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Best Practices Steering Committee

Report of the 2000 Annual Meeting

Dubai, 20 - 21 November, 2000

Executive Summary

The Best Practices Steering Committee held its fourth meeting in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 20-21 November 2000 at the invitation of the Municipality of Dubai, with 12 partners participating. Eight members presented their excuses for not participating owing to the change of dates and asked UNCHS to present their reports and recommendations on their behalf. The meeting began with each partner presenting their activity reports for the 1999-2000 period and the issues they wished to have discussed. Issues raised were grouped under two working groups for further discussion: (i) Issues concerning Best Practices themselves including their criteria, identification, documentation, compilation in the database and their transfer; and (ii) issues concerning the steering committee and the relationship among partner institutions and internal organization.

The key recommendations and decisions made by the Steering Committee included (i) third category of "promising practices" for submissions that meet the 3 major criteria but have been eliminated by the TAC while the "Best category" practices should meet the 3 major criteria + one of non-excluding criteria; (ii) lead questions be included in the narrative section of the submission guidelines and where applicable include examples and methods used for transferring knowledge and experience; (iii) cases that have not been updated for two rounds should be archived with the exception of those practices dealing with one-time issues such as disaster rehabilitation while partners should each report on one transfer per cycle that has been initiated or completed; (iv) include in the 2001-2002 Plan of Action a specific fundraising effort for each regional center to prepare at least one case study and undertake translations; (v) updated practices can only be eligible for the award if the projects have shown the adoption of one or more additional award criteria while the 1996 applicants should be given the opportunity to update before their best practices are archived; (vi) All partners should in future include their financial reports in their reports in addition to paying their membership fees; (vii) A committee should be formed to work on expanding the use of the intranet focussing on how partners might work together to improve existing transfer tools;

The decisions adopted included working directly with the two HABITAT campaigns because they are linked formally to national committees for Istanbul+5. A subcommittee was formed to address the issue of maintaining the information in the database. It was agreed that an additional category of practices, "Promising Practices", be added to the database. Partners would in future accept to evaluate those practices assigned by the Secretariat and be permitted to evaluate additional practices they have professional interest in analyzing. It was also decided that Practices that are updated would only move up in category if they showed that an additional Best Practice Criteria has been met and/or have brought about a significant improvement in meeting an existing criteria. After a Partner has met its initial two-year contribution requirement of US $ 10,000, their dues should be reduced to US $ 1,000 to allow them direct their own funds towards undertaking activities that the Steering Committee agrees to implement. The Steering Committee agreed that they should meet every two years in Dubai to coordinate the Laureates Forum.

DAY ONE: 20 NOVEMBER 2000

I. OPENING CEREMONY


Following opening remarks by UNCHS and Dubai Municipality the 2000 Steering Committee meeting was officially opened.

II. PARTNERS REPORTS

Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme


The BLP reported that the submission process for the year 2000 was, without a doubt, an improvement over previous rounds in terms of quality, quantity and regarding geographical representation with an unprecedented 703 practices submitted to the TAC for review. The Secretariat also reported on the success a global Best Practices conference organized since the last Steering Committee Meeting: the Chengdu International Conference on learning from Best Practices. Recommendations to the steering committee were also forwarded from the 2000 TAC Meeting that had to deal with an unprecedented number of submissions. Observations include:


There is a clear trend towards better quality and more complete submissions, including financial reports;


There is a clear trend towards more comprehensive and city-wide practices that cover several thematic areas and sectors and the issue of urban governance;


The DIABP is becoming more well known and will likely solicit more submissions;


An increasing number of submissions are involved in, or are the result of, the transfer of knowledge, expertise and experience from other practices;


The use of the Best Practices Database is growing rapidly and the experiment with giving out free passwords confirms the use could expand dramatically if the database were made free of charge;


UNCHS has begun to mainstream Best Practices knowledge and examples into various other programs as well as to transfer this knowledge to other UN agencies.

Observations from the 2000 TAC Meeting


Faced with an unprecedented number of practices for review, the 9 member TAC offered the following observation to the 2000 SCM:


Due to the large number of practices for review, the process became exclusionary as opposed to inclusionary as in past selection processes. Nearly 45 percent of practices were eliminated from those presented although they met the minimum requirement of a Best Practice because given the TAC guidelines to determine between Good and Best based on absolute and relative merit, practices that were relatively less innovative or far reaching were eliminated from the database. The TAC recommends that if the SC would like to continue to maintain a database that is inclusive in order to stimulate the exchange of experience, it should adopt more specific criteria or additional categories for practices included in the Best Practices Database including a third category on "Promising Practices".

Joslyn Castle Institute, University of Nebraska


Joslyn Castle proposed the formation of a summer institute for university age students associated with BLP partner institutions;


The Institute lamented receiving relatively few practices for validation in its field of expertise, architectural urban design. It expressed the desire to review more practices in the future and questioned the process of assignment of validations overall;


The idea of the harmonization of various award systems was also put on the table given the large number of Awards being offered in similar areas;


Finally, in response to observations made by Joslyn Institute cautioned against the BLP adopting the Center’s use of norms to refer to lessons learned and instead proposed sustainability or another term.

Dubai Municipality


Dubai Municipality commented on the growth of awareness of the Award mentioning that over 770 practices were received in 2000 and expect both the quantity and quality of practices to increase in future rounds;


In their view it was important for the steering committee to address the questions of validation and translation of the practices during the SCM 2000;


It was mentioned that the reports should comply with the terms of reference and that new partners should be identified to participate on the SC.

The Together Foundation


The Together Foundation viewed their validation experience as successful while noted that they could have handled a larger load of validations;


The Foundation organized an event at UN Headquarters in New York on the occasion of World Habitat Day with the participation of the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates as well as many other Member States representatives;


The pursuit of corporate sponsors for the database was undertaken since the last SCM although little concrete success was archived on this front;


The Database has shown a doubling of hits over the last year and the intranet now has 70 regular users;


Together Foundation reported the need to redesign both the CD-ROM and the database web-site to reflect the growing amount of information contained in them and the need to raise funds for this undertaking.

Huairou Commission


The Huairou Commission noted that the reporting format is not favorable for the collection of practices undertaken by grass-roots organizations due to its complicated format and technical language and mentioned that during the last round it had to raise money to aid these type of organizations document their experiences. It suggested a more open reporting format that resembled the telling of their "story" incorporating quotes from the submitter suggesting that this type of format would appear less as an exam and more as a narrative;


It was mentioned that Huairou has learned that it often takes a full half day for participants to internalize the lessons learned from a Best Practice and suggested that transfer workshops should allow for considerably more time for the exchange of ideas for each participating experience;


It furthermore reiterated the importance of face to face, peer learning as a much more effective method for transferring knowledge then through the dissemination of written materials.

ICLEI


ICLEI coordinated the celebration of 36 Conferences and/or workshops with cities around the world since the last SC that all addressed in one way or the other Best Practices, the most important of which was the "World Congress" celebrated last June;


The organization has some 400 case studies documented and posted on its web-site that tend to be grouped by theme. One of its future activities would be to combine them all into one searchable database with links to partners pages that also have case studies posted on their home pages;


Regarding the validation process, ICLEI observed that they needed more time to properly complete the exercise given the large number of practices they were assigned for evaluation.

Best Practices Hub - City of Vienna


Noting that it had become a formal partner since the last SC, the City of Vienna identified itself as the regional SC Member for Central and Eastern Europe;


Citing a large number of awards related to best practices and sustainable development in general, it was suggested the BLP or the SC could work to harmonize these awards, distinguishing one from another while at the same time working together noting that they received many interesting experiences from potential Best Practices that were documented according to the specifications of other award processes;


It was noted that the City of Vienna was capable of handling a much larger number of validations, mentioning that all the municipalities departments with there different expertise would be interested in validating practices in the future;


The City also held various Best Practices workshops since the last SC related to the transfer of technologies and knowledge. Furthermore it encouraged partners to contact them regarding potential transfers of Best Practices as the City had at its disposal European Union funds for such undertakings if they were to successfully submit a proposal to this body;


It was suggested that the Data Base could be redesigned to make it more service oriented including such services as a technical experts database, etc, to make the web-site a one-stop shop on sustainable development for users;


Finally the City stated that they were unable to locate clear guidelines for the production of case studies and suggested that partners both undertake them and define what the BLP considers a case study.

CEDARE


Regarding the documentation process, CEDARE mentioned that the reporting format presented certain difficulties for many small NGOs and municipalities. It also noted the difficulties involved in handholding and translating submissions. CEDARE reported submitting 20 practices to the Dubai Award Process in 2000 and evaluating 17. The evaluation process however overwhelmed the organization as it required too much staff time;


CEDARE suggested that the partners discuss the possibility of identifying funding, individually and in conjunction with other partners, to assist partners in the translation of submissions to the award;


A stronger marketing strategy that would spotlight the value of Best Practices was requested to build more awareness of the BLP and of the Dubai Award especially in developing countries and to increase the interest in and use of Best Practices; likewise, the BLP should encourage the use of the database and Best Practices knowledge by other UNCHS programmes, especially the two global campaigns, as well as by other UN agencies;


Finally CEDARE advised that the Laureates Forum should be redesigned to include the participation of those organizations and individuals that could benefit from learning from these experiences.

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


As a new member, the University explained that the mission of the Department of Conservation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage is integrated conservation in design restoration and urban planning especially regarding economic aspects;


It was noted that when attempting to transfer such concepts and projects as Agenda 21 to partners in southern Italy one difficulty was overcoming the fact that the concept was unknown in the region;


Furthermore it was stressed that the Habitat Agenda was a way to transform social discussion into action through the transfer of experience to local governments and other actors;


Finally the University stressed that in order to transfer knowledge and implement a successful project, priorities had to be established and accepted by all to reduce conflict.

Enda Third World, Best Practices Regional Center for French Speaking Africa


Enda mentioned a key difficulty in translating practices into English. It was suggested that funding be mobilised to enable practices and partners to better undertake this important activity. It stressed that at present the lack of resources for translation severely undercuts the participation of French-speaking African countries as well as many other regions of the world;


Also regarding the language issue, Enda suggested that the existing French versions of Best Practices be recognized and linked to the Best Practices Web-site so as to facilitate its use;


In order to generate interest in the Award Process as well as in use of the Database, ENDA published relevant newsletters, published articles in the printed press, radio interviews and announced the call for documentation to its many partners in the region.

International Urban Planning and Environmental Association


As a new member, the Association presented its overall goal as working to bring the abstract world of academia into joint work and exchange of experience with the real world of policy makers and to this through the holding of meetings and conferences and the publication of books and articles. Current research to develop courses on urban development is being undertaken to stimulate the transfer of ideas between academics and policy makers working on urban development;


Furthermore, a restructuring of the organization was explained which consisted in the formation of a regional, European branch of the organization with the hope that working at the regional level would improve and expand the work being undertaken by the global organization;


Participation in the SC meeting was mainly exchange ideas as to how the organization could work together with BLP Partners and to determine how it would fit within the SC; publishing, policy analysis and organising Best Practices courses were all offered as possibilities.

Iberoamerican and Caribbean Forum on Best Practices


The Forum explained that through the distribution of funds conceded by its sponsor (Government of Spain) to its 6 subregional nodes, the Forum was able to activate its network in Latin America and the Caribbean to identify nearly three hundred potential practices, 170 of which were included in the database, nearly doubling the number of submissions from the region during the last round in 1998;


Other activities undertaken were the formation of a Municipal Focal Point that identified some 70 practices with participation of municipal governments and the selection, along with other BLP partners such as Harvard, Spain and the BLP Core Program of 30 practices of which short case studies were elaborated in Spanish, English and Portuguese and posted on the internet. These case studies served as the background material for a Forum Seminar on Best Practices held during the Florianopolis "Habitat Brasil 2000" Conference as well as for a parallel electronic conference on the same theme;


The Forum underlined the need to identify funding for the translation of submissions noting that nearly all arrived on or near the deadline for submission pointing out that, apart from funding, time represents a problem for the quality documentation of Best Practices from non-English speaking countries; also related to language issues, the Forum noted that other language version of the database are not complete and that links indicating them should specify such as to avoid confusion; the Forum proposed that the BLP actively search for sponsorship, with the help of partners, for creating a mechanism that would allow potential practices to submit directly in their own languages;


Fundación Habitat Colombia, Forum Node for the Andino Group of countries, also underlined the importance of transfers, suggesting that partners need to identify the demand for Best Practice knowledge, link it with documented practices and work together to effectuate effective transfers through the joint raising of funds;


Other regional and thematic partners were invited to work with the forum to implement transfers of practices from outside the region into Latin America and the Caribbean suggesting that it was able to generate parallel funding at the local level for such activities and mentioned that in its Action Plan for 2001 transfers were a major component of its work;


Recognizing the great networking capacity of the Intranet, the Forum suggested that partners could each agree to host an electronic event on web-site, one per month, to invigorate its use;


Finally, the Forum suggested that the Steering Committee be held during the November, 2001 Habitat Brasil 2001 Conference that it will be coordinating with local sponsors, as well as, the celebration of a Laureates Forum of the ten Award Winning Practices from 2000 to hold a seminar on the transfer of Best Practices knowledge.

III. Reports of New Partners

To begin with the Chairman announced the future activities of new SC Partner Institutions

Arab Urban Development Institute AUDI


This new partner has agreed to translate the top 100 Best Practices from the 2000 Dubai Award into Arabic as its first activity as member of the BLP Steering Committee.
The Municipal Development Program of Africa


This new partner will serve as a subregional Best Practice node for Southern and Eastern Africa

Islamic University of Gaza


This new partner will chiefly be involved with the analysis and transfer of knowledge to effect policy making

IV. REPORTS OF PARTNERS NOT ATTENDING THE 2000 TAC

The following are recommendations extracted from the Activity reports of partners unable to attend the 2000 SC that were presented by the Meeting Chairman.


Following the introduction of new SC Partner Institutions, the Chairman presented the activity reports of those institutions that so requested and whom excused their absence at the 2000 SC meeting.

DPU


DPU has received a grant for the United Kingdom to elaborate and publish a book on lessons learned from Best Practices to produce a Poster for dissemination and to produce the 2001 CD-ROM of the Best Practices database.

IBAM


Given that IBAM identified over seventy practices for submission during the DIABP 2000 process it has decided to concentrate on increasing the quality of practices identified rather than quantity in future rounds;


It also reported on the formation of an Award Process and Best Practice Database at the national level through building a relationship with the Caixa Economica Federal of Brazil which, together with IBAM, awarded 10 Brazilian practices which were later submitted to the DIABP 2000;


IBAM stressed the need to keep practices involved in the program through distribution of newsletters and other contacts to help maintain the database updated;


Funding for case studies, capacity building and transfers should be identified so that each regional and thematic center could undertake this important activity;


IBAM observed the scant use of the intranet, which it considers to be a powerful networking tool, and requests the subject be addressed during the SCM 20000;


HABITAT support is requested regarding the submission of non-English language practices as the regional and thematic centers are unable to translate all practices received and pointed out that capacity building tools also need to be translated;


IBAM suggested that a venue for the 2001 SCM be determined during the present meeting and offered its help in locating funding for such a meeting in Brazil.

Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies IHS


To begin with it was stated that IHS has incorporated the Best Practices Database into the regular curriculum of its Masters Degree Program forming a regular component in different modules of their urban studies programs;


IHS strongly recommends that the SC maintain the current reporting format as it makes the experiences highly comparable and useful in research and analysis of both specific experiences and global trends;


IHS also suggests that practices that have not been updated recently be archived as it lessens the value of the database;


It was requested that partners review the status of paying partner fees to determine if it would be possible to lower them through the identification of alternative sources of funding the Program.

Harvard University


After reviewing the BLP Activity Report, Harvard informed the secretariat that it is in agreement with the recommendations made by the secretariat to the SC.

Government of Spain


The Government of Spain held once again its national competition to support the identification of Best Practices in the country with success, 48 practices were identified, one receiving the Dubai Award, furthermore, it continued to actively participate on the Secretariat of the Iberoamerican and Caribbean Forum on Best Practices, held conferences on Best Practices and is currently translating the top 100 Best practices from 1996 through 2000 for posting on the internet and elaborating the publication of a book version of the same;


Spain recommends changing the Award Process from a two year cycle to a three year one as the time between each Award is too short to effectively undertake other related activities;


Suggests that updates only be considered for the award if they show an important change in focus or scale.

DAY TWO: 20 NOVEMBER 2000

V. WORKING GROUPS 1 AND 2:

REPORTS AND OUTSTANDING ISSUES


Partners are grouped into two - Working Groups 1 and 2, the first addressing issues dealing with Best Practices per se and the second with the Steering Committee itself, agreeing to meet in plenary once their discussions were complete.


Reports were presented to the plenary and clarification was sought on recommendations made by each working group.

VI. WORKING GROUP ONE REPORT:


CRITERIA AND CATEGORIES

A.1 Issue: "Promising practices" category

Recommendation from TAC: Include a third category of promising practices with a possible search for another term.

A.2 Issue: Quality vs. inclusiveness of database

Present major criteria - Impact, Partnership, and Sustainability

Present additional criteria - Leadership & community empowerment, Gender and social inclusion

Recommendation: There should be a new category called "promising practices". For submissions that meet 3 major criteria.

"Best category" should meet 3 major criteria + one of non-excluding criteria.

New non-excluding criteria: Innovation within local context and Transferability

Raised in Plenary

For Leadership and community empowerment, "spin-off effect" should be included in the definition of this criterion.

Changes to the reporting format:

A.3 Issue: Simplicity of form vs. more information to evaluate report against criteria

Recommendations: (See Submission Guide for specific wording recommendations)


Include issues of governance and civil rights in the form of lead questions under PROCESS.


Reference to policies and strategies for citywide development, where appropriate, to be added as a lead question under FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES


Reference to tools, methods, and/or benchmarks used for assessing performance, to be added to PROCESS.


Examples and/or means and methods used for sharing/transferring knowledge, expertise and experience, where appropriate to be added to TRANSFERABILITY

A.4 Issue: Automatic classification of submissions as "good practice" if the submission meets the criteria adopted in Decision II/7 of the Second Preparatory Meeting for Habitat II:

Recommendation: Not recommended.

A.5 Issue: Updating the database

Recommendation: Cases that have not been updated for two rounds should be archived with the exception of those practices dealing with one-time issues such as disaster rehabilitation.

B. CASE STUDIES AND TRANSFERS

B.1 Issue: Goal of effecting one transfer

Recommendation: Partners should each report on one transfer per cycle that has been initiated or completed. This exercise should be used as a learning process - with the results of the initiatives to be discussed at the next meeting.

B.2 Issue: Fundraising effort for regional centers for at least one case study each.

Recommendation: Proceed as described include in the 2001-2002 Plan of Action a specific fundraising effort to enable each regional center, with the collaboration of the appropriate thematic center, to prepare at least one case study.

C. SUBMISSION AND EVALUATION PROCESS

C.1 Issue: Three-year cycle

Recommendation: Continue with two-year cycle.

C.2. Issue: translations: Cost plus large number of languages vs. inclusion of as many submitters as possible.

Recommendation: Partners should encourage DIA applicants to submit in English.

Core team should cooperate with partners to make the effort to raise funds for translations.

C.3. Issue: Strengthening the validation process

Recommendation: Does not apply

C.4. Issue: Differences between new submissions and updates

Recommendation: Updated practices can only be eligible for the award if the project has shown the adoption of one or more additional award criteria.

D. STRUCTURE OF THE DATABASE

D.1. Issue: Allowing submissions to be more than 3 categories

Recommendation: Continue as it is - limit choice to a maximum of 3 categories.

D.2. Issue: Opportunity for 1996 submissions to update before being archived

Recommendation: 1996 applicants should be given the opportunity to update before best practice is archived.

D.3. Issue: Language versions of the database

Recommendation: For each link to different language databases there should be an explanation of what the database contains as many users will be disappointed by the limited number of practices in French and Spanish.

D.4. Issue: Review of database

Recommendation: Add a field to the submission format titled "Technical experts/consultants" and add the name of city/town to title of project

LINK BETWEEN BEST PRACTICES AND UNCHS CAMPAIGNS
E.1. Recommendation: Formal links should be established between best practices and UNCHS campaigns

F. PARTNERS WORKING TOGETHER


F.1. Identification of potential cities/towns/groups for transfers.

VII. WORKING GROUP TWO REPORT:

Issues Addressed:


STEERING COMMITTEE ISSUES:

G.1. Issue: Steering Committee Working Relationship: The SC should systematize how its partners are working together and learning from each other

Recommendations:


Partners should involve each other in their events, meetings and programs, for example, Joslyn Castle summer program for youth and Huairou New York Women's Meeting.


Analyse how SC works to discover exactly what is the SC as a body, is it diverse enough, are their missing links in the network? The benefits associated with expanding the SC are large both for the expansion of networking opportunities as well as being a financial asset. It was recognized that a new partner from Asia needs to be identified.


The SC should meet every two years in Dubai in conjunction with the Award Ceremony and involve itself in the organization of the Laureates Forum in order to restructure the event to make it a more effective learning process. Group Two suggested that this could be done by identifying more active and focussed Chairs to moderate presentation of winning practices, through using the media to interface with practices, by sending practices questionnaires to be responded to in advance of the Forum and to group practices in round table discussions to foster the exchange of information, technology and knowledge. Finally, a more active participation in the Forum would enable the SC to extract similarities in the processes employed by the different practices.


It was observed that many partners did not included financial reports in their reports and recommended that all do so in the future. It was also noted that few partners paid the membership fees, given this situation, it was recommended that the constitution of the Steering Committee be discussed to determine if it needs to be changed.

G.2. Issue: Transfer of Best Practices Knowledge: The SC should develop transfer tools and actively support the exchange of BP Knowledge

Recommendations:


Peer to peer learning was considered the most effective means of generating the transfer of knowledge among practices as it directly fosters the "internalization" of knowledge and experience.


Partners should work to expand the lessons being learned from transfers beyond the experiences of the 10 Award winners by concentrating on the experiences of practices that have already documented transfers analyzing the synergy of the transfer as well as the intercultural questions addressed.


Conferences and workshops should be organized so that partners might invite similar practices to exchange information face to face in small groups tailored to specific topics.


Their are many awards world-wide that deal with certain aspects of the Dubai Award, given that the BLP and the Dubai Award have a high visibility, the BLP should determine the differences and similarities between these awards to harmonize the process at the global level as well as to differentiate the Dubai Award from other "best practices" awards and activities.

G.3. Issue: Use of the BLP Intranet: The Intranet represents an important opportunity for the BLP and needs to be better taken advantage of.

Recommendation:


A committee should be formed to work on expanding the use of the intranet focussing on how partners might work together to improve existing transfer tools.


Award winning practices should be requested to provide regular updates on their experiences as well as to document any policy changes that may arise. A work group should be formed to develop a template for the submission of updates on a continuous basis. These updates will be posted both on the practices’ homepages.


The celebration of the Steering Committee, as well as the holding of a meeting of the ten 2000 Award Winning Practices in Florianopolis, Brazil in November of 2001 should be developed and structured by the Steering Committee via the Intranet.


Funding should be sought by both the Secretariat and the Partner Institutions to hold conferences, projects, newsletters, etc. on the Intranet


It was observed that the power of the Intranet is not its Email function but rather that it allows partners to act as administrators of topics and documents put on the homepage in a simple efficient fashion as the use of HTML is not required. The Intranet permits partners to work together on unfinished projects such as the development of Terms of Reference documents for proposed activities and projects, case studies, etc.

VIII. FINAL PLENARY SESSION: OUTSTANDING ISSUES

Decisions adopted:

H.1. The BLP and other HABITAT Programs

The BLP should work directly with the two HABITAT campaigns because these are linked formally to national committees for Istanbul + 5. Best Practices already figures largely in many of the National Reports which should reflect in the agenda items that are to be dealt with during Istanbul + 5. The transfer of Best Practice knowledge and experience is very present on the agenda, including a draft resolution. Istanbul + 5 represents a good opportunity to link existing BPs to policy and decision making and the Steering Committee should determine how this may most effectively be undertaken.

H.2. Non-updated Practices still in the database

A subcommittee was formed to address the issue of maintaining the information in the database current composed of the following Partners:


City of Vienna - Eastern Europe


Dubai Municipality - Arab Countries


Joslyn Castle - North America


Together Foundation - North America


Iberoamerican Forum - LAC

The subcommittee should take the following points into consideration when undertaking their work on the Intranet:


Any project that was successfully completed, such as a post-disaster project, should not be eliminated or archived as the problem addressed and the lessons learned remain valid.


Technical contacts are especially important for updating information as political contacts change more frequently making it more difficult to contact practices to request they update their information.


The elimination or archiving of practices should be evaluated in a standard form on a case by case basis, as the practices were included in the database through an evaluation process.

H.3. Categories of practices included in the database

In response to the Technical Advisory Committee suggestion that an additional category of practices, Promising Practices, be added to the database so as to avoid the excessive exclusion of practices, the Steering Committee had the following observations:

While the general principal was accepted, the term "promising" was cause for debate. The addition of a topic needs to be further debated by partners via the intranet. It was suggested the Secretariat address the following issues:


During the 2000 TAC Committee Meeting many good, albeit, common practices were eliminated due to the sheer number of practices presented, this is considered to be neither fair nor inclusionary by the SC.


TAC Criteria needs to be reviewed and perhaps changed: presently the TAC evaluates practices on three criteria, Does the practices meet the three Basic Best Practice criteria, absolute merit and relative merit.


Nine people cannot evaluate more then seven hundred practices in a few days so either the number of members or the duration of the TAC needs to be expanded. It was suggested that a limited budget to finance the work of the TAC should be made available. The Steering Committee recognized that the number of TAC members needs to be flexible and to reflect the number of submissions it has to evaluate.


Alternatively, the Steering Committee could evaluate practices before sending them on to the TAC requesting them to only determine categories and not eliminate any practices allowing them to merely suggest that the Steering Committee consider doing so upon their advise.


Proposed nomenclature for third category:

Promising - Good - Best

Satisfactory - Good Best

Good - Exemplary - Best

H.4. Evaluation Process

Partners will accept to evaluate those practices assigned by the Secretariat and be permitted to evaluate any others they have a professional interest in analyzing.

H.5. Status of Updated Practices

Practices that are updated will only move up in category if they show that an additional Best Practice Criteria has been met and/or have brought about a significant improvement in meeting an existing criteria.

H.6. Partner’s Financial Contributions

After a partner has met its initial two year contribution requirement of US 10,000 their dues shall be considerably reduced to US 1,000 in order to allow them to direct their own funds towards undertaking activities related to Best Practices that the Steering Committee agrees to implement.

H.7. Internal Organization of Steering Committee

It was recognized that the Steering Committee has moved away from being a structured group of regional and thematic partners towards becoming a network of partners with different interests and capacities.

H.8. Future Steering Committee Meetings

The Steering Committee agreed that they should meet every two years in Dubai in conjunction with the Award Ceremony to play an active role in organizing, chairing and moderating the International Seminar and the Laureates Forum.

The Iberoamerican and Caribbean Forum on Best Practices, along with IBAM, has offered to host the 2001 Steering Committee Meeting During the International Conference, Habitat Brasil 2001 in Florianopolis, Brasil, next November. The Together Foundation has offered to serve as a back-up host if this venue proves impossible.

IX. MEETING CONCLUSION


Dubai Municipality thanked the Steering Committee Members for their support for the Dubai International Award for Best Practices and thanked all participants for their hard work during the past 2 days.


UNCHS thanked Dubai Municipality for its warm hospitality and support during the meeting. UNCHS also thanked the partners for their continued hard work.


The Steering Committee noted the generous offer of the City of Vienna to host the 2002 TAC Meeting.

 
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