Learning from each other

Yesterday’s Share Fair presentations allowed delegates to explore a range of FIA programmes aimed at helping clubs to fulfil their future goals.

With the theme of learning from each other, Conference Week’s Share Fair presentations armed clubs with information about a number  of FIA programmes designed to aid them in instigating road safety projects and building capability.

In the FIA Grants session, FIA Director of Strategy and Operations Ortrud Birk explained how the guidelines for access to Road Safety Grant funding have changed for 2013/2014 in  a bid to make the grants accessible to a greater number of clubs and to ensure that all types of club can qualify.

She told participants that the grants are now arranged into small, medium and large project categories, a system that will give projects of all varieties from every kind of club a greater chance of success. Irene Papanikolaou, FIA Grants Manager, reiterated the importance of adhering to the procedures as explained on the grants website (www.fia-grants.com).

The session was then given over to hearing from four clubs that have been awarded grants in the past so that delegates could learn from their experience.

A delegate from Canada took participants through the application process and explained how clubs could make the best possible presentation of their projects. Tanzania’s delegate, meanwhile, described the success of its project on improving road safety among users of ‘Boda Boda’ motorcycles in the country. India presented details of a small category grant success with its project in support of the recent UN Global Road Safety Week, while a French delegate told of the grant system’s monitoring and evaluation process.

Finally, participants were given insights into communication skills in order to achieve maximum publicity for grant-aided projects.

In the presentation on the FIA University, Professor Silviya Svejenova and Professor Dr Luis Vives took participants through the reasoning behind the establishment of the university and then conducted an exercise designed to improve idea exchange between clubs.

“We conducted a Connect and Develop exercise, which is an initiative to open innovation,” said Professor Svejenova. “Our idea was to have a platform where people meet people they do not know. They also connect in the sense of getting to know about innovative ideas and practices that other clubs are implementing. They then develop ideas by moving to another person’s project, where they try to develop it. So it was about sharing practices, choosing things that they can improve and contributing ideas.”

Professor Vives said: “It very much goes back to the core logic of the FIA and the FIA University. We need to help bring clubs together. We need to help clubs to learn from each other and we need to help clubs to come together to improve their ideas.”

At the Share Fair’s final event, Jordi Vilaseca explained the value of International Driving Permits to clubs and worked with participants on strategies to raise awareness of the product.

“The main problem is one of awareness,” he said. “Most people are not aware that you need an international driving permit if you want to drive abroad. Also, people think if they don’t have an IDP when they drive abroad nothing will happen and that’s not the case.

“If we want IDPs to continue being a source of revenue for clubs they have to take the lead in improving this product and making IDPs more attractive to people.”