The EPM Guidebook


Application of the Full Range of Implementation Capabilities

Agreement on Action Plans for Implementation

Developm Packages of Mutually Supportive Interventions

Reconfirmation of Political Support and Mobilization of Resources


Better Implementation of Environmental Strategies

Formulation and Execution of Urban Environmental Action Plans: developing, agreeing and implementing issue-specific as well as organization-specific environmental action plans to operationalize environmental management and urban development strategies.

3.1 Application of Full Range of Implementation Capabilities

Implementation is almost universally a weak point: cities all over the world (but especially those in lower-income and transitional countries) have chronic difficulties with implementing strategies and plans. With a firm foundation of broad-based stakeholder involvement and support, however, cities find it easier to mobilize resources and capabilities for effective implementation. In particular, the involvement of a variety of public and private, formal and informal, stakeholders can provide valuable non-conventional resources - for example, local knowledge and manpower, untapped human resources, in-kind economic and financial inputs, previously-unused private sector or household sector finance, etc. With a multi-actor approach to implementation, it becomes possible to utilize - in a coordinated way - a very wide variety of implementation instruments and techniques, including such as:

  • laws and regulations
  • fiscal and economic incentives
  • investment programmes
  • indicative plans to guide private investment
  • public information and education campaigns
  • community action and mobilization
BELO HORIZONTE: At the end of 1985, a law was passed that established Belo Horizonte’s environmental management process. It consists of a City Environmental Office for analysis and implementation, and a municipal council for environmental issues (COMAM) for policy matters. COMAM consists of 15 members, five from municipal government and ten from civil society (NGOs, CBOs, academia, and the private sector). COMAM is responsible for: formulating measures to improve the quality of life i n the city; establishing norms and procedures to protect and preserve the environment; reviewing environmental plans and projects of the City Environmental Office; determining environmental licenses and penalties; and analysing environmental impact assessments.
COLOMBO: Action plan measures were divided into two groups: remedial interventions and preventive actions. Remedial measures were designed to mitigate environmental degradation, improve infrastructure and enhance living conditions. Preventive measures included ecological and wetlands conservation, land use controls, monitoring and enforcement programs, studies, and institutional development. The measures tended to emphasize technical and capital investment much more than organisationa l and operational changes.
DAR ES SALAAM: Implementation of action plans in Dar has involved a range of approaches. The solid waste management action plan has relied on increasing involvement of the private sector, public awareness campaigns, improved environmental information collection and research, formation of a management team, and technical assistance. Technical co-ordination, community participation, cost recovery, and technical assistance have been used to implement the slum upgrading action plan. Impr oved environmental information, donor co-ordination, and support to an NGO have all played a part in the green space action plan implementation.
MADRAS: The Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has successfully implemented privatisation for part of its water supply system, a sewage pumping station and a sewage treatment plant. Water supply costs were reduced by 50%, operations and maintenance (O & M) costs at the pumping station were lowered by 40% with no sacrifice in quality, and costs of building a new sewage treatment plant were 30% less than if undertaken by the Board directly.

3.2 Agreement on Action Plans for Implementation

Experience has shown the value of an integrated process leading from strategies directly into action plans, utilizing the same participatory and consultative mechanisms in a continuous process. (This approach helps avoid the conflicts which commonly arise when strategy-formulation and plan-implementation activities are separated and dealt with in different institutions.) Action Plans have been most successful when formulated as clear and detailed agreements for co-ordinated action, including agency-sp ecific and stakeholder-specific agreements which describe each agency's or stakeholder's commitments for priority actions, within a well-defined timetable, including: allocation of staff time and resources, use of financial resources (for both investment and for operation and maintenance), detailed geographic focus, application of other relevant instruments for implementation, and use of a common system for monitoring the observance of commitments and achievement of action plan objectives. Formulated in this way, action plans are much more effective (and much more likely to be implemented successfully) than old-fashioned Master Plans or independent annual budgeting exercises by separate agencies.

DAR ES SALAAM: Action plans were prepared by participatory working groups aided by a technical team. This resulted in formulation of financially feasible and technologically appropriate plans for: solid waste management; upgrading unplanned settlements; servicing planned land and city centre renewal; managing open spaces, recreation areas, hazardous lands, green belts, and urban agriculture; managing surface waters and liquid wastes; and upgrading the role of petty trading in the urba n economy.
KENYA SMALL TOWNS: In the "Green Towns Project" EPM process, working groups are formed around areas of environmental conflict. Each group comes up with detailed but easy-to-apply solutions for one conflict area. These solutions are checked between groups by the facilitators to ensure they do not overlap. Each group then identifies a most important, most wanted, and most realistic action. These actions, along with maps, are put together to form the town's action plan.

3.3 Develop Packages of Mutually Supportive Interventions

As part of developing action plans, a variety of interventions will be identified, elaborated, and formulated into sets of mutually supportive activities. This typically includes the identification and elaboration of investment requirements, which can be developed into mutually reinforcing "packages" of related capital investment and technical assistance projects. Many of these may be funded through regular annual public sector sources, or through normal private and household sector channels; but a nu mber will be projects for which special funding will have to be mobilized. Based on the work done through the strategy formulation and action planning phases, and using the multi-stakeholder resources which have been established, it can then be relatively straightforward to take these identified priority projects and further elaborate and develop them through technical and financial feasibility (or pre-feasibility) stages, leading to "bankable" project proposals which can be taken up for negotiation with potential sources of finance.

CONCEPCION: One of the EPM working groups focused on poverty alleviation in part of a municipality known as Caleta Pueblo Hundido. This group developed mutually supportive plans for tourism, housing improvement, small business development, coastal protection, open space for children’s recreation, improved infrastructure, training for microenterprises, and regularisation of land tenure.
OUAGADOUGOU: In Burkina Faso's World Bank-financed Second Urban Project, a consultative process was used to develop mutually supportive interventions to address the priority problem of solid waste management in Ouagadougou. The action plan was based on three inter-related elements: privatization, cost recovery, and a clearer division of institutional responsibility. In the Third Urban Project, local consultants were used to support inter ministerial committees that involved appropria te central ministries, municipal services and resource people. The result was an intersectoral project with many stakeholders identified for involvement in implementation, rather than a cookie-cutter investment to be managed by one ministry.

3.4 Reconfirmation of Political Support and Mobilization of Resources

By utilizing the established participatory and consultative processes, it is generally possible to focus and maintain political and organizational support for environmental action plans and their implementation. There are, of course, no fool-proof ways to ensure the maintenance of political support for desirable environmental management actions. Nonetheless, a participatory approach which carries the open involvement and public commitment of a wide range of stakeholders, public and private, generally stands a better chance of generating and maintaining the necessary understanding and support. Of particular importance is the cultivation of organizational support - the support (explicit or tacit) of key administrators and managers in important institutions; their quiet resistance can often be enough to ill even the most reasonable plans. Successful maintenance of political and organizational support also makes it easier to mobilize and effectively apply the necessary technical and financial resources.

IBADAN: The Sustainable Ibadan Project was designed to mobilize political support from the very beginning. The project document for SIP itself was based on the participation of state government officials, eleven local governments, and local administrators, in addition to other stakeholders. Support was maintained through sensitization in the public sector where local government officials attended a one-day programme to discuss SIP goals, procedures and outputs.
KUCHING: The city was able to implement its priority environmental intervention because: a) the problem was recognised as a priority by the local political authority; b) key resources were available (land and a locally-managed budget); and c) political stability ensured continuity in implementation.
MADRAS: The Exnora International NGO was able to successfully mobilise resources without government or donor support in order to improve solid waste collection. Initially, a soft loan was obtained from a bank to purchase bicycle carts for household waste collection by the informal sector. Residents were then willing to pay for the collection service; these funds were used to repay the loan, provide a salary to the collection and cover other costs.

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