The ‘Policy Development Workshop on Applying Urban Nexus Concept to Implementing Global Agendas’ was organised on the 5th and 6th of March, 2019 in Bangkok under the framework of the Regional GIZ Urban Nexus Project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. The Urban Nexus project’s political partner is United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific (UNESCAP) and the implementing partner is ICLEI South Asia. The overall objectives of the workshop included:
• Assessing the status of each country’s Voluntary National Review (VNR) and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) preparations, in relation to the Urban Nexus approach.
• Identifying and sharing cross-sectoral and integrated resource approaches that have been successfully advanced in the region and can be replicated.
• Discussing the needs and opportunities to advance vertical integration, considering criteria such as institutional governance, knowledge sharing (including data collection), learning/training formats, financing and technological capacity.
• Integrating SDGs and urban nexus efforts into national policy frameworks.
UNESCAP provided a brief overview of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and introduced participants to relevant activities, tools and data sources. The fact that Urban Nexus is an excellent means of implementation to deliver on the global agendas was highlighted and substantiated with examples.
Mr. James Mathew, Deputy Director General (Stats.), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ms. Manshi Singh, Young Professional, NITI Aayog and Mr. Nitin Kapadnis, Deputy Commissioner, Nagpur Municipal Corporation from India along with ICLEI South Asia participated in the workshop.
The delegates shared their experiences, identified challenges and discussed possible solutions for effective implementation of global agendas at the country and local level. They discussed the status of their Voluntary National Review (VNR) and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) preparations, in relation to the Urban Nexus approach and explored the needs and opportunities to improve vertical and horizontal integration, considering criteria such as institutional governance, knowledge sharing (including data collection), learning/training formats, financing and technological capacity.
The fact that, usually, countries integrate the SDG goals into their existing national plans and missions was highlighted. For example, flagship programmes like Smart City Mission, Swachh Bharat Mission have already set goals for cities which ultimately contribute towards the SDG goals at the national level.
Further, the participants conducted a problem tree analysis and developed project planning matrices, elaborating solutions to address core problems. As the implementation and monitoring of the SDG goals are country-specific, the different countries adapted the indicators to suit their implementation and monitoring plan. During the course of the next day, the delegates worked in their country groups to find solutions to the identified challenges using the Logical Framework method including indicators and time frame.
India focused towards addressing the challenge of strengthening institutional collaboration.
Apart from India, delegates from Indonesia, Mongolia and Vietnam also participated in the workshop.