The SC, CDS team (and consultant) will take stock of planning processes and activities the local government departments are undertaking, as well as strategies in place, if any. It is important to be clear on ongoing initiatives.
In this step, the team will look closely at the political environment, legal framework and policies that exist and will influence the CDS preparation and execution process. In addition, they will analyse mandates of the levels and units of government. They will ascertain gaps in the legal frames and policies, as well as between the current mandates and the future mandates required for the execution of a CDS.
The team will analyse the government structure and ongoing processes. They will then look at the current structure and staffing of departments, in relations to the tasks being (and to be) undertaken, and any existing policies on capacity development.
The analysis highlights:
- Whether the current structures can accommodate new ways of working required during the preparation and implementation of the CDS;
- What kind of organisational change (structures and staffing) should occur as part of the CDS preparation process to ensure effective preparation and implementation of the CDS;
- How competencies fall short;
- A capacity development strategy, which outlines the competencies to be built to take on the preparation and implementation of the CDS. This should be integrated into the planning process.
Kosovo Strategic Spatial Planning
The Kosovo Strategic Spatial Planning project focused on the set up of a planning institution within the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment in Pristina, and the development of strategic spatial plans for the whole of Kosovo and its municipalities. The project kicked off with a number of support activities to ensure that the process would be effective. Support continued throughout the development of the plan and during implementation.
- Development of legal frameworks: drafting of the law for Spatial Planning for Kosovo, the development of policy to support the process.
- Organisational change: consultants aided in drafting of an organisational strategy for the set-up of the Institute for Planning, involving a human resource strategy for the growth of the institution over time.
- Capacity building strategy: the development of a capacity building strategy integrated into the overall strategic spatial planning and the training needs of the institution and its key partners.
- Capacity building activities: Initial training of staff on strategic planning and spatial planning approaches. This was followed by on the job training and support in the development and implementation of the strategy.
- Financial strategies to ensure long term funding: An assessment of the resources available to fund the process. This was done ensure that where funding was lacking, that the Ministry started early with a resource mobilisation strategy. UNHABITAT funded the support provided by the consultant team. In between funding streams, the Ministry provided bridge funding. This ensured the continuation of support to the programme over time and demonstrated the Ministry’s commitment and understanding of the benefit of the programme.
Source: IHS project documentation, 2003 -2006)
One of the questions of the readiness assessment is whether the local government is currently undergoing any major public sector reform. It is important as reforms require an investment of resources, energy and commitment on the part of the staff and this can result in upheaval. If there is reform ongoing, the question is: will entering into a CDS make sense in the middle of such a reform?
Questions to be asked might include:
- Is the CDS necessary or will current reforms achieve some of the outcome expected of the CDS?
- Will a CDS wreak havoc in an already difficult process?
- Or looking at it in another way, does it make sense to piggyback on this reform? Can the changes being made benefit the CDS?
The team will assess these ongoing local government reforms and their potential impact on 1) the departments and their staff 2) outcomes related to the citizens. The team will assess whether the reforms are achieving or are likely to achieve the results and impacts planned, and whether these are positive and negative.
Knowing what kinds of resources are available is an important part of preparing for the CDS. Once again, this is an extension of the readiness assessment. This will include, for instance, looking at the funding streams of the national government, and donor programmes. The team will assess local budgeting mechanisms and funding systems, as well as the powers the local government has to mobilise resources. This assessment will be the basis for a resource mobilisation strategy (to take place in Phase 3), looking at different sources of funding.
Output of this sub-phase: Municipal institutional assessment and organisational change / indicative capacity building strategy, with special focus, at this moment, on capacity needs for the CDS preparation phases.