Recommendations for effective collaboration and capacity building in epidemiological studies on the effect of alcohol and drug use on traffic safety in low- and middle-income countries

Traffic Inj Prev. 2024;25(3):313-321. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2024.2316720. Epub 2024 Mar 1.


Objective: Alcohol or drug impairment is a major risk factor for road traffic crashes, and studies on this issue are essential to provide evidence-based data for policymakers. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), such studies are often conducted in partnership with one or more organizations in high-income countries (HICs). The aim of this article is to provide recommendations for improving project planning and decision-making processes in epidemiological studies on alcohol, drug and traffic safety in LMICs involving HICs.

Methods: We searched Pubmed, Google Scholar, and Google Search for articles and reports in English about lessons learned when conducting collaborative research in LMIC as well as papers presenting recommendations for effective research collaboration with partners in LMICs.

Results: Based on the search results, we selected 200 papers for full text examination. Few were related to studies on the effect of alcohol or drug use on road traffic safety. However, several conclusions and recommendations from other studies were found to be relevant. We combined the findings with our own experience in a narrative review. We also present a checklist for risk and quality assessment.

Conclusions: Many papers presented similar recommendations, which included the importance of addressing local needs, ensuring adequate resources, local project ownership and leadership, establishing strong partnerships among all involved stakeholders, promoting shared decision-making and planning, and implementing strategies to translate research findings into policy, practice, and publications. It is also important to avoid HIC bias, which prioritizes the interests or perspectives of HICs over those of LMICs.

Keywords: Low- and middle-income countries; alcohol; collaborative research; driving under the influence; drugs; traffic safety.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Capacity Building*
  • Developing Countries*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Policy