Best Practices Partners

Dubai 11 - 12 July 2012


  1. Sanitation and farmer production in Sabtenga
  2. Sand Dams of Kitui: Providing Potable & Production Water in Semi-Arid Lands of Kitui District
  3. Polyclinic of Hope (POH), Kigali
  4. Prevention's strategies of fight against malaria
  5. Development Action Group’s People’s Housing Process Programme, Cape Town.
  6. Business and Competence Development: Working to reduce poverty, unemployment and hardship

BFA684/2004-Sanitation and farmer production in Sabtenga, Burkina Faso

The population of Burkina Faso is 13 million (UN, 2003) with a GNI per capita of US $220(World Bank, 2001). Centre Régional pour l’Eau Potable et l’Assainissement (CREPA) is an international NGO working in several countries of West Africa. CREPO started a programme of ecological latrines (EcoSan) in the village of Sabtenga (3,062 inhabitants), 20 km away from Ouagadougou (the capital of Burkina Faso) within its water and sanitation framework.

Among its objectives, CREPO aimed to contribute to improving the health conditions of the populations by putting appropriate and cheap sanitation facilities at the disposal of the populations and by promoting the composition of human excreta for agricultural purposes

To be enable it to achieve its goals, the organisation started by identifying and prioritisation the needs of the population, sensitising and training local actors, researching and studying the socio cultural, technical, hygiene-health, and agronomic aspects of ecological sanitation, preparing the experimental site and conducting the experiments and finally disseminating the results of the pilot project.

The project started in October 2001 with several preparatory meetings involving all local stakeholders and community leaders. Capacity building activity included training of masons and awareness coordinators.

Human excreta was collected, mixed with domestic waste and set aside to composite, this in turn resulted in good quality manure for agriculture. This process not only contributed to the reduction of random defecation on open spaces, but also improved the hygienic conditions of the village. The EcoSan latrines built in the village contributed to the preservation of the quality of drinking water. After the construction of the first 10 latrines, the positive impact on the environment and on the economic situation allowed the project stakeholders to mobilize additional funds for the realization of 50 others latrines.

The awareness strategy adopted during project implementation has put emphasis on community participation and behavioral change. Every household involved in the project committed to playing his/her role fully and to maintaining his/her own garden for agricultural production, enforcing community responsibility previously unseen in the village. The beneficiaries of the latrines understood quickly the EcoSan’s concept and the conditions of usage and maintenance.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

KEN249/2004 – Sand Dams of Kitui: Providing Potable & Production Water in Semi-Arid Lands of Kitui District, Kenya

Kitui district, with a population of 575,512 and per capita income of US$26, has agriculture as the main economic activity. However, the district is repeatedly hit by drought as it lacks water mainly due to the lack of retention of the water in the catchment areas, as 80% of the received precipitation is lost as surface run-off. As a result, water resources are few and far apart in dry periods and people walk up to twenty kilometers to get water. The district suffers from food insecurity and has been a net importer of food.

The sand dam programme, undertaken by Sahelian Solutions Foundation Kenya (SASOL) aimed at increasing the availability of water by reducing the distance to water sources and avail adequate water for domestic and productive use within two kilometers of every household; and the amount of water in the catchment to diversify the economic activities of the community and mitigate the impact on the environment. This is done by building of sand dams in a series in a catchment’s drainage channels for synergistic effects.

SASOL works with local communities towards the alleviation of the persistent water problem by organizing and informing the community members about sand dams and their role in the construction. The community identifies sites and decides on the total number of sites it is capable of developing depending on availability of enough stones, sand and water. The site committee plans for activities at the site, supervises and monitors the work in progress; maintains site records, mobilizes the required local resources, stores and protects resources obtained externally, maintains technical staff assigned; and assures compliance of rules and regulations developed by the community.

The development of sand dams and water holding structures, terraces and contour bunds on the land, has increased the number of productive shallow wells from 2 to 39 to date. In total 376 sand dam sites have been developed in Kitui to date bringing water closer to households serving up to 200,000 inhabitants. The time saving on water collection for these inhabitants has been reduced from 5-10 hrs to ½ - 1 hr in these areas as indicated by the community in Tungutu during their project impact assessment. This has boosted food security and economic activities have sprung up, such as bee keeping, brick making and growing of vegetables and trees. This has improved the people’s livelihoods. Women and children are the principle beneficiaries in this development as they normally bear the burden of water collection.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

RWA008/2004- Polyclinic of Hope (POH), Kigali, Rwanda

Rwanda has a population of 8.4 million and a per capita income of US$200. At the end of the 1994 genocide, the country was left with a large numbers of widows and orphans; who had suffered the worst kind inhumanity, rape, torture and mutilation. The violence in 1994 had damaging effects on the women and children including psychosocial trauma, HIV/AIDS infection and dispossession. Polyclinic of Hope (POH) is a center for women victims of rape and other violent crimes perpetrated during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in the refugee camps, and during insurgencies. The center was established in mid 1995 by Church World Service and Witness (CWS)-USA, the parent organization of Rwanda Women Network.

The Polyclinic of Hope works in two locations in Kigali Urban, Gitega Sector and Village of Hope, Kagugu Sector. Beneficiaries include survivors of the genocide, victims of rape/ other violent crimes, widows, child-headed households and people living with HIV/AIDS. Polyclinic deals with trauma in a post-conflict situation while providing realistic and concrete solutions for these women to regain self-confidence. The center has a holistic approach that endeavors to provide integrated services in response to the multiple problems and needs of these women. It offers free medical services including referral and links to hospitals and medical clinics, psychosocial support and trauma-counseling, referral services to other relevant public and community sector services, credit facilities for income generation and self-sustainability, and rehabilitation and construction of housing. There is a strong component on advocacy and awareness raising on the human rights of women, including the right to own housing and land.

POH has so far provided medical support and counseling services to 500 women and members of their families totaling about 2,500 people, constructed houses for 130 families and women survivors in Kigali, replicated the same services to reach more people at the at POH branch in Kagugu, where 20 families and 600 women live. The women who have registered at the Center have benefited from different training programmes. There are also 187 youths involved in different activities at the Centers.

This innovative project is rewarded because of its integrated approach and its people based rientation. It meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional consideration of gender equality and social inclusion.

SEN678/2004-Prevention's strategies of fight against malaria, Senegal.

Senegal has a population that is estimated to be 10.1 million (UN, 2003), with a GNI per capita of $470. According to the WHO, Malaria death rate per 100.000 children ages 0-4 is 377. For the rest of the population it falls to 72.

The Network of Community Support (Réseau d’Appui Community (R.A.C.) was created in 1996, its main objective being to reduce the high rate of mortality attributed to malaria in the municipality of Bignona in Senegal. The network’s goal was to undertake the fight and prevention of malaria and other common diseases through awareness campaigns and by educating residents.

The network is composed of all local stakeholders: city council members, grass root organizations, women, sport and cultural associations, health and hygienic committees and representative of neighborhoods. The technical service of the municipality is used as support structure.

The main focus of the network has been to ensure that the people had ownership of the program, this is meant to encourage more people to participate in the campaigns. An initial evaluation carried out on the project found that all RAC neighborhood focal points were functional, visits to clinics for consultations had increased from 30 to 60%; mortality rates attributed to malaria had drop by 70%.

Statistics show that the sale of chloroquine has increased significantly and the number of hospitalisations for Malaria dropped from 304 in 1998 to 251 in 1999. Mosquito net usage increased from 450 nets sold in 1997 to 4150 and 4500 in 1998 and 1999. Between 1997 and 2000, the network member visited more than 90% of the resident families.

These results were possible because due to the multicultural approach undertaken by project participates and the involvement of all stakeholders in the village including: religious leaders, traditional healers, traditional communicators, schoolteachers, students, civil servants etc, in the dissemination of information and education. Four out of five families are now aware of the disease and how to prevent it; know how access to medicine and are encouraged to use mosquito nets.

The sustainability of this initiative has been made possible with the introduction of malaria and health issues in the school curriculum and in vocational training institutions. Decentralising RAC’s activities has given grassroots communities the opportunity to consult each other on the programme strategy and to be fully involved in implementation.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

ZAF003/2004-Development Action Group’s People’s Housing Process Programme, Cape Town. South Africa

Khayelitsha and Griffiths Mxenge areas of Cape Town cover a total area 1.5 sq. km. and have a total of 55,000 people. The monthly per capita income of the two areas is US$95. There are few formal economic activities in the area and the main economic activities include informal grocery shops, taverns and crèches. People in these areas have lived under appalling circumstances with shacks proving inadequate in protecting the inhabitants from harsh weather conditions. Development Action Group’s (DAG’s) People’s Housing Process Programme consisted of three housing consolidation projects formed by the communities living in these areas. The projects: Masithembane, Homeless and Squatters Housing Project (HOSHOP) and Sinako Ukuzenzele were initiated in 1997 and implemented in 1999-2002. The main objectives of the projects were to build adequate housing and thus improve living conditions; develop the capacity of the community organizations to manage development processes and stimulate local job creation.

The projects followed the People’s Housing Process (PHP) methodology, a community-based form of housing delivery in which beneficiaries initiate, plan, design and implement their projects. DAG provided technical advice and support to community organizations and training to community members. Partnerships between the People’s Housing Partnership Trust (PHPT), the Western Cape Provincial Housing Development Board, the Tygerberg Administration within the City of Cape Town together with the community-based organizations have been key to successful implementation of the projects.

A total of 638 houses were built and occupants took part in training and capacity building workshops. Over 70 people were employed as builders in the projects and another 12 people were employed in the 3 Housing Support Centres. Material suppliers in the low cost housing market have subsequently employed community members who worked in the support centers. Approximately 20 people (Housing Support Centre staff and committee members) received 10 days training on the management of housing projects followed by 10 days of practical construction training. In addition, 10 builders in the HOSHOP project and 30 builders in the Masithembane project received in-depth on-site construction skills training over a period of a few months. DAG has subsequently been involved in the capacity building of other communities and local authorities to implement similar projects in other parts of the country. The Kuyasa Fund, a housing loan fund established by DAG, provided savings-linked housing loans to beneficiaries. Women’s leadership was also established and a private material supplier employed two women as facilitators of people’s housing projects in other communities.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

TGO022/2004-Business and Competence Development: Working to reduce poverty, unemployment and hardship, Togo

Togo, with a population of 4 million people and average annual per capita income of US$ 280, has agriculture as the main economic activity. Poverty and unemployment levels are high. The main aim of "AVEBETO", a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) was to address the situation by advocating and training people to own businesses and thus create employment, in turn contributing to overall nation development. AVEBETO was integrated with the International Managers and Firms owners training Institute IIFEG-Ecole des Patrons in 1998. IIFEG-Ecole des Patrons puts emphases on practical teachings versus theory. The main objective of the institute is to fight against poverty through the creation and ownership of money-generating businesses. Lecturers provide information and technical advice; encourage the exchanges of ideas; develop training programs, at regional, national and international levels, encourage participants to brainstorm on various business ideas and start a business before the end of their training.

The main sources of funding for the institution include registration fees, donations from members, and subscription fees from members. The institution undertakes conferences, seminars to sensitize, inform and to train the population especially the youth. All programs undertaken by the institution cover a duration of 4 to 6 weeks. About 10 subjects are taught, including accounting, organization of firms, Marketing, Business management. By the third week of training students will take up projects, which identify money generating activities and businesses, these in turn become their initial businesses at the end of the training course.

From 1998 to 2003 out of the 650 trainees at the institute, 300 started their own business. Concerning the access to the training, there is positive discrimination in favor of women and girls. 3000 of the beneficiaries are women and girls and 60% of these women have created their own businesses. They have collaborated with other businesses and are employing a great number of youth. In 2003, 1000 jobs were created. Through this unique training program many students, and delegates have been able to improve their lives. Among these privileged business owners are people from Benin, Cameroon, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Kinshasa, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional consideration of gender equality and transferability.

Arab States

  1. Environmental Waste Management System
  2. Association for Forest Development and Conservation
  3. Renovation of the Old City of Hebron
  4. IT4Youth

KWT609/2004-Environmental Waste Management System, Kuwait

Kuwait, population 2.5 million and a per capita income of US$ 18,000 produces approximately 2,200 tons of waste per day, an average 1.3 Kg. per person, which initially was dealt with by burying the waste in an abandoned quarry, causing land and air pollution. The amount of waste produced has been on the rise as a result of population growth in Ahmadi Town, population 25,000 where the Kuwait’s Oil Company is located. In response to this prevailing situation, in 1995 the Oil Company entered into a contract at the cost of US$ 5 Million for period of 4 years to collect and transport approximately 35–40 tones of waste from various locations including plantations, restaurants, residential areas, offices and roads per day. The main objective of the initiative is to have an effective and profitable waste management operation by raising awareness on environment issues and the impact of domestic waste on the environment and establishing a system to increase the amount of raw material produced from recycling.

The main source of funding came from Kuwait’s Oil Company and human resources were mobilized at the household level. One of the challenges of the initiative was collecting and sorting all kinds of waste dumped together as the concept of waste separation was unknown. Through aggressive campaigns, advertisements, training, and development of alternative collection methods residents were made to understand importance of waste management.

Since the start of the initiative the amount of waste reduced by 80% in Ahmadi Township. Introducing the concept of waste recycling and separation of waste in the garbage collection contract saved a total of US$ 1,000,000. Pollution has reduced as a result of recycling a total of 19,048 tones of waste. Recycling also provided raw materials such as paper, plastic, metal, carton and glass for local and foreign industries. A great quantity of compost from recycling organic waste is used to enhance and upgrade the soil quality in Kuwait in support of the company’s policy to plant 1 million trees in the oil field to reduce air pollution. The initiative has taken into consideration social, economic, environmental and cultural elements and developed methods accepted by society. It educated company staff, their families and society in general on the dangers of domestic waste pollution and the need to reduce waste. In addition, various schools participated in recycling and clean up projects and were recognized by and received awards form the Kuwaiti government.

The program meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, and innovation within local context and transferability.

LBN552/2004-Association for Forest Development and Conservation, Lebanon

A series of wars, unplanned development and forest fire degraded the environment and reduced green spaces in Lebanon. Forests before the destruction had covered twenty-two percent of Lebanon. In the village of Ramlieh, population 1,700, located in the Lebanese mountains, 5 youth founded Association for Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC) in 1993 after a fire destroyed much of the local forest. The young adults decided to replant the forest and develop the means to prevent the future degradation of similar forests. After several years of promoting their ideas to the local community and advocating for the involvement of policy makers from their area, AFDC realized that reforestation and forest fire prevention should be implemented in other regions of Lebanon.

By 1996 AFDC became a nationwide youth action-group consisting of many different projects and partnerships; breaking down political, regional, and religious barriers that have divided their country for so long. It was through this organization that many of the members first befriended and worked with youth from different regions and religions.

Today AFDC's efforts are focused on six programs: forest fire prevention, reforestation, environmental awareness and education, capacity building, eco-tourism, and special campaigns and covers twelve villages in Mount Lebanon. In 1998 The Mediterranean Forest Development and Conservation Center of Lebanon was established. This center has not only allowed for the expansion of the original tree nursery which has produced more than 250,000 trees for AFDC's reforestation project, but is also used as a training center with several conference rooms used for the environmental education and awareness programs. The center also consists of a youth hostel which promotes low impact eco-tourism, allowing for both Lebanese and foreign tourists to experience and appreciate the natural beauty of Lebanon. Through the forest fire prevention program AFDC trains roughly 70 volunteers, from around the country, each year on how to fight forest fires.

The special campaigns program has given AFDC the opportunity to promote local dialogue and awareness on a number of environmental issues such as water conflict analysis in the southern region of Lebanon, dialogue regarding the hunting laws in the country, lobbying for the regulation of quarries, waste management and the establishment of an eco-religious campaign, which strives to involve the 17 religious communities of Lebanon in the protection of forests and other areas of the country as sacred gifts to the earth. Through this program AFDC has achieved the protection of the Harissa forest and the Qadisha valley, which were declared sacred gifts to the earth by the Maronite Church. AFDC believes all components and members of society are key players, especially women, youth and farmers; the programs of the organization will target these groups.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and transferability.

 PLS201/2004:Renovation of the Old City of Hebron, Palestine

Hebron, one of the oldest and most sacred cities in the world is located in the south of Palestine and has about 140,000 inhabitants. In addition to agriculture, local economy relies on handicraft, small and medium-scale industry and construction. Hebron is one of the best-preserved examples of medieval cities in the world, but was progressively abandoned and had been in a bad state after the Israeli occupation of the Old City in 1967. Various campaigns and the consequent tighter restrictions on the movement of the residents together with increasing economic problems forced most people out leaving those who were socially marginalized and could not afford to improve the existing housing facilities, urban infrastructure, prevent decay of cultural heritage and environmental degradation.

Since its inception the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) aimed at preserving the cultural heritage as a key element for keeping the collective identity of the people of Hebron; counteracting the Israeli political pressure by repopulating and revitalizing highly threatened, neglected and poverty-stricken areas in the old city; and encouraging community participation through the provision of adequate and affordable housing compatible with a cultural heritage conservation policy taking in to consideration the social, economic and cultural aspects of the residents. It has promoted legal initiatives in an attempt to halt further Israeli settlement constructions and demolition of Arab-owned houses. The rehabilitation programme promotes the use of labour-intensive methods as a means to create sustainable employment opportunities, provide specialized training on traditional methods of conservation and increase the level of income of the community. The HRC is working closely with several governmental bodies of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and many other governmental and non-governmental organizations. It has received political and financial support by many Arab and international donors and organizations.

The HRC has succeeded in rehabilitating historical buildings and urban infrastructure in accordance with international renovation standards while converting these buildings into residential affordable apartments. More than 526 apartments have been renovated and eventually inhabited. Some of the commercial markets, streets and underground infrastructure have been renovated. The Committee has installed iron doors and windows for approximately 279 houses. Health care facilities have been provided for the community. The Committee was able to change people’s perceptions about Hebron from a bad, unsecured environment into a pleasant place to live in. Several new residents have moved into the old city since 1997.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, and innovation within local context and transferability.

PLS635/2004-IT4Youth, Palestine

Northern rural areas of the West Bank, population 31,000 and per capita income of US$900 are among the poorest and least served communities in Palestine. The main economic activity of the area comprises small shops for basic goods. Since late 2000, under severe movement restrictions, unemployment and poverty has risen sharply to 70%. The growing poverty adversely affects children and youth, which comprise 70% of the population and they have limited access to higher education or vocational training. The IT4Youth program uses an integrated model to introduce computer-based information technology to young people in rural areas of the Palestinian West Bank. The program involves both school-based and community-based interventions to improve the learning skills and employment rate of its participants, thereby leading to an increased quality of life. The pilot IT4Youth covers a cluster of 11 West Bank villages and communities between Nablus and Jenin, and targets youth aged 10 through 24 in schools and through a regional community center. It provided for the construction/ renovation, and equipping of computer labs in 14 schools and a regional IT center that will be turned over to a Joint Community Services Council at the end of the project.

The IT4Youth project successively mobilized resources on local, national and international levels, and across public, private and non-profit sectors. The local partners (school administrators, village councils and regional heads) participated through mobilizing technical, financial and human resources, providing space for building the center and school labs, facilitating the training of teachers, and maintaining and sustaining the center and labs. They were also instrumental in their role of networking with the private sector for sponsorship of trainees, job placement, marketing and advertising in exchange for in-kind donations, and providing technical advice and commitment to the sustainability of project.

With 300 computers installed in 14 schools, the program has succeeded to develop annually over 4,000 IT-proficient Palestinian youth in a rural setting, 250 teachers, and parents and community members. The fully equipped regional IT center in Silet al-Daher provides an average 50 youth daily with Internet access, computer games, educational programs and vocational training. Youth managers organize the club activities and mentors volunteers to work with younger members. In addition, IT vocational trainees are placed to do internships in the community to get experience in new skills. The program has succeeded in engaging youth in technology through active teaching techniques in computer basics, internet skills and more advanced computer applications, in addition to facilitating leadership and mentoring in the regional IT center.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, and innovation within local context and transferability.

 Asia and the Pacific Region

  1. The Pride of Place Program
  2. Brownfield Remediation of the Tangshan Southern Coal Mining Area
  3. Green Rating of the Indian Industry Project
  4. "Bhagidari": Citizen-Government Partnership
  5. A Green Path to Sustainable Development of Marginal Drylands
  6. Operation of Ocean-ecology and Renewable Energy
  7. Gujrat Sanitation Program
  8. The Sustainable Indigenous Peoples Agricultural Technology (SIPAT)


AUS187/2004-The Pride of Place Program, Australia

Australia has a Federal system of government. State Government is the middle level of 3 tiers of Government: Federal, State and Local. Victoria is the smallest and most densely populated state in Australia with a population of 5 million. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria and is dominated by the Yarra river.

The Pride of Place Program was initiated to spread the benefits of good strategic planning and urban design to the whole of Victoria, in response to the visible decline of many suburban, regional and rural centres, and inspired by the successful urban revitalisation of central Melbourne.

The Program is a partnership between State and Local Government. Local Government Agencies apply for co-funding for projects given priority by their communities. The State gives priority to projects in areas of perceived need of assistance, such as towns affected by natural disasters. The Department of Sustainability and Environment (the Department) manages the program.

Grants encourage Councils, working with their communities and urban design professionals, to develop visions and strategies for lively, economically sustainable, attractive and safe local centres. Councils are assisted to manage change, such as development pressures or industry decline, by reinforcing the attractiveness, unique character and cultural heritage of local centres.

After funding for a new Program is confirmed an information brochure, which clarifies objectives and selection criteria, is produced and distributed to eligible applicants, accompanied by a letter from the Minister for Planning inviting applications. Applications include the amount of their proposed contributions and amount of funds requested. The value of grants requested ranges from $5,000 to $300,000.

Presentations by Regional Offices and subsequent reviews by the Panel take 3-4 days. The Panel considers the relative merit of all applications, based on published selection criteria, and submits recommendations to the Minister for Planning for approval.

Applicants are notified of the result of their application. Successful applicants receive a Letter of Offer, and Terms and Conditions of the grant including a Schedule and Performance Milestones agreement. The applicant together with the Regional Office must complete these. The contractual stage is important, to reduce the risk to the State of Councils defaulting on agreements after receiving funding.

Projects have generated high levels of community support and pride through consultative and inclusive design processes. The Program fosters goodwill between the State Government, Councils and local communities. The projects also promote sustainable development, through

the development of long-term strategies to manage global and local changes. The development of attractive towns and cities helps to retain and increase resident populations, and to attract more visitors.

Many projects in rural and regional locations have provided or strengthened existing recreation and tourist attractions, protecting the delicate balance between natural flora and fauna, and the intrusion of people through limiting access to protected areas, creating elevated boardwalks, and enhancing environmental awareness with signage at key points.

The project is both replicable and sustainable. The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment and innovation within local context and transferability.

CHN157/2004: Brownfield Remediation of the Tangshan Southern Coal Mining Area

Tangshan, also known as T'ang-shan, city, is located in Northern China, in Hebei Province. It is a major industrial city situated in the K'ailuan coalfield near Beijing. Tangshan developed as an important center of heavy industry with locally mined coal used to generate much electricity; industries include steel, machinery, motor vehicles, and cement. It was severely damaged in 1976 after two earthquakes killed over 12 per cent of the city’s population. Tangshan’s population in 1991 was 1,968,386.

Thirty years of exploitation of Tangshan’s natural coal reserves had left the surrounding areas of Tangshan in a devastated state. The most bleak and depressed area stretched 1,300 hectares to the south of the city center, with growing mountains of rubbish and flowing waste. This old and abandoned open-pit mine became a serious source of pollution and environmental degradation as mountains of rubbish and coal-mining waste attracted flies and vermin. Loose dust particles would become windblown during the dry summer season, turning the sky bleak and infiltrating each and every corner of the city.

This lead to a decision by the Municipal Government to establish the “Southern Reforestation Construction Headquarters Office” which was charged with the task of coordinating a comprehensive remediation plan. Specific objectives included, clearing-up 1.3 million cubic meters of rubbish made up of waste coal mining material, demolishing 240,000 square meters of old industrial structures that were no longer in use.

While the Municipal Government of Tangshan assumed the leadership role in the design, implementation and coordination of the remediation plan, they involved numerous actors and stakeholders, experts, planners and industry executives. An awareness campaign was launched with the use of TV, radio, posters, exhibitions and town hall meetings where all actors and stakeholders were able to exchange ideas on various aspects of the plan and the merits of its component projects. Multi-stakeholder management and supervision committees were also established to ensure the proper and transparent use of resources including land and funds, inspection of works, and quality and cost control.

Reforestation involved planting 1.38 million trees and 240,000 square meters of shrubs and to form 607 hectares of green space, the diversion of wastewater from 250 pits through a network of 5,313 meters of collector pipes to bring the wastewater to the sewage treatment plant for the safe disposal of sewage. The creation of a leisure park complete with entertainment and leisure facilities such as boats, pavilions, walk ways and paths and traditional Chinese garden architecture including arched bridges and covered walkways. 65 hectares of stagnant water have been completely cleaned and purified and turned into a lake. The lake is safe for people to swim in and water life has been returned to this body of water, including fish, aquatic and migratory birds and insects.

The integrated approach of the initiative meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

IND168/2004-Green Rating of the Indian Industry Project, India

India has the second largest population in the world (over 1 billion). Although India occupies only 2.4% of the total area of the world it supports over 15% of the world population. In this sub-continent, maintaining a safe, clean environment is paramount but even after more than 50 years of regulatory regime, industrial pollution continues unabated in India. Studies show that while the economy in the country doubled between 1975 and 1995, the industrial pollution load grew 4 times. The growing pollution led to a spate of legal cases and people’s protests threatening industrial investments.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Green Rating Project (GRP) was started as a civil society initiative to develop an alternative form of governance to control industrial pollution in India. The project was conceptualised in wide consultation with economic experts, industry experts and NGOs. Priority was given to developing a strategy that would motivate the industry to catalyse environmental improvements of their own accord. The organisation used a carrot and stick approach where the non-participating company was penalised and the voluntary participants were given a pat on their back. The response was tremendous with voluntary participation of 90 per cent of industry members in all 3 sectors, pulp and paper sector, the automobile sector and the chlor-alkali sector.

To ensure success of the project, the organisation developed an alternate database of environmental information about industries. The organisation also decided to rate companies within the same sector so as to motivate companies that were successful in their fields to join the project and score over their competitors. GRP involved eminent and highly respected representatives from industry, civil society and the government to ensure high credibility, which would in turn motivate powerful companies to participate. GRP also made the results of the in public thus encouraging more companies to participate.

So far, GRP has worked with over 250 large-scale Indian companies, all of them being in the list of Top 500 companies of India. GRP has specifically worked with pulp and paper industry, automobile industry, steel industry, cement industry, power industry and chemical industry.

The biggest contribution of the project to India is to improved environmental governance. By putting information on the environmental performance of Indian companies in the public domain, it helps to put public pressure on industry to constantly upgrade environmental performance. The other achievements made in six years include, increasing the number of companies with ISO 14001-certification from 1 to 5. More than 15% of the paper & pulp companies have adopted better technologies and companies sourcing farm forests rather than natural forests increased by 20%. Water consumption, which was as high as 250 tons per tonne of paper produced, has gone down by 16% and as many as 25% of companies had stopped using elemental chlorine for bleaching. Today a good rating by GRP to a company is considered as the ultimate certification about the environment performance.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment and innovation within local context and transferability.

IND169/2004-"Bhagidari": Citizen-Government Partnership, India

Delhi, with a population of 11,680,000, and varying economic conditions ranging from modern agriculture, handicrafts, to a wide range of modern industries was faced with deteriorating conditions of environment, traffic, and public utilities. Overflowing sewers, littering on public places, poor roads, long traffic jam coupled with vehicular and industrial pollution characterized the city. The administration was also overburdened and the conventional methods of problem solving were not yielding the desired results.

The Government of NCT of Delhi took an initiative in the year 2000 to involve its citizens in facilitating citywide changes in Delhi, by utilizing processes and principles of multi-stakeholders collaboration through ‘Large Group Dynamics’ and "joint ownership" with citizens and civic agency officials. The Government of NCT of Delhi put into place a participatory and interactive framework of governance, ‘Bhagidari’, meaning ‘co-sharing’ or ‘partnership’. It is a good governance initiative that has facilitated a process of dialogue between the citizens and the government for the discovery of joint solutions aiming at improving the quality of life in the city. The methodology of ‘Large Group Interactive Events’ has been used to train the citizen groups and government officials to develop consensus on civic issues pertaining to water, power, sanitation, community services, security and environment.

‘Bhagidari’ has helped develop a democratic framework of the state where Resident Welfare Associations, Rural Groups, Market & Traders Associations, Industrial Associations, and NGOs have become representatives of local groups. These associations are effective in understanding issues of common civic concern, discussing with government representatives the problems hampering effective delivery of civic services and formulating joint workable solutions to improve their environment and quality of life.

The initiative that began with 20 Resident Welfare Associations is now an active partnership of more than 1300 citizen groups comprising nearly 5 million people. Bhagidari’ has been expanded in the last three years to include successful initiatives such as setting up School Welfare Committees in all government schools, empowerment of women through ‘Stree Shakti’ camps, opening of Gender Resource Centres and Eco-campaigns. More than 100,000 women from the lower sections of the society have benefited. 52 residential areas have initiated rainwater harvesting through community participation to recharge the vastly depleting underground water level. The civic agencies and the Delhi Government have provided substantial financial and technical assistance.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and innovation within local context and transferability.

IRN239/2004-A Green Path to Sustainable Development of Marginal Drylands, Iran

Iran, population 68.9 million and per capita income of US $1,720, covers an area of 636,296 sq. miles. Oil exports account for around 80% of foreign exchange earnings as well as non-oil exports such as carpets. The Gareh Bygone Plain, a 6000-hectare sandy desert in southern Iran annually receives 150mm of rain as opposed to 2860mm of Class A pan evaporation. Freshwater scarcity, poor rangeland, and dust storms had caused migration of some nomads-turned-farmers from the Gareh Bygone Plain. The remaining women and children had to walk up to 6-km a day to fetch water resulting in back pain and miscarriages for the women and the lower school attendance for the children.

The initiative addresses the vicious cycle of poverty, desertification, and drought affecting the nomads in the Gareh Bygone Plains of Iran. The main objective of the initiative was desertification control through floodwater spreading for the artificial recharge of groundwater. Other objectives include planting of shade trees and fodder bushes as live windbreaks; deposition of the suspended load onto the moving sand; and provision of fuelwood which would discourage people from cutting trees and removing bushes on the watersheds, thus helping soil and water conservation. All of these activities, along with hiring of laborers and watchmen, would reverse the tide of migration.

Floodwater spreading, as expected, has transformed a desert into verdant scenery. Some of the tangible benefits, which were instrumental in reversing the migration towards the Gareh Bygone Plain. The program introduced initiatives for reforestation, community education and mobilization. A collaboration of central government, local authority, parastatals, non-government organizations, community-based organizations and academic institutions provided knowledge, resources and technology. After five years, results show that 8 million cubic meters of floodwater provided ample freshwater, fuel wood, and employment opportunities, and reduced work burden on women and children. The irrigated area has increased from 147 ha to 1,193 ha and this has provided income for 250 operators, and 95 hired laborers. Moreover, extra employment has been provided due to the annual production of 10 tons of honey. Its success led to a government policy adopting aquifer management as a program and allocated annual budget. It demonstrated the potential of annually harvesting 50 cubic kms of floodwaters could control desertification on 14 million hectares, supply irrigation water for 6 million hectares and provide jobs for 4 million people.

The program meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

KOR035/2004-Operation of Ocean-ecology and Renewable Energy, Republic of Korea

Incheon city is a coastal city located in North-East Asia. With population of 2.6 million, it is famous of being the industrial city, which led economic growth of Korea in 1960s and 1970s through its harbor. Korea’s has a population of 47.7 million (UN, 2003), with a GNI per capita of US $9,930 (World Bank, 2002). The city is famous for its wetlands and for a long time, it was a salt production area until decreasing economic efficiency caused it to halt production. Recently the city got a fresh breath of life with the opening of Incheon International Airport.

In 1990, Sungdam Co, the company that owned more than 3,700,000 acres of wetland around Sorae port, decided to turn the land into a golf course. The municipality of Incheon proposed to use the land as part of an ocean-ecology park and the rest of it, for economic development. This led to protests from various Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) who wanted the land preserved.

A citizen group comprised of NGOs, municipality, and businesses working with natural energy formed a partnership with five priorities, to prevent indiscreet development of the salt farm by turning it into a golf course, to preserve it as a place to experience ecological wetland and increase citizen familiarity with water, to constitute a place of education related to environment, to earmark the area for environmental preservation closed from city development and lastly to establish a sustainable development strategy to hand over younger generations.

One of the major achievements of this cooperation has been the creation of a wetland park accessible to all Incheon citizens. More than 20,000 students and housewives a year visit the part and get to experience the importance of conservation and use of natural energy firsthand. Every year over 100,000 citizens enjoy leisurely walks and bike rides in the park. The park has also become a popular movie and wedding location.

One of the greatest lessons learnt from the experience was building of partnerships. The committee of Local Agenda 21 for Incheon consisted of citizens, businesses, and municipality. To be able to come to effective solutions, communication and compromise is key as opposed to antagonism.

Though partnership and sustainability, the citizens of Incheon city are able to enjoy the benefits of a recreation park and to learn the importance of conservation. The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment and innovation within local context and transferability.

PAK032/2004-Gujrat Sanitation Program, Pakistan

Pakistan has one of the world’s highest populations with 153 million people (UN, 2003) and a GNI per capita of US $420 (World Bank, 2002). As a fast growing country, modern lifestyle has over the generated huge amounts of urban waste, which has become a menace to the environment and urban management efforts. Only 43 % of the population has access to improved sanitation. Pakistanis discard about 1 kg of waste per person per day. The potential recyclables generated in the urban area such as paper, plastic bags and glass have not been utilized effectively as the recovery rate is low.

The city of Gujrat, with an area of 6 square kilometer and a total population of 543, 000 is a relatively medium city confronted with many resource and environmental constraints, and like many municipalities in developing countries, the officials have become inundated by the volume of solid waste which they must process in order to assure the health and safety of their populace. Besides immediate health effects there are the more long-term problems of groundwater contamination and as population grows, these problems can only get worse. 

The council set priorities to create community awareness to the waste disposal problem, distribute garbage bags to households, mechanise street cleaning and sweeping. Segregation at source of inorganic wastes was to start in earnest and the council was to start recycling of organic wastes into compost. Objectives included creating employment for unemployed youth, generating income from waste, cleaning up the entire city and establishing a self-sustainable mechanism.

Educated youths were employed as social motivators to create awareness and sensitise the issue in their respective communities. Each social motivator was given 200 households in which they distributed garbage bags and monitored the cleanliness in that area. Organic waste was sorted into the different categories and sold to the respective industries. The city was divided into several units to organise its clean up. The project become self sustainable when the income generated from service charges paid for the salaries of the social motivators and the labour, while the income from recycling of the waste provided as the profit incentive.

As a result of the implementation of this program, the project has gained national recognition as a model of a self-sustainable project. As a result of this program, the city of Gujrat, which was once rated amongst the most unhygienic and dirtiest cities in Pakistan, is now proudly one of the cleanest cities in the country. The city has a proper waste collection and disposal mechanism in place, over 500 jobs have been created and waste recycling plant was built which turns organic waste into compost at a low cost to farmers.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment and innovation within local context and transferability.

PHL161/2004-The Sustainable Indigenous Peoples Agricultural Technology (SIPAT), Philippines

Philippines has a population of over 80 million people with a GNI per capita of US $1,030 (World Bank, 2002). In the early 1980’s, the town of Kalinga, situated in Northern Philippines faced environmentally destructive projects imposed by Dictator President Marcos. Traditional knowledge and indigenous knowledge systems disappeared and this bought about poverty and endangered mountain biodiversity.

SIPAT addresses the problems of poverty, cultural and biodiversity loss among the indigenous communities farming the ancient rice terrace of Northern Philippines. The main objectives of SIPAT were to advocate for the termination of the environmentally destructive projects imposed by Dictator President Marcos. To promote Indigenous Peoples Rights Act and to assist, organize and empower the indigenous peoples.

The organization used people to people and communities to communities’ mobilization strategies to support their activities. The principles of asset-based community development were applied. The organization also used an Indigenous Peoples Way of Management and Decision-Making (AMUNG) in organizational management and programs and services delivery. AMUNG enhanced active involvement, active participation and multi-partnership in program/project implementation. AMUNG enhanced gender sensitivity and promoted high involvement of women and youth in decision-making and management. AMUNG also promoted a strong sense of ownership among stakeholders.

Achievements have included, 81% of the forest in Kalinga being protected, conserved and maintained. 108 watersheds were managed, conserved and protected and 27 hectares of rice terraces newly created & 126 hectares rehabilitated. From 1990-1996 a total of 7 indigenous communities with 1,071 households were assisted, increased their production by 27% and ensured their food security. From 1997-2002, three poorest-of-the poor indigenous communities were assisted with 324 households that increased their production by 36%. From 2002-2003, 154 households assisted that increased their production by 45%.

The organization gained the support from multi-sectoral partners involving nine local government units, three networks of non-governmental organizations and national development programs. The organization has successfully engaged in advocacy that led to the termination of two environmentally destructive projects, and the passage of progressive legislation such as the indigenous People’s Rights Act and the creation of the Banawe Rice Terraces Commission.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and innovation within local context and transferability.


  1. Vienna Buys Ecologically
  2. ufaFabrik : International Centre for Culture & Ecology Berlin
  3. The sustainable revival of a little community
  4. Integrated Model of Care for HIV/AIDS people at County level
  5. Implementing an integrated management system for forest ecosystems producing wild mushrooms in the Valdorba district. Rural sustainable development project in the Valdorba district.
  6. The Alba-Ter Consortium: a commitment to territorial cohesion, economic development and sustainability basin of the River Ter from the local initiative
  7. Enlarged Community Rehabilitation Project.
  8. Poverty reduction among women through vocational training and micro- financing programme.

AUT594/2004-Vienna Buys Ecologically, Austria

The population of Austria is 8.1 million (UN, 2003) with GNI per capita at US $23,860 (World Bank, 2002). Austria regards environmental protection as a matter of prime social importance and at the same time as a topic of economic significance. Austria has worked hard to promote of environmentally favorable investments is governed by the Promotion of Ecological Activities Act.

The project "Vienna Buys Ecologically" was launched in 1998 with the objective of promoting long-term ecologically minded procurement at the city administration and its enterprises. To date, this innovative and unique initiative has considerably assisted city administration to increase their procurement proportion of organic and other ecological products. For example, the share of organic products at the Vienna’s public hospitals has reached 30 percent, all baked and dairy products, with the exception of cheese, are 100% organic; and organic farmers deliver most of the beef.

The City of Vienna annually procures a variety of products, goods and services worth more than 5 billion EURO, ranging from textiles, detergents, office material, furniture, construction material and building contracts to a full range of janitors’ services. Buying in such bulk means that the city is far better able to control quality and characteristics of products than any retail customer. It has always relied on its market power to purchase a maximum of environmentally friendly products.

To convince authorities as well as the public to enter into environmentally friendly behaviour, "Vienna Buys Ecologically" embarked on a vast awareness campaign, which included the development of informational materials and catalogues of ecological criteria on almost everything required at the City Administration. The catalogues proved instrumental in simplifying and standardizing planning procedures and tendering of services at the city administration and making them more transparent.

"Vienna Buys Ecologically" provides information on other ecological products and services such as on energy efficiency and environmental friendly architecture (low energy light bulbs, building construction projects can actually generated savings). A wide range of pilot projects were started to illustrate the fact that ecological alternatives are feasible and economically efficient. The catalogues of criteria were made available on the internet.

"Vienna Buys Ecologically" received a major boost last summer when the Mayor of Vienna, during a press conference, endorsed a general commitment to this new approach. "Vienna Buys Ecologically" has been receiving international recognition regularly since. Last year the EU commissioned a film on the project’s activities as an example for ecological procurement in Europe.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, and innovation within local context and transferability.

DEU053/2004-ufaFabrik : International Centre for Culture & Ecology Berlin, Germany

Germany has a population of 82.5 million (UN, 2003) with a GNI per capita: US $22,740 (World Bank, 2002). In 1978 a 6-week environmental festival organized by ufaFabrik founders inspired the Fabrik group to find a place to demonstrate their ideas. In 1979 the intergenerational community of people and projects moved into the abandoned studio grounds of the former Ufa-Film Company in West Berlin, to begin working with partners and the City on the conversion of this area.

ufaFabrik centre started immediately with sustainable community development where a broad range of initiatives are carried out, ranging from capacity building, training of co-operative, jobs creation, gender inclusion, youth and single young mothers, immigrants, unemployed, disadvantaged people, environmental concern etc. ufaFabrik has also became an international centre for arts & culture, entertainments which involving and inspiring many thousands of people each year.

Eco-project initiatives include: cogeneration & renewable energy production, substantial solar & wind energy systems, local re-use of rainwater, the greening and ecological renewal of buildings, and other environmental practices. Eco-technologies are explained to the public through an eco-exhibition, information panels, and regular tours, workshops, seminars and conferences.

Through the ufaFabrik, a greater understanding for self-help projects has evolved. Many ufaFabrik projects have served as pioneers and helped to open up new possibilities and creativities among people and communities, both locally and internationally. Job creation and training programs have been tested and shared with partners and the public. Many of the ufaFabrik´s environmental technologies have been mainstreamed since their experimental implementation at the ufaFabrik (co-generation, solar energy, rainwater use, roof-greening, etc).

UfaFabrik people and organisations have evolved as complements to local institutions, bringing creativity and sensitivity to social, cultural, and ecological problems and issues, and strengthening local capacities. The ufaFabrik has helped tens of thousands of people over the decades to see the possibilities for non-violence and personal action, for self-help projects, and for participatory culture and ecology.

The ufaFabrik practices gender and social equality, offering space and assistance to all social groups and classes. The ufaFabrik is known as a leading center for ecological projects, including everything from solar and wind energy to the re-use of rain and wastewater, to ecological renovation and the greening of buildings and roofs.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, gender equality and innovation within local context and transferability.

ITA334/2004-The sustainable revival of a little community, Italy

The population of Italy stands at 57.4 million (UN, 2003) with a GNI per capita: US $19,080 (World Bank, 2002). Fossato di Vico is a town with a population of 2,500 people situated in the region of the Umbria, Italy. A high level of emigration and marginal economic and social state has affected the town with a progressively ageing population. In 1997 a violent earthquake occurred in central Italy and the town suffered numerous damages to building and property; 60% in total, of which 12% were rendered totally unusable.

The Municipality commission a study to look into the strengths and weaknesses of the territory. And Subsequently established priorities, which included, increasing the historical and environmental profile of the territory, reorganizing the Council Administration for efficiency and transparency, stimulating public/private partnership for all economic, cultural and social initiatives. Increasing job opportunities, for women and youth. Building of new houses and the restoring historical ones. Accelerating reconstruction, following the 1997earthquake with quality and security.

Apart from the reconstruction of houses, the Municipality has accelerated significant marketing initiatives to highlight the cultural and environmental characteristics of the territory, aiming to create private partnership to support the economic and social development. Supported by an efficient and transparent administrative management of the problems produced by the development, more and more partners have invested in the territory, doubling the numbers of jobs. The recycling of waste at all the levels has been achieved. Above all, the private sector is now co-operating with social and cultural initiatives. All these factors have contributed in giving the Municipality a sense of vitality and alertness, as though it has come alive after a long sleep.

A municipal newspaper, published every 4 months informs the citizens about the state of projects and opportunities available. In addition, the Council, in agreement with the various associations, has organized thematic seminars. This has allowed for concrete answers to be given and has decreased the time gap between planning and implementation.

The jobs have doubled in five years, from 720 to 1,460. Unemployment of the Municipality and of the neighboring municipality is virtually zero. Female unemployment has been reduced from 40% to 5%. Women are active in the field of commerce and services. An increase in population of 6% has occurred in the last three years after it had remained unchanged from 1970 to 2000. This increase has allowed the maintenance of the fundamental services such as schools and health services which otherwise would have ceased only to a lack of users.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, gender equality and innovation within local context and transferability.

ROM318/2004-Integrated Model of Care for HIV/AIDS people at County level, Romania

Romania’s Population is estimated at 22.3 million (UN, 2003), with a GNI per capita of US $1,870 (World Bank, 2002). In early 1990s, Romania was confronted with an unprecedented situation: a large number of HIV positive children, and overcrowded, poorly equipped and severely under-staffed residential hospitals. Nearly 5,000 children born between 1987 and 1990 were infected with the HIV virus, primarily through transfusions or infection while under medical treatment.

Many children died in hospitals and others were simply abandoned by their families. Full hospitalisation was the only option as there were no day clinics. Children would thus be unnecessarily exposed to opportunistic infections and the stress of being away from home. This situation prompted the Romania Angel Appeal (RAA) in 1991 to bring about some changes through revolutionizing the assistance system for the seropositive child and the creation of a multidisciplinary approach that combines medical services with the social, psychological and educational ones: the "Sunflower Smile" day clinic.

One of the main successes of this project is the gradual integration of the psychological and social services within the hospitals where they function. Unfortunately, most of the Romanian hospitals offer only medical services, and the take over of the social and psychological services of the day clinics represent a real progress in improving the patient services.

The day clinic model has adopted two major priorities in the caring of HIV infected children, medical (diagnosis, investigation, treatment, recommendations and useful information on the standards of care for HIV/AIDS children) and psychosocial and educational assistance (pre and post-testing counseling, home visits, legal counseling, educational programmes etc.), responding to their identified needs.

The "Sunflower Smile" integrated model of care was introduced in Romania in 1991 by RAA with the opening of the first day clinic in Constanta. Currently, there are eight day-clinics over the country, which are organized in a network of information and, experience sharing and mutual help. The clinics provide medical, social, psychological and educational services for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS. Hand-over to the hospitals and local authorities is progressing well.

Results include, 1,656 children registered for social services (year 2003), 134 specialists providing multidisciplinary services, 5,176 social assistance interventions, 2,967 psychological assistance interventions and 9,000 information bulletins distributed to families affected by the disease.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, gender equality and innovation within local context and transferability.

ESP285/2004-Implementing an integrated management system for forest ecosystems producing wild mushrooms in the Valdorba district. Rural sustainable development project in the Valdorba district, Spain

This practice, based in Valdorba in the Navarre Region of Spain, began in 1990 and is still continuing. The population of Spain is 42.7 million (official figure, 2003), with a GNI per capita of US $14,580 (World Bank, 2002). The aim is to generate income in a depopulated rural area that is currently undergoing sufficient demographic growth and to create jobs for unemployed people. The project is based on the economic development of local organisations through the rational use of local environmental resources. A system for the sustainable management of mycological resources has been implemented, which is reproducible in developing countries and depressed rural areas, and creates jobs for women, as well as an eco-tourism project and various plans for the use of natural resources.

Achievements include home care for all old people, job creation for young people, women, and people over the age of 45, and the setting up of an assembly of leaders, local representatives and rural agents interested in the development of Valdorba. Work is also carried out to facilitate access to housing and the renovation of unique buildings.

Local authorities with wide political differences have managed to join forces to organise two fairs for local truffles, as well as another joint service and tourism initiatives. This practice brings them together in a shared project: a supra-municipal administration centre.

Considerable experience has been gained in the group-working dynamics of all the agents involved in this practice.

Home care cover is currently available for all old people requesting it. Great progress has been made in providing basic services that were unthinkable only 15 years ago — water supply and sewerage systems, rubbish collection, paved streets, infrastructure, social and cultural services, telephone lines, Internet connections, etc. Statistics of de facto residents have shown a steady increase year after year. The unemployment figures are also extremely impressive there is hardly any unemployment in the valley any more.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

ESP297/2004-The Alba-Ter Consortium: a commitment to territorial cohesion, economic development and sustainability of the River Ter

The River Ter basin, located in the northeast region of Catalonia an economically, socially and climatically diverse territory with a rich natural and cultural heritage linked to traditional uses of water. However, the heterogeneous nature of the territory had also contributed to a lack of territorial cohesion, resulting in environmental degradation, water outflow and loss of biodiversity. The territory faced several problems including lack of common policies linked to the river basin; lack of coordinated economic; and destruction of the river basin’s cultural heritage.

In the late 1990s a group of seven riverside town councils of the River Ter Basin initiated a program to create a supra-municipal organization to advocate for territorial cohesion, economic development and sustainability through the integrated management of the space articulated by the River Ter. The Alba-Ter Consortium was created in 1998 following an initial proposal presented at the XVI Regional Policy and Cohesion DG of the European Union in 1996 and the initiation of the Alba-Ter Project in 1997, co-financed by the European Union. The project comprised three main stages: the creation of the Alber-Ter Consortium; the elaboration of an Integrated Development Plan for the River Ter based on technical studies; and the implementation of the development plan within the territory.

The Alba-Ter Consortium was set up as a focal point and reference organization for issues relating to the river basin. The initiative encouraged participation from both public and private stakeholders including local county boards, county councils, regional governments and private companies. The public authorities provided financial support for the consortium structure, and also participated directly in its management; while private companies provided support for implementation of specific projects. The initiative also enlisted the support of multidisciplinary teams drawn from several academic institutions to provide technical advice and assistance in producing reports on relevant issues. An advisory board composed of experts in various fields was also set up to supervise initiatives promoted by the consortium.

Since its initiation in 1997, the project has successfully completed several of its objectives including the creation of the supra-municipal organization to promote and incorporate sustainability into an integrated vision for spatial development of the River Ter Basin. The consortium currently represents 90.6% of the riverside population and 55.3% of the total river basin population. It provides leadership for development of the river basin and promotes coordination of sectoral policies of the various authorities with competence in difference matters concerning the territory. The initiative promotes public awareness of the importance of the river to its communities and advocates sustainability and continuity of the river basin’s ecosystems, resources and future development, as well as rehabilitation and recovery of areas affected by marginalization and environmental degradation. It also supports the preservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the river basin and activities aimed at the general public, including access to information and creation of areas designed for public use.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

TUR554/2004-Enlarged Community Rehabilitation Project. Turkey

Turkey has a population of 71.3 million (UN, 2003) people with a GNI of US $2,490 (World Bank, 2002). In Istanbul, the city with the largest population in Turkey with a population of 9.6million(2003 estimates), a large proportion of the population is deprived of basic services, health nutrition and the power to demand health services. This situation is exacerbated with the growth of the population by 4.4% every year, mainly from immigrants of poor rural communities.

The Enlarged Community Rehabilitation programme (ECR) is a Health Affairs Department initiative that provides Home based health care to patients who are not covered by any health insurance system or who are in great need of help. It enters them in a register and provides them with the needed health care, if necessary, at their homes. The process starts with a visit in the townships to assess the health situation of the people in need: sick, disabled, pregnant, elderly or deprived people. This step is followed by the visit of a physician and a nurse to the houses to examine the patients and make treatment plans. According to the patient’s state of health, further investigations and examinations by specialist physicians are carried out. Surgical operations are also performed if required. For severely socially deprived families, fuel (for heating) and food aid is provided.

So far the project has covered 29 townships in Istanbul and 1,303,801 houses have been visited: 361,849 households had pregnant or disabled patients. 116,415 households were accepted for home care; 81,524 households received a visit of a doctor; 104,308 households received home based care; 13.455 patients were prescribed and were maintained by the project; 1,456 patients were taken to specialists; 985 patients received surgical operations through the project arrangement. The project also collected first hand statistic data on demographic, social and economic situation of Istanbul:

The patients with chronic illnesses learned how to look after themselves. The families of the patients learned what to do and where to go to seek solutions. A lot of patients learned to use their drugs in the correct manner and to control their health problems. 25 patients who had medicine resistant tuberculosis were inspected in a special treatment programme (DOTS) and underwent controlled treatment.

ECR Project has achieved many social and economic benefits for the city. The project has helped many people, not only patients requiring home based care, but people with chronic illnesses, pregnant, handicapped people, elderly people living alone, were provided with treatment and received assistance in dealing with social problems. With the help of the Aid Fund of the greater Istanbul Municipality, a system was developed through which patients with chronic illnesses without any social security can be assisted. 

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

UZB376/2004-Poverty reduction among women through vocational training and micro- financing programme, Uzbekistan

In Uzbekistan, with a population of 25 million and a GNI per capita of US $310 (World Bank, 2002), 27.5% of the population lives below the poverty line and 70% of the poor are in rural areas. Women are concentrated in the lower paying sectors and earn about 70 % compared to males. The level of female unemployment is higher than that of the males (62%). The low level of self-employment is caused by lack of necessary skills and knowledge, limited access to credit for women and low participation in establishment of new enterprises.

To improve the situation, the Business Women Association (BWA) launched an integrated program on poverty reduction among women, focusing on vocational training and micro finance in rural areas of Uzbekistan. The purpose of this initiative is to contribute to the poverty reduction, through empowerment of women and local economic development, assistance in the improvement of the living conditions of women, especially of those living in rural areas, and providing equal access to job and income generation opportunities.

The initiative has contributed positively on the economic situation of the country and has raised women’s economic role and status by overcoming gender barriers. It has provided women with equal access to financial sources through micro credit lending programmes, small and medium entrepreneurship, job creation, institutionalization, normalization and registration of businesswomen. It has also given an opportunity for the capacity building of both BWA employees (thus contributing to Business Women’s Association of Uzbekistan BWA’s institutional development) and entrepreneurs through training on various economic issues.

7,300 unemployed women attended vocational training courses and this initiative enabled them to acquire the necessary skills to become financially independent and/or to become businesswomen. This initiative was also able to advocate for a law that was approved by the parliament. With the aim of providing favourable legislative conditions for the activity of micro finance institutions, the BWA team lobbied for a decree on micro financing "measures on development of micro financing activity", which was adopted by Cabinet of Ministers on August, 20, 2002.

BWA constantly maintains business contacts with other women’s organizations of Central Asia and promotes the exchange of knowledge and experience. The results of this initiative have proved to be sustainable, and BWA of Uzbekistan is actively engaged in replicating similar activities in Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality, social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability. 

Latin America and Caribbean

  1. EnREDando jóvenes para el Desarrollo (Involving young people in Development)
  2. Urban Agriculture Programme, Rosario, Santa Fe
  3. São Paulo Social Inclusion Strategy
  4. BRAZIL 098/2004 and BRA 099/2004
  5. Human Security and the Urban Poor: a holistic approach to social exclusion and Violence, Rio De Janeiro
  6. Integrated Management of Water Resources in The Paraiba Do Sul River Basin
  7. Juntos Construyendo una Vida Mejor(TAC), Valparaíso
  8. Pedagogia Del Afecto
  9. From Waste to houses
  10. Circo Volador (Flying Circus): Youth & Popular Culture in Mexico City
  11. AFOSCI – CONTROLADORIA CIUDADANA: Support for the Strengthening of Civil Society

ARG104/2004-EnREDando jóvenes para el Desarrollo (Involving young people in Development). Argentina.

Argentina had a population 37,031,802 in 2000 and this is expected to grow by 12 % to 41,473,702 people by 2018. In the provinces of Jujuy, Misiones, Buenos Aires and San Juan, policies related to youth development were lacking especially in terms of skills development. It was especially difficult for young people to gain space and participate in the community’s institutions. This led to massive exodus of young people to urban centres and resulting in the premature ageing of small communities.

The NET Programme aims to involve young people in local development by developing their capacity to undertake needs assessment and to appropriately respond to issues that are identified. The programme builds the capacity of young people by training them to plan and manage different projects that improve the quality of life

This programme is a synergy between different tiers of government as well as among different sections of the organized communities. It consists of an open examination of local development project proposals, an offshoot of the educational process in which groups of young people belonging to community’s organizations from different cities and towns participate. Successful proposals are given seed funding after proving that they will be financially sustainable in the long run.

The training process involves non-formal education that has its basis on two different approaches: attending training sessions and a long distance process of education. The financial support accorded to the programme is directed towards the execution and management of the individual projects of each community.

The main aims of these projects are focused on promoting and establishing youth networks; building of human capacity to plan and manage development projects; encouraging and promoting communication between young people and their communities as a strategy to build participation; and maintaining an information system on the capacities possessed by various youth and members of the community.

Among achievements in the three provinces of Argentina: Misiones, Jujuy and Buenos Aires: approximately 300 groups of young people have participated so far in the programme while a further 1,000 young people have been trained; close to 6,000 young people have been directly involved in various programmes that range from health education to social and cultural programmes. Close to 34 municipalities have collaborated and helped sustain the programme.

The programme fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

ARG436/2004-Urban Agriculture Programme, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina

In 2001, Argentina was in turmoil as public anger over a deepening recession and widespread poverty sparked riots, looting, vandalism, and angry protests. Rosario City, population 906,004 located in the Santa Fe province was no exception. The Urban Agriculture Programme (UAP) was initiated after the economic crisis, which manifested itself in Rosario with poverty levels rising to 60 % of the population.

The programme was initiated to respond by providing sustainable means of food production in urban centres for a population whose poverty line is US$ 90. The objective was to promote a constructive process of endogenous development, with participatory strategies and co-operative forms of production, transformation, commercialization, as well as healthy food consumption.

The impact of the programme has been to make low income families feel valued and recognized as actors forming part of an inclusive process (especially women). So far 791 community gardens have been established and this has led to the improvement of the urban neighbourhood landscape as well as the quality of life of its inhabitants. Currently, more than 10,000 families are directly linked to the production of organic vegetables, which are consumed by 40,000 people. This has been possible through the creation of an economy of solidarity network that includes 342 productive groups. Each group participates weekly in three of the locally established fairs, deriving a monthly income ranging between US$ 40 and US$ 150.

The produce from the community gardens has a high social value in terms of quality. One example has been the development of a production plan to supply soup kitchens and schools within the framework of a common social network. The poor now have access to secure tenure on the land that the community gardens occupy. This has been possible through the institutionalisation of urban agriculture (UA) as a local government public policy. The latter was instituted through Ordinance HCD 7341/02 of Rosario's Deliberative Town Council and Decree of the Secretary of Social Promotion N° 808/03 while the use of lands for the AU is regulated by Ordinance N° 4713/89 and 7341/02. The market fairs are regulated by the Ordinance N° 7358/02 of the Deliberative Town Council.

The Urban Agriculture Programme fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability. 

BRA386/2004:São Paulo Social Inclusion Strategy, Brazil

São Paulo is the largest city in South America, and the third largest in the world. Its population has doubled in the past 30 years, and has now reached about 18 million people. Forty percent of Brazil's GDP (US$ 536 billion) is produced by the city. The dimension of income inequality and social exclusion in the city of São Paulo reflects the size of this metropolis. Its urban space, as the generating center of the country’s wealth, is beginning to show more evidence of the impact of last decades’ stagnation in national economy. This is in addition to the uneven concentration of growth that characterises the historical evolution of Brazilian economy.

Overcoming this situation seemed impossible towards the end of 2000, especially taking into account the dilapidated state machinery and heavy public debt inherited by the present municipal administration. Nevertheless, work that opened new horizons was started. Human, material, and financial resources were mobilized, revealing a strategy of social inclusion and a set of basic principles to guide the government intervention.

A policy to combat urban poverty was formulated based on a decentralized structure, which targeted areas with high incidences of social exclusion. Participation of the civil society, and integration of efforts among the various spheres of public administration were also key to the policy’s success.

With a policy framework in place, it was possible to match available resources with empowerment projects. Dignity and citizenship were the goals of the process. A strategy that gave priority to the direct transfer of resources (and rights) to the poor in needy regions of the city was adopted. In addition, a set of related policies was established – vocational training, participation in community activities, access to micro-credit, formation of cooperatives and popular participation, creation of local development forums, and employment bureau to match supply and demand of job opportunities – for segments that had been forgotten by the state.

These policies have benefited 320,000 families, 12% of the population in the municipality, in a period of 3 years after their implementation. Approximately 80 % of the families are women while 32 % are female-headed household. Other tangible results include qualification of 110,000 people from the municipality’s training programme, formation of over 440 enterprises; elaboration of production activities within the local context, with the participation of employers representatives, trade unions, and the civil society. An employment network, involving 54 partner institutions and 15 job placement agencies was established to match newly acquired skills with appropriate job.

Finally the creation of a database and usage of computer solutions (Citizen Database - BDC) enabled access to timely and updated information on the target group and status of current intervention strategies. This also serves as a monitoring and evaluation tool to provide feedback about the whole process.

The Social Inclusion project in Sao Paolo fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

BRAZIL 098/2004 and BRA 099/2004 are considered one practice.

BRA099/2004 - Tomorrows seed project, Belem, Brazil

BRA098/2004 - Human development in Communities at Aurá, Belem, Brazil

The city of Belem is the capital of Para state and has a population of 1.2 million. The main objective of the two initiatives was to integrate publics policies related to the remediation of the environment, social inclusion of waste recyclers and in particular those that touch on youth development. The Aura landfill was characterised by child-youth labour exploitation that were being exposed to abuses, infectious and contagious diseases and dangerous effluents from industrial, hospital, and domestic waste. The Tomorrow’s Seeds Project is an inter-sectoral initiative by government which involves education, health, social assistance, sanitary hygiene, environmental and cultural policies and aims to prevent the exploitation of labour by child and adolescents aged between 7 and 17 years. This group of socially excluded youth and their parents were engaged in waste recycling at the Aurá Landfill within Belém district. The initiative works with a group of 500 children and adolescents. In addition to forming and organizing the families of this target group, it provides opportunities to create humane alternatives for their survival and social inclusion.

This comprises a set of fundamental activities in the precepts of environmental education and art education. The initiative is backed by the Statute for Children and Adolescents’ Rights - ECA and the Organic Law of Social Assistance - LOAS. The local government in partnership with UNICEF and local stakeholders have taken the responsibility to eliminate child labour and expand employment options and income generation for adults from these families. The Tomorrows seed project is facilitated through training workshops, monitoring of the target group in schools, professional education courses for adolescents, and providing psychosocial assistance to families. The municipality provides support to these families by supporting the professional training and employment initiatives for adults from the families.

With the implementation of joint activities organized between the public authority and civil society on the issues of social inclusion of families and their children who live off waste scavenging and exposed to different risk situations, some advances are already evident such as the creation of the Cooperative for Recyclable Material Collection. The adult members of these families have been mobilised to form groups to undertake meaningful work at the landfill. Additionally, an association of producers of plants and handicrafts by youths from the Águas Lindas and Aurá communities - APPAJ, was formed that take part in the Plant Workshop in the Tomorrow’s Seeds Project.

The cooperative, COOTPA, brought together scavengers from the landfill into a formal organisation. This organisation was charged with the sale of recycled materials from the waste. Approximately 21,000 members have benefited from the initiative. More specifically, 450 workers, 256 men and 194 women employed fulltime in the recycling of materials. Results: 100% of child labour eradicated; 32% reduction in child malnutrition, 15% reduction in skin diseases, 80% reduction in stunted growth; establishment of the Aurá professionals working cooperative and direct commercialization of over 50% of the material collected; participation of environmental wardens in national and international events; vocational training of 123 workers in nine vocational courses; employment of 40 environmental wardens in selective collection, generation and employment and income for 22 families through family-scale agriculture; community organization involving eighty leaders from the surrounding communities; establishment of six environmental committees; vocational training of forty cooperative members; and an expectation of a brightest future.

The integrated approach of the initiative meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

BRA259/2004-Human Security and the Urban Poor: a holistic approach to social exclusion and Violence, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The regional context of armed violence in MERCOSUR countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay) includes the following general characteristics: an emphasis on urban violence and criminal activities; increasing privatisation of security agencies and a lack of effective control over their operations; an increase in armed violence related to drug trafficking; problems with corruption in security and justice institutions; legislative loopholes and lack of operational mechanisms to enforce compliance. Rio de Janeiro, with a population of 6.2 million, has been grappling with these realities for some time.

This practice demonstrates a holistic approach to combating urban insecurity in a country and city affected by high crime rate and insecurity. It aims at developing a culture of peace, reducing stigmatization of poor people and indiscriminate repression, while promoting social inclusion of groups at risk and inhabitants of marginalized neighbourhoods.

A set of different and coordinated activities have been initiated to include poor neighbourhoods in the wider society. Among them are: job creation; vocational training; access to micro credit; education and sports for children and youth; community support to youth at risk; community policing; design and implementation of city-wide plans. Viva Rio works in partnership educational institutions, three spheres of government, multi-lateral agencies and the private sector. More than 700 local partners offer infrastructure, personnel and knowledge of local conditions. Viva Rio is involved in project planning, implementation, technical assistance and monitoring. Through TV, radio, newspapers and training material, the communication strategy of Viva Rio, is a model to give voice to people, to reach out to decision makers, and to eliminate prejudices against poor and people at risk.

Since 2001, this initiative has been combining community development and security at local, state and national level with social inclusion of children and youth at risk, weapons control and criminal justice system reform. A set of multi-sectoral projects has been launched in partnership with all stakeholders. They include more than 20,000 persons in income generation initiatives, around 100,000 young people in vocational training. In addition, more than 110,000 small arms were publicly destroyed. Around 5,000 policemen have participated and benefited from community policing training. People receive legal assistance through "Citizens’ Counters". The projects promoted by Viva Rio are considered as "prototypes" that could be replicated by local communities.

The Urban security initiative fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

BRA233/2004-Integrated Management of Water Resources in The Paraiba Do Sul River Basin, Brazil.

The Southeast Coastal Hydrographic Region of Brazil has an area of 231,216 km2, accounting for 3% of the country's total area mass and has a mean river discharge rate of 4,024 m3/s (3% of the country's total). Its main rivers are the Paraíba do Sul and Doce rivers, run for 1,150 and 853 km respectively. The Paraíba do Sul basin alone produces an impressive 10% of national GDP. This hydrographic region also presents, significant economic differences, with the GDP per capita ranging from R$ 5,239 in Minas Gerais to R$ 9,210 in São Paulo. The national GDP per capita is R$5,740.

The Paraíba do Sul river crosses three of the most important and developed states of Brazil: Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It is the main water supply for more than 11 million people in Rio de Janeiro City, and it is also used extensively as a waste disposal system by industrial facilities in all three states. The river basin has a total population of 7,600,000 (IBGE/2000 Census). The integrated water management initiative is a model of sustainable management for this important river basin to guarantee water for future use.

The establishment of a committee (CEIVAP) comprising 60 members from Central government, 9 state governments, local authorities, research institutes, industries and water users is a complex and effective model of partnership. The objectives were to implement a pioneering and fully operational management system and establish a set of instruments in compliance with the Brazilian National Water Resources Policy and the respective Federal Act 9433/97. CEIVAP thus obtained resources for structural interventions in environmental remediation and improvement of water availability in a river basin. The committees also introduced billing for water use covering large portions of three key States: Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais, with 180 municipalities all characterized by extreme economic, social, and political heterogeneity. The discussions and approval of water billing rates took into account users’ economic interests and involved various sectors and participation at various levels in the Committee

The initiative has been successful in implementing structural interventions in the water supply, sewage treatment, waste collection, drainage, and slope stabilization in order to arrest and reverse environmental degradation and ensure the availability of water resources. This type of management system involves participation by society as a whole in the preservation and use of rivers (some 127,000 liters of water per second are drawn from this river basin every day, used for household, industrial, and irrigation purposes), including a sustainable water supply for 14.4 million inhabitants, 80% of whom are in Greater Metropolitan Rio de Janeiro. A Programme for Participatory Mobilization was established to ensure decentralized and participatory management. The sensitization campaign was realized through the Waterway Environmental Education Programme.

The water management initiative fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as an additional consideration of innovation within local context and transferability. 

CHL430/2004-Juntos Construyendo una Vida Mejor(TAC), Valparaíso, Chile

Chile has a population of 15,665,216 (July 2003 estimates) with a gender ratio of 1:1 and a total land area of 756,950 sq km. The Republic of Chile has one of South America's strongest economy's developed with substantial foreign investment and a very strong export sector. The country is rich in resources and it is now in the process of adding value to its own resources, moving away from a commodity based export sector. Its GDP per capita is US$3,913.

Valparaíso, or "Valpo," is city of 300,000 inhabitants, and the second largest city in Chile. This port city is known for its sinuous cobbled streets, zigzag roads, and steep footpaths. Juntos Construyendo una Vida Mejor (TAC) is community organization operating in Cordillera Hill of Valparaiso. Since 1990 TAC has been working to promote social inclusion children. This area is characterised by a strong cultural identity, social cohesion and has some of Chile’s unique social and physical cultural heritage. Before the advent of TAC’s community programme, social ties were weak and community participation in local development was lacking. In addition, the Cordillera Hill neighborhood was also characterised by deterioration and loss of public spaces, lack of waste management systems, and a general lack of trust for community leaders.

The main aim of TAC is to utilize the existing social structures to develop a community programme where the community ties would be reconstructed or strengthened as a precursor to mobilizing community members to improve their social and economic welfare. The community development initiative acknowledges leadership as a process of mediation between ‘different worlds.’ This has seen the active promotion of participation by more than 40 partners: Universities, Schools, Churches, grass roots organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Public Services, Volunteers, Inhabitants of the sector, children, youth, professionals, students, and artists.

The validity of this consolidated process is highlighted by the tangible results within the neighbourhood: community gardens, murals, public places rehabilitated; inclusion of young people; and the impact on other communities. Some of the social interventions have been in the areas of education, government and academics. This has been possible due to the formation of a pro-active civil society. There is heightened awareness of the environment through the improvement of the surrounding areas. Over 10,000 community members have been involved in strengthening the community bonds and promoting local identity and ethics such as tolerance, solidarity and integration of common differences. The most important indicator of success has been the development of trusting relationship between community and public organizations and creation of local spaces in order to develop active and dedicated citizens.

Due to the legitimacy and permanence of TAC in Cordillera Hill, the initiative has been able to impact in a positive way in public policies related to local and regional issues, such as Educational, Environment, Infancy and Housing policies. This community practice has been selected because it is a model of (re)construction of social fabric ties in a physically and socially deteriorated neighbourhood of Valparaiso. In addition, it presents a process of progressive ownership of public spaces and constitutes an inclusive city practice.

The initiative fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

COL116/2004-Pedagogia Del Afecto, Colombia.

Colombia is a country of significant natural resources, and has a diverse culture reflecting the indigenous Indian, Spanish and African origins of its people. But it has also been ravaged by a decades-long violent conflict, involving guerrilla insurgencies, drug cartels and gross violations of human rights. The fourth largest country in South America and one of the continent’s most populous nations, Colombia is endowed with substantial oil reserves and is a major producer of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum and coal. The country has a population of 44.2 million (UN, 2003) and a Gross National Income per capita of US$ 1,820 (World Bank, 2002). Cali (population 2.3 million) is a city in southwestern Colombia, located on the Cali River. 70% of Cali's population (estimated as two million inhabitants according to the last national census) does not receive income of more than two minimum salaries (minimum salary is only £90 a month. Economists estimate that four minimum salaries are required to allow a family to afford all basic needs). According to the figures of the Education Secretary for Cali Council 200,000 children do not have access to the education system.

This initiative aims to eradicate violence against children especially within their families. It acknowledges that mistreatment of children - 47 % of children are victims of various forms of violence in Colombia - is the leading cause of school drop out cases. It emphasizes a caring approach ("pedagogia del afecto") based on the needs of children by parents, teachers, formal or informal educators. It began in 1994 through a pilot programme in Cali, which adapted progressively the lessons learnt from related international experiences. The pilot programme involves FAMI (Family Women and Infancy programme of the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare ICBF) in partnership with Dutch Government. The programme is based on careful analysis of educational process within Colombian families and on the specific needs of children. It elaborates an appropriate thematic focus whose contents are transmitted, mainly through workshops, to parents or educators. The project trains selected persons from government agencies who interact with communities and have the opportunity to meet with parents. Since 1996, close to 720 trainers and 6,300 mothers have been involved in the programme.

The results, which are regularly evaluated, have shown a significant (70%) change in attitude of the parents. The evaluations have also necessitated the programme to review specific cultural practices in order to eradicate practices, which do not respond to children needs. In that sense this initiative, implemented in partnership at national and international level, is a permanent, rigorous and creative learning process.

The initiative fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability. 

CUB535/2004-From Waste to houses, Cuba.

Cuba is the largest island of the West Indies. Cuba occupies a central location between North and South America and its fertile soil and abundant sugar and tobacco production make it the wealthiest island of the Caribbean. The Republic of Cuba is an archipelago, or group of islands. The main island of Cuba covers 105,006 km2. Cuba’s population is 11,263,429 (July 2003 estimates) and the GDP per capita is US$ 2,300 (2002 estimates).

Due to the economic crisis in the early nineties the production of Portland cement was reduced, this in turn affected the production of building materials. Housing programmes were cut back, leaving the general population unable to maintain and repair their apartments and houses. Recurring hurricanes in the province aggravated the situation. The concept of "waste to houses" brings together ecologically viable building materials and house improvement in hurricane prone areas. The Cuban economic crisis in the early nineties affected the manufacture of building materials including Ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and spurred Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Estructuras y Materiales (CIDEM) into seeking ecologically and economically viable solutions.

The technologies were developed in a CIDEM applied research programme and included alternative cement made using recycled wastes from the sugar industry. This material can replace up to 40% OPC in hollow concrete blocks without affecting its quality. The waste material is recycled as a fuel, the ashes of which become the pozzolanic raw material needed for the binder. As building materials are not readily available after the increasingly frequent hurricanes, the initiative sought new paradigms for the local building materials market by increasing availability of materials in the local market, enabling owners to privately renovate and repair their dwellings. In effect, it developed a novel strategy for urban intervention.

On the northern coast of Villa Clara province the project promotes production of materials in a decentralized manner, by creating a local network of building materials’ manufacturers. Four workshops that produce blocks, tiles and alternative cement, have been set up and are fully operational in Sagua la Grande, Quemados, Caibarién and Camajuani. The municipal branch of the National Housing Institute (NHI) owns these workshops.

The production focus is combined with introducing flexibility into market structures under the auspices of local governments, in order to empower the homeowners to carry out the necessary repairs themselves. The products are sold mostly to house owners whose houses were damaged by the storm. They have to manage their own constructions; many of them are guided to apply for bank loans to purchase the materials. 1,200 families have renovated their houses through this innovative programme.

The initiative on utilising locally available building materials fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability

MEX476/2004-Circo Volador (Flying Circus): Youth & Popular Culture in Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico is home to a diverse mix of people and landscapes. It is also a nation where affluence, poverty, natural splendour and urban blight rub shoulders. In 1987, Mexico City was bombarded by the media on youth violence and gangs. "Drug addicts, assassins, pickpockets, rapists, alcoholics, vagrants and gang members" were some of the terms used by both government and the media to describe youth in working-class districts. Mexico has approximately 25 million young people ages 12 to 24, at least half of whom live in poverty or extreme poverty, and no social policy has been designed to deal with their problems. Mexico’s population is over 104 million and the youth represent a quarter of its population. Mexico’s gross national income per capita is US$ 5,920 (World Bank, 2002).

In 1987, Action-Research began working to assess the situation of working-class youth identified as "gangs". Their aim was to curb the growing violence and find mechanisms that would enable them to be reincorporated into a society that regarded them as adversaries. The name ‘Flying Circus’, is derived from meetings held on the streets between the initiators of the programme and the youth. Majority of the latter group had animal nicknames: The Cat, The Flea, The Dark Animal etc. and they would contend that: "We are a bunch of animals, as though we were a circus…but with nowhere to land, …….we are a Flying Circus" (sic).

As a result, the initiators mobilized members to locate premises to "bring their proposal down to earth". The group managed to obtain a lease from the municipal government to occupy an abandoned cinema hall in exchange for restoring and maintaining it through the collective work of the young people involved. Flying circus is an innovative approach aiming at youth at risk and offering space for the promotion of their cultural and social values. Circo Volador Cultural Centers afforded youth at risk the opportunity to express themselves through rock concerts, radio Programmes, graffiti’s websites and to allow them to reconstruct the social fabric between youths between different social sectors. Some of the results of the intervention include: 50 training workshops (over the past 3 years); 350 radio programs focusing on youth-based themes; and 250 concert and musical performances

This cultural expression helped to reinforce identities, gender empowerment, and direct tackling of social exclusion. The creation of youth observatories, monitoring and actively proposing public policies, provides sustainable means for youth’s social development. The programme has realised tangible results through the creation of Youths Nets sharing new opportunities which are more effective because arise from youths own interests and values.

 The initiative fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well an additional consideration of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion.

PRY404/2004-AFOSCI – CONTROLADORIA CIUDADANA: Support for the Strengthening of Civil Society, Paraguay.

Paraguay has one of South America's most racially homogeneous populations and is one of the continent's least densely populated countries. It also experienced the region's longest dictatorship, under Alfredo Stroessner, who ruled for 35 years until 1989. Lacking significant mineral resources, Paraguay's economy is largely agricultural. The 1990s saw slow but steady growth, but by 2002 the economy was in serious trouble, partly because of the financial crisis in neighbouring Argentina. Poverty affects some 60% of the population of 5.8 million (UN, 2003) with a low Gross Domestic Product per capita of US $1,170 (World Bank, 2002). Corruption is endemic, and Paraguay has become a regional centre for smuggling, money-laundering and organised crime. The commercialisation of agriculture, high population growth and forest clearance have led to a dramatic increase in the number of landless families. This has boosted migration into urban areas, causing a rapid growth in shanty towns.

The AFOSCI represents a network of 50 Citizens Control Groups playing an important role to the establishment of new governance process at national level. The general objective of AFOSCI, a citizen empowerment programme, is to create consciousness in the citizens that the management of public property is a duty and a right of everyone. Despite having limited resources, members of the Citizen Control Groups, devote their time and personal resources to follow up on reported cases of Corruptions. The process usually involves filing cases with the prosecutor's office and making follow-up visits until positive action/response is obtained. The mass media plays a big role in highlighting corruption cases (150 cases are reported every month). The Citizen Control Groups act as ‘whistle blowers’ and ensure that any corruption case reported by affiliate members is brought to the public’s attention.

The most notable results were the impact the groups had in the leadership of the country. During the last election campaigns held in 2003, all the presidential candidates had to state their policies in relation to curbing corruption. This commitment was put on paper where the candidates and Citizen Control Groups co-signed commitment forms. Several public institutions: ministries, municipalities, departmental governments, signed agreements with Citizen Control Groups for mutual support in the transparent public administration. Civic education materials were disseminated during the last elections in April 2003 to sensitise the general public on the need to support honest candidates. It is important to note that the Citizen’ Network has been able to give voice to the wider population ad has also supported important pieces of legislations: Law of Citizen Participation and Law of Access to Public Information.

This initiative empowers the civil society and fosters the implementation of better governance. The initiative fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability. 


North America

  1. First Nations Community Planning Project
  2. BioSand Filter International Technology Transfer

CAN102/2004-First Nations Community Planning Project, Canada

Desperation, hopelessness, and corruption define the bleak reality in many indigenous communities. Federal efforts to compensate these communities for their historic loss of land and natural resources have fostered dependence on federal funding and localized corruption and inequalities resulting in high suicide rates, alcohol and drug dependencies, and high unemployment. The Joint Community Planning Committee (JCPC) aimed at addressing these issues through empowerment, education and self-reliance of the indigenous communities, which in turn led to the Federal Government responding in a cooperative way to the more independent management of Indigenous community affairs.

The main objectives of JCPC were to develop tools and methods for capacity building, establish a collective direction, and develop workable strategies to improve the quality of life for these communities. The objectives were achieved through capacity building and by promoting the idea of community planning among the larger Aboriginal community. Collaborative and multilateral funding was found through the redirection of existing funding from the partner government agencies.

There have been significant changes in indigenous communities and federal government agencies as a result of the initiative. Seventeen people are currently using the Indigenous Community Planning Model to create and implement community-based plans. Eighteen planning trainees are employed by their band and are leading their own planning initiatives. The trainees, band administrators, and community members have been empowered through training in community-based planning that emphasizes learning by doing. Their traditional connection to the land has been reinforced through capacity building in environmentally sustainable planning. Aboriginal communities across Canada are now showing interest in planning. Subsequently, federal government agencies are finding ways to redirect funding to community planning initiatives across the country. They are also recognizing the need for internal reorganizations in order to respond effectively to planning. In addition, the project has attracted a majority of women both as trainees and as members of Planning Work Groups. Seventy-eight percent of the trainees have been women and approximately 65% of the Planning Work Groups were women as well. There have been efforts to include single mothers in the planning process, as they represent a large proportion of the parenting population.

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, gender equality and social inclusion, and innovation within local context and transferability.

CAN503/2004-BioSand Filter International Technology Transfer, Canada

The purpose of the initiative to disseminate BioSand filter technology (BSF), to as many people as possible, in a short period of time and in such a way that the technology is used effectively and consistently. The BioSand filter (BSF) is a household water treatment device that is capable of improving water quality by removing a large percentage of disease causing microorganisms in water. Concrete BSFs cost between US$12 and US$30, and have minimal operating costs.

Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST), and its predecessors, Davnor Water Treatment and David Manz, developed a training program, which enables BSFs to be built with good quality control, by local communities using local materials. Tens of thousands of BSFs are now used in over 30 developing countries, and impact the lives many people worldwide. The BSF user education program encourages users to adopt a multi-barriered approach to the prevention of water disease. It includes education on sanitation and hygiene as well as water treatment. International NGOs, including Rotary Clubs, Mercy Ships, Medair and Samaritans Purse incorporate BSFs in their international development programs overseas, and, national NGOs in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ecuador, Ghana and Uganda are working with CAWST to introduce the technology to other NGOs and government agencies in their countries. Furthermore, agencies in many countries, have adapted the BSF design to suit their in-country environment. Students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina and the University of Waterloo are all conducting research projects on the BSF. Government agencies and NGOs in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are participating with CAWST and several international agencies in developing a model for building capacity in household water treatment in those countries, focusing on the BSF as the primary enabling technology.

The Biosand filter has gained acceptance as a viable household water treatment technology, by international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Research Council (IRC) and the International Water Association (IWA).

The program fully meets the basic criteria of impact, partnership and sustainability as well as the additional considerations of leadership and community empowerment, and innovation within local context and transferability.

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