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Using creative participatory approaches for inclusive climate resilient transport in Africa: Guidelines for practitioners

This guidance document launched at COP27 summarizes key concepts around transport inclusion, participation, and climate change. It introduces selected creative methods that can give a voice to disadvantaged groups and provides practical, step-by-step information on how and when to use them. These methods can be used to support existing transport planning processes to improve outcomes and deliver more inclusive and climate resilient transport in Africa.


Haq, G., Cinderby, S., Opiyo, R., Ngabirano, A., Wasike, Y.A., Mwamba, D., Cambridge, H., and Muhoza, C. 2022. Using Creative Participatory Approaches for Inclusive Climate Resilient Transport in Africa. Guidelines for Practitioners. University of York.

3D Zebra crossing in Lusaka, Zambia

Implementation of a 3D zebra crossing in Lusaka, Zambia, providing a safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists. Photo: D. Mwamba, ZRST.

Developing inclusive mobility solutions and climate resilient transport infrastructure is a challenge experienced in many African cities.

This guidance document summarizes key concepts around transport inclusion, participation, and climate change and introduces selected creative methods that can give a voice to disadvantaged groups.

It also provides practical step-by-step information on how and when to use the various methods, supported by inspiring case studies from Africa and around the world.

Example of the step-by-step method described in the guidance document.
Image: S Cinderby, SEI.

Active mobility such as walking and cycling plays a vital role in economic and social prosperity in African cities, connecting people, goods and places.

Yet every day, citizens risk their lives because of the low priority given to non-motorized transport (NMT) and the lack of investment in safe transport infrastructure. It is low-income disadvantaged groups such as the old, disabled, young and women who suffer the most from poor transport systems that do not meet their needs.

Participatory approaches for inclusive climate resilient transport planning need to be inclusive.

The project used participatory mapping to identify mobility challenges faced by vulnerable road users in different African cities. Photo: S Omangi, SEI.

In the absence of adequate sidewalks, cycle paths and public transport, citizens in African cities are forced to use motorized vehicles (for example, paratransit, cars, minibuses and motorbike taxis) whenever they can afford to do so. This has disastrous impacts on air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, road safety, traffic congestion, overall economic efficiency and quality of life.

Climate change is expected to compound these transport challenges with impacts on infrastructure, vehicles and mobility. An opportunity exists therefore, to make transport not only more inclusive but also resilient to climate impacts.

Climate change impacts cause considerable damage to transport infrastructure. Photos: SDI, Flickr.


The primary aim of this guidance is to provide a set of concepts and tools for more inclusive and climate-resilient transport in Africa.

It acts as a reference document to assist transport decision-makers, transport planners and representatives of disadvantaged groups to understand the application and use of various creative participatory tools.

The document is divided into three sections:

  • Section 1 introduces key issues relevant to inclusive and climate resilient transport in Africa.
  • Section 2 outlines four types of creative participatory tools that can be used to engage low-income, disadvantaged groups in transport policymaking and planning processes, to help ensure their voices are heard.
  • Section 3 provides a summary of additional factors to consider when applying these approaches and suggestions on how to overcome common challenges.


This guidance has been produced for two key audiences:

  • African transport planners and decision-makers who are responsible for transport policy, planning and infrastructure development.
  • Representatives of disadvantaged groups who can engage in the co-design, development, and delivery of transport policies in African cities.

The tools described require limited human and financial resources to implement. However, the application of the tools will often benefit from the use of experienced facilitators. The guidance document is not intended to be a comprehensive reference to participatory engagement but rather highlights selected, tested tools that show the greatest potential for widening inclusion in transport planning in Africa.

Download the guidance document

Project video

Project promotional video on inclusion and participation. Produced by H Cambridge/SEI for HVT programme.

SEI authors

Gary Haq, Senior Research Assoicate at SEI
Gary Haq

Senior Research Associate

SEI York

Steve Cinderby

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

Romanus Opiyo
Romanus Opiyo

Programme Leader

SEI Africa

Cassilde Muhoza

Research Fellow

SEI Africa

Howard Cambridge

Research Support Group Manager

SEI York

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