The EPM Guidebook


Strengthening System-Wide Capacities for EPM

Institutionalising Broad-Based Participatory Approaches to Decision-Making

Strengthening Cross-Sectoral and Inter-Institutional Co-ordination

Enhancing Institutional Capabilities

Monitoring, Evaluation and Adjustment of EPM System


Enhanced Managerial Capacities for Environmental Planning and Management

Institutionalizing Urban Environmental Planning and Management: incorporating EPM into the city's institutional structure and behaviour and establishing "system-wide" capacities to maintain the EPM process in the long run.

4.1 Strengthening System-Wide Capacities for EPM

For the improved environmental planning and management process to be sustainable, a city will need to build long-term system-wide EPM capacity: the process needs to become firmly incorporated into the organizations, institutions and activities of the city in a way that enables them to efficiently and consistently execute the tasks of strategy-formulation, action-planning, and implementation. Concentrating capacity-building on one or two institutions will not achieve the breadth of capability which can sustain the effort; to be most effective, capabilities should be built up "system-wide" - in all of the organizations which have a stake in, and which influence the success of, urban environmental management.

COLOMBO: institutional development was supported through: revising the Colombo Master Plan; setting up a GIS to enhance pollution control enforcement; training central and local authority staff; provision of environmental monitoring equipment to public and private sector labs; training programs and workshops; supporting waste minimisation and clean technology efforts for industries
KENYA SMALL TOWNS: The "Green Towns Project" has strengthened system-wide capacity for EPM in three ways. A "Training of Trainers" programme has created a central team of people equipped with the necessary skills to work across institutions and stakeholders, and carry out training workshops along with implementation follow-up. Next, three "model towns" were used to both create awareness of the project and to build the capacity of the Ministry of Local Government to implement the Proje ct. Finally, the training workshop was developed as an easy-to-deliver package with videos and other planning tools.

4.2 Institutionalizing Broad-Based Participatory Approaches to Decision-Making

To successfully move through the various tasks of issue-identification, strategy-formulation, action-planning, and implementation, the city's "stakeholders" not only need to be identified and mobilized, but also empowered with the knowledge, understanding, and capability to effectively participate in an informed and constructive way. This is best supported by a clear commitment to capacity- and institution-building for stakeholder participation, encompassing the full range of stakeholders, including:

public and semi-public entities in a wide range of sectors and roles, at municipal, regional and national levels;

the private sector (business community, consultant firms, research institutions, training bodies, etc), both formal and informal; and

the community sector (NGOs, CBOs, neighbourhood groups, voluntary associations and societies, etc).

Often, a crucial element is consistent sharing and systematic dissemination of information (as through the City Environmental Profile and through the documentation of issue-specific strategies). Devotion of resources to specific programmes of capacity-building for various local "stakeholders" has also been shown to be effective, for example through programmes of direct technical assistance to NGOs and CBOs.

ABIDJAN: The national Environment Department, with the Local Government Department, used the same information-gathering techniques in seven secondary cities. Because of the success of the Abidjan consultation, it pursued participatory meetings in several of these secondary cities with the help of the UMP.
MADRAS: The Civic Exnora NGO experience of community involvement in solid waste management quickly became institutionalised. In Madras City alone, about 1500 Civic Exnoras are functioning. On average, each caters to about 75 families; it is estimated that the Exnoras serve about 450,000 people. There is now an organisation of Exnora Clubs with club activities being co-ordinated and supported by a senate of the umbrella Exnora International. The movement has helped generate civic pride and has strengthened community bonds by bringing people together to work towards environmental protection at the grassroots level.
NAIROBI: Nairobi's EPM experience resulted in a process-oriented Emergency Action Programme that seeks to institutionalize EPM. It calls for creation of a) a citizen's City Environment and Sustainable Development Network, and b) a City Environment and Sustainable Development Policy Committee, led by the Mayor, to bring together chief officers of relevant city departments and the chairpersons of city council committees. The Network and the Policy Committee would then negotiate an actio n agenda on the environment.

4.3 Strengthening Cross-Sectoral and Inter-Institutional Co-ordination

Implementation of environmental planning and management can be more effective if carried out through existing (but strengthened) local institutions; superimposing new institutional structures is often inefficient, gives rise to organizational resistance, and is seldom sustainable. Such new institutions are normally ill-suited to cross-sectoral and multi-agency activities, especially those of a long-term or continuing nature (such as EPM). What is important, instead, is to systematically and patiently develop cross-sectoral collaboration and cooperation among existing institutions and build up both experience and capabilities in multi-institutional co-ordination. This is often a daunting undertaking, but if pursued consistently it can lead to a truly flexible and sustainable institutional basis for environmental planning and management. To accomplish this effectively, capacity-building needs to go beyond traditional "institutional development" (mainly concerned with staff complements and training, for mal organization structures, institutional finance, etc) and encompass especially inter-institutional and cross-sectoral procedures and behaviour becoming built into daily routines.

COLOMBO: institutionalising the EPM steering committee structure gave a permanent profile to urban environmental issues; they are now routinely considered in a co-ordinated and intersectoral way. This institutionalisation also made it possible for environmental management to continue beyond the life of externally assisted programs. The participation of a range of government agencies in the EPM process made it clear that environmental management is more than just pollution control and r equires a broad intersectoral approach.
CONCEPCION: In each of the EPM working groups, an intersectoral network of professionals was created at the technical level to focus on a priority issue. They committed their institutions to implementing jointly agreed actions plans for environmental improvement. Decision-making power remained within the various institutions and implemented actions were the exclusive responsibility of the respective agency. For example, the Water Company supported the larger objectives of the Urban La kes working group by implementing an education campaign.
DAR ES SALAAM: Cross-sectoral and inter-institutional co-ordination is built into Dar's EPM process. Desk officers have been nominated from all relevant ministries, commissions, and parastatals as well as from private and popular sector interest groups to provide clear contact points within each thematic working group. A Co-ordinating Committee comprised of the chairpersons of City Council committees, municipal department heads, and the desk officers, has been established to monitor i mplementation and co-ordinate central as well as local government policy for the city. Technical proposals by the working groups are taken by the City Director to Council committees for approval. Similarly, the desk officers keep their institutions informed of City Council activities and assist in implementation of agreed proposals.
DURBAN: As part of Durban's EPM process, 14 expert panels have been formed covering key sectors and problem areas. A cross-sectoral workshop was used to understand linkages between key environment and development issues. A widely representative advisory committee and development of a "Directory of Good Practice" that highlights contributions made to sustainable development across the city's nine service units helped to promote inter-institutional co-ordination. An integrated perspect ive is also through the Environmental Branch of city government.

SHENYANG: Under co-ordination of the powerful Planning Commission, the Shenyang Environmental Protection Bureau and other municipal departments are preparing a joint environmental protection strategy that is interinstitutional and cross-sectoral. In an effort to broaden participation in the EPM process, a Leading Group for the Sustainable Shenyang Project was created in 1994. The Group is led by the mayor and has membership from different stakeholder groups including a wide range of municipal ag encies, banks, the media, and educational groups. Its primary responsibilities are to provide co-ordination and strategic guidance; foster the active participation of relevant parties; review and react to environmental reports; and mobilise broad-based support for environmental activities both from within Shenyang and from the central and provincial governments.

4.4 Enhancing Institutional Capabilities

As part of an overall process of capacity-building and institutional strengthening, it is often important to take specific actions to enhance the structural, as well as the procedural, capabilities of institutions and organizations involved in EPM. Examples of structural strengthening include changes in legal foundations, revision of mandates and authorizations, and increases in budgetary allocations/provisions. Examples of procedural strengthening include staff training and reorientation, enhancement of information flows and exchanges, and provision of required equipment and facilities.

CONCEPCION: The EPM methodology enhanced institutional capability through replication. Positive results in the EPM working groups had a catalytic effect whereby participants applied similar approaches to their own institutions. The regional government also enhanced its capacity by working with the local project to replicate the methodology in order to prepare a regional development plan, a master plan for tourism development, and an approach for coastal zone management.

SEATTLE: As part of the EPM process, an action plan was also developed for institutionalising the environmental action agenda. This plan consists of the following recommendations:

continue and expand the city’s capabilities for facilitating and co-ordinating environmental management responsibilities and activities

further co-ordinate the city’s efforts to promote environmental goals in regional, state and federal legislative and administrative policy-making arenas

improve co-ordination and accountability in Seattle’s efforts to manage hazardous materials

conduct a study of environmental equity in the city and take appropriate measures

enhance community awareness of and involvement in the municipal environmental decision-making process, perhaps by creating and providing staff support to a standing citizen’s environmental advisory council or creating the position of an environmental ombudsperson.

4.5 Monitoring, Evaluation, and Adjustment of EPM System

A variety of experiences have reinforced the importance of systematic monitoring and evaluation as an integral part of strengthening environmental planning and management. Monitoring and evaluation is vital for understanding how well the EPM process is working and providing appropriate guidance: is the information reliable and useable? what are the gaps or problems in strategy co-ordination? how effectively are stakeholders being incorporated? are action plans being effectively implemented? The da ta bases established through work on the City Environmental Profile (and through subsequent work on strategies and action plans) can provide good statistical indicators. But more important is the development of a reliable institutional framework and process, both for monitoring (regular checking of performance indicators) and also for evaluation (periodic analysis and assessment of actions and achievements). The most successful monitoring and evaluation systems tend to be those which are not given over t o isolated technical units but which involve all of the relevant organizations and stakeholders, backed up by specialist skills in a co-ordinating capacity. It is also important to stress that monitoring and evaluation should not simply focus on final outputs (such as statistical measurement of the physical environment) but also on the intermediate outputs and the inputs, as a way of checking on the progress and suitability of strategies and action plans and implementation programmes.

ISMAILIA: Participants concluded that several adjustments were needed in the EPM process. The two-year project period was not adequate to apply and institutionalise the EPM process. Locating the project within government was problematic; starting the process in an independent setting might have been better. The sequence of events was too rigid, especially the postponement of institutionalisation until late in the process. Finally, the process could have been more effective if it went along with national-level decentralisation as well as a demand-driven mechanism for financial sustainability.

TILBURG: the city’s new municipal environmental policy plan is built around concrete targets that will be measured according to source, effect and performance indicators. Sour indicators say something about the origin or cause of environmental problems. Effect indicators gauge the impact on the quality of the environment. Performance indicators are used in respect to institutional implementation of the policy plan. The municipality will report annually on implementation of the environmental p olicy using these indicators. Implementation can then be adjusted on the basis of these interim evaluations.

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Environmental Planning and Management Guidebook