|Report of the
first planning workshop held in Arusha, Tanzania, and the supplementary
first planning workshop held in London
Country Dialogues on National Strategies for Sustainable Development
DRAFT: 31 May
REPORT OF THE
FIRST PLANNING WORKSHOP, ARUSHA
SUPPLEMENTARY FIRST PLANNING WORKSHOP, LONDON
Introduction to the Combined Report
This is a
combined report covering (a) the First Planning Workshop held
in Arusha, Tanzania on 4-7 April, 2000 and (b) a Supplementary
First Planning Workshop for those countries and individuals unable
to attend the Arusha meeting, held near London on 9-10 May 2000.
workshop brought together country teams from Tanzania, Thailand
and Bolivia (dialogue countries), a representative from IUCN Pakistan
(a parallel learning country), members of the DAC Task Force on
nssds, three resource persons with expertise in national strategies
for sustainable development (nssds), and staff from the International
Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) (the coordinating
organisation) and the Natural Resources Institute (NRI). The UNDP/
GEF Cross Border Biodiversity Project (based in Arusha) provided
local logistical support (see Appendix 1 for list of participants).
workshop was a smaller event and of shorter duration. It brought
together representatives from Burkina Faso and Nepal (dialogue
countries) and from Ghana (a parallel learning country), several
members of the DAC Task Force on nssds, a resource person from
Senegal, and IIED (see Appendix 2 for list of participants).
a parallel learning country) was not able to attend either workshop
and will be visited separately by DFID and IIED in early June
provides a summary of the two workshops, highlighting the key conclusions
and recommendations. It will be posted on the project website www.nri.org\NSSD
- later to be transferred to www.nssd.net, together with copies
of the papers, project documents and overheads presented at the
Objective of the Workshops
of the workshops was to develop a common approach to the project,
agree ways of working and a timetable, exchange views on proposals
for country dialogues and develop a sound basis for networking.
Arusha Workshop and Pledges of Support
was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary of Tanzania’s
National Planning Commission, Mr Charles Mutalemwa (on behalf
of the Minister for Planning), who stressed the importance of
the dialogue initiative and pledged the support of the Tanzanian
government. A letter from the Bolivian Minister for Sustainable
Development was presented expressing formal support for the initiative.
Background and Objectives of the Project
workshops, representatives from the UK Department for International
Development (DFID) and the European Commission’s Development
Directorate (the agencies leading the DAC Task Force on nssds)
presented the background and objectives of the project, and
the roles of the different participants:
Responding to nssd targets through a partnership approach
It was noted
that Agenda 21, agreed at the Earth Summit in 1992, called on
all countries to prepare a national strategy for sustainable
development (nssd). Five years later, at a Special Session of
the UN General Assembly, a target date of 2002 was set for all
countries to have introduced such strategies. In the run up
to this event, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC)
- a forum which brings donors together to harmonise policy –
agreed its Shaping the 21st Century policy
document which set a target of 2005 for nssds to be in the process
of implementation in all countries, and made a commitment to
support developing countries in the formulation and implementation
of nssds. However, no official interpretation of what
nssds are, or how to develop and implement them, has been given
to assist countries in meeting these targets and commitments,
and there is a risk that the targets could result in the production
of nssd documents that are poorly implemented, as has often
been the case with previous approaches.
Working Party on Environment (WP/ENV) therefore decided to develop
guidance for donor agencies on how best to support nssds, and
appointed a Task Force on nssds for this purpose in June 1998.
The Task Force identified the need for guidance to be developed
in partnership with developing countries, through consultations
and dialogues in a number of countries.
to the WP/ENV initiative, the DAC high level meeting in May
1999 defined an nssd as “a strategic and participatory process
of analysis, debate, capacity strengthening, planning and action
towards sustainable development”. It also noted that an nssd
is not necessarily a new strategic process, but can be developed
by incorporating sustainable development principles into key
existing policy and strategic planning processes.
of the WP/ENV initiative began with a Donor - Developing Country
Scoping Workshop, held in Sunningdale, UK, in November 1998,
to discuss the approach and key themes relating to nssds (see
DAC/WP/ENV, Room Document WP(19)1). The workshop endorsed the
need for a process of in-country dialogues to learn from experience
with nssds and examine the role of donors in supporting nssds.
Four key themes were identified:
nssds can take the form of a range of different strategies and
plans and are characterised by a focus on processes
nssds should integrate sustainable development into key economic,
social and private sector planning processes;
there should be broad stakeholder participation in the development
and implementation of nssds;
nssds could act as an umbrella for other environment and development
planning processes to improve coordination and reduce duplication
(see also Detailed Project Description).
Objectives of the project
following objectives were confirmed:
to elaborate good practice for donor agencies to support nssd
processes in developing countries (the main objective for donor
to improve international understanding of how to develop and
It was stressed
that the purpose of the country dialogues is not to initiate
new planning processes, but to learn from those that already
exist. However, it is hoped that the dialogues will also make
a substantive contribution to nssd processes in developing countries.
It is also hoped that they will enable the identification of
indicators to monitor progress towards successful sustainable
development strategies, and generate a better understanding
of what constitutes a nssd.
from the OECD/DAC emphasised the significance of the dialogue
process, since, for the first time, policy guidance for the
DAC is being developed in partnership with developing countries.
The country dialogues are extremely important because the outputs
will be used to develop policy guidance for donor agencies.
The guidance will be presented to OECD Ministers of Development
Cooperation in mid-2001 and, if adopted, may influence key actors
such as the UN and the World Bank.
Roles of participants in the nssd dialogue project
In-country lead institutions/teams: to coordinate and implement
the dialogues in each country, working closely with governments.
In-country steering committees: to meet several times and provide
a forum for a broader range of stakeholders to have an input
into shaping the dialogues.
IIED: to coordinate the project, ensure consistency of approach
and adherence to the timetable, develop draft guidance, and
assist with the administration of funds.
DAC Task Force: to listen and learn (the guidance will be informed
by the dialogues), to assist IIED, secure and release funds,
and provide feedback to the DAC WP/ENV and other donors and
financial institutions (e.g. IMF, World Bank).
Background paper on nssds
At the Arusha
workshop, IIED presented a background paper on nssds highlighting
some of the problems with previous approaches (e.g. environment-driven,
weak links to decision-making and investment, weak participation
and implementation), and identifying key challenges for the
future. The text of this paper (“National Strategies for
Sustainable Development: the Challenge Ahead” by Barry Dalal-Clayton
and Steve Bass, draft 17/3/2000) is available on the project
website and CD ROM.
Sharing perspectives on the value of nssds
were made at each workshop on experience of nssds and related
issues in participating countries:
Thailand’s 8th National Economic and Social Development
Plan, stakeholders from all levels of society (including the
grassroots) were allowed to participate in the planning process.
Previous development plans had been very top-down and did not
achieve national objectives. The new planning approach, adopted
in the wake of an economic crisis, seeks to gain public acceptability
to improve implementation. It has added value by generating
useful information, creating a new paradigm of ‘people centred
development’, strengthening the role and responsibility of civil
society in the national development process, empowering local
communities to address their own problems, and improving cooperation
Vision 20:20 provides a conceptual framework for sustainable
development over a 25-year period (1996-2020) and is being implemented
through successive five-year development plans. It is the product
of extensive consultations involving all stakeholders, resulting
in consensus around long and medium term goals. The approach
to planning is human-centred, integrated, participatory, decentralised
and long-term. One of the strengths of this approach is the
extent of use of new coordination mechanisms, such as quarterly
meetings to review government-donor activities, which allow
problems to be identified early and all stakeholders to intervene
to resolve issues. Similarly, sector partner groups have been
set up under the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) to
review project implementation and institutional and policy reforms.
However, there are a number of constraints to implementation:
weak institutional capacity at district level, very sectoral
monitoring and evaluation, limited analysis at district level,
and the difficulty of fiscal decentralisation and accountability
at decentralised level.
has introduced economic and social reforms over the last ten
years, including a law on public participation and a law on
decentralisation. Following these reforms, and in view of continuing
poverty problems, the government has adopted a new approach
to planning, based on dialogue, participation and consensus.
The results of this new approach have been effective in the
fight against drug trafficking. A National Dialogue process
to agree a programme for poverty reduction was held in 1997,
and another National Dialogue to develop a Poverty Reduction
Strategy is planned for July 2000. A Ministry for Sustainable
Development has been established, which incorporates four ministries
concerned with development planning and environment, and consultative
groups have been set up to improve coordination between the
government and international cooperation.
the preparation of a prospectus for a National Conservation
Strategy (NCS) in 1983, the process to develop the NCS started
in 1985 and was completed in 1988 when the NCS (“Building
on Success”) was endorsed by the government. Implementation
began in 1989 and focused on three key areas: environmental
planning and assessment (particularly concerning law, pollution
control and national heritage conservation); environmental education;
and public information. In response to IMF requirements, the
National Environmental Policy and Action Plan (NEPAP) was prepared
in 1993. Stimulated by Danish interest, efforts have been made
integrate environment and development through environmental
strategies and policies for several sectors: forestry, industry
and water resources. The 8th Five Year Plan (1992-1997)
made an effort to bring past experience together into a separate
chapter on the environment. All of the above mentioned initiatives
were filtered in the preparation of the 9th Five
Year Plan (1997-2002). IUCN-Nepal helped to draft a chapter
on “Objectives of environment and natural resource management”
in the plan. A mid-term review of the Plan is to be carried
out in 2000. In 1997, an NCS implementation review was undertaken
(through a workshop and theme panels) and produced a range of
broad recommendations extending beyond the NCS itself. Swiss
SDC also conducted an external review of the NCS. In 1998, the
National Planning Commission convened a meeting on how to update
the NCS into a comprehensive strategy reflecting current needs.
Current ideas on nssd approaches in Nepal centre on: income
generation and poverty alleviation; model demonstration projects;
Faso is a dominantly rural country where economic growth is
very dependent on agriculture. The government prepares regular
Five Year development plans and currently the main economic
development objective is fighting poverty. This is supported
by sectoral policies but their preparation lacks consultation
and they are not clearly articulated with each other. The government
has signed the main Rio conventions but these are proving difficult
to implement. There is therefore an urgent need for a framework
to provide harmonisation and a holistic approach. The National
Council for Management of the Environment (CONAGESE) was established
in 1995 by law, based at the Ministry for Environment and Water
and chaired by the Prime Minister. CONAGESE is in effect a framework
for consultation which promotes the principles of environmental
conservation and sustainability within development. It has responsibility
for a range OF activities including the programme against desertification.
Government departments, civil society and the private sector
make proposals for CONAGESE activities.
review of the past activities of CONAGESE and other technical
ministries active in the rural sector by OECD/Club du Sahel
and CILSS, and subsequent discussions with Burkina Faso officials,
has shown that effective co-ordination of development and co-operation
policies is a key challenge involving several dimensions:
Improved information about existing policies;
Improved relationships between policies and the projects and
Long-term involvement of representatives of rural communities
(locally-elected officials or farmers’ unions) to develop their
capacity to participate effectively in the policy debate.
has been launched to harmonise planning and to integrate environmental
issues in development planning in a participatory manner. This
initiative aims to test a prototype planning approach to integrate
global and transnational priorities in existing sectoral planning
frameworks. It is hoped that this will result in: the main players
in sustainable development in the country reaching consensus
on an nssd approach; CONAGESE being better perceived at the
national level as the coordinator of environmental management;
a clearer definition of institutional roles at the highest level;
and a revised national environmental action plan.
envisages several phases and steps (see Appendix 6) and is scheduled
to conclude in February 2001 with a methodological document
containing new proposals for planning and policy integration.
to develop a National Conservation Strategy (NCS) was initiated
in 1988. Following UNCED, it was renamed the National Conservation
Strategy for Sustainable Development (NCSSD). A draft was approved
by the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) in 1994
but has never been effectively implemented. A National Environmental
Action Plan prepared by a World Bank consultant was approved
by the President, also in 1994. It too has remained a shelf
document. Lack of implementation has, in part, been due to overlapping
institutional mandates for environmental issues and inter-institutional
rivalries. The Institutional and Legal Framework for Environmental
Management Project is currently seeking to address these issues.
Tanzania is currently developing a Poverty Reduction Strategy.
number of key points emerged during discussions:
value added of nssds: In Bangladesh, the participatory approach
adopted in the formulation of the National Environment Management
Act added value because it engaged the lower tiers of government
(who are usually not consulted), enabled the identification
of development as well as environment priorities and resulted
in the government’s acceptance of the need for wide public consultation,
facilitated through NGOs. Participation strengthens the links
between thinking and acting (otherwise thinking is done at national
level, while action is at local level).
role of donors: In Bolivia, framework agreements with donor
agencies mean that the next government will have to continue
with the policies and approaches currently in place. In Thailand,
the UN helps to bring experience from other countries and is
examining the meaning of sustainable development in terms of
action at local level.
should act as facilitators and respond to developing country
requests. Donor pilot initiatives which create common playing
fields can serve to improve understanding of the perspectives
of different stakeholders and strengthen collaboration between
nssds: it would be useful to start by examining the factors
that characterise unsustainable development (see DFID key sheet
on nssds). For example, economic inequality is underpinned by
inadequate financial systems and inequitable land tenure, whilst
social instability is caused by poor governance (e.g. corruption
and abuse of power) and high unemployment. This will then provide
a framework for assessing the effectiveness of national development
processes in tackling these bottlenecks or constraints to sustainable
need to be politically viable to be sustainable: political
viability is important to enable and sustain sustainable development
policies and improve their efficiency. This means integrating
such policies with those development priorities which have strong
political consensus, and securing government commitment to decentralisation,
localisation and democratisation.
Methodologies for analysing nssds
workshop, IIED presented a paper ‘Analysing nssds: Some Methodologies’
setting out a possible approach for analysing strategic planning
processes and their contribution to sustainable development.
Such analysis requires an assessment of processes or systems,
and what they are achieving, rather than looking only at impacts
based on existing sustainable development indicators – since
it will take time for impacts to become apparent (and since
nssds are all about process).
will need to vary from country to country depending on the subject
of analysis – some countries have developed nssds, some have
not, while others have many different existing plans and strategies.
It is therefore useful to use principles to analyse nssd processes
(e.g. participation which enhances the quality of information
and generates public ownership).
on international experience, the paper presents a possible framework
for analysis (successfully tested in a recent review of Pakistan’s
National Conservation Strategy – see next section) with five
broad categories: the context of nssds (political, economic
etc); the actors; integrating mechanisms (including other initiatives
such as CDF and PRSP which may be ore sustainable in the long
term); process characteristics; and impacts. The specific processes
and issues that are important will be different depending on
the country, but the framework can be used as a starting point
it was suggested that an nssd could be seen as an evolving system
of institutions and processes that deal with sustainable development,
and that the best way to see if strategies adjust to changing
contexts is to consult sectoral focus groups. The information
that emerges will depend on the maturity of the strategic planning
process. Where an nssd is not in place, the analysis should
provide useful information on the effective institutions and
processes on which to base such a strategy. Analysis of an nssd
process that is in its early stages should illutrate how to
conduct an nssd, and analysis of older (longer-standing) nssds
can illustrate how to adapt and improve nssds.
Pakistan’s experience of NCS mid-term review
Asif Zaidi of IUCN-Pakistan presented Pakistan’s recent experience
of undertaking a mid-term review of the National Conservation
Strategy. The objectives were: to assess progress since the
adoption of the NCS in 1991; to analyse and collate lessons;
and to formulate recommendations for the adjustment of the NCS
as a strategic guideline for sustainable development in Pakistan.
The review was conducted in two phases over a period of 12 months:
data collection conducted internally (11 months), and an external
review led by an international panel (1 month).
Topic guides for country dialogues
project proposal set out a phased approach involving:
status review conducted by the lead organisation/team to build
a map of existing strategic processes including key stakeholders,
groups and institutions, based on interviews/consultations
with key stakeholders (including government, NGOs and the
private sector) (1-2 months); and
dialogue phase involving the participation of a broader range
of stakeholders, including a 2/3- day national round table,
possibly preceded by smaller events (3-5 months).
the approach in each dialogue country is a matter for local
decision and, during workshop and other discussions, it has
been suggested that the two elements might be best be undertaken
in parallel or merged rather than be carried out in sequence.
workshop, DFID presented a draft topic guide (see ‘Topic Guides
for Status Reviews and Dialogues’) with possible issues to be
considered during the status review (Topic Guide 1) and dialogues
(Topic Guide 2). The guide was originally developed for a similar
exercise in Uganda to determine the extent to which policies,
plans and processes take account of sustainable development
issues. The basic format is essentially the same as the analytical
framework proposed by IIED (see section 7 above) with Topic
Guide 1 covering the context, actors and integrating institutions,
and Topic Guide 2 covering processes and impacts.
working groups considered which additional questions and topics
should be included in the topic guides, which ones should be
excluded, and what methodologies might be employed to address
these questions. At the London workshop, participants discussed
the topic guides in plenary and suggested some revisions, The
following general comments were made:
topic guide questions should be used as a basis for discussion,
rather than just providing yes/no answers. The status reviews
should begin to ask questions about process issues and the role
of donors, and should provide the basis for identifying specific
issues, stakeholders and methodologies for the dialogues.
may not be possible to review all existing strategy processes
within the scope of the project. Strategies should be prioritised
according to their potential or actual contribution towards
sustainable development, and their potential to yield interesting
lessons. Defining characteristics of selected strategies should
be that they are cross-sectoral, people-centred and participatory.
As far as possible, the strategies discussed should be applicable
across national, sub-national and local levels
work should be undertaken by a multi-stakeholder group to ensure
that the project is not too closely associated with any sector/stakeholder.
methodologies used should be: participatory (therefore lead
teams require this capacity); credible (all stakeholders should
be consulted) and transparent.
the viewpoints of all stakeholders is essential and represents
a significant challenge. A combination of approaches may be
required (stakeholder workshops, questionnaires, structured
interviews, focus group discussions, participatory techniques,
traditional village forums, stakeholder analysis, conflict resolution,
use of the media).
Lessons learned should be both positive and negative.
The final output for the country should be a short report, two-thirds
of which should focus on future priorities. The process adopted
during the dialogues should continue after the DAC guidance
It may be necessary to make a distinction between strategy and
planning processes in the DAC guidance.
The two topic guides should be merged into a single document
and combined with guidance on methodologies for nssd analysis.
In the light of specific suggestions made at both workshops,
the issues covered in the two topic guides and in the presentations
of methodologies for nssd analysis are now being revised and
merged into a single, more user-friendly document intend as
a ‘prompt’ for analysis and debate. This will be circulated
to all project participants and placed on the website.
Communications strategy for the project
participants discussed the need for a communications strategy
for the project. The dialogues will only be possible if participants
are well informed. At present, there is very little awareness
about the project in the dialogue countries, and it will be
important to market and propagate the initiative in the initial
phase. The DAC Task Force should help to raise awareness amongst
donor agencies (e.g. DFID has recently visited the World Bank
and UNDP to discuss the initiative).
It was agreed
that it was important to ensure a multiplier effect, so that
other countries learn from the process. In addition, it will
be important to link up with other countries that have initiated
to promote communication and learning is a proposed project
website (see next sub-section) but it was agreed that other
means of communication need to be explored, such as the preparatory
consultations in advance of the Rio +10 conference.
Prototype project website
from DFID, IIED and the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) have
developed a prototype website for the project and this was demonstrated
to workshop participants. The website provides the architecture
for holding: detailed information about the project, participating
countries, organisations and individuals and the on-going dialogues;
the texts of a wealth of documents on nssds and closely-related
issues as well as documents from participating countries and
other organisations; and hyperlinks to a wide range of useful
related websites including those in participating countries.
The basic structure of the website is as follows:
- project details
- sustainable development
- the project
- key documents
- general topics
- country topics
- draft project documents
prototype website with project information and the texts of a
wide range of key nssd documents is contained on a CD Rom which
is available to project participants.
discussion, several issues arose:
Control and access of the website information (which is now
no longer an entirely private site) – all participants will
be able to send information and materials to be posted on the
website. IIED/NRI will only be concerned with matters such as
relevance of content, correct formatting, consistency of style,
eliminating viruses, etc.
distribution and frequency of distribution of the CD-ROM in
the dialogue team countries and other constituencies – probably
stressed their need for the information contained in the website
It was agreed that the information would be varied and span
from policy to methodologies as well as contact details.
participants also agreed with the proposal for a e-mail discussion
list (now set up as email@example.com).
was also some discussion centred on the hidden costs of information
technology (which are now well known) but that there are also
high costs of searching for information whose accessibility
two workshops agreed that the website provided a very useful
and important resource and urged that it be developed further
and opened to public access. DFID has offered to support the
further development and maintenance of the website during
the life of the project. The website is now open to access
on www.nri.org\NSSD and will in due course be transferred
Country dialogue work plans
two workshops, dialogue country teams presented their proposed
approaches to the dialogues and their proposed workplans. Brief
details are provided in appendices:
6 Burkina Faso
Conclusions and next steps
A mid-term review workshop will be held in October 2000 in Thailand,
after the status review phase, and a final workshop in February
2001 in Bolivia.
guidance must be ready in time for the meeting of the DAC WP/ENV
in February 2001. This means that IIED will have to work in parallel
with the country teams to draw lessons from the country dialogues
throughout the dialogue phase, and prepare a first draft of the
guidance in time for the February workshop.
An annotated outline of the guidance should be developed at the
October workshop on the basis of the status reviews.
focus on producing draft policy guidance for the DAC High Level
Meeting in May 2001, and work on the detailed technical document
(the sourcebook) should continue beyond May 2001.
Mid term review workshop in Thailand (October 2000): to review the
results of the status reviews and progress with the dialogues; and
to consider the annotated outline for the guidance on nssds and
agree on key points for its further elaboration.
in Bolivia (Feb 2001): to present the findings of the dialogues,
discuss key lessons and refine the draft guidance prepared by
IIED in consultation with the country teams.
Information and communication
The proposed website should be made operational, funds should be
allocated for translation and key documents translated into Spanish
and French. It would be useful to provide a glossary of key terms.
report will be prepared for the DAC WP/ENV meeting in June 2000.
Initiating the country dialogues
Country teams will need to submit revised work plans (including
the schedule, costs, personnel details) to IIED as soon as possible
so that contracts and terms of reference for lead teams can be agreed.
IIED will need to discuss the sequence of tasks and the methodology
for each dialogue with the country teams and help to develop the
analytical framework so that common issues are addressed and common
lessons can be drawn.
Countries are encouraged to hold an initial planning meetings as
soon as possible to discuss the approach, and to build wider awareness
of and support for the initiative. Where possible,IIED will attend.
IIED will maintain constant contact with the country teams throughout
Drawing lessons from parallel learning countries
The final report of the mid-term review of Pakistan’s NCS will be
placed on the project website.
A regional workshop will be organised by IUCN in Nepal for South
and South-East Asian countries to present the results of the mid-term
review of the Pakistan NCS as both an information-sharing and training
event. IIED will take part.
Once the mid-term review is finalised, it is hoped that this will
lead to the development of a NCS II (as a nssd) and IUCN may hold
a roundtable for this purpose. In developing this nssd, Pakistan
will wish to benefit from the learning deriving from the DAC initiative.
would be willing to second a person to Nepal to facilitate mutual
exchange on NCS analysis.
A visit will be made to Namibia by IIED and DFID in early June 2000
to discuss options for linkage.
Capacity 21: Ndey Njie (UNDP Capacity 21) will
help to maintain links with Capacity 21 initiatives by providing
documentation and attending the mid-term and final workshops.
Feedback on workshops
made several suggestions for future workshops:
key documents should be translated in advance, and good translation
services should be provided during the workshops;
the second and third workshops should be longer than 2.5 days and
involve more group discussions;
resource persons should be used more effectively (not only as chairs);
easy access to a computer and more than one printer would be very
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