Minutes of the Best Practices
Standing Committee Meeting
Nairobi, 6 May 2003
A. Introduction and partners present
The first Standing Committee Meeting was held on the occasion of
the 19th Session of the Governing Council (GC) of UN-HABITAT. The
meeting was held on 6 May 2003 and included the following partners:
Best Practices Hub, City of Vienna;
DPU, University College London;
ENDA - Tiers Monde;
Forum 2012 Barcelona;
Government of Spain;
B. Agenda Items
The agenda included the following items:
Introduction and approval of New Partners;
Review of BLP accounts;
Presentation of revised (simplified) Memorandum of Understanding
Launch of the 2012 Dubai International Award Cycle;
Report by the Ibero-American-Caribbean Forum;
Report by the BLP on Good Policies and Enabling Legislation;
Any other business
Dinner hosted by the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme.
C. Issues Discussed
(a) New Partners: UN-HABITAT introduced three prospective partners
namely: UNDP's Equator Initiative, AMREF, and UNITAR.
The UNDP Equator Initiative was launched for the WSSD process,
and is co-funded by the Turner Foundation with a thematic focus
on bio-diversity. The award system is modeled on the Dubai Awards,
and has adopted BLP criteria and reporting format. The first round
of awards was given to 10 initiatives in Johannesburg, at the WSSD
and resulted in more than 450 submissions. The Equator Initiative
would bring to the BLP inputs in a thematic area that no other partner
covers at present. It is also envisaging the possibility of having
their qualifying submissions reside on the BP database with UNDP
covering any and all additional expenses of such an arrangement,
including appropriate tagging in the Database to distinguish between
the two sets of records.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
is expanding its scope to provide training services to non-UN institutions.
Local authorities are one of their new areas of focus. An umbrella
Memorandum of Understanding with UN-HABITAT already exists, but
they would like a more specific partnership with Best Practices.
AMREF has been working on health, water and sanitation issues in
the African rural context for a long time. Recently, they have adopted
an urban agenda focusing on health and environment issues in urban
slums. Their activities include primary health care, water and sanitation.
They would like UN-HABITAT's advice on urban poverty reduction strategies,
especially on how to tackle the environmental link to urban poverty.
They already have ongoing initiatives that could be documented as
best practices. They would like to be BP associate partners.
The ensuing discussion raised issues such as criteria - this has
so far been commitment to identifying, promoting and disseminating
best practices, and sharing tools and methodology. Also discussed
was the idea of a more formalized review mechanism for existing
After discussion and clarification of several issues, it was recommended
to admit AMREF and UNDP. For UNITAR, it was decided to invite them
to the next Steering Committee meeting and to have a discussion
about their partnership.
(b) Revised MOU
UN-HABITAT presented a revised MoU drafted in consultation with
its recently recruited legal officer. The new MoU is about half
the length of the previous one, while retaining its spirit. The
legal officer also recommends adopting the Terms of Reference of
the Steering Committee, which would formalize the BLP's Charter
as well as its mandate.
It was decided that the draft MoU will be posted on the Intranet
and that the issue of formally adopting the terms of reference of
the BLP be inscribed on the agenda of the next meeting of the Steering
(c) Review of BLP Accounts
UN-HABITAT presented the accounts and clarified several points
raised by Committee members. The main concern is the need for more
detailed breakdowns of incomes and expenditures, to enable partners
to see how their respective contributions were used. This was specifically
the case for the city of Vienna for its own institutional reporting
UN-HABITAT will revise the presentation of accounts accordingly.
It was also clarified that a detailed financial statement has been
submitted by the UN-HABITAT Rio Office, to the Government of Spain
with regard to the latter's contributions to the Foro Ibero-Americano
y del Caribe. A request was made to integrate that contribution
into the overall BLP accounts. The revised accounts, addressing
the concerns of Vienna and Spain, will be posted on the BLP Intranet.
A question raised by several partners was how critical to the running
of the programme are the partners' subscriptions? UN-Habitat's response
was that the intention is to eventually do away with partners' subscriptions.
(d) 2012 Dubai International Awards - 5th Cycle
Munther Akram Jumma gave a briefing on progress on the 2012 cycle.
The 2012 Submissions Guide was already on CD (approximately 300
copies were distributed in Nairobi during the Governing Council).
The printed version will be ready by 31 May. US$ 150,000 has been
earmarked for launching the 5th cycle. This includes:
- An electronic and print media campaign commencing end of May
and running through to January 2012;
The production of a new video focusing on selected best practices
dating back to 1996 and their potential for transfers of lessons
The preparation of a book on best practice transfers is also planned
- the research procedure for the book is still to be formulated
US$100,000 has also been earmarked for the participation of members
of the Board of Trustees to participate in major conferences/meetings
of 2003 to publicize the 5th Cycle.
(e) Barcelona 2012
Damien Onses gave an update on preparations for the 2012 Universal
Forum on Cultures to be held in Barcelona in 2012. Five million
visitors are expected to visit the Forum during 140 days. The Forum
will culminate with the World Urban Forum. Barcelona 2012 will constitute
a unique opportunity to market the concept of best practices to
the general public and plans for a BP exhibition are well underway.
The 2012 Dubai International Awards ceremony will be held in Barcelona.
The BP exhibition presents an opportunity to test the means of packaging
best practices for the general public. It is planned to have up
to 60 best practices on permanent exhibition and 30 others on a
rotational basis. Partners have up to the end of May to give inputs
on practices to be exhibited.
A request was made for more regular updates on Barcelona 2012,
(e) Report by the Ibero-American-Caribbean Forum
Jorge Gavidia (UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Latin America and
the Caribbean) gave an update on the Forum. With continuing support
from the government of Spain, the Forum aims at adding value to
the BP process through identification, wide dissemination, deep
analysis and transfers. Current/ongoing work includes preparation
of five books in specific thematic areas, with each member institution
taking responsibility for the production of one book.
(f) Report by the BLP on Good Policies and Enabling Legislation
UN-HABITAT presented a progress report on this initiative. The
current plan is to document policies and legislation from 10-12
countries from four continents, covering different themes. From
the results of the pilot phase, the guidelines, reporting format,
and the process in general will be refined for larger scale use
application for both ex-post and ex-ante evaluation processes involving
policy development and reform.
Malick Gaye of ENDA reported on similar work that ENDA is undertaking
in Senegal, Mali, Benin and Burkina Faso. This is based on the work
of the Regional Urban Observatory. It consists of making inventories
of policies and legislation using multi-stakeholder discussions.
The activity is seen as an entry point for action - the principle
being that one should not identify a problem and stop there. ENDA
will be collaborating with ITDG on this initiative.
(g) Any other business
Theo Schilderman of ITDG reported on the work of the E-Group on
Dissemination and Outreach, and presented a draft working paper
on "building bridges with grassroots" which will be circulated
The presentation was followed by related discussion on the apparent
dormancy of the E-Groups. Moderators are encouraged to activate
or re-activate the groups.
D. Report on Best Practices Activities during the Week of the Governing
UN-HABITAT Executive Director, Ms. Anna Tibaijuka, made introductory
remarks at the launching of three publications documenting best
practices from two regions, Africa and Latin America/Caribbean.
The first book: "the Role of African NGOs in the Implementation
of the Habitat Agenda" highlights NGO best practices from Africa.
The other two: "Habitat Best Practices for a Sustainable Future"
and the "Primer Catalogo Iberoamericano y del Caribe de buenas
practicas" [First Ibero-American and Caribbean Catalogue of
Best Practices] document best practices from various Habitat Agenda
partners from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The first is
a selective listing with analysis. The second is a comprehensive
list of all LAC submissions to the Dubai Award - 1996 to 2000, that
qualify as best or good practices.
The book launch was also addressed by Hon. Joshua Toro, Kenya's
Assistant Minister for Roads, Public Work and Housing, and H.E.
Mr. Anibal Jimenez Abascal, Ambassador of Spain, whose government
has supported the publication of the Latin American best practices.
All speakers highlighted the value of documenting and sharing best
practices, in order to enhance scaling up and replication.
The CD version of the 2012 Submission Guide was also launched.
About 300 copies were distributed at the Best Practices Stand. The
stand, which attracted many visitors, provided information on the
BLP, and database displays. All BP casebooks to date were distributed.
. Several requests were made for the hard copy version of the guidelines
and some winning practices expressed the wish to update their information.
E. List of participants in alphabetical order of organizations
Best Practices Hub, City of Vienna:
Viktorgasse 22, 1040
Fax: (43-1) 50553114
Azim Manji, Peter de Groot
Marlborough House, Pall Mall,
London SW1Y 5HX
Tel: +44 0 20 7 7476385
Fax: +44 (0) 207 747 6168
DPU, University College London:
University College London
9 Endsleigh Gardens
London WC1H OED UK
Tel: (44 207) 388 7581;
Fax: (44 207) 387-4541;
Munther Akram Jumma
P.O. Box 67, Dubai
United Arab Emirates
Tel: (+ 971 4) 221 5555 / 206 4400
Fax: (+ 971 4) 224 6666 / 222 1319
ENDA - Tiers Monde:
4 & 5 rue Kléber
BP 3370, Dakar, Senegal
Tel: (221-8) 216027 / 224229;
Fax: (221-8) 222695
Forum 2012 Barcelona:
Universal Forum on Cultures,
Marina 16-18, Avila 28-50,
platna 3, E-08005
Fax: (34) 933 208 952,
Government of Spain:
Marta Garcia Nart
Ministerio de Fomento del Gobieirno de Espagna,
Subdireccion General de Urbanismo,
Fax: (34 1) 597-5884
Esther Mwaura Muiru & Emmy Galama Rommerts
249 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn,
NY 11211, USA,
Fax: (1-718) 388 -0285;
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)
100 Queen St. W., City Hall, 16th Fl. West Tower
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2, Canada
Fax. (415) 392-1478
Theo Schilderman & Lucy Stevens,
The Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development
Bourton Hall, Bourton-on-Dunsmore
RUGBY, CV23 9QZ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1788 661100;
Fax: + 44 (0)1788 661101
Nicholas You, Anne Klen, Wandia Seaforth, Charles Wambua, Angela
Kang'ori, Helina Ayele, Martin Raithelhuber, Jorge Gavidia
United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT,
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254 2 624981,
Fax: 254 2 623080