Step 1: Approve and execute institutional reforms to support strategy implementation and communication
After the mayor, council members and heads of department have confirmed and approved the assignment of responsibilities to government units and institutions, the city departments will now starting implementing key aspects of the institutional reforms defined in the change strategy. Outside expertise and capacity building activities should provide support in carrying this out.
Internal communication is a key aspect of successful organisational change. The communication professional should ensure that key elements of the changes that are taking place are communicated with all staff of the city.
A key input to this step is the legal assessment conducted during the municipal institutional assessment (phase 1.2) and during the legal stocktaking in the Develop strategic option and prioritisation (phase 3.1).
The city will develop any legal and regulatory instruments necessary to support the implementation of the strategy.
The departments will enter into the process of preparing the procurement of projects. This will involve writing tender documents and procedures for the projects to be implemented. When necessary, capacity building should be provided.
The departments should invest time in improving on the operation and maintenance of ongoing services and thinking through the O & M of new projects. This involves planning for the effective and efficient production and delivery of services the public and other customers are happy with (operations) and the work necessary to realize the originally anticipated life of an asset (maintenance).
This may also imply the need for department heads to work on changing the culture of maintenance, namely instilling in staff a consciousness of the maintenance problems and a determination that they should be dealt with. It is better to institute a process of planned and preventative maintenance, than dealing with problems when they become urgent.
One key output of this planning process is an operations plan containing a description of facilities and operating procedures, records and reporting services, information on compliance and monitoring, staffing requirements and training needed.
This will be accompanied by an O & M manual, which is a set of instructions on the requirements and procedures for the effective operation and maintenance of the infrastructure facility /service. The manual will plan out routine, urgent, recurrent and periodic maintenance activities.
Please refer to the following free O & M manual templates: Ecodocuments (no date), Building & construction industry online document : templates and also in Hunt, G. (no date), Comprehensive Facility O&M Manual.
The city departments will also prepare documents for the partnerships to be executed. After approval of the city council, the departments will put these projects out to bid, and when a partner is chosen, negotiate the contract. Setting up a PPP, often requires hiring a transaction advisor.
One of the key risks in the implementation of projects are the capacity issues that local governments face in the negotiation and management of contract and investments. At this point, it is essential to ensure that the structures and capacities needed to manage contracts and investments are in place. After thinking through and preparing procedures, a training institution (internal or external) should provide on the job support for teams working with contracts and finance.
In addition, the city may still require the support of consultants during implementation. Departments would benefit from capacity building to plan for and manage consultants. This capacity building will be in parallel to ongoing capacity building activities and can be integrated with them.
The national and local government now needs to be persuaded to commit public sources of implementation finance to the projects. The city will need to continue discussions with the national ministries to align funding needs with upstream and sector plans and policies over the longer term, as well as with sector programmes.
City departments will, at this juncture, have to implement the resource mobilisation strategy/ capital investment plan developed during the preparation phase and adjust this as necessary.
The city departments should have regular meetings to discuss the progress of the projects and any key coordination issues. This should be done on a monthly basis. Project managers will have to prepare project reports and budgets for these meetings.
The departments will continue to manage internal service provision, but also any external contracts signed. There should be a clear approach to management of external contractors, with clear standards of transparency, ethics and the rule of law.