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Promoting Participatory Planning by kellena88


                                           SOUTHERN AFRICA

Promoting Participatory Planning
  USAID facilitates                         The Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission
  innovative approach to                    (OKACOM) provides advice to three riparian states, Angola,
  build consensus for                       Botswana. and Namibia, on the management of the Okavango
                                            river basin. Getting stakeholder consensus in the planning and
  planning integrated river
                                            coordinated implementation of basin-wide programs is an
  basin management                          institutional challenge. Providing opportunities for basin
                                            managers and resource users to be involved in a decision-making
                                            process improves the sense of ownership and participation in
                                            progldm implementation.

                                            In 2004. USAID provided support to enhance the capacity of
                                            OKACOM to improve its ability to opeldte as a regional river
                                            basin organization.     At the request of OKACOM, USAID
                                            designed and facilitated a stldtegic action planning workshop for
                                            OKACOM Commissioners. representatives from civil society.
  Okavango River Basin stakeholders
  preparing action plan during Strategic
                                            and managers of regional donor initiatives to gather
  Action Planning Won<shop                  recommendations, build strong inter-organizational partnerships,
                                            and prepare a basin-wide action program. This is first time
                                            OKACOM and its key stakeholders had collectively prepared
                                            action strategies for basin-wide programs. A comprehensive list
                                            of specific and concrete actions, to be implemented with
 "This process has been a                   assistance from USAID and other donors. resulted from the
... ''<eha/der designed event and the       workshop and has been used by the commission to start and
y' ",cess    of bringing everyone           complete tasks, A major consensus was the need to support
together was excellent... , would           water resources monitoring and community-based progldms in
like to commend USAID for doing             Angola. the source of almost all the water for the basin. This
that. ..                                    was the first time that all three countries agreed on the need to
          Director of the Namibian          focus on improving management progldms in Angola.
N;lture Foundation
                                            Using the experience of this participatory approach, OKACOM
                                            continues to coordinate basin-Wide progldms and donor
                                            initiatives in the basin. The commission, through its member
                                            states'     technical    agencies,  now      actively monitors
                                            communications, and community-based initiatives.       Strong
                                            linkages have been formed between the commission, local
                                            government. communities and civil society in Kuanda Kubango
                                            Province in Angola. Assessments of representative communities
                                            have been completed and the results will assist the design of
                                            demonstldtion environment management projects that link and
                                            support local and national government initiatives.

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