The Fleet Forum’s activities are based on a foundation of three interdependent focus areas:
Efficient and Effective Humanitarian Action
Not one of the Millennium Development Goals mentions transport, yet the achievement of each and every one is dependent on reliable access to communities through transport. As the link between well managed transport capacity and effective programme delivery is not well understood, compounded by strong competition between priorities, there is often a low level of attention directed towards fleet management issues.
Awareness of the importance of the role of logistics, however, is growing. With the acquisition and operation of a vehicle fleet being recognised as the second highest financial overhead for the vast majority of humanitarian agencies, trends in increasing organisational accountability are stimulating the realisation of the need for a professional approach to vehicle fleet operation.
The Fleet Forum contributes to this development, and helps to identify where opportunities for interagency cooperation and the introduction of standards of best practice can deliver savings, freeing up scarce resources to allow the transfer of a higher proportion of income directly to the beneficiary.
Increased Fleet and Road Safety
In the 2004 World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention, the World Health Organisation estimated that close to 1.2 million people are killed every year in road crashes around the world, with an additional 20-50 million injured. This is equivalent to 3,000 deaths every day. These numbers are forecast to rise dramatically in the coming years particularly in low and middle income countries which are seeing an increasing volume of traffic.
Increasing numbers of humanitarian staff are among those who have been killed or injured in road crashes. In fact, the most dangerous activity faced by field workers today is usually travelling in a vehicle.
While road safety is clearly a highly pertinent issue for humanitarian agencies, the community has been slow to address it within its own organisations.
The Fleet Forum aims to reduce the number of road crashes, and the resulting injuries and fatalities, by working to establish a culture of road safety within the humanitarian community.
Improved Environmental Impact
Although climate change has been recognised as an important global concern by governments, businesses and the public, very few humanitarian organisations have yet to institutionalise policies, assess risks or develop climate adaptation and mitigation programmes in relation to their vehicle fleets.
Given the volume of humanitarian traffic traversing the world’s roads every day, coupled with a lack of accountability in terms of their emissions quality and vehicle disposal, more attention needs to be paid to the effect this is having on the natural world.
The Fleet Forum develops and promotes environmental codes of conduct and behaviour for road transport that are compatible with development and capacity-building prerogatives.