Introduction to the workshop
The workshop was opened
by Manuel Vitturo, Spanish Ambassador to Bolivia, and Ronald Maclean,
Bolivia’s Minister for Sustainable Development and Planning. On behalf
of the DAC Task Force on Strategies for Sustainable Development, Adrian
Davis (Head of DFID’s Environment Policy Department, and co-chair of the
DAC Task Force) also welcomed participants, stressing the need to ensure
the widest possible dissemination of the policy guidance on strategies
in the run up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg
The objectives and
outputs of the dialogue project were presented by DFID and IIED. The project
has sought to address three basic questions:
- What are the principles
underlying strategies for sustainable development?
- What form might
effective strategies take in practice?
- How should development
cooperation agencies best support their development and implementation?
The main outputs of
the project will be policy guidance for development cooperation agencies
on strategies for sustainable development and a more detailed technical
‘sourcebook’ on strategies. The policy guidance will be submitted to the
DAC High Level meeting in April 2001 for ministerial approval. There is
a need to ensure that the guidance will be applied in practice, and to
discuss how this can be achieved.
The source book will
pull together case material and lessons from the country dialogues and
other experiences. It will be drafted by IIED, with inputs from others,
between March and December 2001. Its development will essentially be a
technical exercise with less emphasis on process.
The final workshop
provided the last significant opportunity for dialogue and parallel country
partners to influence the contents of the guidance. Following the workshop,
a final draft text would be prepared and submitted to the OECD Secretariat
on 23 February – and at the same time circulated to all project participants
for any final comments of a fundamental nature (only). The final draft
would be considered by the DAC Working Party on Development Cooperation
and the Environment at its meeting in Paris on 8th/9th
March 2001. Any agreed amendments would then be incorporated into a final
text to be submitted by 16th March for consideration and approval
by aid ministers at the meeting of High Level DAC on 25/2 April 2001.
Presentation of the Policy Guidance
A draft framework
for the guidance was agreed at the mid-term review workshop in Phuket,
Thailand, in October 2000. Based on this, IIED prepared a first draft
of the guidance which was circulated to participating countries for comment
in December 2000. The draft was revised to incorporate comments and a
second draft was circulated two weeks prior to the final workshop.
The guidance examines
why a strategic approach to sustainable development is required (chapter1),
presents principles for strategies (chapter 2), reviews current practice
(chapter 3) and draws lessons from applying existing country strategies
chapter 4). Chapter 5 presents illustrative steps for establishing and
operating a coordination system to support a sustainable development strategy,
whilst chapter 6 focuses on the role of development cooperation agencies
in supporting strategies and monitoring their adherence to the guidance.
Finally, chapter 7 deals with monitoring progress towards meeting the
International Development Target on strategies.
The guidance offers
the following definition of a strategy for sustainable development: a
coordinated set of participatory and continuously improving processes
of analysis, debate, capacity-strengthening, planning and investment,
which seeks to balance economic, social and environmental objectives of
society. Here ‘investment’ is used in its broadest sense, not
just financial investment, but also in terms of human resources, time
At UNCED in 1992,
the need for countries to introduce a national strategy was identified.
It is known that there have been problems in meeting this objective because
of several key factors: the inability of institutional frameworks to enable
the integration of economic, social and environmental objectives; the
lack of coherence and complementarity between different strategic planning
processes and between different levels (national to local); the difficulty
of ensuring effective participation; and limited skills and capacity in
developing and implementing strategies. A strategy for sustainable development
is not a plan, but an iterative action learning process which allows countries
to keep sustainable development on the agenda.
Reviewing the Draft Policy Guidance
offered comments on all parts of the guidance, but detailed discussions
focused mainly on chapters 4 and 6. Review of chapter 4 was undertaken
in mixed working groups, while chapter 6 (which had been drafted largely
by development cooperation agencies) was first reviewed by a plenary meeting
of participants from the dialogue and parallel countries and then by a
smaller task group. The workshop also considered the structure and scope
of the guidance, the chapters on monitoring development cooperation agency
adherence to the guidance and on monitoring the IDT on strategies, and
the executive summary. The latter will, which will be of key importance
for the DAC High Level Meeting.
In the working group
discussions, participants considered important points that had been missed
or that required correction or further explanation, and identified case
material from the dialogue/parallel countries to illustrate the text.
Because of the very short time-frame for revising the draft, participants
submitted all comments and additional text in writing during the workshop.
IIED would then balance all contributions and suggestions as fairly as
It was generally agreed
that the guidance was a good document, providing specific and clear suggestions
and case examples.
The Source Book – Scope and Content
The sourcebook will
contain a detailed exploration of the challenge of strategies for sustainable
development, with lessons, case materials, and methodologies from the
dialogue countries and elsewhere. It will provide technical guidance on
how to develop and implement strategies for sustainable development, with
examples of processes and mechanisms that have been shown to work.
It was suggested that
a section on policy implications of strategy and policy coherence should
be included. A possible contents list for the sourcebook was presented
It is aimed to prepare
a first draft during April-June of this year and to distribute this for
review and comment in early July. The draft will be specifically sent
to dialogue and parallel learning countries for comment. Feedback will
also be sought at relevant meetings.
The following questions
were highlighted for discussion:
- Is there demand
for this kind of sourcebook? who is the audience - in-country, international,
- Should it take
the form of a book, file, website?
- Should the format
follow guidance content? principles, methods, cases?
- What essential
methods for strategies should be included? for analysis of stakeholders,
policy, institutions; facilitating meetings, scenario development?
- What useful sources/references
should be included for further information on tools and techniques?
eg. the topic guide?
- Where should the
material come from? North/South?
felt that the proposed sourcebook would certainly be useful for their
countries and internationally – for practitioners, institutions, development
cooperation agencies, partner governments and NGOs – and for members of
the proposed global partnership on strategies.
It was recommended
that the sourcebook should not only provide technical guidance but also
challenge existing practice, including a critical analysis of past and
current practice, proposals for how to improve this and examples of what
works. It should expand on the guidance to further refine the definition
and characterisation of what constitutes a strategy for sustainable development,
what are its key components/elements, and how to develop and implement
such a strategy. It should be a ‘how to manual’, designed to suit a range
of possible uses (e.g. with parts that could be used as modules for training,
or adapted for use in particular countries) and should be widely translated.
There should be no ownership or restrictive copyright over the sourcebook
to encourage the widest possible use.
that the sourcebook should not seek to impose knowledge, but should foster
and facilitate local diagnosis by allowing choices. It was acknowledged
that there is still much to learn about strategies, but the sourcebook
can present some examples and ideas, so that people can interpret strategies
locally. This is a new, experimental area which links well to the idea
of developing a global partnership on strategies.
It was suggested that
in-country consultations might be able to improve the definition of the
target group for the sourcebook to enble it to respond better to the specific
needs. The website could also be used to help identify what information
would be most useful. It was also suggested that, once the first draft
is ready, consultations could be held in each country, to capture a broader
range of views, raise awareness and generate ownership.
option was that the sourcebook be presented in the form a ‘resource’ pack
so that pages can easily be taken out and copied. It could also be produced
as a CD-rom and placed as a special area on the project website to enable
people to provide materials for possible inclusion. Subject to funding,
this option could be taken further so that the sourcebook/resource book
could be a continually or regularly updated and improved ‘interactive’
Capacity 21 has worked
in many countries to build capacity to implement Agenda 21, and plan and
implement strategies for sustainable development. Penny Stock of UNDP
reported that experience from the Capacity 21 programme will be captured
in a series of publications on ‘approaches to sustainability’, containing
country, thematic and regional studies which could be useful for the sourcebook.
Proposal for a Global Partnership on Strategies
At the second workshop
held in Phuket, Thailand, the developing country participants expressed
the view that it would be useful to continue the dialogue process started
under the OECD/DAC project beyond the final workshop, particularly in
the run-up to Rio +10. Accordingly a draft concept paper with ideas for
a possible network was prepared by Saleemul Huq and IIED and circulated
in November 2000. Considerable positive feedback was received from developing
country participants as well as other potential partners.
Based on the feedback,
a revised proposal for a Global Partnership on Strategies for Sustainable
Development (GPSSD) was presented by Saleemul Huq and discussed by the
participants in Bolivia. Most of the developing country participants felt
it was a good idea, but needed be fleshed out further, taking into account
the need to:
- Ensure that such
a partnership really brings added value to its members;
- Find one or two
(modest) activities that the partnership can focus on;
- Seek other potential
partners who are interested in joining such an effort, and identify/build
on existing networks;
- Consider the development
of regional networks that enable similar countries to exchange experience,
as the basis for the global partnership;
- Concentrate on
communications to start with;
- Seek out potential
linkages with Rio+10 meetings; and
- Develop a revised
proposal through consultation with the developing country partners.
The meeting decided
to form an ad-hoc committee to hold an electronic discussion and develop
a revised proposal by mid-March to share with the whole group. The following
persons volunteered to be in the ad-hoc committee: Saleemul Huq (convenor);
Seth Vordzorgbe (Ghana); Maheen Zehra (Pakistan); Nipon Poapongsakorn
(Thailand); Badri Pande (Nepal); Hum Gurung (Nepal); Anibal Aguilar (Bolivia);
Lucien Msambichika (Tanzania); Oussouby Toure (Senegal); Daniel Thieba
(Burkina Faso); and Penny Stock (Capacity 21).
The future of the Website (nssd.net)
The workshop agreed
that the project website is a useful resource for information-sharing
and dissemination. Use of the website has doubled monthly over the last
few months. It was agreed that it every effort should be made to keep
it operational beyond the dialogue project, particularly when the greatest
investment has already been made in establishing the website. The website
would provide an important tool for maintaining communication and networking.
Ideally (funds permitting), documents placed on the website should be
translated into different languages, and countries could assist with this
to reduce costs.
However, running costs
are considerable and will need to be covered. Current resources will be
exhausted at the end of March, with the production of one more CD-rom
and efforts are being made to secure an extension of funding. The network
proposal could also be used to attract further funds for the website.
It cannot be expected that assistance from development cooperation agencies
for the website will be available over the long term – so there is a need
to consider how the website can be institutionalised.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
Kirsten Rohrmann (Department
for Economic and Social Affairs, UN) reported that the World Summit on
Sustainable Development (WSSD) – also called Rio+10 will be held in Johannesburg
in mid-2002. It will include a ten year review of implementation of Agenda
21 based on national assessments. The prime source for the agenda will
be the regional preparatory meetings. Regional Roundtables will take place
May-June of this year and feed into five Regional PrepComs in September-November.
This will feed into CSD 10 PrepCom meetings in New York, the final one
being held in Indonesia in May 2002 to prepare a concise political document
for the Summit.
Lessons from the country dialogues and next steps
A ‘share fair’ was
held where dialogue and parallel countries displayed material on the dialogues,
and participants discussed the lessons and conclusions of the dialogues.
Each dialogue country has prepared a status review of sustainable development
strategies and policy, and is completing a dialogue report examining strategy
experience in more detail. Activities in parallel countries followed their
own format, but reports on these have also been produced. Participating
countries also prepared short country reports for the workshop. These
documents will be posted on the project website [www.nssd.net].
A number of countries
reported that the dialogue process had been very useful and that some
of the activities initiated would continue. Team leaders provided an indication
of the planned next steps to be taken in each dialogue/parallel country
following the completion of the dialogues:
is working on developing a regional network on strategies and plans to
disseminate the policy guidance amongst civil society. The Ministry for
Sustainable Development is working to mobilise a National Council on Sustainable
Development and to strengthen the national sustainable development agenda
and prepare for WSSD.
will hold a meeting of the dialogue Steering Committee on return from
the Bolivia workshop. The team would like to propose to that the Committee
is consolidated to form the National Council for Sustainable Development.
c) In Burkina
Faso, the report of the dialogue has been presented to the Cabinet.
It includes specific recommendations for the government, for civil society
and for development agencies. Dependent on Cabinet approval, the key task
will be to implement those recommendations. One specific immediate task
is to translate the PRSP into local languages to enable greater civil
society participation in its redrafting. There are also plans to engage
in the WSSD process.
d) In Nepal,
the dialogue enabled a review of community projects on sustainable development.
The dialogue report will be translated into Nepalese so that it can be
disseminated to those who participated in the process. Nepal aims to promote
implementation of Agenda 21 and set up a task force of agencies and NGOs
dealing with sustainable development to prepare forWSSD.
e) In Thailand,
the National Economic and Social Development Board plans to initiate a
campaign to improve development cooperation, and a research programme
on poverty reduction. Thailand will be involved in a similar kind of dialogue
initiative with the World Bank.
f) The Ghana
team would like to hold a workshop to share its draft report with stakeholders.
They plan to publish the report in-country, launch it with maximum media
coverage, and involve the new Minister for Planning in these activities
to encourage the new government to take the results on board.
h) In Pakistan
there are two parallel processes on dialogues: one undertaken for the
Mid-term Review of the NCS; another is the participatory poverty assessment.
IUCN-Pakistan will examine how to integrate the environment in this second
process so that it is included in the PRS.
i) IIED reported that,
in Namibia, the project had contributed funds to a review
of the Green Plan and first National Development Plan to asses how sustainable
development had been addressed; and to capturing the learning from a stakeholder
dialogue process to debate sustainable development priorities and concerns.
This exercise had already influenced the development of the Second National
Development Plan (currently being prepared) and enhanced integration of
sustainable development issues in the new plan.
a) The policy guidance
would be revised immediately after the workshop and submitted to the OECD
Secretariat on 23 February (and circulated to all participants at the
same time) for consideration by the DAC Working Party on Development Cooperation
an the Environment at its meeting in Paris on 8th// 9th
b) Any agreed amendments
would be incorporated in the following week and a final text would be
submitted on 16h March for consideration of the High Level DAC meeting,
scheduled to take place in Paris on 25/26 April 2001.
c) Therefore, any
final comments of a fundamental nature (only) from dialogue/parallel countries
or others should reach IIED by 7th March (absolute latest).
d) Dialogue and parallel
country teams should submit to IIED their final status and dialogue reports,
including methodologies used, by the end of March 2001.
e). IIED will prepare
a first draft of the sourcebook during April-June. It is aimed to circulate
this for comment in July 2001.
f). A revised proposal
for a global partnership will be circulated by Saleemul Huq by mid-March.
project coordinator, thanked all participating countries for their cooperation,
support and dedicated work thyroughout the initiative and looked forward
to continued cooperation in preparing the sourcebook.
Paula Chalinder, Head
of DFID’s Sustainable Development Unit, emphasised that this is not the
end of the process – there is still have a long way to go. The production
of a guidance document is just one step. The DAC Task Force will take
on board comments made at the workshop, and, once the guidance is approved,
the participating countries that can really make a difference by using
and promoting the document. Thanks were expressed to Spanish Cooperation
for providing the venue for the workshop, to Bolivia for hosting it, and
to all those who participated in the dialogue project.
Dr Tay from Ghana,
on behalf of the dialogue/parallel countries, noted that the dialogue
process and international workshops had been very useful to enable countries
to learn, share experience and get to know others working on sustainable
development strategies. It is hoped that the guidance will ensure that
such strategies become the framework for donor assistance.