Priority Research areas

High Volume Transport supports policy, engineering and technical research to improve transport inclusion and reduce its environmental impact with a specific focus on Asian and African countries. The work is done by following the priority research areas described below and explained more in-depth on the research priority areas page of the HVT website.

  • Climate mitigation and adaptation: Emissions from the transport sector are increasing annually. Economic growth, population increase and rural to urban migration are contributing to the very rapid GHG emission surge in low-income countries. The HVT programme is focused on assisting developing countries to make correct evidence-based choices about their transport planning for climate change mitigation and adaptation. 
  • Inclusion, gender and road safety: People with disabilities, children, women and other vulnerable groups are particularly affected by the lack of mobility and accessible transport, especially in developing countries. Moreover, high road fatality rates in those countries also exacerbate poverty and exclusion. The HVT programme focuses on the delivery of evidence-based transport solutions to improve road safety and social inclusion.
  • Policy and regulation: The fast-paced changes faced by the transport sector worldwide are presenting many high-income countries with regulatory challenges. These are aggravated by limited capacity, data and evidence in low-income countries. The HVT programme undertakes research on transport policy and regulatory interventions to assist developing economies. 
  • Technology and innovation: Technology innovation is becoming increasingly important for the future of the transport sector in developing countries. The HVT programme commissions research providing evidence on how to effectively integrate new technology and on how to access and incorporate big data into the design of more sustainable transport systems in low-income countries. 
  • Fragile and conflict-affected States: Even when transport infrastructure is provided and improved, most marginalised groups, especially in fragile states, struggle to benefit from increased accessibility. The HVT programme is committed to supporting fragile and conflict-affected countries to improve mobility for the most vulnerable social groups.
  • Research uptake and capacity building: Knowledge dissemination through publications, interactions with stakeholders and creation of links with existing relevant research is one of the HVT programme’s priorities. New and high-quality research is vital to provide policymakers, decision-makers, practitioners and development partners with the essential information for the improvement of transport policies and interventions in low-income countries.
  • COVID-19 Action: This research priority has been added after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The HVT programme is investigating the transport/health nexus and transport-related economic impacts of Coronavirus. The lasting effects of these changes are also a central part of the current research. The COVID-19 Action page on the HVT website offers more information and the latest news on this programme priority.