1998 Dubai International Award for Best Practices  

Report of the Technical Advisory Committee
Hosted by the City of Vienna, Austria
7-10 July 1998

ISBN 92-1-131379-1

Overview and Contents


Summaries of the 40 Short-listed Best Practices - DIABP 1998


ALB226: The Breglumasi Program - An Urban and Social Development Initiative, Tirana, Albania

The project is located in a peripheral neighbourhood of the Albanian capital of Tirana, addressing the needs of low income residents in the area. In an area of 33 hectares, Breglumasi shelters almost 550 household, most coming from northern districts and 35% coming from the rest of the country. Usually residents are from mountainous and isolated areas with limited living resources. The neighbourhood lack basic facilities, infrastructure and services. Only 20% of the employable population have steady jobs.

In 1993, a survey of resident needs was performed and in 1994 a project was formulated in close co-operation with key people from the area and with the help of different international organisations (Italian volunteers and a Dutch program manager). The project is designed as a community based initiative. Once the priorities were established, a programme promoting land development and infrastructure improvement was set up with the objective to expand it in other cities. The initiative was also supported by the World Bank which later financed it. The financial loan of the World Bank is for the first time devoted to local authorities.

Breglumasi is the first pilot site. With the help of non-governmental organisations and local authorities, public roads and irrigation channels were constructed, involving the neighbourhood in infrastructure improvement. Also, strategic credits to promote basic local services were distributed. As a result, a bakery, food shop, brick and wood production workshop were initiated. Temporary and emergency employment was created for more than 200 persons for road improvements and for the creation of a social center.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:

• Breglumasi neighbourhood’s determination to look after itself, based on community initiatives more sustainable and efficient than the existing government urban policies
• The incremental approach to the problems
• The employment and income generation activities
• Partnership and close co-operation between all partners

MEX532: UCISV-VER Housing Program for the Peripheral Areas of Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

The main demand of the low income population in the periphery of Xalapa, in the state of Vera Cruz was for access to land for housing since they mostly squatted land on the city’s periphery and where urban service provision was non existent. Some of the squatted areas are unsuitable for human settlements. These areas had grown considerably, largely due to rural out-migration, and by 1991 around 46% of the city’s total population of 350,000 lived on the city periphery. Generally speaking, they work in Xalapa’s construction or tertiary sector, and earnings are very low. Relations between this section of the Xalapa population and the city and state authorities were of mutual antagonism. Xalapa’s problem is complex as it involves different levels of government, political interest, poverty, the lack of urban services to a large section of the population, land regulation, housing, the environment and community development. The Union of Tenants and Housing Applicants, a community organisation that was created in Xalapa in 1984, elaborated a Partial Plan, in 1991 for the 80 low income neighbourhoods in Xalapa’s periphery that was funded by Ford Foundation, that was approved by the local leaders and residents.

The Plan was an important instrument to get funds from the Dutch NGO NOVIB to provide training workshops to CENVI on housing and planning issues. After negotiations with the city and state authorities, CENVI in 1993 got the Plan to be included in the official from for the city, along with its full implementation. Since then improvements have been done in the area, one the main important being the establishment of a savings and loan program , directed and operated by women.

In 1997 CENVI developed an Integrated Social and Urban Improvement Plan, including health, education, nutrition, environment, housing and urban management and planning. The main focus of the project has been empowerment of people. Training was focused not only on awareness raising, but also on developing capacities to put forward concrete proposals. The slogan "protest with a proposal" came out of this process and has remained a slogan of CENVI ever since and has been adopted by other groups with similar aims.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
1. This is an experience of great value due to:
2. Scale (zone plan)
3. Integrality; inter-sector perspective
4. Partnerships at all levels
5. Community based urban and regional planning
6. Parallel savings and loans schemes for improvement
7. Replicability to other areas of Veracruz and of Mexico D.F.
8. The recognition of participatory planning as an empowerment tool has been made evident through this experience.

QAT 173: GIS in Qatar - An Integrated Part of Infrastructure

This submission outlines the GIS applications in Qatar which include urban planning and development, drainage, roads, electricity, water, environment, land use, agricultural services, education, health, fisheries, telecommunications and police services. This practice shows a good overview of how a coordinated/standardized nation-wide GIS implementation is helping the Government of Qatar provide enhanced services to its citizens and how the citizens are reaping the benefits of GIS.

Today, 16 Government agencies in Qatar are using GIS in their day-to-day activities. Their database is compatible and they are all integrated through a network. The practice of GIS in Quitter is unique for being implemented nation-wide and for providing a consistent framework for a wide range of users with an impact felt by almost everyone in the country.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• Adaptation of advanced technology to service the people
• The use of GIS as a Decision support system at the highest level of government
• Development of a nation-wide GIS network locally
• Coordination of efforts of different institutions in public utility services
• Potential for transferability, adaptability and Replicability
• Appropriateness to local conditions and level of development
• Leadership of GIS center in inspiring action and change

ZAF249: An Integrated Development Project in Greater Mafikeng, South Africa

Mafikeng, situated 300 km to the west of Johannesburg, has a population of over 250,000. Greater Mafikeng is comprised of Mafikeng and the peri-urban tribal area. The southern part of this area had no clean water, electricity, transport, storm water drains or sanitation. The Mafikeng Development Programme was initiated in 1995 with an aim of coordinating a wide spectrum of social, economic and environmental projects in the Greater Mafikeng Area within one comprehensive plan. Tourism was identified as the driving force to improve the river corridor and the city in general, which in turn will improve the living conditions of the people by providing them with basic necessities and employment.

The first step towards empowering those previously oppressed under the apartheid system was the establishment of a broad-based Steering Committee comprised of very different administrative systems: Tribal Authorities, City Council, Government Departments, the informal sector, local businesses and the tourism industry. The programme focuses on training and building local capacity through the integrated development of several programmes: city and river clean up; clean water provision; improved storm water facilities; improved traffic flows; and enterprise and tourism development. Where practical, all public works contracts were divided into smaller components to involve as many new emerging contractors as possible. Where established contractors were required, labour intensive methods were encouraged and favoured. The Steering Committee has emerged not only as the forum of economic development for the area, but its conflict resolution role is helping repair the social fabric of the entire community.

TZA164: Community Infrastructure (Upgrading) Programme (CIP), Tanzania

The inability of the Dar es Salaam City Council to provide, single-handedly, infrastructure services to the city neighbourhoods, let the Council to establish the CIP in 1995. While the initiative is aimed at assisting selected communities to improve their primary and neighbourhood infrastructure (i.e. spine road, water supply, sanitation improvement, etc.,) it also works closely with the communities in order to enhance their planning, implementation and monitoring activities and with the City Council to improve its ability to work with communities to implement infrastructure programmes of their choice. In Tabata community, for example, the water supply system is being run and paid for by the residents themselves and excess revenue is in turn helping to finance solid waste collection. As a result, the sense of community responsibility is increased, helping to ensure longer term sustainability. This process has facilitated the upgrading and construction of 6 km of spine roads, 42 km of neighbourhood roads, 180 ha of storm water drainage and 15 km of sewerage systems.

Noteworthy is the evidence of donour confidence in, and responsiveness to, the project development process and the communities. The intended infrastructure for upgrading was to be of a lower standard so as to enable the communities to contribute their agreed percentage of the capital cost. The communities, however, wanted the standards to be raised and succeeded in negotiating increased contributions from the World Bank and from the City Council, in return for the community’s commitment to increase its own contribution.

Additional factors considered by the TAC included:
• Positive example of city working with its communities to provide basic infrastructure;
• Broad-based participation in the project design and implementation;
• Promotion of labour-intensive construction methods to maximize income generation opportunities;
• Promotion of sustainable arrangements for service supply and maintenance through community ownership and responsibility;
• The clear potential for transfering the process to other initiatives.


AUS513: Crystal Waters Permaculture Village, Queensland, Australia

Crystal Waters Permaculture Village is socially and environmentally responsible, economically viable rural subdivision north of Brisbane (Australia) and was established in 1988. In 1985 the residents of the original Crystal Waters community called on the services of Permaculture Services Pty Ltd (now Eco-Logical Solutions Ltd) to design and implement a subdivision which would prove that developments which considered both the agricultural potential and the ecological needs of a property were viable. A four-member design team assessed the land, determining areas that would be residential lots, commercial areas, and common land. The best agricultural land was also designated common land for future licensing to residents. Dams, roads and provision of services to lots were planned and drawn up. Crystal Waters was designed to accommodate approximately 250-300 people, and to have 83 residential lots. Two additional commercial lots - one to serve as short-term visitors' accommodation (the Visitors Camping Area), and the other to be the commercial Village Centre, were also incorporated.

The subdivision was accomplished under the Queensland Building Units and Group Titles Act, 1980, and allowed people to purchase their own parcel of freehold land, while the balance of the land (approximately 80% of the total area) was to be owned in common. (The Building Units and Group Titles Act has been amended twice since 1980, is now replaced by the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997.) Once the plan was approved by Landsborough Shire Council (now amalgamated within the Caloundra City Council) in April 1986, Crystal Waters Permaculture Village became a real possibility. Through advertising and word of mouth sufficient future residents contributed deposits to fund the necessary infrastructure. Within a year all blocks were spoken for, construction completed, and the first new residents arrived. Crystal Waters is still evolving with lots of growing and learning still to come. Most of the lots are now occupied, and we have around 200 full time residents.

The TAC considers that Crystal Waters has:
• Transformed an overgrazed degraded landscape into a highly productive and environmentally sound life support system 200 people with a multitude of businesses and food producing gardens. Land productivity has been dramatically increased.
• Re-established habitats for native flora and fauna
• Revitalised the local bio-region through attractive new and environmentally responsible residents
• Demonstrated that overall changes in life styles can make very substantial contributions to the environment

AUT373: Biowaste Management - Organic Farming in Vienna, Austria

The initiative started in 1988, when the total amount of household waste collected in Vienna was about 620,000 metric tones. 62% of the waste was disposed of by incineration in two incineration plants and 38% by landfilling. There was no separate collection of recyclables. The solution to reducing the volume of waste was to minimise waste and to increase the percentage of recyclables collected separately.

One of the most important tasks facing the municipality of Vienna was to convince it’s citizens that the development of the so called "throwaway society" could not be continued any longer for economical and ecological reasons. The separate collection of organic household waste was introduced and a comprehensive collection system was also established. Many different activities in the field of public relations were organised and carried out. At the same time the municipal agricultural estates had the objective to implement a more ecological form of agriculture and to convert to organic farming. Contacts with the retail chains have been initiated in order to introduce the products from organic farming into the markets.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:
• Strong partnership between the partners
• Appropriateness to local conditions
• Acceptance and responsiveness from the citizens
• Transferability and replicability

CHN344: Comprehensive Improvement of the Urban Environment, Zhuhai, China

Zhuhai is situated in South Guangdong Province, China and faces the South China Sea, adjoining Hongkong and Macao. It covers an area of 7.602 sq. km of which 1,630 sq. km. are land while the rest is sea territory. The city's population is 673,000. Before its birth, Zhuhai was an economically disadvantaged fishing village. The urban area was less than 4 sq. km. with 6.8 km of low-level road. And there was little access to transportation. The daily water-supply capacity was only 5,000 cubic metres and there were no sewage and waste treatment systems. The telecommunication facilities were backward and there was not enough power supply. The economic development was impeded by poor infrastructure conditions and adverse living environment. The GDP in 1978 amounted to only $12,000,000. The city's revenue could not cover its expenditure.

Since the establishment of Zhuhai city in 1979, the Municipal Government has paid a great deal of attention to protecting and enhancing the urban environment of Zhuhai. A scientific and reasonable plan was created, with the goal of turning an isolated fishing village into a modern seaside garden city that provides its residents with supporting infrastructure, perfect ecological environment, good livelihood and coordinated development of economy, society and environment.

The project's main achievements thus far include: a newly-built urban area of 56.2 sq. km; a rational urban plan and layout; the urban architecture in harmony with natural environment; completion of over 400 km. long high-level city roads; one civil airport with top level international civil aviation standards; one heliport; two harbours with handling capacity of 10,000 tons; an increase in power generating installed capacity by 470,800 kilowatts; an increase of 373,000 sets in the telephone capacity and 120,000 sets in the mobile phone capacity ; four newly-built water works, three sewage treatment plants, and one solid waste treatment plant. An urban afforestation system with a green coverage rate of 39.9% has been set up; the air and water quality and noise level have been in conformity with the national standards, and the Air Pollution Index has been kept under 50 throughout the years. The GDP of the city increased from $12 million before the city was established to $2.845 billion in 1997.

The sustainable development patterns have been formed in Zhuhai. It could be said it is Zhuhai that first introduced environment-oriented policies in the urban planning and development processes in China. It has led a large amount of cities in China to follow its steps in the cause of promoting sustainable development.

EGY 246: Household Solid Waste Management-Zabbaleen Garbage Collectors

A concerted effort by four main actors from the private sector and private non-profit sectors on behalf of a marginalized group of people is playing a vital role in the management of the urban environment in a section of the huge megalopolis of Cairo. The initiative addresses the issues of household solid waste collection, disposal and recovery. It also aims to inform, educate and influence official government policy and practice to reverse their decision to evict the urban poor and advocates for them both nationally, regionally and internationally.

It seeks to build the technical, professional, educational and health capabilities of the garbage collectors within the concept of sustainable human development and environment by providing;

a. Shelter, Sewerage, Drinking water, Electricity, Children’s Club and Day Care and Nursery Unit.
b. Organic Compost Unit, Rag Recycling Unit and Paper Recycling Unit.

The TAC noted the following considerations:

• It provides the integration of efforts of an NGO, Private Sector, and International Agency for solving a problem that the government and local authorities have ignored for many years.
• Contribution to health, welfare, social services and poverty eradication of a large community of garbage collectors ( Zabbaleen).
• Contribution to pollution reduction in grater Cairo through a sound solid waste management system.
• Potential for transferability, adaptability and Replicability
• Empowerment of people and their communities

EGY686: National Public Scheme for Conserving Drinking Water, Egypt

Egypt generally has a high population density and limited water resources nationally (55.5 billion cubic meters per year). Water share per person in Egypt is less than 1000 m3/ year / person, which is relatively low compared to international accepted figures. Program was launched in May 1994 after two years of thorough research, planning and studies. This project addresses the issue of drinking water conservation, locally and nationally by reducing water loss. The activities include: utilization of 16 locally developed sanitary fixtures, an intensive public awareness program (media and personal contact), and the training of local plumbers. These measures have reduced the water consumption by 36 million cubic metres in one year with cost saving of about 5 million US$ / year. Consequently, the initiative has also reduced the load on sewerage system.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• Coordination of activities in water conservation between government and public and privet sectors, and NGOs
• Adoption of personal contact approach in raising public awareness
• Successful encouragement of public authorities and institutions to decrease loss of water in public buildings
• Contribution in upgrading the manufacture of sanitary fixtures locally according to acceptable standards
• Potential for transferability, adaptability and Replicability
• Appropriateness to local conditions and level of development

MAR696: One Woman, Two Trees: Planting Trees for Improving the Living Conditions in Morocco

This submission describes an initiative of a non-governmental organisation in Morocco which, with the aid of a governmental agency, aims to have women plant around one million trees in Rabat and its vicinity to combat the problems of deforestation and dessertification. Deforestation was a serious problem in Morocco. The progressive denudation of the country had led to desertification, which undermined the agricultural productivity of the land. Women from Maghreban Forum for Environment and Development organised an information campaign on deforestation. The group mobilised women and financiers to initiate a tree-planting project. A tree-planting project was launched to create and protect green spaces and to integrate environmental issues into formal and informal education. Five hundred women participated in planting trees in public areas and at schools throughout the Rabat metropolitan area. In the primary schools, school children were responsible for planting and nurturing the trees. Handicapped children also participated in the plantation activities organised by the group.

After the its inauguration in Rabat, the Forum organised a similar event in Benslimane, a small village adjacent to the capital, in order to launch the rural phase of the tree-planting project. Each woman in the rural area was encouraged to plant two trees - one for fuelwood and one for the enhancement of green space. This had symbolic as well as practical significance.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• Mobilization of different sectors of society for a common goal of environmental sustainability
• Raising public awareness especially among the youth
• Promotion of gender equity in society
• Empowerment of people and their communities
• Potential for transferability, adaptability and Replicability

SEN479: Management and Community Valorisation of Domestic Waste by Women, Dakar, Senegal

The settlement (Set Setal) in Dakar, Senegal, has a population of 45,000. The Municipal services could only collect 35% of the 263 cubic metres of wastes, while 51% of households had no toilet facilities and 76% had no method of treating waste water. The unemployment rate for men was 28.6% and 24.1% for women. The settlement had a prevalence of infectious diseases such as typhoid and malaria.

With the technical support of Vore Gana Seck (NGO) and the local authority and the financial support from the UNDP LIFE Programme, the community women embarked on a waste management programme. The results of their efforts include: regular waste collection, composting of bio-degradable wastes for gardening and tree planting, formation of public health committees, recycling of metallic and plastic wastes, job creation, eradication of disease. The initiative also received the Grand Prize Award of the President of the Republic of Senegal.

The initiative was recognized for:
• The empowerment of women
• The project’s participatory design model and the level of community participation
• The use of appropriate technology in recycling and job creation
• The strong potential for transferability evidenced by national and regional exchanges

ESP460: Programmes for Improving the Urban Environment in Malaga, Spain
The city of Malaga, in the south east coast of Spain has 560,000 inhabitants. The city was dealing with rapid population growth. Due to the remarkable growth of the tourism industry, the population doubled in 20 years without the proper levels of infrastructure, urban facilities and green areas being developed. This resulted in a deterioration of the historic centre of the city.

The plans for improving the urban environment in Malaga focused on two priorities: (1) the recovery of the city’s historic centre; and (2) the provision of modern environmental services throughout the metropolitan area. The recovery of the historic centre included actions such as clearing congested areas, creation of public spaces, conservation of historic buildings, and also actions oriented to the improvement of economic fabric. The provision of modern environmental services included building a waste-water treatment plant and the associated recovery of an urban beach, the building of main sewage collectors, and the treatment of wastes in a recycling plant. Other activities include the recovery of natural spaces and construction of new parks (1,080,000m2), the preparation of a noise map for the city and an environmental awareness campaign.

Because of the methodical way in which the plan is being implemented, in particular the use of indicators, the submission is able to give precise information on the progress made in implementing the plan. The plan implements the Malaga Green Charter approved in 1995 which has been ratified by 150 institutions, companies and local groups.

The plan is being funded through the European Union and from the Municipal budget.

The TAC considered the following:
• The nature of the challenge related to the rapid growth in population
• The methodological way in which the plan is being implemented, in particular the use of indicators to monitor progress
• It represents a good example of how to put into practice the agreements of Agenda 21 at local level

USA276: Interface’s Journey to Sustainability, USA
This is the story of the impact of a visionary and dynamic private sector leader, determined that his company should be a world leader in industrial ecology and in its contribution to environmental sustainability.

Interface Inc. is a resource-intensive company in the field of commercial and industrial interiors with annual sales of over $1 billion in 110 countries and with 28 manufacturing facilities on four continents. In 1994 the company CEO and chairman, Ray C. Anderson, gave the company a mission to convert Interface to a "restorative" enterprise by reaching sustainability in its own practices and by helping others to reach sustainability. All 7,400 employees and associates in the company have become part of a network to reach these objectives.

Within the company, management leaders are responsible for implementing sustainability within their own units and sharing best practices and challenges with other parts of the company. Action is taking place on seven fronts: eliminating waste, benign emissions, using renewable energy, closing the loop through cyclical material flows, resource efficient transportation, creating a sensitive community and redesigning marketing and service delivery.

Over 400 sustainability initiatives have been undertaken and a monthly performance monitoring system has been installed. The program has also been extended to partners, suppliers and customers through such initiatives as "greening the supply chain," networking through business associations, conferences and sustainability organizations. In 1997, Ray Anderson shared the Interface experience with over 100 audiences. The company has also supported non-profit sustainability programs.

The sustainability commitment of the company has had a strongly positive impact on the company’s finance. Since 1994 the company has saved approximately $50 million by doing things smarter and its stock price has quadrupled. New contracts have been won because customers appreciated the company’s corporate philosophy.

The TAC has singled out Interface for the following reasons:
• The program represents an outstanding example of committed leadership
• It shows how a determination to operate sustainability can produce both environmental and financial benefits
• It demonstrates the application of a number of innovative practices and processes
• It shows how one company can influence suppliers, customers and partners to act sustainably
• It can be a model for the private sector everywhere.

Category 3: Experimental and Innovative Practices

AUT208: Solar City Pichling: Sustainable Urban Development, Linz, Austria7

With the support of the European Union, Linz, the capital of Upper Austria has started an ambitious goal to realise the housing project "Solar City Pichling." In 1990, almost 12,000 people were looking for homes and awareness was high that heavy consumption of fossil fuels was a significant contributor to the green house effect. The Pichling area in the south of Linz seemed to be a possible pilot development area for providing a sensitive integration of a future estate into the existing surroundings. 1500 flats will be built, including complete infrastructure, using low-energy construction methods according to the standards of solar architecture at costs commensurate with social housing. The concept of supply and disposal is based on the principle of closing material cycles and the utilisation of renewable energy is the central focus. Within the housing estate, pedestrian and cyclists are to be given priority. For the realisation of the project a comprehensive planning network has been developed and an interdisciplinary management group is co-ordinating and documenting the project.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:
• The approach is comprehensive, including social, cultural, gender and other consideration in the project
• It is a useful example for other cities especially in developed countries and has potential for transferability, adaptability and Replicability
• It promotes social equality and equity

BRA559: Cabocla Agrarian Reform Project, Ribeirao Claro/Parana, Brazil

The agricultural production in Ribeirao Claro is characterized by coffee, culture and cattle. Small farms are basically producers of several cultures and coffee, while large farms concentrate on cattle. Given its favourable climatic conditions, Ribeirao Claro is famous for its coffee production in Parana State. Coffee can be also understood as a social culture, insofar as it is labour intensive. Some decades ago the fall in the coffee prices caused the area to lose much of its population and wealth. Somehow, the problem of emigration still goes on. In recent years the coffee culture has expanded in Parana due to new technologies. The Project took advantage of the favourable conditions and put together several partners, public and private, in order to provide support for producers to improve their living conditions. Agrarian Reform, in this context, is not understood as a mere distribution of land and money, but a sensible selection of beneficiaries, use of available land and financing, in the same way they are offered to traditional farmers.

The proposal of the "Cabocla Agrarian Reform Project" is to fight poverty at a time of deepening economic transformation, providing targeted subsidies and conditions so that small farmers have access to land and are able to produce with adequate orientation, supported by technology. It goes beyond production, and provides social support, by supplying a "basic basket" of food and medical assistance, a general clinic and a dentist. Through a partnership established between the Municipality, the state government and rural syndicates, landowners and rural workers, the Project selects the beneficiaries based on agreed criteria: unemployed workers, extremely poor families that live within the municipal boundary and that have expressed an interest in participating. The following services are provided: basic health and dental services; distribution of a basic basket to each family until the end of the first production cycle; transportation to schools, technical assistance to farmers. A cost recovery scheme of the investment guarantees the sustainability of the revolving fund created by the Municipality to finance the Project.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• It addresses the important theme of restructuring market conditions for sale of agricultural products
• Employment provision and agrarian reform, through a partnership approach that empowers rural communities


Doutores da Alegria was initiated in Sao Paulo in 1991, based on a New York experience the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit). The lack of any activities in Brazilian hospitals that would help patients and families cope with the ordeal of long medical treatments motivated the creation of the Project by the Doutores da Alegria non-governmental organisation. The project intends to bring joy to the bedsides of hospitalized children, 2 days a week, 48 weeks per year. Using clown theatre as its main language, experienced, professional artists perform delightful parodies of medical rounds where the healing power of humour is the main medical treatment. After going through a rigorous selection process, these artists undergo six months of training regarding hospital protocol and artistic adaptation to that environment, followed by constant reviews that ensure the high quality of the work. This training enables them to visit special units such as intensive care, burn, marrow transplant and AIDS.

Financed by a whole set of private partners (Kellog Foundation, Itau Seguros, Roche, etc), the program has received recognition from major medical institutions and doctors, as well as from the media, sponsors and great public, and received in 1997 the Children Award, given by Abrinq Foundation. In nearly seven years, similar programs were established in six major hospitals in Sao Paulo and 1998 marks the beginning of the national expansion of the project in two major hospitals of Rio de Janeiro and one in Campinas, Sao Paulo, reaching a total of 40,000 children.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• The practice is an integral experience, covering both culture and health. It has been institutionalized and widely replicated in several health centres in Brazil. It has a high impact and has been disseminated and presented at national and international levels
• This initiative has proven, through direct practice and parallel research, the benefits of recreational activities on the well being and improvement of patient health
• The cultural origins of this practice have been applied very successfully with many collateral effects: better relations of hospital and clinic workers with patients; interactive architecture focused on children’s needs, opening of programs in other Brazilian states, opening of a center studying the relationship between humor and health, art and science and has allowed for income generation in the field of culture.

CAN422: Auto-Recycling, British Columbia, Canada

This program deals with an environmental issue of increasing concern to countries around the world. It arises from a request in 1994 by the British Columbia Automobile Recycling Association to El-Rayes Environmental Corporation to design an environmentally sound auto-recycling program for the province. In British Columbia, past mismanagement of auto recycling facilities had caused significant contamination of soil, surface and ground waters, especially in the Fraser River Basin, one of North America’s most spectacular environmental treasures. The British Columbia Auto Recycling Association has 91 auto-recycling facilities, with 54 in the Fraser River basin. The association was determined to make a contribution to environmental sustainability in partnership with government and with the full collaboration of its members.

El Rayes developed an approach with the Association which included:

• A document outlining best management practices for the industry
• A technical pollution prevention guide
• A code of practices for later incorporation into provincial regulations and use by local governments in granting licenses
• A brochure in layman’s terms
• A training program for managers and workers in recycling operations;
• A cooperation program between operators and local governments
• A certification program involving third party inspections.

This approach obtained political and financial support in 1994 from governmental (Environment and Transport Ministries) and private sector stakeholders. By 1996, technical documents and training sessions had been held, the code of practice developed and disseminated, and the association of municipalities had been brought in. In 1998 new provincial regulations are expected to be in force.

The initiative has now been taken up in the province of Quebec, Canada, and is being pursued in other industrial sectors, including wood preserving.

The initiative has lowered the cost of enforcing regulations because the industry has taken over the enforcement and monitoring of performance. Attitudes towards environmental sustainability have changed industry-government-public relations as well as having improved the overall image of the industry.

The TAC singled out the following:
• The program addresses a serious environmental issue, of increasing importance to most countries;
• It demonstrates a successful private sector initiative which has led to a successful private-public partnership;
• It has had a direct impact on the regulatory framework and how regulations can be enforced in a collaborative and sustainable manner;
• It is a process that lends itself to measurable performance
• It is a program that can be adapted to other jurisdictions and to other sectors.

KEN607: Kipepeo Project, Kenya

Arabuko-Sokoke Forest on Kenya’s north coast is an island of unique bio-diversity in a sea of human poverty. Harbouring six globally-threatened bird species (and rated the second most important forest in Africa for bird conservation), four threatened mammals and unknown numbers of other species, it is surrounded by impoverished farmers with a mean per capita income of less than US$50. A 1991 survey of those living near the forest revealed that 96% were unhappy with the forest and 54% wanted to chop it down. Wildlife crop raiding and the need for more land made for a compelling case. The Kipepeo project has responded to this challenge by demonstrating that bio-diversity can benefit the community. The project has trained 150 forest-edge farmers to rear forest butterflies using tree leaves. The project buys the butterfly pupae they produce and exports them to Europe and America. Since 1994, Kipepeo has earned over US$100,000 in foreign exchange for Kenya and has paid out over US$35,000 to the farmers. A 1998 survey of the butterfly farmers showed a major change in attitudes: 84% now support the forest. Moreover, project monitoring shows no adverse impacts on the wild butterfly populations.

Despite an initially difficult period of awareness raising and capacity-building, the project represents an innovative example of how bio-diversity can preserve itself:
The project is expected to reach financial self-sufficiency in 1998, including staff salaries, and will do so without damaging its resource base;
Butterfly earnings were estimated in 1997 to contribute some 73% of farmers cash earnings;
The Government of Kenya has committed itself to protect the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest from further land excision.

USA554: Improving Urban Earthquake Risk Management in Developing Countries, USA

This initiative, developed by an non-governmental organisation (NGO), GeoHazards International of Palo Alto California, involves the creation of a centre of research and development and a local, self-sustaining method of improving urban earthquake risk management in developing countries. The program addresses a global issue of major importance and increasing concern. While efforts to reduce earthquake risk have proven successful in industrialized countries, urban earthquake risk management is in poor state in developing countries, where 85 per cent of the risk is located.

The program, which has received financial and technical support from OYO Corporation, the leading geotechnical firm in Japan, began with a pilot project in Quito, Ecuador. With strong support from the Mayor and local academic institutions, an international working group of experts was formed. Local institutions, under the chairmanship of the Mayor, collaborated in a Social and Economic Advisory Committee, giving the project high visibility and local commitment.

The first phase of the project in Quito raised awareness and understanding of earthquake risks and a produced a management action plan. The second phase involved training local engineers in risk management, designing necessary changes in buildings and retrofitting schools. The third phase included the creation of an NGO dedicated to improving the community’s seismic safety, organizing a media campaign on the issue and obtaining the support and collaboration of international aid agencies in further implementation of the risk management plan.

Since the Quito pilot project, the program has been extended to Kathmandu, Nepal, where the lessons learned in Quito have resulted in improvements to the approach. The methodology is now also being applied by GeoHazards and other organizations in Addis Ababa, Izmir, Tashkent, Zigong (China), Bandung, Tijuana, Guayaquil and Antofagasta.

The TAC highlighted the following aspects:
• The program deals effectively with a global issue of increasing concern. Its impact can result in the saving of many lives;
• It represents a high degree of innovation and advanced expertise, using a global network of professionals;
• It represents (in the Quito example) an effective partnership between technical specialists and local government in the use of technical expertise to deal with local concerns;
• It has demonstrated the transferability of an approach on a global basis.


CHN340: Deepening Reform to Gain the Sustainable Development of Foshan City, China

Foshan City is located in the Pearl River Delta of South China’s Guangdong Province near Hongkong and Macao. Its strategic location creates favorable conditions for the development of the city. In 1990, the city was faced with the following problems: an outdated management system unable to meet the requirements of an emerging market economy; inefficient municipal organisations; a traditional fund raising system in which Government was the only investment source; dispersed construction of facilities and decreasing quality of the environment. To address these problems, the city undertook the following measures: (1) Reformed the management of urban infrastructure development by creating the Foshan Municipal Construction Committee and developing a unified approach in planning, land allocation, construction, distribution, and management and formulating policies on comprehensive development and completion of construction facilities; (2). Improved its urban master planning capacity to transform Foshan into a ‘modern, historic, culturally famous city, which develops new and high technologies as its pillar industries, has an advanced service industry, and enjoys beautiful environment’; (3) Reformed the investment system and raised construction funds through various sources; (4) Advocated public involvement and carried out the policy of ‘People’s City Built by the People’ where the residents participate in the construction by donating money and doing actual construction work.

These measures produced the following results:

1. Increase in infrastructure construction in 1997 is 7.9 times than that of 1990; the ratio of investment from the government decreased from 69.2 per cent in 1990 to 37.1 per cent in 1997, while the ratio of funds from the society rose to 62.9 per cent in 1997 from 30.8 per cent in 1990.

2. Increase in living space per capita by 30 per cent; the per capita occupying area of roads in 1997 increased by 20 per cent; per capita daily water supply capacity rose nearly 2 fold; the volume of liquefied petroleum gas soared by 14 fold; the length of public transportation lines was up by 1.3 fold; and per capita green area grew by 52 per cent.

3. Increase in gross domestic product (GDP) in 1997 was 4.1 times than that of 1990, with an average annual growth rate of 22.4 per cent; the fixed asset investment in 1997 was 2.5 times than that of 1990, with an average annual growth rate of 14.0 per cent; and the municipal financial revenue in 1997 was 4.12 times than that of 1990, with an average annual growth rate of 22.4 per cent.

4. Inspired the citizens to be the masters and owners of their own city
Built closer relationship between the citizens and the government.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• Comprehensive nature of the intervention ranging from policy intervention to infrastructure development
• Stimulated ownership of the city - ‘A People’s City Built by the People’
• Active people’s participation in construction
• Unified approach in urban improvement
• Creative financing strategies for their construction projects
• Capacity building for enhancement in master planning
• Impressive tangible results
• Long term impact evident

IND291/303/305: Innovative Urban Partnerships in Ahmedabad, India

NOTE: The TAC has decided to treat three interrelated project as a single submission. This is not to denigrate any one of them but rather to recognise the added merit and synergy resulting from the support that each gives to the others.

With a population of 3.5 million, Ahmedabad has become a major commercial center in western India. It is facing major challenges like any other city in India but it has managed to transform these challenges into opportunities for working together. An innovative urban partnership was born to address a wide range of local governance functions like poverty eradication, infrastructure development, resource mobilisation, environmental management, human resource development, among others. The partnership involves seven groups of partners such as the government/public sector, civil society organisations, corporate sector, community organisations, NGOs, international organisations and financial institutions. Each partner brings into the partnership the best that they can offer. For example, the SEWA Bank brings its community infrastructure finance and financial intermediation services. The members are guided by the principles of teamwork, mutuality of interests, long term commitment and openness to innovations. Trust had been developed among themselves making it easy for partners to work together.

One of the major projects they have undertaken is the revitalisation of the Walled City, a 5.8 km2. area established in 1411 AD. It is considered the cultural and economic heart of the city. However, the quality of life in the walled city had declined over the past years because of aging infrastructure, traffic congestion, loss of heritage resources, deteriorating services and declining environmental quality. A comprehensive revitalisation plan and implementation strategy together with financing mechanisms were formulated in a participatory manner. The plan had seven components such as: public transportation, road system and traffic management, infrastructure, municipal services, heritage resources, open spaces and land development, development regulations and use of municipal resources.

Another project of the partnership is the redevelopment of the C.G. Road, an important thoroughfare and the prime shopping street of Ahmedabad. Some of the best restaurants in the city are also located here. A street design was prepared during a 3-day workshop organised by the Environmental Planning Collaborative and the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. The workshop was attended by urban planners and architects from various consultancy firms and officials from different functional agencies together with Prof. Allan Jacobs from the University of California, Berkeley. The design took into consideration the limited width and multiple functions of the street. The Arvind Mills Limited provided the initial financing to the project in exchange for the advertisement rights on the road. The C.G. Road after redevelopment has emerged as the finest multipurpose street of the city providing safe environment for shopping and strolling with well organised parking and smooth flow of traffic. It has become a symbol of public private partnership in urban regeneration.

Aside from these two projects, the partnership through this projects has generated employment for thousands of women, issued US$10,000,000 municipal bonds, established slum networking among 200 slums consisting of around 40,000 low income families, established self-financing generic medical drug stores owned by a cooperative of health workers benefiting around 1,000 patients a day and launched a series of self financing, citywide, urban design projects, among others.

The TAC highlighted the following considerations:
• An innovative partnership scheme which can be easily replicated elsewhere
• The partnership produced innovative projects because of the pooling of talents and resources among the various partners.
• Showed impressive results which could not have been done by only one party
• Mechanisms for sustained partnership are in place
• Shows how urban infrastructure development and historical conservation can be combined in a creative way
• Established an example of national and international significance

IND304/520: Surat’s Experience in Urban Governance and Public Management, India

Prior to May 1995, the city of Surat was not only faced with financial, administrative, socio-political and legal problems but was also one of the filthiest cities in India. In September of 1994, the city was traumatised by a plague outbreak. This outbreak coupled with poor working conditions and non-attendance to grievances further demoralised the staff of the Surat Municipal Corporation. Basic municipal services such as street cleaning, collection of solid waste, water supply and sewerage services, drains, street lights, parks and gardens, roads and schools were only covered about 45% of the city residents. Morbidity rate due to water-borne and water-related public health diseases was high. To make matters worse, both the elected representatives (councilors) and the media had no interest in the SMC's functioning. Capital expenditure on long term assets stood at Rs. 300 million with expenditure on salaries and allowances accounting for about 47 per cent per Revenue Budget.

In May 1995, a new Mayor was posted to the city as the CEO. He undertook a one-week extensive tour of the city and held consultative meetings with all levels of municipal employees. He decentralised all his administrative and financial powers to ten commissioners (six zonal chiefs together with four functional heads of water supply, sewerage; town planning and finance divisions). A consultative decision-making process among all the eleven commissioners was introduced. The resulting decentralisation and empowerment of work units broke the departmental barriers and boosted the morale of the staff. A micro-planning exercise based on extensive field input was carried out to lay down equitable norms for effective and efficient provision of services to the citizens with best use of the available resources.

The council entered into partnerships with the private sector, who provided street litterbins in exchange of advertising rights. Instant penalties on littering were also introduced and this increased the amount of revenue collected. CBOs, mainly women groups in the slum areas, were used to raise awareness on the need to widen the roads so as to make provision of other services easier. The media realised the positive role it played in spreading public awareness and has taken up the role of social auditing of SMC's operation. The citizens were involved in the decision making process through a grievance redressal system and feedback mechanism. A sense of citizenship and pride was developed, as the citizens were aware of their civil rights to quality services. Inculcating public awareness and civic participation among the citizens brought about transparency among council officers and workers. Also, a transparent system for routine works such as maintenance was worked out for contractors. During the whole process, the media was used to highlight the situation and to create public awareness. Morale of the staff at the lower echelons is being sustained by an innovative system of public rewards.

Within a period of 18 months Surat had turned from the filthiest city to the second cleanest city of India. The internal revenue collection increased due to efficient tax recovery, transparency in tax assessments and plugging of loopholes in tax administration. A sense of pride among the sanitation workers was restored, through provision of proper equipment and their grievances taken into consideration. Provision of basic services increased to over 95% of the residents, while capital expenditure also increased by about 450%.

PHL566: Naga City Participatory Planning Initiatives, Philippines

Naga is a city of 139,000 people in Central Philippines. Over the past 10 years, it has become one of the recognised models in Philippine local governance. Building on the 1991 Local Government Code mandating the need for greater participation in local governance, Naga City passed its "Empowerment Ordinance" in late 1995. The Naga City People?s Council (NCPC) set the stage for what has been a revolutionary experiment in local governance. In effect, what some call a "shadow government" has been formed, a civil society counterpart to the City Council. Civil society has been empowered to work closely with the local government to design, implement and evaluate the City?s development agenda. A June 1996 meeting identified, inter alia, three priority areas for action under the aegis of the Naga City Participatory Planning Initiatives: the clean up of the Naga River, the management of solid waste and the revitalisation of the Naga City Hospital. Reaching down to the village level through civil society-organised task forces and committees, citizen input is contributing enormously to the effectiveness and sustainability of these initiatives.

The participatory process skills developed in Naga City have been applied to several new initiatives, including: the creation of the Naga City Investment Board (NCIB), a private sector-led initiative with members from the Naga City People?s Council; the adoption of an Integrated Livelihood Masterplan (ILM) rationalizing existing national and local livelihood programmes; the implementation of capacity-building programmes within the city bureaucracy, particularly the Public Service Excellence Program (PSEP); and the ongoing development of a Citizen?s Guidebook of City Government Services designed to improve service delivery, promote citizen empowerment and accountability among city government service providers.

ROM477: Habitat and Art in Romania Programme

Habitat and Art in Romania (HAR) Programme consists in the unfolding of a partnership between professional visual artists, non-governmental organisations and local government. It is a premiere in Romanian cultural and social context and intends to contribute to the improvement of the urban and rural habitats and to the formation of a solidarity within the community. The programme achieved a great personalisation of public ailing areas in urban and rural habitats through the execution and placing of some art objects with a symbolical value in these sites. It also developed a new model of partnership between the civil society and the local government. The reconsideration of the social role of the visual arts is taking place due to the fact that the citizens become again able to form opinion.

The 1997 Exhibition took place in Constanza County, having different partners like the Federation of Romanian Municipalities, the Civil Society Development Foundation, the Independent Artists association, the local authorities. The art objects were placed in some neglected area, in the poor neighbourhoods of the City of Constanta and in two villages. A workshop was opened at the end of the exhibition, simultaneously with the inauguration of the works at each site. The partners of the programme, authors, organisers, local authorities and a great public, local and central media participated in the inauguration. Two thousand posters, two hundred video tapes and an impact study were produced and distributed to all central and local authorities and to Romanian cities. The replication of the exhibition has been requested by 16 other cities in Romania.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:
• Strong potential of partnership and transferability
• Civic enablement and cultural vitality
• Civic education, expression and animation
• Community education

ESP 462 Community Development and Socio-Labour Intervention in the Periphery, Salamanca, Spain

The project is located in a suburban area of the city of Salamanca, in Spain and it is promoted by a community based organisation (Asociacion de Desarrollo Comunitario de Buenos Aires). In the area, 40% of the population is below 30 years of age many of whom lack professional qualifications. There is high unemployment and school absenteeism and there are problems between the different local communities (gypsies and others), drug dealing, unsafe environment for children, lack of infrastructures, bad general image of the area and its inhabitants. The area required urgent action.

To deal with these problems the community association of the "Buenos Aires" neighbourhood developed with the participation of its citizens an integrated project and obtained funding from the European Social Fund and with the cooperation of the municipal social services. The project has strengthen the social fabric and community participation by actively involving citizens in commissions and assemblies, by creating new associations in sectors of the population not previously involved (5% of the gypsies participate successfully in actions). It has benefited 250 people directly and 1000 indirectly. The project has also improved coordination of social agents, of services (education, youth), and with other national and international organisations dealing with similar problem areas. The projects has also achieved the creation of infrastructure and technical resources, including sheltered flats for youngsters, kindergarten facilities, the development of ad-hoc educational material, a social economy company and there is a project for an industrial facility for self employed. There is already a noticeable improvement in popular perception of the area due to the media coverage of the project.

The actions they have taken to achieve those impressive results were centered around three areas: prevention, promotion and training and employment. The preventive actions were mainly directed at children and youngsters through a "Centre of Children Education" with study support, kindergarten, library, street education and sports facilities. The promotion actions were designed to raise awareness about the problems and opportunities through associations, meetings, etc.. The training and employment actions taken were addressed to specific problem groups: long term unemployed, women working in the black market, youngsters looking for first jobs, gypsies. The process followed is particularly distinct. The individuals need to sign a "pact" in order to become involved, there is a socio-community training period, a professional training period and basic knowledge of self employment. All these based on the idea of personalised "insertion itineraries" where community mediation is essential.

The TAC considered the following:
• Relevance of the problem common to many isolated areas involved in a vicious circle of degradation and marginalization.
• The success of the approach. It requires individualise treatment through insertion itineraries and formal agreement of the individual through a signed "pact"
• The lessons drawn for other social programmes in similar problem areas can improve efficiency in the use of economic resources going to social programmes by increasing the rate of success
• The importance of involving and supporting the initiatives taken by community-based organisations for the success of social programmes

BRA639: The Interiorization Project of the Carlos Gomes Foundation, Belem, Para, Brazil

The state of Para used to have a secular tradition of band music. In the interior communities, the band, likewise, used to function on a home-schooling basis. Knowledge was passed from father to son, mother to daughter. This, coupled with the lack of trained specialists, served to dilute the overall knowledge base with the bands and, thereby, weakening them. The Project, managed by the Carlos Gomes Foundation since 1991, was created in order to revitalize the concert band tradition throughout the state of Para, in the Amazon Region. The revitalization of these bands has since stimulated the creation of schools of music and, in this way, helped to reshape the system of music education while preserving one of Para’s most treasured cultural traditions. Each project is managed through the city government, allowing nearby communities to join through co-operative agreements.

The Carlos Gomes Foundation is responsible for the training of competent instructors, ensuring advancement in the level of musicianship. The city governments provide facilities and managerial infrastructure. The result of the appearance of these schools is the immediate involvement of children and adolescents, furthering the process of social and cultural integration. Participants have also the opportunity for professional orientation. One path leads to the possibility of competing for an appointment in one of the military bands. Results in this respect have been especially positive, with a large number of students winning appointments. In 1997, the Project was one of the finalists from a pool of 300 applicants in the Public Management and Citizenship Award of the Getulio Vargas Foundation and the Ford Foundation. It was honoured as one of the most effective projects of music education and social integration in Brazil. The Project currently serves about 3,000 students in 32 communities across the state. During 1998, the Project will add 18 other sites, meeting the needs of an additional 1,200 students.

The most interesting aspect at this experience is that the request from the local authority for training musicians by Fundacao Carlos Gómes implies the provision by the municipality of a local and feasible infrastructure. Main partners are local authorities and community members, children and adults

The TAC noted the following considerations:

This initiative has rescued a secular musical tradition from the state of Pará in Brazil. Its main values are:

Impact: The success of the Project can be measured by the high quality performance of the bands and the status they have gained in their own communities. The number of musicians increased highly (at least doubled and in some cases multiplied by four) since its initiation in 1991. The demand for schools of music by non-participant sites has tripled.
Replicablility: Through local partnerships, the promoters of the initiative have replicated it in 32 communities across the state of Pará and obtained the creation of a Bachelor’s Degree at the State University.

COL426: Urban Sub-centres for Citizen Life in the Low-income Areas of Medellin, Colombia

The urban population of Medellin grew from 330,000 in 1950 to 1.9 million in 1995. Since 1970, the demographic growth lost an appropriate relation to the economic growth. The economy stagnated and the formal sector was not able to absorb the growing population. The impact of this situation was greatest at the end of the 1980s. Unemployment reached 13% of the labour force. More than 50% of the unemployed were concentrated in the low income areas. In 1982, 4 violent deaths occurred every day. In 1990, the number of violent deaths rose to 15 per day. Almost half the children under five were underfed. Other problems were identified and addressed by the Program: lack of public space and lack of positive reference in the neighbourhoods. Militia and delinquents controlled the barrios and the community organisation was weakened in this context. The program developed principles and criteria to select the different actions: social, cultural and gender equity. political neutrality, transparency, participation and coordination, emphasis on low income social stratum, actions in areas with lack of urban planning, high demographic density, conflict and violence.

In 1990, a process of consultation that involved the Central Government, UNDP, non-governmental organisations, academic and social researchers and community leaders resulted in an action plan to cope with the critical situation of insecurity created by narco-traffic. Lines of action were: citizen promotion and participation, education, health and nutrition, urban space, employment, income generation and promotion of pacific cohabitation. The urban space theme generated the subprogram sub-centres programme for low income areas. The initiative led to the creation and implementation of an alternative model of public management in the local administration, one that remains in the communities. So far, two primary sub-centres have been built and are operating, 11 secondary sub-centres have been built and upgraded; an inter-centres community committee has been established, 16,000 people have been directly benefited through education, culture, social services and youth programmes.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• The value of this practice is that it has been conceived and has been developed through partnerships (national and local governments and community organizations) but is centered on two Neighborhood Committees with representation of all the sub-centers involved in the program, one for implementation and one for monitoring.

• The development of the projects strengthened the communal organizations creating social and urban linkages. Effective dialogue was established with local authorities.

• The impact and side-effects are evident: different kind of projects have been formulated by communities; local (municipal and private) resources have been assigned; local authorities have improved internal coordination in order to respond to the program’s needs and institutional capacity has been reinforced by participating in different commissions of the monitoring Committee, in charge of formalizing partnerships and compromises.

• Neighborhoods have gained a space for communicating.

• The Ministry of Development has accepted the program for national replication.

CATEGORY 5: Social Services and Social Inclusion

AUT382: Fawos - Prevention of Homelessness, Vienna, Austria

Fawos is a central consulting office for the inhabitants of two districts in Vienna who are tenants in danger of being evicted due to high financial burdens (debts, other financial problems, low income). The Fawos, an expert body for safeguarding of homes, has initiated a pilot project which involves 976 households in danger of eviction. Of this number, 771 cases were completed and were used for project evaluation. Fawos also provides consultancy services related to information and advice on legal matters and the recent analysis shows that the legal advice is extended also to the financial and social matters. During the first year of the project, 374 eviction dates were set. In 250 cases, clients were able to retain their apartments. Of this number 221 eviction orders were not executed; in 27 cases, the district court deferred eviction; and in two cases, Fawos was able to provide the evicted tenants with a council flat through the Social Necessities Unit. Measures to help clients retain their dwellings included counseling on legal aspects, information on available financial support and client entitlement to such benefits, household planning, short-term, intensive social work and financial support.

Fawos was able to offer a standardised procedure for eviction prevention and provide rapid and efficient help to the inhabitants in the Vienna districts who were in danger of becoming homeless. The evictions were reduced to one third of eviction orders.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:
• Services for a better access to social welfare
• Reduction of the evictions
• Participation of the population
• Transfer of information

BRA564: Income Generation, Dignity and Citizenship, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The population from low income communities in Rio de Janeiro, the significant portion of which is of African descent, finds itself even further removed from the market place due its condition of poor access to formal education. On the one hand, it is precisely within these communities that one finds a labor force characterized by a pattern of early involvement of sections of these low income communities into the consumer market, among whom one finds a segment of African descent. There is an increase in the level of self-esteem of this segment of the population, which can be linked to a growing demand for services and products culturally identified, especially those geared towards an ethnic aesthetics.

The Project aims to reach out to young black girls to mitigate poverty and also to build up their self-esteem as a minority group. Within these communities one finds a situation of violence and social need, young people with low level of schooling, a large number of teenage pregnancy and a history of involvement with criminality. The Project provides training to young girls of low-income families, and helps them to get a professional activity as Afro-Brazilian Beauty Specialists. The Project is committed to enlarging job opportunities and to providing an enabling environment where self-esteem and black citizenship are a major focus to build up strong personalities as human beings.

About 100 young women have been trained in 1997, and a hundred more are enrolled in the next courses. The Project now also offers, in addition to the Afro-hair stylist course, classes on facial make-up, depilation and manicure/pedicure. It is financed by the Comunidade Solidaria Program (Capacitacao Solidaria).

The TAC noted the following considerations:

• The practice has had several important side-effects: through training, young girls (14 to 21 years), have grown to value their black origin, have strengthened their self-esteem and exercised their citizenship. At present, they are allowed to undertake alternative means of employment through the constitution of cooperatives or through opening their own businesses inside their settlement or in other locations of the city. Many of them can go back to school.

• The impact of the initiative has thus been not only in the trained group of women itself (more than 100 in two years) but in their families and communities since they have improved their dwellings or moved to better neighbourhoods.

CAN429: The Western Valley Development Authority, Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada
This program is a community-based region-wide economic development partnership in an area with economic development problems.

By the early 1990s, Nova Scotia’s historic Western Valley (population 46,000) had become one of Canada’s most impoverished regions due to the collapse of regional fish stocks and the closure of the largest employer, a naval base. Unemployment rates reached almost 60% in some communities and top-down federal and provincial economic programs have had little impact in improving the situation.

Finally in 1994 community initiatives resulted in the passage by Nova Scotia of legislation to create the Western Valley Development Authority, a partnership of the federal, provincial, and seven municipal governments with dozens of non-governmental organizations and private concerns. A 14-member board of directors was created with seven "community" members and representatives of each of the seven municipal governments. A core budget was established with initial support coming equally from the three levels of government, with additional resources to be raised locally. The board immediately identified 19 sectors of the local economy and hired 19 local (non-professional) participants in each of the sectors to prepare reports on the basis of extensive consultations within the sector and with the broader community. A major report was then distilled into a specific, concrete action plan with several hundred projects that could be carried out by the Authority in partnership with the local communities and the various governments. The projects depended on the sustainable use of the human and natural assets of the local communities.

The projects which covered a wide range of concrete activities in the areas of economic development, environmental management and information technology have produced successful results with almost all targets achieved. Local support and commitment was high from the beginning. More recently the other levels of government have bought in - partly to share the accolades. Business startups have increased 21 per cent in the latest fiscal year, regional unemployment rates have dropped by one quarter since 1994, tourism revenues are up significantly, and a growing sense of optimism and positive energy is now suffusing the region. British Columbia is considering adopting a similar approach for its coastal communities in the North Atlantic in their attempts to deal with the collapse of the fisheries.

The TAC singled out the following:

• The program is an excellent example of how a bottom up process of economic development has had some remarkable successes (where top-down approaches had not)

• The program has had measurable and significant concrete results as well as imparting a sense of hope to a region

• The program deals with issues being faced around the globe and offers an approach which potentially can be transferred to many countries

CAN555: Waterloo Region Opportunities Planning, Ontario, Canada

The Waterloo region is an industrial area of some 100,000 people in south-central Ontario. It is served by a two-tier local government. It was severely hurt by the recession of the early 1990s, which drove unemployment levels and welfare rolls sharply upward.

The Waterloo Region Opportunities Program was launched in April 1993 with the aim of assisting communities to find ways to identify and create employment opportunities in a rapidly changing modern economy. It was an initiative of the Community Opportunities Development Association of the city of Cambridge (CODA) which had been working with other community groups for many years to deliver effective employment programs for low-income residents. CODA initiated a pilot project in 1992 to help welfare recipients return to the work force. In cooperation with a similar non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the neighbouring city of Kitchner and with support from the Ministry of Community and Social Services of the provincial government of Ontario. The pilot program was based on the principle that made social assistance recipients both the clients and custodians of the program. The participants, working with the community agencies, came up with a host of proposals that became part of the design of the Waterloo’s Region Opportunities Program. The WROP operated from April 1993 to December 1996 with 18 partner agencies in the region. During this period over 1100 long-term welfare recipients found work or started a business. The lessons learned during the operation of the program inspired the establishment of a successor program, Opportunities 2000, launched with $1.3 million in funding from private foundations and local residents.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:

• The program tackled an almost universal issue - moving people from welfare to employment - in an innovative and largely successful manner;
• Its results were measurable and showed sharply increasing benefits in terms of investment over the life of the program;
• Lessons were articulated early, and used to adapt the program during its existence and provide a solid base for a successor program;
• The program demonstrated how local participants and community organizations working together can solve local and regional issues that have proven too difficult for government agencies;
• The program has been used as a model for other areas and had a direct impact on the design and operations of provincial welfare programs

CHL627: Citizen Action for Justice and Democracy, Santiago, Chile

The disregard for and delegitimization of the non-confrontational methods of conflict resolution cause justice to appear to aggravate problems and tensions between people, thereby making peaceful, family work and neighbour relations all the more difficult. Perceptions of many poor people about the theme of justice have indicated: a large portion of the citizens, especially those within the poorer spheres, do not have access to or have a distrust of the Chilean Justice system. Further, these same impoverished citizens do not perceive the Justice administrative system as oriented towards solving problems for society. Rather, it is viewed as a system dominated by functional lethargy, arbitrariness, inefficiency, high cost and a strong discriminatory and confrontational character. Having understood this reality, the FORJA team began the Program that was presented and approved by the Ford Foundation for financing. In addition, other actors joined the Program: the Fundacion Nacional para la Superacion de la Pobreza, the Justice Ministry, the Corporacion de Asistencia Judicial, FOSIS, the Fundacion Andes, Municipalities.

The program was carried out initially as an experiment in the Valparaiso Community in 1993. Afterwards it was expanded to locations within the Metropolitan area of Santiago. The following objectives are in place: a National Guide of Programs and institutions of information, education and legal assistance with the poor social sectors; a guide of instructive reports and forms for information, assistance and socio-legal action with the poor sectors; proposed program and model of socio-legal training adequate enough for the best attention to and conflict resolution for persons of limited resources, program of socio-legal formation composed of community leaders, to be converted in Community Legal Leaders; establishment of Neighbourhood Legal Consultant Groups; citizen initiatives for public interest. The results are: legal constitution of 6 Associations of Community Legal Leaders, 135 Community Legal Leaders working in 8 communities of 3 regions in the country. achievement of municipal subsidies for their sustainability, establishment of National Network of Associations of Community Legal Leaders.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• This experience offers alternative ways of conflict resolution through participation of civil society.
• The TAC considers it a good intention for improving legal services, orientations and information on justice and fiscal regulations and mechanisms for poorer communities.

DEU354: Mutterzentren Bundesverband Geschaftsstelle, (National Association of Mother Centres) Hamburg, Germany

The National Association of Mother Centres was founded in 1989 to create a national network for Mother Centres which had sprung up as a grassroots women’s movement in Germany in the early eighties. It uses a methodology that was developed out of a research project at the German Youth Institute in Munich and has grown in a decade from three original Centres to 480. Mother Centres claim public attention and space for the interests of neighbourhood structures and neighbourhood services that industrialisation and modernisation in the West, and totalitarian structures in the East, have dried out. They are an innovative model of how to strengthen civil society by strengthening the neighbourhoods. Before there were Mother Centres and their National Association, the isolation of women at home with small children was an individual issue and women as mothers did not have a political voice and lobby. Now the local Mother Centres are a force to be reckoned with in the communities and they are consulted regularly by municipal agencies, as well as local, regional and national government. At the national level a ‘Mother’s Movement’ has been established and recognised, conducting regular political campaigns on issues relevant to the situation of families and neighbourhood woman. The success story of the Mother Centres is a lesson in transferability and in fruitful partnerships.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:
• Inclusion of neighbourhood women in decision making processes
• Creation of a social network that contributes to increased tolerance and democracy in the neighbourhood
• Community leadership
• Partnership between different institutions

KEN629: Mathare Youth Self-help Slum and Environmental Clean-up Project, Kenya

Mathare is the largest slum settlement in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The slum is characterised by poverty, underemployment, unemployment, poor housing, inadequate sanitation, crime, poor health, etc. The MYSA started in 1987 as a self-help youth sports and community service project in Mathare valley. With support from the Stromme and Ford Foundations, as well as the Population Council, the association has grown to a membership of 9,000 youths aged 11-18 years participating on over 650 teams in 94 football leagues and environmental clean-up teams.

At the centre of the project’s success is the linking of environment and sport. Each completed garbage collection project earns a team 6 points in the league pool; a match victory earns the team 3 points. In addition, organized teams participate in HIV/AIDS awareness programmes and other training and leadership programmes. The youth have provided service to refugee children in Kakuma camp in northern Kenya and improved their own self-image. The initiative received a UNEP Global 500 Award in 1992.

The TAC highlighted the following as exemplary:
• Innovative linkage of sport and environmental conservation;
• Emphasis on education and vocational training for youth;
• The initiative is managed by and for the youth themselves
• The recent introduction of a girls league and its rapid growth in popularity.

PHI345: Fighting Powerlessness and Hunger with our Own Hands, Initao, Mindinao, Philippines

About 90% of the 35,000 population of Initao, a remote municipality in Mindanao in the Philippines are farmers growing corn, bananas, sweet potato and coconuts. The majority of them are small, marginal farmers without draft animals who suffer from low productivity, low income and generally poor living conditions. They have no access to credit except the middlemen that charges interest rates of up to 250% per year. To rapidly improve their living conditions, draft animals were provided on a low interest loan scheme coupled with the promotion of sustainable farming practices, social mobilisation and training. This intervention resulted to increased incomes, improved farm productivity, enhanced family security, promoted gender equity and increased participation in the development of the community. Decision-making and the sharing off the fruits of family labour in the home is given importance as the project is family-centred whilst before the usual focus is the male farmer and his welfare. The gender and development dimension emphasized through training and coaching sessions provides a conscious sharing of labour in the home from among the husband, wife and children.

Community consultations were undertaken in order to prepare information, determine strengths and weaknesses and to identify priorities and opportunities. The so called Technology of Participation (TOP) was utilized which provided the process wherein local stakeholders themselves, in a demand-driven, participatory, fast-paced and transparent manner define their own situation, formulate their own vision and goals, define strategic directions and formulate their own action plans. There were 3 main objectives of the project, (a) provision of draft animals to resource-poor farming families, (b) improve their knowledge and skills in animal management and sustainable farming, and (c) rural organizing. There are 3 main leaders who assumed roles in implementing the project, these are: (a) SEHRDEP direct project officers because they provide the catalytic and technical know-how and guided the project participants in ensuring that key agreements are followed and, (b) the NAKAGAMA Farmers Federation which provides the arena for peoples’ participation and project administration and management (NAKAGAMA means "Nagkahiusang Kapunongan sa Gagmay nga Mag-uuma" or Federation of Small Farmers’ Organizations), (c) the 15 community-based organizations directly implementing field activities.

This project was initiated by the Servus Human Rural Development Program, an NGO working with the disadvantaged sector. It established linkages with the Xavier Agriculture Extension Services of Xavier University, with CEBEMO of the Netherlands, the German Doctors for Developing Countries and with the Heifer Projects International. The initiative has already been replicated in 5 municipalities within the province and in the nearby provinces. Most important is that community leaders coming from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar has already visited the municipality to learn from the project. Funding agency representatives coming from the USA, Australia and the Philippines has also come to observe.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
• Simple but effective approach in liberating farmers from a vicious cycle of hunger, poor health and powerlessness.
• Strong partnership between and among the people’s organisations, the NGO, the municipal government and international organisations like
CEBEMO and Heifer Projects International.
• Tangible results as shown by increases in income, increases in farm productivity, enhancement of the environment through the adaptation of sustainable farming practices.
• Strengthening of community based people’s organisations.
• Change in people’s attitudes: from dole-out mentality to self-reliance and co-responsibility; from being individualistic to becoming collaborative.

PHI586: Urban Poor Elderly Health Workers, Philippines

Older people are respected but not a priority on anyone’s agenda in the Philippines. For example: there are more than 200 groups in the Greater Manila Area alone dealing with street children but for "street elderly" and urban poor elderly, virtually nothing. Resources are scarce and the potential of residential care for older persons is not only economically but culturally unattractive. The potential of community based programs of the elderly (CBPE) is vast - and in the case of health care, very promising. Organized urban poor elderly asked for a comprehensive health care system and were willing to take responsibility for its realization. As a response, the urban poor Elderly Health was undertaken when an ongoing urban poor community identifies two of its members to be trained as an community gerontologists (CG’s). They are trained on prevention and treatment of ailments of older people. After the training they are given a kit with a thermometer, blood pressure and sugar measuring instruments, basic tools for examining teeth and common medicines. The two then become the health workers for their own organized elderly in their urban poor area. Thereafter, all the CG’s from the different areas met once a month with the medical staff/team of COSE to discuss their experience of the past month and upgrade their skills. Every CG is encouraged to keep a file (index card) of every older person in their area (not only members) and their basic health situation. Four times a month, the medical team along with the CG’s visit an organized community to render medical outreach services. On days when there is no outreach, the COSE medical team and a rotation of CG’s maintain a clinic for the elderly in a leading commercial area (Cubao) on health care for older people.

ROM476: Social Service in Sector 6 of Bucharest, Romania

The creation of the complex for Older People in Sector 6 Bucharest responds to a needs assessment conducted by the Equilibre Association during 1991-1996. In 1996, no such specialised social service of this kind existed in Romania and the institutions which housed older persons were full. In 1996 the Equilibre Association, in partnership with the City Hall of Sector 6 and with the financial aid of the European Union, the Phare SASAM Programme of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, has initiated the creation of this kind of social service in Sector 6 of Bucharest through the project "Social Service." The aim of the project is to encourage older persons to live at home in order to avoid their institutionalization and solitude, to assure them of adequate social and medical assistance, and to train qualified staff for helping the older persons at home (a new socio-professional job in Romania).

The Social Service has a Day Care Centre which offers: social assistance services, medical assistance services, a canteen and club. The Home Aid Service provides: "food on wheels," home help and does small household repairs. The Department for vocational training is offering: vocational training for social assistants, work-at-home workshops, seminars, conferences for trainees and juridical assistance. Another aim of the project was to raise the awareness of local authorities to assure a well and efficient collaboration between the local authorities and the civic society and to inform the most-needy about the developments in the social-medical protection field.

As a result, the social assistance is provided for 500 older persons, lunch is prepared for 60 older persons, preparing food and providing home for 40 persons, creation of a legislative centre, activities programming in the club, specialised staff training courses, a high social integration for the unemployed persons and a public awareness campaign of older persons issues are taking place.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:
• Great potential of transferability to other local authorities not only around the country but elsewhere as well
• Improving the living conditions and job creation
• Health and welfare as well as resources generation
• Public participation and solidarity

ESP434: Hospitalet for Civic Mindedness, Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain

This project takes place in Hospitalet, in the metropolitan area of Barcelona. The project has a simple but important aim, that is to involve the citizens in the proper use of the city’s common areas. More specifically to eliminate some of the problems of graffiti, dog excrement, vandalism, uncontrolled advertising in walls, noise, litter and air pollution that often so easily deteriorates substantially our immediate living environment.

This project was designed in response to public demand that was reflected in a public opinion poll that the municipality carried out. The project has included a communication plan in media and specific ad-hoc events, a civic education plan in schools, the creation of inspection, monitoring and restoration services, and the passing of a new set of municipal civic ordinances to control pollution establishing rights, obligations, and sanctions. The important thing is that the combination of these measures has had important results and an important part of the explanation is the degree of involvement of different groups in different parts of the project. Such project could not have been successful without the commitment of the citizens.

The project has involved 170 city associations (sports, cultural, youth, neighbourhood..). It has achieved the consensus and support of all political parties and trade unions, of the real state sector and chamber of commerce, the local media, of volunteers, of business and commerce and of other supra-municipal associations. Their involvement has ranged from providing financial support, to cleaning up, to policing, to providing technical advice or media coverage. 10,000 citizens have signed a civic manifesto and participated in cleaning, 19 collaboration agreements have been signed with companies, the volunteers are 4300 people, 2000 school children have received instruction, etc.. This project is already being used as a model in other cities in Spain.

The project is funded trough the existing municipal budget and with private contributions. Sustainability is insured by the institutionalisation of the project in local regulations, and more importantly by the very wave of involvement of organised volunteers, social and economic actors in the project.

The TAC singled out the following considerations:
• The relevance of the problem of dirty living environments. Dealing with it can easily improve quality of our immediate living environment
• The project has come with a way of solving the problem and has real results
• The success of the project relies in its participatory approach, involving all the population in taking responsibility in solving the problem, beyond more the conventional way of municipal services dealing with the problem only to find that a few hours later there is the same problem.
• The participatory process also insures long term sustainability.

ARE694: Caring for Orphans of Natural and Human-made Catastrophes, United Arab Emirates

This initiative describes a program launched in 1986 for orphan support nationally and internationally, among many other programs that Emirates Red Crescent is engaged in. The main objectives of the program are to support orphans who lost parents by either natural disasters or man-made ones. The support involves educational programs, medical and social care, and monthly financial allowance for orphans in U.A.E. For orphans in other countries; such as Albania, Kazakhestan, Somalia, Bosnia, Palestine, Iraq and others, the Emirates Red Crescent provides monthly allowance for the orphans as well as establishments of orphan care centres for housing, clinics and schooling. In 1998, the beneficiaries of this program included approximately 4000 orphans in U.A.E and twelve other countries.

The TAC noted the following considerations:
High demonstration value
• Cross-border impact
• Tangible impact on improving living conditions of orphans
• Empowerment of people and their communities
• Appropriateness to local conditions and level of development
• Leadership in inspiring action and change

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