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Report of the 2002 Annual Meeting

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 31 October- 3 November 2002


The Best Practices Steering Committee held its sixth meeting in Dubai, U.A.E, from 31 October - 1 November 2002 upon the invitation of the Dubai Municipality, who also provided host facilities. Sixteen partners were present. The meeting was held back-to-back with the "International Seminar on Lessons Learned from Best Practices " (2-3 November) featuring the 10 award-winning practices from the 2002 Dubai International Awards, and culminating in the Award Ceremony. Partners of the Steering Committee played an active role in organizing the seminar, including working with the laureates to help refine their presentations, constituting discussion panels and chairing sessions.

Seven members sent their excuses for not participating in the SCM, owing to the change in dates of the meeting and the Award Ceremony. They requested UN-HABITAT to present their respective progress reports and recommendations on their behalf. The meeting began with each partner presenting their activity reports for the 2001-2002 period and the issues they wished to have discussed. Issues raised were then grouped under three working groups for further discussion:

Issues concerning the Best Practices database structure and the updating of existing practices;

Issues concerning post-award commitments of laureates, submission categories and sub-categories, a thematic focus for the Awards and the validation, TAC and Jury process;

Issues concerning the Steering Committee, working relationships among and between partners, the Good Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation initiative, case studies and outreach.

The Steering Committee made several key decisions and recommendations in the areas highlighted above, including changes for improving the database and reporting format; next steps on Good Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation; steps to increase dissemination and transfer of best practices; the internal workings of the Steering Committee; and how to maximize the role of partners.

The Steering Committee welcomed new partners including the ComHABITAT and the City of Barcelona. The Steering Committee also established a Standing Committee and several sub-committees for 2003.

The Meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Habiba Al Marashi of the Emirates Environmental Group and member of the Board of Trustees, DIABP, and by Nicholas You of UN-Habitat.


1. Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme (UN-HABITAT)

The BLP core programme was involved in the following major activities involving best practices: (i) an expert group meeting on Good Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation in November 2001. This meeting, co-hosted by the Government of Brazil and IBAM, resulted in guidelines, criteria and a reporting format for documenting stakeholder reviewed laws and policies. Fund-raising activities have resulted in seed capital for pilot implementation in the course of 2003-2004; (ii) organisation of the validation process, the TAC and the Jury, the latter in collaboration with the Government of Italy and the University of Naples; (iii) substantive inputs to the 1st session of the World Urban Forum held in Nairobi in May 2002. Inputs were provided to two in-session papers as well as the overall conceptual framework for Sustainable Urbanisation; (iv) Presentation of Sustainable Urbanisation framework to the WSSD, together with two partnership endeavours for Type II outcomes, at the WSSD in Johannesburg, September 2002. The first partnership is on "Learning from Best Practices and Policies" and the other on "City-to-City Cooperation". Both these partnerships involve a combination of existing partners of the BLP as well as new partners; (v) co-production and launch at the WSSD, with DPU, of a casebook entitled "Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas". The casebook presents lessons learned and their policy implications based on the analysis of over 70 good and best practices, most of which were selected from the Best Practices database; (vi) involvement as a member of the Jury in the Stockholm Partnership for Sustainable Cities (June 2002) and the Stockholm Challenge Award (October 2002). Discussions are underway with both award schemes to ensure greater cross-fertilisation and harmonisation with the DIABP; and, (vii) advisory services for the overall design and implementation of a Best Practices Forum for the Universal Forum on Cultures to take place in Barcelona in 2012. Last but not least, two new staff members joined the BLP core programme, bringing the total number of core programme staff to four professional staff.

2. Best Practices Hub - City of Vienna has been focusing its work to promote the call for submitting Best Practices for the 4th cycle of the DIABP. More then 400 local authorities and 2000 experts were contacted by e-mail. All former applicants (the good and best practices as well as non-complying practices) were contacted asking to update their experiences (app. 300). Feedback and assistance was provided for approximately 30 cases from the region. The City of Vienna itself submitted 11 new cases (3 of them updates). The Best Practices Hub - Vienna validated 50 submissions from Central and Eastern Europe.

Through the UN-Habitat's Geneva Office, the Best Practices Hub - Vienna contributed texts for inclusion in reports and publications containing analysis and recommendations for CEE programmes for the European pre-summit preparatory meetings as well as assistance to ad hoc requests for information. The Hub prepared presentations for several UN-Habitat meetings.

The newsletter "Best Practices in Urban Environmental Technologies" has been issued four times since the last Steering Committee meeting, and features best practices in the fields of: energy use, public-private partnership, participation, and new projects from CEE. The Hub also runs an Internet site and a mailing list, offering various features - including a best practices database in German/English, which receives approximately 400 enquiries per day.

Starting in 2003 the Best Practices Hub - Vienna will have a new structure including more project partners within the city. This new structure is expected to result in increased involvement of Vienna’s private sector as well as more substantive expertise for providing feedback to requests from the region.

3. Development Planning Unit, University College London (DPU)

DPU reported on the experience of working on the two casebooks, (Lessons Learned in Implementing the Habitat Agenda, 2001 and Sustainable Urbanization: Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas, 2002) produced in collaboration with the BLP-UNHABITAT and using material from best practices. The objective was to show that "it has been done" and how and made special emphasis on reporting on constraints and obstacles as well contributing factors of success. Feedback has been very positive from readers and capacity-building organizations. 3000 copies of the 2001 publication were distributed (2000 initially and a reprint of 1000 due to demand). 3000 copies of the 2002 book are being distributed.

4. Dubai Municipality

Dubai Municipality launched the first media campaign for the Awards in October 2001, targeting all regions. Dubai Municipality also undertook the promotion of the DIABP internationally as well as regionally in conferences and exhibitions, where promotional material and media information was distributed.

The production of 5500 business card compact disks for the DIABP that provided interactive links to the UN, UN-HABITAT, DM and DIABP websites and including the DIABP promotional film in Arabic and English helped to promote the Award. Copies of Arabic, English, French and Spanish booklets on Rules and Regulations were also distributed.

The second phase of the campaign supported calls for submissions and to encourage and remind submitters of the submission deadlines. Additional coverage was given to East and Central Europe and the Arab region to encourage participants from these regions since the number of submitters, especially in the Middle East was very low.

The translation of rules and regulations of the award into Portuguese language was done in collaboration with IBAM and BLP; over 2000 E-mail messages were issued calling on organisations, institutions, NGO’s, governmental and public organisations to take part in the award. Two senior DM staff participated as part of the TAC’s secretariat in Guangzhou.

Successful handling of the majority of submissions presented from the Arab region, assisting HABITAT in the speedy uploading of Arab submissions on the database.

Establishment of a higher committee charged with the co-ordination and management of all events pertaining to the hosting of 4th award ceremony.

Despite the time constraints DM managed to produce a documentary film on the 10 Award winning practices.

5. ENDA Tiers Monde, Best Practices Regional Centre for French-speaking Africa

The dissemination of the submission guide was made through different methods: First, the guide was sent directly to government Ministries, associations and federations of local authorities and NGOs, in French-speaking African countries. The dissemination of the guide was done by mail, directly during meetings and conferences (local, regional and international) and through electronically.

An awareness campaign was conducted by ENDA through their newsletter (Habitat and Environment or "Lettre Urbaine"); which announced the call for submission and gave the timetable of events. ENDA has also translated the 1996 and 1998 Best Practices into French, which are accessible via: www.

ENDA is also a partner of UN-HABITAT tasked with the establishment of Urban Observatories in West Africa. Its role is:

To collect, manage, compare and interpret information on urban trends and conditions

Identify and evaluate successful urban policies and practices from around the world;

Report on the impacts of urban programmes and plans of action

Create a learning environment for more effective civic engagement and decision- making.

During Urban Observatory training in West Africa, the guide was disseminated to different stakeholders in five countries, and interesting discussions have been held with participants.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg was an opportunity for ENDA to invite a significant number of participants to experience the online version of the Best Practices Database. There was great appreciation of the large number of experiences collected since 1996 and the possibilities for exchange.

6. Government of Spain

During the last year the activity of Spanish Habitat Committee and the Best Practices Working Group has been focused on preparation of the Spanish participation in the IV Cycle of the Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment.

This year, in the light of previous experience, a new category of Good urban governance was defined. It was previously included in Sustainable Territorial And Urban Development. As a result of this call a total of 62 submissions was received and evaluated by a Panel of Experts that pre-selected 30 submissions, the final list was endorsed by the Habitat Committee and constituted their contribution to the IV International Best Practices Award. We received also 12 Updates.

Concerning future activities for 2002-2003 we are preparing:

Publication of the 4th Catalogue of Spanish Best Practices (end of 2002) and a Seminar on Best Practices information exchange and transfers in the event of the presentation of this Catalogue
Development of the Spanish version of the 2002 Best Practices included in the BP Database in the website (http://habitat.aq.upm.es)
Exhibition on "Spanish Best Practices for a more sustainable City"
Case studies and update of the BP 1998 and 2000.
A cooperation was established with the Chilean government who trough its Ministry of Housing and Urban Development has organised a Best Urban Practices Competition based on information we provided to them on our experience, which we hope will be included in the BLP in the future.

7. Ibero-American and Caribbean Forum on Best Practices

An informal plan of action was developed that was implemented during 2002 that concentrated on the preparation and publication of capacity building tools, promoting the transfer of lessons learned from Best Practices, identification of new partners and new parallel sources of funding and improving the quality of practices being sent to the Dubai Award Process from the region.

During the past year the Forum Secretariat elaborated a format to take the information included in a Best Practice as it appears on the Internet and to reduce it to a concise, two-page document easily accessible to the reader yet including all essential information (contact information, a half page summary, practice highlights, lessons learned and transferability). These Narratives were translated into English, Spanish and Portuguese and posted on the Forums home page. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Spanish Insitute for Latin America and Africa (IEPALA), these narratives are being published in book form and will be distributed in the region to promote the exchange of Best Practices knowledge.

Last year the Forum Secretariat, through HABITAT-LAC, cosponsored the regional conference Habitat Brasil 2001. At this conference a number of parallel events were held; those dealing directly with the BLP included the 2001 BLP Steering Committee Meeting, a Poster Session for the presentation of potential Best Practices for inclusion in the Dubai 2002 Award Process and a Special Session on Lessons Learned from the 10 Award Winning Practices of the Dubai 2000 Award.

The Forum started to search for potential Best Practices in August 2001 with the goal of improving the quality of Best practices sent to the Dubai 2002 Award Process. The Forum was successful in attaining both its goals of maintaining a significant number of entries (137) to the Dubai Award and of improving the quality of the documentation of the Practices.

The Ibero-American Greenways Seminar, 23-26 July 2002. The year 2000 Award-winning practice from Spain, the Spanish Greenways Program, held a regional transfer workshop in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia to foster the exchange experiences and ideas of alternative transportation and city greening. As a result Santa Cruz will create a "Greenway", convert unused railroad tracks and stations into walking and biking paths and community centers. The 50 participants pledged to form a network to continue the exchange of information to help establish Greenways across Latin America. This network will form part of the Forum and serve as a Thematic Focal Point for identifying and analysing practices related to transportation.

"Best Practices Urban Environment Guide" based on a general transfer guide developed for the BLP was produced in collaboration with School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) of the University of Columbia, USA. UN-HABITAT oversaw the research of a graduate student from the University of Cornell, USA, who elaborated a publication that analyzed all the projects in the database dealing with the Urban Environmental issues in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

At the moment, a new Memorandum of Understanding is being outlined between the Ministry of Development of Spain and the Regional Office of UN-HABITAT for Latin American and the Caribbean to cover Forum activities during year 2003, providing follow-up to the International Dubai Award 2002.

8. Brazilian Institute for Municipal Administration (IBAM)

IBAM has continued to implement its institutional commitments with BLP and the Ibero-American and Caribbean Forum and consolidate its partnership with CAIXA. It has been focusing its work on improving the quality of Brazilian submissions to DIABP 2002; producing case studies; stimulating transfers and fundraising.

IBAM used its newsletter to announce the 2002 DIABP. 50 submissions were received for the 2002 DIABP. In addition, IBAM assumed the validation of 21 submissions.

As part of dissemination of BLP, IBAM has been exploring various opportunities such as short term courses, workshops and seminars, and distributed 15,000 copies of best practices short notices to Brazilian municipalities. In addition IBAM signed a contract with CAIXA in January 2002 to consolidate partnership. This allows IBAM to keep a permanent working team of several consultants to undertake various activities.

IBAM is in the process of preparing and submitting a technical proposal for creating a Brazilian Urban Environmental Best Practices Programme, under negotiation with the Ministry of Environment, using the contacts, network and information provided by several on-going IBAM environmental projects as part of the new proposal for 2003. The new activities of IBAM include selecting good practices on land tenure and slum upgrading and providing technical assistance to the Municipalities involved in order to ensure high quality documentation of their submissions, in a joint effort with Habitat-LAC. In collaboration with Habitat-LAC, establishment of Best Practices Catalogue is on the way. In addition, IBAM will translate into Portuguese and disseminate the BLP Newsletters, and will undertake fundraising for keeping a permanent Best Practices team; publishing a book, following the example of DPU/UN-Habitat; and finally initiating Corporate Best Practices in Brazil.

9. Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG)

ITDG contributed to the 2002 Award Cycle by actively encouraging and supporting African NGOs to submit their projects through the Shelter Forum. This process is being used to produce a case study book on the contribution by African NGOs to the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. ITDG staff contributed to the validation of African submissions to the 2002 round, and was one of the 14 members of the TAC. Discussions have been initiated with the Municipal Development Programme in Africa, in an effort to encourage local authorities in the continent to document their best practices. In addition, ITDG has been involved in numerous projects with the urban and rural poor in various countries around the world. The lessons emerging from this work are analysed, documented and disseminated through the internet and periodic newsletters. ITDG actively promotes exchanges between various partners to enable exchange of experiences through exchange visits e.g. between India and Kenya in the area of integrated urban development. Links have been established with Slum Dwellers International and building artisans from Nakuru have gone to other towns in Kenya to demonstrate appropriate building technologies to other artisans and residents.

ITDG participated in the Expert Group meeting on urban policies and enabling legislation and contributed some of its experience with revising housing standards and planning regulations into this debate. They also made contributions during the World Urban Forum on various topics, e.g. legislation, scaling up of good practice, and learning between partners and cities. ITDG subsequently became a member of the UN-Habitat led Coalition for Sustainable Urbanisation, in particular for partnerships G (Model City-to-City Co-operation) and H (Learning from Best Practices, Good Policies and Enabling Legislation in support of Sustainable Urbanisation), launched at the WSSD in Johannesburg. ITDG was also represented at a consultation organised by the Building and Social Housing Foundation in June 2002 in the UK, on sustainable housing solutions. The consultation focused particularly on how good practice could be transferred from the margins to the mainstream.

In the pipeline is a series of urban case studies for the Hands On Programme, drawn from the BLP database to be produced in audiovisual multimedia and a publication on appropriate building technologies.

10. Huairou Commission

Through ‘Our Best Practices Campaign’, the Huairou Commission has worked closely with the BLP programme in order to engender its programme. This year, 4 out of 10 awards were given to gender sensitive practices through this partnership.

In the last two years, with the extensive contribution of women’s global network members, the HC contributed 50 submissions to the BP database on grassroots women’s best practices from around the world. In their commitment to globally disseminate knowledge on women’s contributions to problem-solving, the commission has published two books: Advanced Governance through Peer Learning and Networking: Lessons Learned from Grassroots Women by Monika Jaeckel, and Capacity Development of Grassroots networks to become Effective Partners in Local Governance for Poverty Eradication: Lessons from Below. By Sangeetha Purushothaman. These books are based on lessons learnt as well as other global initiatives of the HC.

Another contribution of the commission has been the result of the HC’s taskforce on Our Best Practices, which after a series of reflections produced a list of selection criteria that would be used to engender the Best Practices submission processes. They have also extended this information to the Urban Policies and Legislation Programme on ways of engendering the guidelines and criteria for documenting best practice policies.

Currently, the HC has begun to focus its Best Practices Campaign on topics such as disaster management, AIDS, secure tenure and on engendering local governance.

11. Prague Institute for Global Urban Development

Prague Institute was established recently and will begin operations shortly. It is a non-profit organisation with offices in Prague and Washington D.C. Prague Institute participated actively in the expert group meeting on Urban Policies and Enabling Legislation; the 1st World Urban Forum in Nairobi in May 2002; as well as in the WSSD in Johannesburg in September 2002. The main focus of its contribution to the DIABP and the BLP will be in the area of local and regional economic development.

12. Regional Information Centre (RIC) on Local Government for Southern Africa

In the year 2002 the Centre was involved in the validating process by reviewing a total of 15 submissions. The Centre also distributed the 2002 guidelines electronically as well as in hard copies to over 100 of its stakeholders who are mostly National Associations of Local Government and their members. A number of queries on the BLP programme were received and re directed to UN-HABITAT.

The Centre has developed a format to be used in documenting good local government practices and innovations in the Southern African Region. This will hopefully also work as a way of encouraging submissions for the next cycle of the Dubai International Award and other Good Practices programmes.

The Centre has established and formalized National Focal Points who act as the focal points in the countries and promote the programme further. These focal points together with the Centre could organize pre-submission workshops to strengthen the submissions.

13. University Federico II of Naples - Faculty of Architecture, Department of Conservation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage

The Department, as University institution, is interested in the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme because it recognises the importance that the lesson learned from the integrated conservation practices can be communicated and diffused in order to improve the choices and the actions, especially in the European reality. The main activities of the Department can be resumed as the following:

Updating the BP database including the identification, validation and updating of submissions

Participation to the World Urban Forum, Nairobi, (28 April - 1st May, 2002), where Luigi Fusco Girard was representing the Italian Government.

Organizing the Jury meeting for the Dubai Awards (24-25 June 2002) with the support of the University of Naples, the Municipality of Naples and the Italian Government.

Cycle of lectures on the role of Best Practices as examples for the rehabilitation processes, promoted by Formez (Institute for Training in the South of Italy) with Campania Region, Naples, prof. Luigi Fusco Girard.

Cycle of n.4 lectures on "Habitat Agenda and Local Agenda 21: an integrated approach", course of training for "Experts in Environmental Management of Territory", September 2002, Naples, arch. Maria Cerreta.

Diffusion of the Dubai International Award Guidelines and of Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme among the numerous local authorities of South of Italy, by means of seminars, workshops and meetings.

The Department also published a book together with UN-HABITAT called Habitat Agenda/Agenda Habitat. Verso la sostenibilità urbana e territoriale. The book is a translation of the Habitat Agenda, the Istanbul +5 Declaration and the Dubai Award into Italian and a report and a critical evaluation of some Best Practices on integrated conservation. The book will be presented in different Italian cities with the cooperation of ANCI (Italian Municipality National Association).

After a meeting organized by the municipality of Taranto, a city of South Italy, where the Award winning practice of Hamilton-Wentwoth in Canada was presented, the local authority decided to formalize an agreement among different institutional and civil partners and to define a program of action, in order to transfer the lessons learned for the resolution of the existing conflicts between environment preservation and industrial development. This experience identifies a new field of cooperation between the local civil society, the public institutions, the private sector and the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme.

14. The Together Foundation

The Together Foundation has continued it’s financial support towards the development and maintenance of the Best Practices Database and the Best Practices Intranet by hosting and implementing requested modifications. The Together Foundation, as the principle IT partner is planning to redesign and re-implement the database to make it more user-friendly and attractive to both the end users and the programmers in charge of its development. The estimated cost of implementing this project is US$ 32,000, which TF is committed to contribute. However, there is a proposal for other partners to bear the cost of the graphic design of the web-site.

In the year 2002, the BLP Intranet was re-designed and re-implemented by the introduction of several online services. The first was email, which was first developed for use and was demonstrated to the Steering Committee in Dubai this year. The second and third, are Discussion boards and File Sharing which are currently being tested by the Foundations IT personnel. We hope to complete these tests and make presentations to the partners at the end of this year.

The Foundation also contributed to the validation procedures of the 2002 cycle of Awards early in the year. They promoted for the calls for the awards in the US, as well as encouraging submissions from Venezuela in an effort to increase its number of submissions to the BLP database. Four major universities in Venezuela are committed to submit initiatives and promote the call for BP’s for the next cycle.


15. ComHABITAT: ComHabitat presented its mission which is to further the implementation of the Habitat Agenda in Commonwealth countries. ComHabitat sees best practices as one of the key means by which commonwealth countries and cities can learn from each other and exchange expertise and experience.

16. City of Barcelona, Universal Forum on Cultures: The City of Barcelona, representing also the Universal Forum on Cultures, presented the prominent role that Best Practices will play before, during and after the Universal Forum on Cultures, an event that will take place in Barcelona from May to September 2012. The Forum 2012 will provide, inter alia, space for physical exhibits of best practices; space for town hall meetings and classrooms to discuss lessons learned from best practices; a virtual interactive forum on best practices designed to serve as a portal for best practices including on-line discussion and e-groups, Q&A and on-line submissions; best practice feature films and videos to be broadcast on public TV; best environmental technologies and products; and the use of best practice resource persons to provide inputs to an estimated 50 conferences, debates and seminars. While the City of Barcelona’s involvement in the BLP is initially envisaged for 2 years (up to September 2012) it hopes to establish a Best Practices Centre which will carry on the legacy of the work done for the Forum.


The following are highlights extracted from the activity reports of partners unable to attend the SCM:

17. Centre for Environment and Development for Arab states and Europe (CEDARE):

CEDARE provided the following support to the Dubai International Award for Best Practices DIABP:

In preparation for the 2002 BIABP round, CEDARE had:

Sent invitations for submissions and nominations in Arabic and English;

Distributed the submission guide to potential submitters;

Formulated a link to the DIABP on CEDARE’s website (www.cedare.org.eg) with the Award’s Trophy as a bookmark.

CEDARE received a few submissions, which were all express-mailed to the DIABP Coordinator in Dubai Municipality. However, it is noted that many active NGOs are intimidated by applications and electronic forms. Therefore CEDARE attempts to facilitate the process. In addition, some of the submitters were given feedback and assistance in writing or rewriting and translating their submissions.

CEDARE validated 24 submissions from the Arab States Region, and requested clarifications and additional information from submitters to fulfill the required format and improve their chances of winning, amongst them was the award-winning "Women's Contribution In Sustainable Rural Development, Deir el Ahmar", Lebanon.

18. DelNet (ILO):

19. El Agora - Argentina

Our experience with the 2002 Dubai International Award for Best Practices enabled us to discover new practices and to improve links with Civil Society bodies. In the selection and submissions process, many organizations needed help. El Agora provided as much advice as it could, but was not always able to meet this demand. One of the main problems faced was the language barrier. For this reason we suggest that financial aid should be made available for the translation of future practices, to enable them to participate in the upcoming 2012 DIABP. In the 2002 process, El Agora helped 20 organizations with their translations.

El Agora held three national meetings, in Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Mendoza, inviting NGOs, universities, and municipal, provincial and national government representatives. We showed them the video of the winning Sudan Best Practice. We also held meetings with our networks in Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

El Agora sends a periodic Bulletin to organizations in Argentina with news of events, activities and social practices, which includes a synthesis of the 100 best practices. We believe that sending this information is a valuable source of tested experiences to be shared among the organizations.

20. Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

Through their network of alumni and partners IHS has promoted the submission of Best Practices. In reviewing the list of submissions, the impression is that this promotion yielded the required results. Also, some of the initiatives that were submitted were prepared with direct or indirect support of IHS staff or its network. IHS has also supported the validation process of new submissions.

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has shown over the years its keen interest and support to the Best Practices Initiative. It expressed its support for a contribution of the Best Practices Co-ordinator with the IHS as expert in the Technical Advisory Committee. The expectation was that there would be special recognition of those practices that are pro-poor, reflect bottom-up approaches and promote gender concerns and social inclusion aspects in urban development processes.

IHS would like to indicate that they were very pleased with the work and outcome of the 2002 TAC meeting in Guangzhou. The TAC did an excellent job by including in its selection and short list those Best Practices that demonstrate these concerns.

In IHS courses the Best Practices database is regularly used for case development and analysis. The Best Practices form a regular component in different modules of Masters courses on Urban Management, Urban Environmental Management and Urban Housing, regular 3-month postgraduate diploma courses, 1-month post-graduate certificate courses and special courses organised on demand of different clients. It includes the courses developed and implemented together with partner organisations in different regions of the world.

Regarding the decision of the Florianopolis meeting (2001) where it was agreed that access rights to the database could be shared with other organisations and/or individuals that form part of their network, IHS has implemented a system through which access is provided to the full database by via their web site. Positive feedback has been received on this service, which IHS intends to promote further. (see http://www.ihs.nl and go to ‘publications’).

IHS would like to stress again the importance of marketing of the Best Practices Initiative. In order to sustain the support of partner organizations it is necessary to make partners’ contributions financially viable by generating additional income through joint initiatives in the development of projects and programmes. It is hoped that the BPLP secretariat can take the lead in this.

21. Joslyn Castle Institute (JCI), University of Nebraska

Established in 1996 by the University of Nebraska College of Architecture, the Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities (JCI) is a non-profit corporation that focuses on the built environment to promote sustainable development. The Institute, through its educational, research, and outreach programs, seeks to improve the capacity of communities to address issues of environmental concern in harmony with economic and social development.

JCI, coordinated efforts with Harvard and the Together Foundation to secure updates of all the North American Best Practices.

In the USA, JCI continues to work with the city of Omaha and a local developer to bring best practice urban design and sustainable development to a central city district surrounding a mixed use, rehabilitated housing project. This work is projected to continue for at least the next four years.

They have a funded project to bring awareness, education, and a system of sustainability indicators to a sixteen-county region, across two States, within a 60-mile radius of Omaha, Nebraska. The region is projected to more than double its population by 2050 (to approx. 2.0 million people) and the issues of growth management and environmental and habitat protection become high priority concerns of the public and governments in the region.

Plans with Together Foundation that 2-4 young professionals from Venezuela will be assigned, and supported, to JCI for 12 months, as "JCI Fellows" in 2003 for training and work-study in leadership, sustainability, and community affairs. We will also bring local young professionals into the same curriculum with the international Fellows.

22. Harvard Graduate School of Design - Centre for Urban Development Studies (CUDS):

The Center actively promoted the call for submissions for the 2002 Dubai Award. It provided direct assistance in the preparation of several submissions for programs in South Africa and Latin America, including a practice in Peru, which was eventually selected as a Best Practice - Neighborhood Participation in the District of Santiago de Surco (Peru). In April, the Center validated six projects from Europe and North America that focused on sustainable urbanization.

The Center assisted the South African Ministry of Local and Provincial Affairs in organizing a Best Practices initiative for municipalities participating in South Africa’s Municipal Infrastructure Program. The best initiatives were encouraged to submit nominations to the 2002 Dubai Awards.

The Center continues to collaborate with the Urban Management Program Latin America and the Caribbean (UMP/LAC) and the Habitat Rio office to assess the performance of participatory processes in local governance in Latin America. The field visits undertaken during the review included many Best Practices. New initiatives, which were clearly outstanding were encouraged to apply to the Dubai Award. Case studies have been prepared and are being used in the Center’s International Education Programs, where Best Practices are prominently featured, thereby insuring dissemination and inspiring transfer.

Mona Serageldin and Keith Garner represented the Center at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Center was one of two partners that spoke from the floor in the session on Sustainable Urbanization held on August 27, 2002. In our brief remark, we stressed the importance of the Best Practices Programme in our activities and expressed our commitment to participate in the coalition for sustainable urbanization. Other ongoing activities include identifying potential Best Practices; answering requests for national and international organizations regarding identification and information on Best Practices; recommending practices to be presented at specialized conferences; and encouraging local officials to document their programs.

The Center remains committed to the Best Practices Programme. New areas of collaboration include working with other partners within the framework of the Coalition for Sustainable Urbanization.

23. International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI)

ICLEI undertook a number of activities in support of the 2002 Dubai Awards process, including:

ICLEI announced the 2002 Dubai Awards call for submissions in our organizational newsletter, Initiatives. The newsletter reaches more than 3000 contacts worldwide. The awards were included in several issues of the newsletter including March 2001 and March 2002. A special insert about the awards, their history, sponsors and submission information was included with the November 2001 issue of the newsletter.

The award winners were featured in Initiatives 31, published in July 2002. This issue was widely distributed during the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The availability of the updated database will be included in the upcoming issue of Initiatives.

The Award process and call for submissions were also featured on ICLEI’s website at: http://www.iclei.org/iclei/bpsearch.htm. Information on this page is linked from ICLEI’s homepage that receives tens of thousands of visitors monthly.

ICLEI held an official side event during the Johannesburg Summit entitled Water, Climate and Agenda 21: Action by Local Government.

Upon the generous offer by the BLP, ICLEI distributed a temporary password for the Best Practices Database to all participants at the Local Government Session (over 700 people attended this parallel event of WSSD) and to all ICLEI Members. This will help to make more local government officials around the world aware of the Dubai Awards and Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme.

Completion of a series of case studies, entitled Best Strategies for Accelerating Sustainability, Case Studies of Local Government Success; which features ten comprehensive strategies municipalities are using to accelerate sustainability..

"Resilient Communities" is a programme led by ICLEI in partnership with, among others, the BLP. As a close partner, the BLP will provide best practices case information on community and city resilience to support the program. Possible use of Best Practices Database cases to support other priority areas of Local Action 21.

Progress reports had not been received in time for incorporation in the present report from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) of India, and the International Urban Planning and Environment Association (UPE).



The following sections represent the final decisions and recommendations resulting from each group as they were presented and discussed in plenary.

Working Group I

The agenda of Working Group I included:

New database source code and platform and database capabilities

Revised categories, sub-categories and reporting format for best practices

Updating of existing documented practices

Access to the database and status of new submissions

The decisions listed below were endorsed by the plenary.

1.1 New database source code and platform and database capabilities

It was decided that the Steering Committee would accept the offer of Together Foundation to rewrite the source code and transfer the Best Practices database to a different platform. The rationale for doing so includes: (i) the source code was written in a hasty manner in 1995 and merits major improvements to take advantage of more web and user friendly software, as well as to facilitate future changes and administration; (ii) the choice of platform in 1993 (Oracle), despite its undeniable reliability, has proven to be an overkill with an expected lifetime total of less than 100,000 records compared to its design capacity for tens of millions of records; (iii) it will be more difficult and therefore more costly to revise and update the existing code compared to rewriting new code; (iv) new open source software will enable the Best Practices database to be hardware and OS independent and thus allow for maximum flexibility for changing systems or even reverting to Oracle in the future; (v) since the IPO of Together Networks two years ago, the database has been residing on a leased server; the new system will reside on a server owned by Together Foundation, thus allowing for more flexibility and control.

It was also decided to adopt new search capabilities and functionalities for the new database. These new capabilities and functionalities include, but are not limited to: (i) full Boolean search capability, i.e. the combination of any number of search criteria, e.g. undertaking thematic searches by category or sub-category for a given region, partner(s) involved or scale of intervention; (ii) the creation of new searchable subsets by theme, region, partners involved, year of submission; good, best, short-listed or award-winning practices; (iii) the creation of new facilities to allow for graphics, photos, video clips and scanned (digitalized) reference material, including a link to existing source of mapping information that would provide users with basic reference maps and data such as population of country/city, GDP, etc.;

It was finally decided that in order to avoid time consuming and costly revisions in the course of development, that all decisions regarding new design and functionalities will be finalized by UN-Habitat on behalf of all partners by 31 December 2002. (cf 2.2 below)

1.2 Revised categories, sub-categories and reporting format for best practices

It was decided that the reporting format adopted and approved by the 5th Steering Committee would be used for 2012.

It was also decided to add the new categories of "HIV/AIDS" and "Housing and Human Rights" to respond to growing demand and regarding knowledge and information in these two areas. The sub-categories of both are to be approved by the relevant sub-committee before final inclusion in the guidelines, reporting format and database. (cf 2.2 below)

It was equally decided that sub-categories within a given category that have less than 10-15 records should be merged to rationalize the structure of the database.

It was further decided to postpone the implementation of an on-line submission form, pending further feasibility studies by Together Foundation. The reason for this decision is linked to the length of the form and the time required to fill it out which could prove to be impractical for most submitters.

1.3 Updating of existing practices

It was decided that the new database should enable partners to keep track of original dates of submission and subsequent updates so as to enable users to differentiate between multiple copies of the same submission as well as to facilitate the task of the TAC and Jury.

It was decided that the new database would enable the archiving of non-updated submissions after 5 years. Archived submissions would still be retrievable but singled out by a fainter font accompanied by a notification to the user that information may be outdated.

1.4 Access to the database and status of submissions

It was decided that access to the new database would be free of charge. The rationale for doing so lies in the fact that the volume of on-line sales does not justify the cost of administering an e-commerce facility. Users would, however, be required to register, thus enabling the BLP to keep a record of users.

It was also decided to implement a system whereby submitters could keep track of the status of their submissions. This would require the administration of individual passwords, which could be identical to the country code assigned to each new submission.

Working Group II

The agenda of Working Group II included:

Commitment from laureates

Submission categories and sub-categories

Thematic focus for the Awards

Validation, TAC & Jury

The recommendations listed below are intended for further consideration and/or approval by Dubai Municipality and/or the relevant sub-committees, as appropriate. The decisions were adopted in plenary.

2.1 Commitment of Laureates

It was recommended that the Laureates of the DIABP be requested to commit themselves to certain activities in exchange for the Award and prize money, such as information dissemination about their practices, the BLP and the DIABP; the promotion of transfers; the in-depth evaluation of their practices; etc. They should also inform UN-HABITAT and Dubai Municipality of activities they have carried out and submit updates of their practices for at least two subsequent award cycles (4 years).

Dubai municipality expressed its willingness to support the exchange of the lessons learned from Best Practices and Laureates through ad hoc seminars.

2.2 Submission categories and subcategories

It was proposed that the following pairs of categories should be merged as currently there are many overlaps in the sub-categories under each:

Technology, tools and methods, to merge with Use of Information in decision making;

Land use and management to merge with Urban and Regional planning

It was proposed to add the following categories/sub-categories:

Housing and Human Rights;


Public-Private Partnerships;


An E-group/sub-committee was established to further develop these categories.

It was also recommended that a full text search should be available for everyone to obviate the need for subcategories.

2.3 Thematic focus for the Awards

It was decided that in the interest of maintaining the broad appeal and coverage of the DIABP and the database that no limitations should be made by setting any special thematic focus for the awards. However it is encouraged that partners can informally emphasize different themes of special interest to their region (eg. LAC is interested in slum upgrading).

2.4 Validation, TAC & Jury

It was decided that partners should validate submissions by regional groups prior to TAC. These groups would make recommendations for the TAC about non-qualifiers and validate the practices. The TAC, using regional comparisons then recommends the shortlist of 40 to the Jury.

It was also decided that the TAC should consist of experts on different Best Practice fields, but respecting regional and gender balance. It was recommended that a balance between different stakeholders be also considered for the TAC.

It was decided that Steering Committee members should not participate in the TAC, whose selection criteria remains: Independence, Transparency and Competence, and that any person/organization that has a submission cannot be on the TAC.

It was recommended that either Dubai hosts all the TAC and Jury meetings, otherwise there would be a regional rotation for the meeting places.

Working Group III

Working Group III was devoted to the following issues:

Good Urban Policies & Enabling Legislation

Building bridges with Policymakers

Building bridges with grassroots

Sub-committees and E-groups

Case studies & TOR

Funding and financial strategy

Role and designation of Partners

3.1 Good Urban Policies & Enabling Legislation

After the preliminary analysis on policies resulting from the 2002/2000 short-listed practices was presented, it was decided to organize a demonstration seminar based on the 40 short-listed best practices from the year 2002. Policy makers as well as grassroots organisations related to those practices should be invited to the seminar to give examples how best practices can influence policies or how good urban policies can result in success stories. Grassroots organisations affected by the policy or legislation should be given the opportunity to voice their views on whether the policies identified are good or not.

3.2 Building bridges with Policymakers

It was recommended that a key stakeholder and a partner from each relevant 2002 short-listed practice should be invited to attend the seminar. Each practice should be represented at the decision-making as well as the grassroots levels. This would enable effective dialogue between policy makers and grassroots. It was decided that the seminar should be held approximately one year from now, together with the next SCM.

In parallel, documentation of good policies and enabling legislation continues as a follow to the Expert Group Meeting held in Brasilia in 2001, and submissions are not limited to Best Practices. This exercise provides another opportunity towards building bridges with policy makers.

A sub-committee/E-group was established to ensure follow-up.

3.3 Building Bridges with Grassroots

It was acknowledged that different types of information and formats are needed for grassroots audiences. Target audiences for outreach include:

Leaders of grassroots organizations;

Key information providers;

General/ordinary public at grassroots (rank and file).

It was suggested to start with a small-scale initiative as a pilot initiative before going to scale. Such a pilot could produce multi-media packages to promote Best Practices, (TVE productions are a good example). Packages can include Radio and TV clips, feature stories, pamphlets and follow-up inquiry services. These can also be disseminated through the media. It was also suggested to look into the production of mute videos, without words, which can be globally used/adapted. Community discussions based on the pamphlets, videos /TV/radio programmes could also be promoted.

It was noted that the Universal Forum on Cultures to be held in Barcelona in 2012 will provide an unique opportunity to package BP material for the general public.

It was also suggested that access to database should be made easier. More and more communities are accessing technology-based information. For example, in Senegal, communities are accessing development information in cyber cafes, or community information centers. ENDA has translated the 1996 and 1998 best practices into French and the Government of Spain translates the top 100 best practices from each cycle into Spanish. Additional language versions should be pursued.

It was recommended that partners play a pro-active role in raising the awareness of grassroots organizations of the existence of the database and other tools and instruments developed by the BLP. Special areas of focus could include school programmes and curricula based on best practices; use of best practices by youth associations and organizations in, inter alia, summer camps, exchange visits, etc. This would be facilitated by the decision to provide free universal access to the new database.

It was also recommended that the BLP should explore the possibility of initiating an award/competition for school essays on best practices.

It was further recommended that Award-winning practices include, in their commitments, the raising of awareness of the database, including dissemination to schools and other educational institutions.

3.4 Case Studies

The SCM noted that several partners were engaged in the development and dissemination of case studies. It also noted that this involved different types of case studies ranging from "briefs" or management case studies as developed by DPU, City of Vienna and UN-Habitat, to case studies involving full-fledged ex-post evaluation, as developed by IBAM.

It also noted that the generic TOR developed by UN-Habitat and adapted by IBAM were designed for in-depth evaluation studies and such TOR may not be applicable to other types of case studies.

It further noted the usefulness of casebooks, as exemplified by the series of two casebooks developed and disseminated by DPU/UN-Habitat and recommended that efforts be made to mobilize resources for the development of a series of casebooks.

It decided to establish a sub-committee to review the existing TOR for case studies based on IBAM’s experience and to raise funds for a case study/casebook series that would be one of the hallmarks of the BLP.

3.5 Sub-committees and E Groups

The following sub-committees and their corresponding members were proposed by Working Group 3 and adopted in plenary. Sub-committees would make use of the new Intranet software provided by Together Foundation.

Urban policies and legislation

Case studies

Database, criteria and reporting format

Outreach /Dissemination

Role of partners

Barcelona 2012


Standing Committee for decision-making and for "house keeping" matters

It was decided that the Standing Committee would meet in Nairobi during or immediately following the 19th session of the Governing Council for Human Settlements (May 2003).

3.6 Role and Designation of Partners

Discussions were held on the distinction between thematic and regional partners and whether this distinction was still valid and necessary. The discussions revealed that to date, there was little or no overlap in the role or responsibilities of different partners. The issue of partners’ financial contributions was also raised and it was agreed that UN-HABITAT would make a renewed effort to ensure that partners paid their fees and provide an account of revenues and expenditures in due course for the standing committee.

The partners’ sub-committee/E-group was also established to develop discussion on the roles of partners. Several roles were suggested including:

Getting applicants to submit

Dissemination of information

Link between DIABP and local government and key link within the country

Fund raising and financial matters

Capacity building for submitters

Working with communities to spread information to grassroots level

Case studies /policy research/evaluation


Other partners’ issues to be discussed include: How many partners are needed? What accountability mechanisms should be adopted? How to deal with inactive partners? How to interest more private sector partners?

I was decided that financial reporting would become the first substantive item on the agenda of the 2003 SCM as the same issues regarding finances and partners’ contributions re-appear at each meeting with insufficient time and attention devoted to discussion and decisions.

3.7 Translations

Translation was acknowledged as being crucial to wider participation in, and transfers of Best Practices. Partners are encouraged to assist in identifying most relevant materials for translation in each local context, and to assist in translating practices, database and case studies.


The following recommendations were adopted in plenary for consideration by the Board of Trustees of the DIABP:

Recommendation 1: To increase the number of Awards from 10 to 12 and the shortlist from 40 to 48. The rationale for this recommendation is based on the fact that there are more and more countries adopting national competitions for best practices as well as a growing number of other sustainability awards that are forwarding their best submissions to the TAC and Jury. As the TOR for members of the TAC and Jury stress that the selection process be based on the absolute and relative merit of each submission, there is and will be a tendency for submissions resulting from national competitions and other award systems to be better documented, and more compliant with the DIABP criteria and reporting format, and thus have a stronger chance of being selected as Award-winning practices. This trend is already observable with laureates having been chosen from Brazil China, India and Spain, countries that organize annual national best practice competitions, in each of the preceding three cycles. This reduces the scope for the Jury to provide recognition to other regions and sub-regions that are just beginning to be aware of the DIABP. This was notably the case with Central and Eastern Europe, which failed to be represented in the short-list for 2002 despite having submitted several worthy practices.

Recommendation 2: To amend the Rules and Regulations of the DIABP to include a clause of "Full Disclosure" on behalf of members of the TAC and the Jury so as to avoid any conflicts of interest. Failure to comply would entail automatic disqualification of concerned practices and/or revocation of the Award.

Annex I: List of Participants

1.Brazilian Institute for Municipal Administration

Ms. Marlene Fernandes

1-Humaita, 22271 070 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fax: (55 21) 5371262; Email: ibam@ibam.org.br
Web: http://www.ibam.org.br

2. Best Practices Hub - City of Vienna
Ms. Ariane Mueller
Viktorgasse 22, 1040 Vienna, Austria
Tel: (43 1) 5055311, Fax: (43 1) 50553114
Email: zukunfts.station@adis.at
Web: http://www.bestpractices.at

3. Com-Habitat
Mr. Azim Manji
Tel. +44-207 7476385; Fax: +44-207 747 6168
E-mail: MANJIA@commonwealth.int

4. Ms. Habiba Al Marashi (co-chair)
Board of Trustees, DIABP
Emirates Environmental Group
P.O. Box 7013, Dubai, UAE
Tel (+971) 4 331 8100, Fax (+971) 4 332 8500
E-mail: eeg@emirates.net.ae /
Web: www.eeg-uae.org

5. Nagy Sedra, Coordinator
Dubai International Award for Best Practices
P.O. Box 67, Dubai, UAE
Tel: (+971) 4 206 4414 / 221 5555
Fax: (+971) 4 222 1319 / 224 6666
E-mail: info@dm.gov.ae / dubai-award@dm.gov.ae
Web: http://dubai-award.dm.gov.ae

6. ENDA Tiers Monde
Ms. Khady Diagne
4 & 5 rue Kléber, BP 3370, Dakar, Senegal
Tel: (221-8) 216027 / 224229; Fax: (221-8) 222695
Email: rup@enda.sn Web: http://www.enda.sn

7. Government of Spain
Ms. Marta Garcia Nart
Ministerio de Fomento del Gobierino de Espagna,
Madrid, Spain
Fax: (34 1) 597-5884; Email: mgnart@mfom.es

8. Huairou Commission
Dr. Sangeetha Purushothaman,
Director, Best Practices Foundation
Tel: 91 80 5301861
E-mail: bpfound@bgl.vsnl.net.in

9. Intermediate Technology Development Group
Mr. Theo Schilderman
Tel: +44 (0) 1926 - 634472 / 634400;
Fax: + 44 (0) 1926 - 634401
Email: theos@itdg.org.uk URL: http://www.itdg.org

10. Shelter Forum, Kenya
Mr. Elijah Agevi
Tel : 254 2 713540; Fax: 254 2 710083
E-mail: Elijah@itdg.or.ke

11. Regional Information Centre on Local Government (Southern Africa)
Ms. Gertrude Ngenda, Coordinator
86 Selous Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Tel 263-4-701458/700532
Email: info@locgovinfo.co.zw
gngenda@locgovinfo.co.zw /
Web: http://www.locgovinfo.co.zw

12. Together Foundation
Ms. Martha Vargas, Executive Director
113 East 64th Street, Suite # 2
New York, NY 10022, USA
Tel: (1-212) 879 9334; Fax: (1 212) 879 9440
Email: martha_vargas@together.org
Web: http://www.together.org

13. Together Foundation
Mr. Jesus Mogollon
Email: jmogollon@efcholdings.com
Web: http://www.together.org

14. University of Naples "Federico II",
Department of Conservation of
Environmental and Architectural Assets
Professor Luigi Fusco Girard
via Roma, 402 - 80132 Naples, Italy
Tel: 0039 081 2538761; Fax: 0039 081 2538649
Email: girard@unina.it / cerreta@unina.it
Web: http://www.unina.it

15. Prague Institute

Dr. Marc Weiss, Chairman & CEO
Tel: (1-202) 554 58 91
E-mail: marcaweiss@earthlink.net / MarcWeiss@pragueinstitute.org

16. Forum 2012 Barcelona
Mr. Damian Onses
Tel: (34) 93 320 9052
E-mail: docardona@barcelona2004.org
Un-Habitat (Co-Chair)

17. Ms. Anne Klen, Best Practices JPO

18. Ms. Wandia Seaforth, Best Practices Officer

19. Mr. Nicholas You, Chief

Best Practices & Policies Section
Tel : 254-2-623029 Fax : 254-2-623080
E-Mail : bestpractices@unhabitat.org

Annex II

Conference Programme

International Seminar on Learning from Best Practices

2-3 November 2002

Day 1: 2 November 2002

09h30: Opening ceremony

Welcome address by Dubai Municipality, Obaid Al Shamsi

Working methods and agenda, Nicholas You (UNCHS)

10h00: Cluster I - Living Together

Gender and Citizenship Programme for Social Inclusion, Santo Andre, Brazil
Mother Centre International Network, Germany
Humanitarian News Agency, Argentina
Panel Discussion
12h00-13h00: Lunch break

13h00-15h30: Cluster II - Making cities work

Action Plan for Sustainable Guangzhou, China
Livable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP) for the Greater Vancouver Regional District, Canada
Protection and rehabilitation of the Historical world Heritage, Santiago, Spain
Area Based Assessment Of Property Tax in Patna, Bihar, India
Panel discussion
Day 2: 3 November 2002

08h30-10h00: Cluster III - Making communities work

Relocation Of Backyard Tenants, Walvis Bay, Namibia
Women's Contribution to Sustainable Rural Development, Deir el Ahmar, Lebanon
Panel discussion
10h00-11h00: Inauguration of the replica of the DIABP trophy

11h30-12h30: Cluster III (cont’d)

Programme for the Protection of the Environment, Cotonou, Benin
Panel Discussion
12h30-13h00: Conclusions

Summation of lessons learned

Annex III

Membership in the Standing Committee and Sub-committees

Standing Committee

Best Practices Hub- Vienna
Dubai Municipality
Government of Spain
Huairou Commission
University of Naples
Prague Institute
Together Foundation
Sub-committee on Outreach and Dissemination

ENDA Tiers Monde
Huairou Commission
Prague Institute
Regional Information Centre for Local Government (Southern Africa)
Subcommittee on Barcelona 2012

Government of Spain
Huairou Commission
Prague Institute
Together Foundation
Subcommittee on Urban Policies & Enabling Legislation

Huairou Commission
Prague Institute*

Subcommittee on case studies and guidelines

Best Practices HUB - Vienna
Huairou Commission
Subcommittee on New Database

Government of Spain
Together Foundation*
Subcommittee on Finance

Best Practices HUB - Vienna
Dubai Municipality
Together Foundation*
All of the above-mentioned subcommittees will form part of new e-groups to be established on the BLP Intranet. Members will automatically be notified of new postings and entries through their normal e-mail addresses. All discussions will be visible to all members.

(*) denotes moderator of the e-group

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