ICLEI South Asia, with the support from GIZ Urban Nexus and National Institute of Urban Affairs, organised a two-day Urban Nexus Training from the 31st of July to 1st of August in New Delhi.
The training was conducted with the objective to use the framework of the New Urban Agenda to evolve a contextual and localised understanding of the importance of integrated resource (water, energy and food security) management and to identify potential solutions for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The event was inaugurated by Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs along with Mr. Wolfgang Koester, Development Advisor and Deputy Head of Department Economic Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany; Mr. Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs and Ms. Ruth Erlbeck, Project Director, Regional Urban Nexus Project.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mishra emphasised on economic activities being concentrated in the urban areas. "Many like me who come from rural areas struggle for jobs, housing, education and other necessities," he said.
"Under the nexus of the programs, the citizens are getting housing, employment and better sanitation resulting in better living conditions. The growing generations will get a proper environment to prosper and support the country to grow. This is the kind of nexus that is required. Nexus increase efficiency, reduce wastage and increase sustainability. The Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Urban Development was made into one single entity keeping in mind this very concept", he added.
The first day of the training workshop had domain experts presenting on urban challenges like municipal solid waste management, housing and air pollution. The training focused on a deeper understanding of the Nexus approach by analysing major challenges regarding cross-sectoral coordination to formulate coherent, multi-sectoral policies and development plans on national level.
The second day focused on the development of possible multi-sectoral, inter-institutional, coordinated solutions based on key elements of the Design Thinking method.
During the training, participants worked in groups, each group addressing one of the major challenges like water supply, waste management, air pollution and housing. Tools like PESTEL and Influence Matrix were introduced to the participants who explored around these frameworks to develop potential solutions. Relevant technical state-of-the art, best practices and governance background information to integrated resource management was provided complementing the training and setting the framework.
The participants comprised of representatives from the State Training Institutions all over the country. More than 50 officials from 19 training institutions spread over 15 states participated. Moreover, engineers from four cities including project cities of Nagpur and Rajkot also took part in the workshop.
In addition, a two-day Training of Trainers workshop was also organised on the 2nd and 3rd of August with the objective of improving skills like instructional, communication and facilitation techniques of the participating officials to be able to conduct training programmes themselves.
The training ended on a very positive note with training institutions committing to take such programmes ahead in future. Certificates were awarded to participants on successful completion of training and Training of Trainers programmes.