Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Decarbonising Transport Award: Supporting ideas that cut transport CO2 in emerging economies

The Decarbonising Transport Award supports the transition to zero-carbon transport in developing countries that face growing demand for mobility. Award winners receive financial support for their proposed project and the opportunity to collaborate with the ITF.

Transport CO2 emissions in emerging economies are set to increase strongly as growing populations and incomes drive up transport activity. Offering carbon-neutral transport solutions to meet this new demand will be critical to stop climate change. Yet funding is scarce and incentives are limited for research and innovation that address this vital challenge.

The Decarbonising Transport Award recognises projects with great potential to help decarbonise transport in these nations. It is awarded in two categories:

  • The Research Award offers EUR 5 000 towards the realisation of a proposed research project.
  • The Innovation Award offers EUR 10 000 towards the development or implementation of innovative solutions to reduce transport CO2.

The ITF may also provide in-kind support for research, outreach or dissemination, or offer a work placement opportunity at the ITF. Award winners may also be invited to present their project during the ITF Annual Summit of Transport Ministers.

Michael R. Wanyama of Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives, a Kampala-based start-up, won 2022's Innovation Award. The start-up mobilises a network of over 400 local mechanics to improve the environmental performance of the Ugandan capital's most polluting vehicles. Born of an urgency to halt the detrimental effects of poor air quality in a city where pollution levels often reach six times the WHO's recommended safety limits, Wanyama Autosafety Initiatives spearheads research into solutions for transport-induced pollution. The initiative aims to increase public visibility and engagement and promotes a pragmatic, data-driven approach to tackling emissions. 

James Moronge, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Nairobi won 2022's Research Award for his project, Transition To Electric Boda Boda in the Nairobi City County, Kenya. Nairobi City County's ubiquitous motorcycle taxis form an integral part of the transport mix, but are often not considered in electric transition policies. The research addresses the policy, legal and institutional gaps that hinder the informal boda boda motorcycle network from inclusion in transport electrification policies.  

Individuals and small organisations that carry out their proposed research or activity in a “developing” or “in transition” country as per UN definitions (PDF) are eligible to apply. For full eligibility criteria and to apply go to the application form. Only online applications are accepted. A jury of international experts supported by the ITF secretariat will select the winners.

This award is offered by the International Transport Forum as part of its “Decarbonising Transport initiative”. It is supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, funder of the ITF’s “Decarbonising Transport in Emerging Economies” and “NDC Transport Initiative for Asia” projects.

In 2022, the ITF Decarbonising Transport Award attracted 37 applications, primarily from African, Latin American and Asian countries. Applications were assessed by an internal and external jury representing a diverse set of countries and profiles. The two winning entries were selected from a total of seven finalists.The ITF highlighted Decarbonising Transport Award finalists' work in a series of short interviews. Watch these videos here:

Media Release: African innovation and research shine at Summit of transport ministers

ITF staff contact: Malithi Fernando

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