Report of the Technical Advisory Committee
2012 Dubai International Award for Best Practices
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 13 - 17 June 2012


The TAC assumed its responsibilities for selecting the Best Practices with a view to supporting the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, enhancing the concept of sustainable urbanization and contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. It took into consideration the following:

• To promote the transfer of best practice to other regions and/or thematic areas;
• To reinforce collaboration and cooperation between Habitat Agenda partners;
• To strengthen the relationship between best practices and decision making processes;
• To promote practices in support of sustainable urbanization and rural-urban linkages
• To foster better inter-institutional cooperation and coordination.

The 2012 TAC wishes to commend the partners of the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme in the way they handled the call for submissions, the process for validating best practices, and the means by which this process promotes the exchange and transfer of knowledge and expertise.

The global network of partners of the Best Practice and Local Leadership Programme validated all submissions before their review by the TAC. We have also taken guidance from the TAC and the Jury reports of previous cycles. The TAC reviewed 670 submissions from more than 90 countries and territories. The TAC identified 108 submissions as Best Practices, proportionate to the number of qualifying practices submitted, on a regional basis. The resulting breakdown being Latin America and the Caribbean 34, Arab States 10, Europe 20, North America 4, Africa 16 and Asia Pacific 24.


The TAC assessed each submission using the main criteria established by the Dubai International Awards namely, impact, partnership and sustainability. It further differentiated between good, best and short-listed practices using the additional considerations established by the Best Practices Steering Committee; these considerations being potential for replication, innovation within the local context, gender equality and social inclusion, and comprehensive and holistic approaches to human settlements planning and management.

The 2012 TAC, in its first plenary session on 13 June, undertook an initial screening of submissions on a regional basis. The objective was to differentiate between qualifying and non-qualifying submissions. This involved an assessment process based on each practices’ compliance with the basic criteria as well as relative merit. A total of 140 submissions were deemed to be non-qualifying or promising.


In its second plenary session, the TAC was divided into two regionally representative groups (A and B). Each group reviewed the remaining submissions with a view to determining a list of 100 Best Practices. The two lists were compared in plenary. Seventy-two (72) practices were common to both lists and were unanimously admitted to the Best Practices 100 List. Those that were not common to both lists were discussed in plenary resulting in a final list of 108 Best Practices determined by consensus, with remaining practices categorized as good practices. The list of 108 best practices is contained in Annex I.


The next task was to select forty from the 108 Best Practices for consideration by the Jury. Each of the 108 submissions was rigorously assessed and evaluated in two newly constituted sub-groups (C and D). Each sub-group came up with its list of forty practices and the final list was discussed and approved in plenary. The final list of short-listed best practices is contained in Annex II.


A total of 95 submissions were deemed as non-qualifying, 45 submissions as "promising" and 402 as good practices. This was the first time that the TAC fully adopted the recommendations pertaining to the "promising" category. Most submissions falling in the "promising" category are recent initiatives for which impact or sustainability could not yet be fully ascertained. The TAC therefore requested the Secretariat to write letters of encouragement for these practices to reapply in the next cycle.

The TAC prepared annotations for each non-qualifying practice justifying their decision. These notes will be forwarded to the submitters by the Secretariat together with a copy of this report.


Finally, in 2012 the TAC has been requested by the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT to recommend nominations for the Scroll of Honor to be discerned on World Habitat Day. The TAC forwarded 6 nominations for the Scroll of Honour drawing from the 100 Best Practices list and reviewed a special submission from Lebanon. The recommendations of the TAC pertaining to the 2012 Scroll of Honour are contained in Annex III.


The TAC, having been fully briefed on the working methods of the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme and of its new endeavours in the area of good urban policies and enabling legislation, proposes the following recommendations:

The extensive knowledge base accumulated over ten years requires the institutional architecture of Best Practices to be strengthened to ensure that lessons learned are more extensively disseminated and to firmly establish best practices as a benchmark to inform and inspire ongoing development initiatives and projects;
For optimum benefit to be derived from Best Practices, UN-HABITAT and Dubai Municipality should ensure a more systematic and user-friendly interface between practitioners and decision makers;
The documentation and assessment process needs to be enhanced in terms of its ability to fully benefit from regional and linguistic diversity for the purpose of ensuring greater equity in the quality and coverage of submissions, and their selection and dissemination. This would require greater technical support and resources, including the need to establish a coordinating mechanism for regional and thematic exchanges to address both submissions and the sharing of Best Practices;
Future awards cycles might afford special recognition for Best Practices from earlier years that have achieved significant results in terms of transfers, scaling-up and dissemination;
In the face of the increasing number of submissions and growing interest across regions, it is the considered opinion of the TAC that the time has come for the number of Awards to be increased from ten to twelve.
Improved working arrangements and institutional partnerships should be developed with key international bodies and programmes, to promote access to and use and dissemination of Best Practices.

i. Susana Aguilar-Fernandez (Spain), Univesidad Complutense de Madrid, [Co-Chair]
ii. Amer Al-Hashimi (Australia), Environmental Research and Wildlife Development Agency, [Chair]
iii. Abdul Aziz Al Midfa (U.A.E.), Environment and Protected Area Authority, Sharjah
iv. Stuart Coupe (U.K.), ITDG, United Kingdom
v. Marcella D’Souza (India), Watershed Organisation Trust WOTR, Maharashtra
vi. Gordana Janak (Czech Republic), City of Vienna, Austria
vii. Circe Maria Gama Monteiro (Brazil), Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
viii. Margarita Pacheco-Montes (Colombia), International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance
ix. Luz Lopez Rodriguez (Philippines), UNIFEM-CEDAW South East Asian Program
x. Mario Seneviratne (Canada), Green Technologies Inc.
xi. Sy Kadiatou Sow (Mali), Projet de Reduction de la Pauvreté, Bamako
xii. Franz Vanderschueren (Chile), Universidad Hurtado, Santiago de Chile
xiii. Ahmedi Vawda (South Africa), National Department of Housing


Vincent Kitio, UN Habitat
Anne Klen, UN Habitat
Nicholas You, UN Habitat

Dubai Municipality

Obaid Salem Alshamsi
Khalid Mohammed Badri
Yousef Murad Salmeen
Qamar Redha Fadhlani
Zahra Ali Sajwani
Sabina Fernandes
Ahmed Sharif Salkho
Qasem Mohammed Rafi Al Qasem
UAE Environment Group
Habiba Al Marshai

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