. These efforts have contributed to a measurable reduction in road fatalities and significant increases in the use of seat belts and other protections. In 2011, as a result of a new law, 98% of drivers and 97% of front passengers on the highways were recorded using seat belts. This has contributed to a significant decline in road traffic fatalities in Georgia since 2011.

Youth Road Safety Education project, Partnership for Road Safety and Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia
Between 2008-11, the Partnership for Road Safety ran a Youth Road Safety Education Project to teach road safety and distribute free teaching resources in primary schools throughout Georgia. The project reached over 150 schools and more than 20,000 children in Tbilisi and the regions. Independent evaluation showed that after the project, road safety awareness of the participants had increased by 70%.  Following the success of this pilot project, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia used it as a model for introducing road safety into the school curriculum.

Reform to the Child Restraint Law, Partnership for Road Safety and the Parliament of Georgia, 2012-14 (supported by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the European Union and Georgia Young Lawyers Association)
Gela headed up the Partnership for Road Safety’s participation in the “Developing the Dialogue on Public Policy between Non-Governmental Sector and Parliament of Georgia” Programme.  The project focused on the importance of children’s car restraints and preventing children from travelling in the front seat of cars. Gela and his team conducted primary research identifying a significant problem with unrestrained children in the front of cars – over 60% of children seated in the front and 15% of them unrestrained.  Following this research the Partnership for Road Safety worked closely with the Parliament to draft effective legislation to amend Georgian traffic law.  After a successful advocacy campaign, the legislative change was passed. Since March 2014, children under 12 are banned from travelling in the front seat of a vehicle.

Clean Air for Georgian Cities, financed by USAID and EAST-West Management Institute
The Partnership for Road Safety implemented “Clean Air for Georgian Cities” with the organizations “Eco Vision” and “Elva”. The purpose of the project was to promote healthier, cleaner air throughout Georgia’s cities through a powerful community-led advocacy and monitoring campaign. The project saw 80 air quality monitoring sensor eggs installed across Georgia and 25 eco clubs were established in schools. The air quality monitoring eggs measure the level of air quality pollution across the country. The eco clubs help collect the data and report the findings online as a public resource.  A public information film about the project has been developed and there is a planned TV and radio campaign to raise awareness of the project.

Central Eurasia Leadership Academy, 2011
Gela Kvashilava was a participant in a program on regional cooperation and networking at the Central Eurasia Leadership Academy in Turkey.

Other Academic and Policy Experience
Gela is an author of several policy papers related to road safety and sustainable transport development issues. He has given several lectures during the annual Road Safety Scholarship Program of the FIA Foundation, sharing his experience with young road safety professionals from around the globe. At present he is visiting lecturer at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs.

Qualifications

PhD in Economics, Tbilisi State University 2002

Post Graduate Course in Road Safety for Low and Middle Income Countries, Delft University of Technology, 2013.

EASST / Cranfield Academy, Occupational Road Safety Management Course, 2013.

FIA Foundation Road Safety/ John Smith Trust Fellowship

Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship, University of Minnesota

Languages

Georgian and English

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