The EPM Guidebook


Utilizing Special Opportunities

Applying Specific Leveraging Strategies

Networking Between Cities

Strategic Use of External Support


More Effective Use of Available Resources

Leveraging Available Resources: mobilizing local resources of all kinds, from a wide variety of sources, and maximising their impact, both by greater effectiveness of application and by greater leveraging of regional, national and international support.

5.1 Utilizing Special Opportunities

In many city experiences, "special" opportunities have been capitalised upon, to give a powerful push forward for particular environmental planning and management initiatives. This creative use of strategic opportunities can often help to "kick-start" an EPM process or to give it a new impetus. For example, the radical changes in institutional and political structures which have swept Central and Eastern Europe have provided important opportunities to move forwards in ways not previously possible. Re construction after a major disaster can often provide a major opening, both because of the investment and construction taking place and because of the urgency of action and the accompanying political support. Other relevant opportunities might include up-dating of an urban development plan, a major new investment programme, or a change in the local political balance.

CAPE TOWN: the EPM process in the Cape was able to continue during a period of political instability by taking advantage of the special opportunities presented by emerging democratisation. These opportunities included: involvement of previously excluded stakeholders, changing attitudes of government officials, and formal linkage with other democratic discussion and decision-making processes.

COLUMBO: Placing the EPM exercise in a powerful ministry with strong planning authority and connections to finance raised the profile of environmental issues and put them firmly on the government agenda next to economic issues. As one example, the strategy and action plans were used as the framework for a US$75 million World Bank-funded Colombo Environmental Improvement Project.

DAKAR: Dakar’s EPM process took advantage of several special opportunities. Just prior to initiation of the process, the metropolitan government had created an environmental sub-directorate at the instigation of the metropolis’ president. He subsequently presided over all three city consultations and provided continuing support to the process. Serious industrial accidents within the city helped to maintain public, professional and political interest in EPM because one of its priority themes wa s industrial risk management.

KATOWICE: The EPM process in the agglomeration was able to build on and link into a number of related initiatives: the regional economic policy programme; the regional environmental project; the Silesia integrated risk management programme; the “Contract for Silesia”; and the PHARE-STRUDER economic reconversion and redevelopment programme.

MADRAS: An NGO’s founding members’ concern about cleanliness combined with a special opportunity to cause solid waste to be selected as the priority issue for initial action in Madras. The Municipal Corporation wanted to introduce new, larger garbage containers that could be directly placed on trucks in order to replace the street dustbins that had to be manually cleared by workers. The Civic Exnora (the first NGO effort) responded to the Corporation’s solicitation of citizens’ co-operation to m ake the scheme work.

5.2 Applying Specific Leveraging Strategies

When seeking to maximise the impact of existing resources and capabilities for environmental planning and management, cities have found it helpful to develop and apply specific strategies for "leveraging" their activities. For example, a strategy of "demonstration-replication" is often an effective approach: using limited resources to demonstrate - on a small scale - an initiative that is so designed that it can then be repeated subsequently on a significant scale. (This can be particularly useful wh en administrative and technical resources are limited). Seriously adopting and actively promoting the "facilitator role" of government is another effective strategy, which can expand and mobilize non-public and non-traditional resources when the public sector faces severe constraints on financial and operational resources.

DAR ES SALAAM: The EPM process in Dar has been able to leverage resources for implementation of various action plans through appropriate partnerships. For example, the plan for settlement upgrading was able to follow up on work by UNDP/ILO and Plan International (an NGO) in three communities. For the solid waste action plan, JICA was involved in supplying equipment, the Irish Government is providing assistance for disposal siting, and DANIDA is assisting with river protection near a d isposal site. Altogether, the physical, financial, and institutional action plans prepared by the working groups have mobilized US$2.4 million in donor and private sector capital investments, with another $.275 million pending.

DURBAN: To implement its metropolitan open space system, Durban has been able to leverage city resources. Land purchases of ecologically desirable terrain for the system are being financed by the sale of environmentally less-desirable surplus public land. The balancing of sales and purchases means that the system will be largely self-financing.

IBADAN: A pilot project successfully demonstrated that small amounts of locally-generated funds could be combined with a participatory process to, in this case, develop an urban resource for water supply. This experience helped convince local philanthropists to create a “Project Development Trust Fund for Ibadan City” under the auspices of the Sustainable Ibadan Project.

5.3 Networking Among Cities

Sharing of experience and know-how among cities can be one of the most effective ways of expanding capabilities without requiring large resource expenditures. Systems of "swapping" expertise, for instance, can allow a city to gain needed expertise in one area while sharing expertise it does have with another city. Twinning arrangements could be used in a much more focused way to assist with this process, especially where cities in less-developed countries can draw upon technical assistance from "siste r" cities. A variety of programmes, such as those for technical cooperation among developing countries or those being developed under the Sustainable Cities Programme, can also be utilized.

CAPE TOWN: The experience of three cities with similar aspirations or socio-economic circumstances were examined (Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, and Curitiba, Brazil). These cities were visited and contacts were maintained with various stakeholder groups in each city. Cape Town has also been able to network among South African and other African cities through its participation in the "Local Agenda 21" programme.

CONCEPCION: The local experience was shared with the municipality of Asuncion (Paraguay) and technical support on project methodology is now being provided for a riverfront master plan in Paraguay.

GOTHENBURG: The city is networking through the Swedish Association of Local Authorities, ICLEI, environmental twinning with Tallin in Estonia and Cracow in Poland, and through the Gothenburg Environmental Network. The latter is a private sector initiative to exchange environmental information, make contacts and create understanding between the business, research and governmental communities.

ISMAILIA: Inspired by the Ismailia experience, the city council of nearby Fayed established a cross-sectoral working group to deal with its own problem of lake pollution. Ismailia is also sharing its experience with two other governorates that face similar issues.

KENYA SMALL TOWNS: In the "Green Towns Project", networking with different organizations to share experiences and learn from each other has been vital. It has also helped to channel resources more effectively and avoid duplication of efforts in towns.

MADRAS: Madras was motivated by successful efforts to use wastewater for industrial purposes in the U.S. (in the Bethlehem steel mills, and Lake Tahoe and Orange County in California). After learning from these experiences, Madras launched a series of pilot plant studies in activated sludge, trickling filters, biological nitrification-dentrification, and physical chemical treatment. Local industries then opted for approaches used in California to renovate sewage for use as industrial cooling wa ter.

5.4 Strategic Use of External Support

Although the vast majority of technical and financial resources for environmental planning and management will come from local sources, external aid and technical know-how can play a valuable supporting role. Thus, it is important for cities to work out appropriate roles for external assistance, to most effectively link a city's EPM process with the relevant external institutions and their activities. One key strategy here is to focus limited external resources within a framework of complementary acti vities, so that they are complementary to (not substitutes for) local efforts and thus help to achieve the greatest impact on local problems.

CONCEPCION: The initial existence of external support was important: it provided a sound financial base in the initial phase; it constituted a show of confidence to local public and private institutions; and external ties facilitated the development of future technical and financial assistance.

HANOI: External support was important for various aspects of the city’s EPM experience: research; action plan development (for water supply, waste management, drainage and sewerage); and capacity building.

SHENYANG: The city was financially constrained in its ability to deal with environmental problems for a long time. However, since the late 1980s, foreign assistance has been used to implement environmental activities. Multilateral loans and bilateral aid have helped to upgrade the transportation system, expand water supply capacity and implement industrial pollution control. Currently, for example, an environmental information centre and environmental training centre are under construction wit h support of an ongoing World Bank project.

THE ROLE AND USE OF EXTERNAL SUPPORT IN EIGHT CITIES: In eight of the thirteen African city case studies external support was used to facilitate the EPM process: Abidjan (UMP, World Bank); Accra (SCP, UMP, various Canadian donors); Cotonou (CREPA); Dakar (SCP, UMP); Dar es Salaam (SCP, various donors for implementation); Ibadan (SCP); Kenya Small Towns (Dutch aid); Nairobi (Friedrich Naumann Foundation); and Ouagadougou (World Bank). Without this support, the EPM process in each of these citie s would either not have started or not have advanced as far as it has. However, the following lessons have been learned about external support:

Excessive reliance on donor support can make the EPM exercise unsustainable. Local sources of finance should be fully utilized (Dar es Salaam) and institutionalization should be accelerated (Dakar)

Thus, there is a need for the support organization or donor to gradually withdraw from the EPM process for it to achieve sustainability (Cotonou)

However, the attempt to rely solely on local resources and voluntary implementation has its limits. External financing is often raised as an issue by towns and seen as a prerequisite for implementation of priority actions (Kenya Small Towns)

Local counterpart support lined to external support did not materialize, further slowing initiation of the EPM process. These small but important logistics included housing of the chief technical advisor, transportation, communications equipment, qualified staff, office space, and an operational budget (Ibadan).

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Environmental Planning and Management Guidebook