As the lead consultant, ITT is working in association with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to provide Technical Assistance (TA) to the Ethiopian Roads Administration’s Road Research Centre (RRC). The USD 6.5 million project is a 5-year World Bank-funded Technical Assistance (TA) programme. It commenced in December 2022 and is scheduled for completion in December 2027. At the commencement of the assignment, ITT's Project Director Henry Nkwanga commented, "We are proud to be supporting ERA in its objective to become one of the leading Road Research Centre and an Institute of Excellence in the Continent". Martin Mgangira, the Project Team Leader also stated, “Our team is committed from the onset of the project to support the RRC through the provision of independent, innovative and effective knowledge-based solutions for a safe and efficient Ethiopian road network.”
The TA is being undertaken by a team of international key experts covering thematic areas of priority research and providing necessary strategic support to enhance the Ethiopian Roads Administration’s Road Research Centre (RRC) capacity. The experts are providing the researchers at RRC with comprehensive guidance on a wide range of areas including research skills development. The current staff complement, institutional and organizational set-up, knowledge and information and quality management systems and operational systems for the laboratory needs will be assessed to identify areas requiring improvement. This will enable RRC to effectively fulfil its mandate and move towards achieving its intended aspirations. Also, the project aim is to enable the researchers to produce and provide quality research outputs to the industry and support the future demands of road design, construction, maintenance, management, and safe road operation in Ethiopia. In addition, the TA guides the standardisation of good research practices and systems, and the appropriate equipment of laboratory facilities.
The delivery of the TA is linked with key deliverables including the undertaking of a training needs assessment and development of a training plan for RRC staff, updating of the skill development and training modules, development of a comprehensive and undertaking of selected priority research projects, revision of the research collaborative guideline, technology transfer guideline, technology transfer strategy, quality policy and quality control manuals, research management manual, laboratory management manual, annual business plan, a 5-year business plan, and a 10-year business plan.
The TA is also tasked with enhancing the skills of RRC staff through short-term and long-term training, undertaking joint research, and publishing technical research papers at national and international conferences.