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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of the Transport Systems Improvement Project (TRANSIP) in Addis Ababa
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Study Status:
In Development

Road safety is a main development challenge for low- and middle-income countries around the world, as 90 percent of all road crash fatalities take place in developing countries. In the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, total road crash deaths numbered 477 in 2017 alone, a total which is on the rise. In rapidly growing cities, pedestrians are particularly vulnerable: they make up for 42 percent of commuters in the poorest areas in Addis Ababa, and they are the victims in 80 percent of total road traffic deaths. This impact evaluation focuses on two key factors that contribute to poor road safety conditions: unsuitable infrastructure for pedestrians and poor enforcement of traffic rules, which are being addressed by specific components of the World Bank Transport Improvement Project (TRANSIP).

We seek to evaluate the impact of the improvement and redesign of street and road infrastructure to make them more accommodating for pedestrians. This includes 158 improved traffic intersections and the implementation of a “complete street” design in 5 corridors. We will use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques on video feed to assess intermediary safety indicators in specific locations where cameras will be deployed. Using this technology, we will be able to understand driver and pedestrian behavior, including frequency of near-miss collisions, frequency of jaywalking, average vehicle speeds, compliance with traffic rules, traffic volume and congestion, among other outcomes. With an event study, we will be able to estimate the impact of interventions on such outcomes.

Registration Citation:

Girija Borker, Simon Franklin, Erin Kelley, and Javier Morales Sarriera. "Impact Evaluation of the Transport Systems Improvement Project (TRANSIP) in Addis Ababa"

Urban Development
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Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Simon Franklin
Name of Second PI:
Javiers Morales Sarriera
World Bank

Study Sponsor

World Bank - DIME
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
World Bank - DIME
Type of Organization:
Government agency (eg., statistics office, Ministry of Health)

Intervention Overview


In response to the transport challenges faced by the city of Addis Ababa, the World Bank is implementing the Transport Systems Improvement Project (TRANSIP) in Ethiopia, with the objective of improving mobility along selected corridors and intersections in Addis Ababa, and the effectiveness of road safety compliance systems throughout the country.

Upgrading 158 traffic intersections across the city, and implementing a ‘complete street’ design to be deployed along five selected corridors: These interventions are part of Component A of TRANSIP, which includes the expansion of existing traffic signal and control systems, including control cameras and speeding cameras; improvement of associated civil works at intersections in selected streets to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety; and the implementation comprehensive improvements to selected streets in order to enhance traffic conditions and pedestrian amenities and safety.

Specific interventions to address road safety in intersections through street design have started to take place recently. For example, the large LaGare intersection, one of the busiest in the city, was part of pilot launched in 2016. The transformation that was carried out is described in the Figure 3 below, and it focused on (i) reducing the turning radii, so drivers have to make sharper turns that will reduce speeds, (ii) creating refuge islands and medians to reduce the long crossing distances for pedestrians, (iii) crosswalks aligned with locations in which pedestrian wish to cross, avoiding jaywalking, (iv) aligned lanes so cars move smoothly and predictably, avoiding congestions, and (v) reclaiming underutilized road space for pedestrians.

Theory of Change:

Traffic intersections in Addis Ababa are hazardous places. They are mostly non-signaled and unpoliced, leading to grid-locked intersections, high rates of near misses between vehicles, and collisions resulting from vehicles entering intersections at the same time. In addition, pedestrian crossings are often non-existent, and when they do exist they are narrow, eroded or highly congested. This forces many pedestrians onto the road in order to make their way across the city. A lack of street lights at night lead many pedestrians to walk in the road. The extent of this problem is significant, since 43% of workers in the city walk to work, and 62% of both self-employed, and casual daily laborer walk to work.

The effect of improved intersection design on congestion is somewhat ambiguous. Improved intersections are designed to reduce speeds in intersections. Reduce speed is linked to higher levels of congestion in and around upgraded intersections, simply because fewer vehicles can pass through an intersection per minute. But since speed is a high-risk factor for traffic accidents, this should reduce collisions and near misses. This in turn could reduce congestion in intersections. Furthermore, if improved traffic signals reduce gridlock, this could reduce congestion. Therefore, the effect of intersection upgrading on congestion is ambiguous.

Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Government of Ethiopia
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
World Bank DIME
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

This project will identify the main benefits associated with two important road safety initiatives, namely infrastructure upgrades to 158 intersections located throughout the city, and the provision of new technologies to police officers stationed at all the major intersections in Addis Ababa. The roll-out of these two interventions will be managed by distinct agencies (the Transport Bureau and the Police Commission, respectively). It follows that we will apply different identification strategies in each case.

To measure the impact of the infrastructure upgrades, we will apply a phased-in randomized control trial. The transport bureau has identified 150 intersections that need to be improved across the city. The scale of this initiative requires rolling-out the upgrades over time. The transport bureau will categorize the city into a set of geographical zones, and proceed with intersection upgrades within a zone before moving on to the next one. We will work with the bureau to randomize the order with which they target 1) the zones, and 2) the upgrades of intersections within each zone. This ensures that timing of the intersection upgrades across the city is random, which will be critical for the identification strategy. The intersection upgrades will take approximately 3 months to complete, and we assume that there will be a few months between the upgrades within zones, and a longer lag between upgrades across zones. Additionally, there will also be some natural variation in how many intersections are upgraded per zone. We can then apply an event study regression analysis.  

Outcomes (Endpoints):

Primary outcomes

  • Number of Fatalities
  • Number of Pedestrian Fatalities
  • Number of Crashes
  • Number of Vehicle / Vehicle Near Collisions
  • Number of Vehicle / Pedestrian Near Collisions
  • Traffic Flow (vehicles per minute)
Unit of Analysis:
Traffic intersection-day

Improving street design with a complete street design concept reduces crashes.

Improving street design with a complete street design concept reduces crashes road safety risks.

Improving street design with a complete street design concept affects traffic congestion

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Road segment
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Outcomes Data

We will use two main data sources for road safety indicators. First, to objectively measure road safety at the intersections, we will create a novel database using the video feed from the cameras deployed at each intersection. For this, we will use the artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to analyze the video feed to be used to measure intermediate outcomes in road safety such as jaywalking, red light and right-of-way violations, crashes and even near-collision incidents. This
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Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
We will use data from the Government of Ethiopia on the roll-out of TRANSIP evaluation, linked to the data on traffic intersections, to evaluate the program.
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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Study Stopped