Fleet Forum Overview
Fleet Forum is an interagency association of more than 40 members, including NGOs, international organisations, the UN, academic institutions, donors, and corporate partners. Founded in 2003, Fleet Forum was formed to encourage, facilitate, and develop relationships between humanitarian aid and development organisations all over the world. Its mission is to provide leadership and support to humanitarian transport fleets in the areas of road safety, cost efficiency, and environmental impact in order to save lives, save costs, and save the planet.
The agencies that make up Fleet Forum are experts in the services and resources they provide, but they do face challenges in delivering aid safely and efficiently. Through an exchange of practical and innovative ideas and best practices, Fleet Forum collaborates with partners to create sustainable solutions and provides leadership to implement those solutions. In order to meet its corporate social responsibility strategies, Fleet Forum engages with the commercial sector and acts as a neutral interface to draw on private sector resources to achieve its humanitarian transport objectives.
Until this year, Fleet Forum’s annual conference was the central event for networking and the sharing of innovation among its members. Starting in 2011, the association is now hosting roundtables and workshops in key locations across the map, as a way to bring people together in their home countries or regions. This allows Fleet Forum to reach more people within the organisations it serves.
Time spent on the road is the most dangerous part of a humanitarian worker’s job. Each year, 1.3 million people are killed in road traffic accidents, and more humanitarian workers are injured or killed in vehicle related incidents than by any other means. Safe and efficient transport is the backbone of all humanitarian aid, but the link between well-managed transport capacity and cost effective programme delivery is not always well understood.
There is a concern within agencies that an investment in safety means diverting funds away from the delivery of aid. Competition among priorities often leaves little attention and resources to direct towards fleet management issues. But there are many ways that a good fleet safety management system promotes cost efficiency. They include lower fleet operating costs, reduction in incident losses, reduced insurance costs, more effective vehicle use, and greater built-in compliance with legal requirements. Promoting a culture of safety within an organisation also improves staff morale, which in turn encourages the regular practice of cost-saving safety procedures.
In cooperation with humanitarian organisations, corporate organizations, and donors, Fleet Forum developed the Fleet Safety Guide to provide a toolkit for use in the training of fleet managers and drivers. The Guide is a hands-on document that uses a step-by-step approach to implementing a road safety management system. Fleet Forum has found that training fleet managers is the most effective way to implement safety in an organisation.
Lasting, effective change requires a commitment at all levels within an organisation. By educating fleet managers and staff to adopt safer procedures and driving practices, and by demonstrating to senior managers that a strong fleet safety management system will help to protect agency resources, Fleet Forum shows that it is possible to create a culture of safety within an organisation. Following through with that mission has had the direct effect of saving lives and creating efficient, environmentally responsible aid delivery systems.