Chrisna du Plessis James Lundy Pierre Swanepoel
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Private Bag X447
This manual and the processes and protocols it Change will come through the neighbourhood,
contains are based upon community as local communities can quickly identify their
development projects undertaken by the authors weaknesses and strengths, and act on them.
in South Africa, Australasia and the United The environment, the economy and social
Kingdom, as well as research on United structures, can best be improved by local
Nations best practice community development people, at the local level.
and Local Agenda 21 projects.
This Manual is designed with the
The approach forwarded is based upon neighbourhood in mind. It was not intended to
community driven sustainable development, cover villages, informal settlements or marginal
known as a Local Agenda 21 programme, which displaced settlements. However, extra
makes the focus different from many of the rate resources and tools would have to be provided
payers and residents associations development to counter the lack of physical and social
frameworks, local authority driven Local Agenda resources in these marginalised communities.
21 programs and Integrated Development
Plans. Our neighbourhood programme seeks to Who is the Target Market of this
empower people at a local level to design a
sustainable community development strategy
and with other power brokers and their local • Local Government Officials
authorities. This manual is not a substitute for • Politicians
Local Authority driven Integrated Development • Professionals
Planning (IDPs) but rather a guide assisting
local neighbourhood groups to organise
• Community Leaders
themselves to give meaningful inp ut into the IDP
process based on the international Local
Agenda 21 process.
We have focused on the local level or urban
neighbourhood as the first and the largest target
group for the Local Agenda 21 program.
Neighbourhoods exist throughout cities and
towns and usually have an existing network of
community organisations. The “Neighbourhood
Local Agenda 21” program has the ability to
support hard pressed local government
systems and focus community attention on
issues relevant to sustainability.
Neighbourhoods are the building blocks of a
nation. They are the cells of social unrest or
community creativity. They are where we all live,
learn, love and die. We have our roots in the
neighbourhood; it is our refuge and our vessel
of advancement. Success in South Africa’s cities
will require multi -class and multi-race coalitions
for sustainable growth, development and
distribution of services and opportunities that
will bring about stable, healthy, vibrant, and safe
PART 1 4. Monitoring – measuring progress,
Save the Earth, save the World • What is an indicator?
• Why do we need sustainable development? • Is this Progress?
• Where does sustainable development • Update and revise the Action Plan
• What is Sustainable Development? 5.Celebrating – Feedback and Promotion
• What can we do? • Celebrate
• Creating sustainable neighbourhoods • Feedback
The South African Context • A promotion programme
• Local Authority planning processes • The media can help
• National policy context
• Local Agenda 21 in South Africa
• Putting it all together
Preparing and holding meetings and
PART 2 workshops
Manual for Neighbourhood • The perfect meeting
Sustainable Development • Purpose
• Who should attend?
The five point approach to Sustainable
• Choosing and appropriate venue
• Setting the Agenda
• Role of a facilitator
1. Getting Started – Partnerships and • Revisiting meetings/ Workshops
common values • Helpful Hints
• Kickstarting the process
• Establishing a constituency Setting up a Sustainable Neighbourhood
• Identifying partners
• Identifying common values
• When to set up a Sustainable
• Interim committee
• Structure of the Sustainable Neighbourhood
2. Developing a community vision Organisation
• Visioning – from dream to reality • Working group
• Preparing for the visioning process • Building networks of support
• Profiling the community • Making it work
• Identifying the issues • Co-ordination
• The vision statement Hiring help
3. Action Plans - From Ideas to Actions • Six steps to hiring help
• Action Plans _how to get there
• Setting goals, targets and triggers
• Implementation strategies Part 4
• Implementation Finding help
Save the Earth and save the World
“An Approach to Sustainable Community Development”
way we live, bringing improvement to many
areas of our lives. In fact, we have come to
believe that humans and their technology can
conquer all problems, and that the answer to all
our social problems such as poverty lies in
economic growth fuelled by industry.
However, development brought its own
problems. Factories and automobiles are
polluting the air and water. These emissions
contribute to the greenhouse effect and the
destruction of the ozone layer, which in turn is
causing world wide climate change. This
causes a change in rainfall patterns and thus in
the livelihood of many people making a living out
of agriculture, forcing many off their farms.
People moving to cities to find jobs often don’t
find any and have to live in shacks in unhealthy
and unsafe conditions. Communities are
This manual is not about saving the Earth, but
destroyed, and with them, the glue that keeps
about saving the world. This means maintaining
society together: the sense of belonging that
the current Earth environment so that the human
race can survive and rebuilding our encourages care of the weaker members of the
community and inhibits anti -social behaviour
communities, saving the human race from its
present path of self-destruction. such as crime. To top it all, the gap between rich
and poor is bigger than it has ever been before.
In this first section of the manual we will discuss
Improved medical care also contributed to
why we need sustainable development, where
unprecedented population growth, forcing us to
the term came from and what it means, as well
spread resources among a staggering six
as what it means for your community, your family
billion people. By 2020 two thirds of the world’s
population will be affected by water shortages.
Our intensive farming methods, developed to
Why do we need sustainable feed this population, have removed so many
development? nutrients from the soil that an apple grown today
The past three hundred years have seen many has less than a twenty-sixth of the nutrients that
improvements in the conditions of life for same a pple would have had eighty years ago.
humanity. Slavery has been abolished in most
parts of the world, democracy is the norm, not When the rivers caught fire in Canada and
the exception and only the most backward of America, people finally realised that we will have
countries still treat women as second class to find a way to answer our needs for
citizens. We have all but eradicated dreaded development without destroying the
diseases such as polio and leprosy, it has environment.
become a lot safer for women to give birth, and
more children than ever before survive their first Further fuel was added to the fire when the Club
year. Machines have completely changed the of Rome published its famous report “The
Limits to Growth” in 1972. Although many of their
assumptions have now been proven premature, guideline and action plan for sustainable
the report did make us realise that the Earth development.
does not have unlimited bounty, that sooner or
later we are going to run out of the very things Agenda 21
we need to survive. At the same time more and As a result of the Earth Summit, 180 nations
more people are born who want a job, a house adopted Agenda 21 - a detailed plan of action
and a decent quality of life – all things we cannot setting specific initiatives which all nations
provide without economic growth and use of should undertake in the achievement of
resources. The answer suggested to this sustainable development.
dilemma is the concept of sustainable
development. Agenda 21 explains that population,
consumption and technology are the primary
Where does sustainable driving forces behind environmental change. It
development come from? offers policies and programmes to achieve a
sustainable balance between consumption,
"The environment is where we all live; and
population and the earth's life supporting
development is what we all do in attempting to
improve our lot within that abode. The two are
inseparable." - Brundtland
Local Agenda 21
The challenge of Agenda 21 is to translate the
Sustainable development started out as the
global framework into actions at the local level.
idea that we cannot sustain development if we
The Earth Summit recognised the vital role that
do not protect the environment. It was, however,
all levels of society, including communities, the
soon realised that sustainable development
private sector and local authorities can play in
would not be possible without certain social and
the successful implementation of Agenda 21.
economic changes such as a reduction in
Many of the problems and solutions that Agenda
poverty levels and greater social equality and
21 attempts to address have their roots in local
activities. Therefore, the full participation and
The challenge of sustainable development is to commitment of all people is crucial in fulfilling
the objectives of Agenda 21 and in creating a
balance the needs of the community for social
and economic well being, with the protection of sustainable future.
Agenda 21 places great emphasis on the
process of forming Local Agenda 21s. It
Since the term was first used in the mid 1970’s,
recognises that partnerships between
a lot of thought and debate has gone into exactly
communities and local authorities are crucial to
what sustainable development requires from
developing a strategy that can create action.
Although each local community determines
In June 1992 The Earth Summit - the United
specific actions and policies of Local Agenda 21
Nations Conference on Environment and
programmes, the key goals of the Local Agenda
Development - was held in Rio de Janeiro. It
21 process are specific.
brought together the representatives of 180
countries, including 108 Heads of Government.
In total over 50,000 people came together to Local Agenda 21 goals
discuss the many environmental and • To raise awareness of environmental and
development challenges facing humanity. sustainability issues amongst all citizens;
• To maximise the support and involvement of
At the Earth Summit the international community local communities and businesses;
• To pursue economic development and social
agreed on a framework for global sustainable
progress whilst limiting the impact on
development. This came in the form of two non-
environmental resources and fragile
• To reduce the consumption of all natural
The first, The Rio Declaration on Environment resources;
and Development, set out the principles for • To maximise energy efficiency and the
human interaction with the environment. The proportion of energy from renewable resources;
second, Agenda 21, formed the international
• To conserve and enhance green space and livelihood would have been destroyed, and the
diversity of wildlife; job opportunities created by the mine would
• To encourage all organisations and individuals have dried up.
to adopt sustainable practices and lifestyles;
• To minimise levels of pollution; Sustainable development looks at all these
• To minimise the environmental impact of waste factors and asks: ”How can we optimise the
and to promote the reduction, re-use and
goals of all three systems?” Through
recycling of resources.
participation with the local community, another
solution would then be found that provides
Habitat Agenda economic growth, jobs and infrastructure, but at
Following on Agenda 21, the 2 United Nations the same time protect the environment. This is
Conference for Human Settlements (Habitat II) not another unpractical ideal. Through
in Istanbul, 1996, dealt specifically with the sustainable development the case study
issue of sustainable human settlements. From described above is today a World Heritage Site
this the Habitat Agenda, an agenda for the – the St. Lucia Wetlands System.
sustainable development of human
settlements, was developed. It outlines goals Sustainable development can therefore be
and principles, commitments and a global plan described as: the process of continuously
of action for the achievement of sustainable striving for dynamic balance between:
human settlements. Most importantly, the • Using and protecting the physical and
Habitat Agenda provides us with a description of natural environment and its resources;
what a sustainable human settlement (or • Creating equitable and viable economic
neighbourhood) is like. systems with an ethical basis; and
• Acknowledging and guiding social and
cultural systems and values towards
“ A sustainable human settlement is one greater equitability, responsibility and
where all have adequate shelter, a healthy human well-being.
and safe environment, basic services, and
productive and freely chosen employment.” One of the main goals of sustainable
development is to ensure equal distribution of
The Habitat Agenda
the earth’s resources and of opportunity for
human well-being not only between people
currently living on Earth (intra-generational
What is sustainable development? equity), but also between the generations living
There are three systems integral to now and all future generations (inter -
development: the economy, society and the generational equity).
environment. Each of these systems tries to
achieve certain goals, including maximum For sustainable development to truly work, it
growth. In the process, they affect each other, needs a change of mind and heart from each of
often negatively. us. We are all, as individuals, responsible for
the well being of the Earth and of our
For example, the economy dictates that a certain communities. Sustainable development
valuable area of coastland be mined to requires of each of us to accept that
maximise the use of the country’s mineral responsibility and follow a shared vision of
resources and earn foreign currency. Society basic values that provides an ethical foundation
agrees with this, because the project would for our interaction with each other and with the
provide jobs and money for infrastructure such Earth.
as schools. Under traditional development, this
would have been enough to approve the project.
However, it excluded the fact that an important “This we know: the Earth does not belong to
wetland area would forever be destroyed, with
man, man belongs to the Earth. All things are
devastating effect to the local ecosystem and the
livelihood of many people who may not find connected like the blood that connects us
employment with the mining company. In twenty eb
all. Man did not weave the w of life, he is
year’s time, when the mineral reserves have merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the
been exhausted, the area would have lost a web, he does to himself.”
major natural asset, people’s traditional Chief Seattle, 1855
11. Eradicate poverty, as an ethical, social and
12. Affirm and promote gender equality as a
The Earth Charter prerequisite to sustainable development.
After the Rio Summit, it was realised that the Democracy and peace.
world will need a set of commonly agreed to 13. Establish transparency and accountability
principles for sustainable development to both on governance, and provide access to
guide and judge the actions of individuals, information, inclusive participation in
businesses and governments. decision -making, and access to justice.
14. Honour and defend the right of all persons,
For five years the Earth Charter Commission without discrimination, to a natural and
travelled the world to workshop with all the social environment supportive of their
peoples of the Earth a document that will dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-
become this guiding light. Although a first final being.
version is now almost complete, the document 15. Integrate the knowledge, values, and skills
will continue to change to address new issues needed for promoting sustainable
as they arise. The following set of principles development into universal education and
comes from the pen -ultimate draft, and it is life-long learning.
recommended that you download the final 16. Create a culture of peace and co-operation.
version of the Earth Charter, which also includes
the supporting principles, from its website What can we do?
Once there was a great forest fire, and all the
The Earth Charter Principles birds and animals rushed to escape.
Humming Bird went to the river and collected
1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
2. Care for the community of life with
a drop of water. The other birds laughed.
understanding, love and compassion. ’What are you doing?’ they asked. She replied
3. Build societies that are free, just, “I’m doing what I can.’
participatory, sustainable and peaceful. Native American story
4. Secure Earth’s bounty for present and future
Ecological Integrity Sustainable development is not just an ideal for
5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth’s the richer countries. It is the basis on which we
ecological systems, with special concern can build the new South Africa, and it provides
for biological diversity and the natural the guidance we need to make the African
processes that sustain life. Renaissance a reality. The values embedded in
6. Prevent harm as the best method of sustainable development are also not strange
environmental protection, and when to those who grew up in Africa.
knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary
approach. Ubuntu ngumuntu ngabantu – a person is a
7. Treat all living beings with respect and person because of other people. This concept is
consideration, and protect them from cruelty one of the cornerstones of the development of
and wanton destruction. sustainable neighbourhoods and communities.
8. Advance world-wide the study of ecological However, no community is sustainable if its
systems and the dissemination and people are not safe, do not have clean air to
application of knowledge that enables breathe or fresh water to drink, or a warm place
communities to care for Earth. to sleep.
A just and sustainable economical order
9. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, As communities in South Africa, we are in deep
and reproduction that safeguard Earth’s trouble. Just look at the newspapers: crime,
regenerative capacities, human rights corruption, poisoned water and polluted air,
10. Ensure that economic activities, including poverty and growing shantytowns, climate
world trade, support and promote human change and unemployment. People having no
development in an equitable and respect for each other, and no one having any
sustainable manner. respect for the precious planet on which our
However, the most important contribution to
South Africa faces several large problems. Our stopping crime is the values we teach our
response to these problems will decide if we children and the example we set for them.
will grow a strong, healthy nation with an Buying goods from dubious sources, bribing the
environment that can support all the people traffic police and cheating on your taxes all send
living in the country, now and in the future. Let’s the message that it is acceptable and even
take a look at some of these problems and the clever to defy the law. Respect other’s property,
contributions individuals and communities can rights and dignity and set a good example for
make that will lead to more sustainable your children and the children in the
Poverty and unemployment Water
Possibly the biggest problem facing South Africa South Africa has less water available per person
is that of unemployment and poverty. The than our desert neighbours Namibia and
expanded unemployment rate increased from Botswana. At present there is about 1 700
32.7% in 1994 to 37.6% in 1999 and a quarter of kiloliters available per year for each person – not
those employed earns less than R500 per just to drink and wash, but for growing food,
month. generating electricity and manufacturing all the
things we use everyday. Compare that to a
Communities ca n contribute to the alleviation of global average of 10 000 kiloliters per person,
poverty by supporting small local businesses and you can see how precious water is in South
and service providers. Community based Africa. It is estimated that if we do not change
organisations such as church groups, can help the way we use it, the country could run out of
to train people in new skills and thus improve water by 2015. We cannot afford to waste a drop
their chances of getting a job or their own of water.
business. Co-operative saving schemes like
stokvels and initiatives based on letsema, Sustainable development teaches us to use
where interest-free seed money is provided to water wisely. This means using less of it, and
members of the community to start their own reusing water where possible. Take a quick
means of livelihood, are other ways shower instead of a bath, reuse the bath water
communities can harness their resources to to flush the toilet or water the garden, put a brick
alleviate poverty. in your toilet cistern and fix leaky taps. Reduce
water use by using water-wise devices in the
Some communities are developing their own home, plant gardens that do not need a lot of
internal bartering system where units of energy water, capture the rainwater from the roof and
can be traded within the community, enabling report leaks in the municipal supply system.
people without money to participate in the local
economy, and thus lessening their level of Avoid polluting our water sources by not using
poverty. pesticides, not letting used motor oil run into the
stormwater drainage or sink into the soil and do
Crime not use rivers and streams as toilets or to wash
your clothes in. Buy biodegradable soaps and
It is no secret that South Africa has an
household cleaning products. Report industries
unacceptably high crime rate and that a lot of the
resources that could be used for development that are running effluent into rivers.
goes towards preventing, solving and punishing
crimes. However, the country’s crime problems Loss of arable land
cannot be solved without the active participation Arable land is land we can use to grow food on.
of the community. As a dry country, South Africa has very little
arable land. Twenty five years ago only 13% of
Neighbourhood Watch schemes and the country was arable land, today that figure is
Community Policing Forums are two ways that 10%. This translates into less than 0.5 hectares
the community can contribute to the fight against per person. Factors such as the growth of cities,
crime. Keeping the neighbourhood clean, erosion, overuse, and pollution through
knowing your neighbours and informing police pesticides, fertilisers, industry and even motor
of criminal activity in your neighbourhood are cars, combined to reduce the percentage of
others. arable land. If this continues, we will not have
enough land to grow enough food to feed the using public transport further contribute to
nation. reducing our energy use.
Communities can help to limit this loss by The second step would be to use cleaner
pressurising developers and the local authority technologies for generating energy. These
to use land more efficiently and use more include solar power, wind power and hydro -
environmentally friendly principles in planning electricity, but not nuclear power. Some of these
and constructing large housing and commercial technologies can easily be used at home, for
developments. Ways to use land more efficiently instance using solar water heaters and solar
include subdividing plots, using under- cookers. Communities can also lobby local
developed land such as railway and road authorities and electricity providers to increase
reserves, converting unused or partly occupied their use of cleaner technologies.
buildings to other uses, urban agriculture and
recycling of waste to limit the need for rubbish Air pollution can further be combated by making
dumps. sure your car’s exhaust system functions
properly, getting your car fitted with a catalytic
Air pollution converter and using unleaded petrol. Pressuring
Air pollution contributes to climate change and the relevant authority to monitor the emissions
the pollution of water and land, but its biggest from local industries and ensure their
impact is on the health of people. It is estimated compliance with safety standards is another
that world-wide about 3 million people die every way for communities to fight air pollution.
year as a direct consequence of air pollution,
with another 50 million people losing days of Waste
their lives because of diseases caused or made Think for a moment of everything you throw away
worse by air pollution. In South Africa, these every day. Now imagine what your rubbish heap
figures are exceptionally high. looks like for the year. Add to your heap the
heaps of everyone in your street, your
Air pollution is closely linked to our use of neighbourhood, your city. Not a pretty sight is it?
energy. The biggest threat to our health comes South Africa produces between 340 and 480
from indoor air pollution caused by the burning million tonnes of waste annually, of which 15
of coal, wood or dung in badly ventilated million tonnes is municipal waste. This
houses. translates to about 200kg of waste per man,
The biggest problems are caused by the types woman and child per year. Eighty percent of this
of fuels we use, especially fossil fuels such as waste can be recycled.
coal, oil and petrol, and biomass fuels such as
wood and dung. Although electricity appears a One way for communities to reduce waste, and
clean source of energy, most of the electricity in thus our use of resources and energy, is to
South Africa is generated using coal, causing air recycle waste such as paper, cans, glass and
pollution in other pa rts of the country and plastic bags. You can ask recycling companies
environmental degradation and loss of to put recycle bins at a central area in your
agricultural land through strip mining and neighbourhood where it would be easy for you to
acidification. dump your separated waste into the appropriate
containers once a week. Have a separate bin for
The first step would be to reduce our use of all your organic waste (peels, egg shells, tea
these fuels. In our houses we can reduce the bags, etc.) and start your own compost heap in
amount of energy we use through passive your garden.
thermal design, the use of insulation, and
proper ventilation. Our ways of cooking and even Another way is to reduce what we use. Take your
the type of meals we eat influence our energy own bags to the supermarket and avoid buying
use. Foods that are baked in the oven or products that comes wrapped in many layers of
simmer on the stove for a long time, use more paper and plastic. Lobby local shops and
energy than for example stirfries. One-pot supermarkets to start a take-back policy on
dishes also use less energy than a traditional containers such as plastic bottles and bags,
meal using all the stove plates. Energy can also and polystyrene trays. Try to find a farm stall
be saved by using less warm water and where you can buy milk and fruit juice in your
insulating geysers. Cutting down on own containers.
unnecessary car trips, planning our trips and
In certain European countries people are fined further the Local Agenda 21 for your
for not separating their waste, or pay for waste neighbourhood.
removal by weight. Your neighbourhood can
lobby your local authority to ntroduce similar Local Agenda 21 provides an opportunity for the
measures. neighbourhood to get together and formulate an
integrated sustainable development strategy at
(For more information on the problems and grassroots level which can then be taken to
opportunities facing South Africa, you can read local authority planning processes such as the
the State of Environment Report, published by formulation of Land Development Objectives
the Department of Environmental Affairs and and the Integrated Development Planning
Tourism, and the State of Human Settlements process. This ensures that the neighbourhood
Report, published by the Department of can actively influence the decisions made by its
Housing) local or metropolitan authority.
Creating sustainable This manual describes the process that
communities can follow to develop their own
neighbourhoods sustainable development strategy (Local
Now that we have a better idea of the problems
Agenda 21) within the bigger development
facing us and some of the ways we, as
strategies of their city and the country. This
communities, can tackle them, we can start
process is illustrated in the adjoining diagram.
looking at how we create more sustainable
The first thing to do is to get a group together
that will mobilise the community and kickstart
At the beginning of this new century, 54% of
the process. Together with your community, a
people in South Africa live in urban areas. Many picture is then drawn of how you would like your
of them live in large Metropolitan areas where
neighbourhood to be (the visioning process).
there is no direct link to the people who make
Once you know where you are going, an Action
decisions. These large structures make people
Plan that outlines the things that need to be
feel that they can do little to change things for the
done and how they must be done, can be drawn
better. However, by mobilising the
up and (importantly!) implemented. To ensure
neighbourhood, it is possible to improve things
that your neighbourhood is developing in the
and influence the decisions made by the people
way it was envisioned in the Visioning process,
at the top.
and that that implementation of the Action Plan
is not causing other, unforeseen problems,
It is at neighbourhood level that we identify with
regular monitoring is important. Once you start
and feel connected to our community. seeing the results, celebrate as a community
Sustainable neighbourhoods function like
and spread your good news around to inspire
villages. People know and care about each other neighbourhoods.
other, there is sharing of resources both in
times of abundance and times of need, and However, before we can embark on this
because there is respect for each member of
process, it is necessary to understand the South
the community, there is little crime. The
African policy and development processes your
members of the village/neighbourhood stand
neighbourhood strategy will have to take into
together against threats from outside and
account. The next section will give you a brief
protect that on which their common survival
overview of these policies and processes.
depends, including the environment.
Neighbourhoods are alive with community
activities – security committees, residents and
rate-payers associations, parent and teacher
committees. In most neighbourhoods, these
committees and associations are focused on a
narrow agenda and not looking at their potential
for improving the quality of life of that
neighbourhood and the wider environment.
However, all these associations can be used to Local Agenda 21
Educate, Organise, Activate
Five Steps to a More Sustainable
“Quality of Life”
“Partnerships and Values”
Your Community – Your Environment
Creating the picture
From Ideas to Actions
Making sure the plan works
Telling everyone about it
The South African context
sector such as transport plans, environmental
management plans, infrastructure development
plans, etc. It is possible to comment on each of
these plans and object to aspects of these.
“Everyone has the right…to have the
However, by far the most important processes to
environment protected for the benefit of be involved in are the Land Development
present and future generations, through Objective (LDO) process and the Integrated
reasonable legislative and other measures Development Planning(IDP) Process.
that…secure ecologically sustainable
development and use of natural resources, Land Development Objectives
while promoting justifiable economic and To facilitate the land development process, the
social development.” Development Facilitation Act (67,1995) placed a
responsibility on local authorities to prepare
Section 24, South African Bill of Rights
Land Development Objectives (LDOs) on an
The concept of sustainable development is
The LDOs are guidelines, drawn up with the
entrenched in our Bill of Rights and runs
through all the major policy documents that have participation of the community, to how the land
under the jurisdiction of the local authority will be
been promulgated since 1994. This policy
direction places special emphasis on developed. The LDOs are presented as a
collection of local planning outputs such as
development that is people-centred,
development frameworks, strategies and
environmentally sound and participatory in
The LDOs have to deal with the following
To ensure development that is relevant to the
different provinces, cities and towns with their
• How people will gain access to basic
different, economic, social and environmental
services, and the standard of those
conditions, the Constitution places a lot of
responsibility for development on local
• Objectives relating to urban and rural space
and form, particularly how poorer areas will
be integrated into the area as a whole; how
The Constitution gives the following mandate to
local authorities: the environment will be used in a
sustainable manner; how transportation will
• Provide democratic and accountable
government for all communities. be planned; how bulk infrastructure for the
purpose of land development will be
• Ensure the provision of services to
provided; what densities there should be in
communities in a sustainable manner.
settlements; how land development should
• Promote social and economic
be co-ordinated with other authorities; how
land use should be controlled; and how
• Promote a safe and healthy environment.
natural resources should be optimally
• Encourage the involvement of communities
and community organisations in the
• Strategies in relation to how to optimise the
matters of local government.
involvement of sectors of the economy,
particularly financial institutions and
This means that your neighbourhood can
developers in land development; how to
directly influence the development agenda in
obtain finance for land development; and
your town or city by influencing the local
government and becoming involved in some of how to build adequate administrative and
institutional capacity to deal with land
the planning processes local authorities are
compelled to follow. development in the area.
LDOs must contain goals that are quantifiable,
Local Authority Planning Processes such as the number of housing units and other
Each of the different line departments in a local facilities planned for such as schools and
authority have to draw up plans specific to its clinics; the nature of housing development; and
the rate of delivery. The LDO process is now
being incorporated into the Integrated These phases are very similar to the process
Development Planning Process. outlined in this manual for a Local Agenda 21
Action Plan. It must be emphasised that the
Integrated Development Planning (IDP) Local Agenda 21 process is not another,
One of the key ingredients of sustainable separate planning process, but an IDP process
human settlement development is integrated that follows the principles of sustainable
development planning. development. By following the steps in the
manual, your neighbourhood will in fact be
Integrated development planning is planning developing an IDP at neighbourhood level. It is
which takes all the conditions and therefore important that you be familiar with the
circumstances which will play a part in the IDP for your town or city, as well as with the key
successful outcome of the plan into account, policy drivers at national level. You can then
and involves all the people or organisations who make sure that the action plan proposed by your
have a role to play or a contribution to make. It neighbourhood fits in with your local IDP and
generates solutions that optimise the joint with the bigger national development plan. At the
expertise of different disciplines and same time you can see what the needs of your
stakeholders. neighbourhood are that are not being
addressed by the IDP and bring this up at the
The Local Government Transition Second next IDP review.
Amendment Act (97, 1996), as well as the Draft
Local Government Municipal Systems Bill (May National policy context
1999), requires of local authorities an Integrated There are many policy outlines that inform local
Development Plan (IDP). Metropolitan councils government as to what the direction and
and local authorities must prepare their financial priorities of national government are. The most
and other plans in accordance with the IDP they important of these are the Reconstruction and
have set, and regularly monitor and assess their Development Programme (RDP), the Growth,
performance against their IDPs. T hey must also Employment and Redistribution Strategy
annually report to and receive comments from (GEAR), and the White Paper on Environmental
the community regarding the objectives set in Management Policy for South Africa. The Urban
the IDPs. Development Framework is another important
policy document for sustainable neighbourhood
The process of formulating an IDP involves: development.
• A close assessment of the current reality of
the total municipal area (This could include Reconstruction and Development
a State of the Environment Report )
• A determination of community needs.
The RDP describes the country’s policy
• An audit of available resources (including a
regarding human development and provides the
Strategic Environmental Assessment)
main socio-economic policy framework. It seeks
• The prioritisation of needs.
to build a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist
• The development of frameworks and goals
future. The main principles driving the RDP are:
to meet these needs (This includes the
• Integration and sustainability
• People-driven development
• The formulation of strategies to achieve
• Peace and security
goals within specific time frames.
• The implementation of projects and time
• Meeting basic needs and building the
frames to achieve key objectives.
• The use of performance monitoring tools to
measure impact and performance.
• Assessment and accountability
The IDP process consists of six phases:
Growth, Employment and Redistribution
• Preparing the Workplan
• Vision Strategy
• Development Framework GEAR is the country’s main macro-economic
• Development Strategies policy designed to facilitate overall economic
• Operational Planning for implementation recovery. It places emphasis on an export-
• Monitoring, evaluation and review orientated economy, but also encourages
initiatives to enhance private sector involvement Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Midrand have
in development through investment and more developed environmental management plans.
effective local spending to stimulate local
economic development NEMA also holds polluters and those
responsible for damaging the environment
White Paper on Environmental responsible for the costs incurred through
Management (May 1998) damages and reparations caused by their
This provides the foundation for the country’s actions.
environmental policy. Some of the most
important policy directives laid down by the Promulgated under sections 26 and 28 of the
White Paper are: Environmental Conservation Act (73 , 1989), the
• Development must be sustainable so that National Environmental Impact Assessment
the needs of the present generation are met regulations require mandatory EIAs for
without compromising the ability of future proposed specified activities and for changes in
generations to meet their own needs. listed land uses. Your neighbourhood can use
• Environmental justice shall be pursued so this legislation to ensure that developers in your
that diverse environmental impacts shall area respect the environment.
not be distributed in such as manner as to
unfairly discriminate against any person. Urban Development Framework
• Equitable access to environmental The Urban Development Framework sets the
resources, benefits and services to meet outline for urban development policy in South
basic human needs and ensure human Africa.
well-being must be pursued.
• Responsibility for the environmental health It outlines an urban vision that, by 2020, South
and safety consequences of a policy, African cities and towns will be spatially and
programme, project, product, process, socio-economically integrated; safe, healthy and
service or activity, exists throughout its peaceful centres of economic and social
lifecycle. opportunity; centres of democratic, efficient,
• Decisions must take into account the sustainable and accountable urban governance
interests, needs and values of all interested geared towards innovative community-led
parties, and this includes recognising all development; environmentally sustainable with
forms of knowledge, including traditional a marked balance between consumption needs
and ordinary knowledge. and renewable and non-renewable resources;
• The full social and environmental impacts planned in a highly participatory fashion and
of activities, including disadvantages and marked by adequate housing and infrastructure
benefits, must be considered, assessed and effective services that provide households
and evaluated and decisions must be and business with a basis for equitable
appropriate in the light of such standards of living.
consideration and assessment; and
organs of state must take measures to Also defined in the Urban Development
achieve the progressive realisation of this Framework is a set of goals to achieve this
principle. vision. These are summarised into four key
• The right of workers to refuse work that is programmes:
harmful to human health or the environment • Integrating the city, with focus on integrated
must be respected. planning and ending the segregation and
inequality instituted by apartheid.
One of the first pieces of legislation to flow from • Improving housing and infrastructure to
the White Paper is the National Environmental build habitable and safe urban
Management Act (107, 1998) (NEMA). This Act communities, and increase access to
requires of every national department exercising financing and encouraging investment in
functions which may affect the environment, and housing.
every province, to prepare an environmental • Promoting urban economic development to
implementation plan every four years. At present enhance the capacity of urban areas to
environmental implementation or management build on local strengths to generate greater
plans are not required of local authorities, local economic activity and alleviate urban
although some of the bigger cities such as poverty.
• Creating institutions for delivery through Objectives:
significant transformation and capacity- The objectives were the following:
building of government at all levels and • Raise awareness on Agenda 21 and the
clarity on the roles and responsibilities of concept of sustainable development to all
the different government spheres. involved parties
• Identify sustainable and non sustainable
Local Agenda 21 in South Africa characteristics of Marabastad
The aim of Local Agenda 21 is to change the • Define guidelines for the sustainable
way local governments are organised and development of Marabastad
operated to ensure that municipal services can • Develop sustainable development
be sustained and equitably distributed between indicators according to which actions could
current and future generations. This objective be monitored and evaluated and other
requires a strategic planning approach that communities’ Local Agenda 21
equally factors long-term community, ecological programmes can be monitored and
and economic concerns into the development evaluated
and provision of current municipal services. • Define an auditing and reporting system by
which communities, local authorities and
There are approximately 10 formal LA 21 other decision makers can be made aware
initiatives currently taking place in South Africa. of the findings
Among these are the cities of Cape Town, • Make proposals regarding the integration
Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Kimberley, of these findings into national , provincial
Port Elizabeth and East London, and a provincial and local development policy planning
LA 21 strategy in KwaZulu Natal. At national level
the Department of Environmental Affairs and Issues addressed:
Tourism has embarked on an awareness- As part of an integrated approach, the following
raising and capacity-building programme and a five environments have been identified:
National LA 21 Campaign.
• Physical ( built ) environment
The LA 21 principles are also being integrated • Physical (natural ) environment
into the Local Government planning processes, • Social environment
including Integrated Development Planning. • Economic environment
Several national policy documents, including the • Institutional environment
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and
the White Paper on Local Government, refer to Within each of these environments, broad
the important role that local authorities have to generic characteristics that contribute to the
play in the process of sustainable development. level of sustainability within an area, have been
The Urban Development Framework of South identified, with Marabastad -specific issues
Africa specifically encourages local authorities being highlighted. A matrix containing the
to embark on LA 21 initiatives. following was consequently defined:
• Sustainability characteristics
• Unsustainable characteristics
Best Practice in South Africa • Guidelines for implementation
Local Agenda 21 Programme in Maraastad • Sustainability indicators
Location: • Auditing and reporting system; and
• Policy implications
Marabastad, approximately 10 minutes walk to
the north west of the Cenrtal Business District
Marabastad was not on a sustainable
(CBD) of Pretoria
development course. The most prominent
obstacle was a prevailing perception that
Holm Jordaan & Partners and Urban Designers
illegality is acceptable and crime pays. This was
aggravated by a continued uncertainty about the
The programme strived to create and
delivered schedule for the Land Restitution
awareness of Agenda 21, build capacity in the
province and local authority on Agenda 21
programmes and develop guidelines and
The Agenda 21 actions and contact have
indicators by which the community’s Local
definitely impacted in the following positive
Agenda 21 programme can be monitored and
• An awareness of Agenda 21 has been Gauteng Department of Development Planning
created which serves to highlight the and Local Government through the Vusani
crucial issues, the interactive nature of Amadolobha Fund. The porocess to implement
problems and their solutions thsese proects is currently being carried out.
• The positive efforts of the DEA&T and Contact:
Pretoria City Council’s EMPRET process Holm Jordaan & Partners Architect and Urban
have been supported by facilitating and Designers
strengthening communication bridges Prof Dieter Holm / Ms Annemarie Loots
between authorities and the local Tel: 012 46 3226
population. Fax: 012 346 4168
• Funding for the implementation of projects E-m ail:firstname.lastname@example.org
within the Agenda 21 framework has been
granted by the Gauteng Province and
implementation of projects has been
Putting it all together
Lessons learned: All these processes and plans sound very
• Limited human resources (professional confusing if we view then as separate from each
and community) require participation to be other, so let’s review how it all fits together.
employed with careful consideration.
• The country currently experiences a phase The Local Agenda 21 process provides an
of unrealistic expectations. These agenda for action (The Action Plan) to ensure
expectations aimed at the short term make that the development in your city and
it difficult for individuals to commit neighbourhood is sustainable, that is, according
themselves to vague concepts that will to the principles of sustainable development.
mainly bear communal value in the lo ng Your neighbourhood LA 21 Action Plan forms a
term. Participation without implementation part of the greater Local Agenda 21 process and
is thus very difficult. Combined together, if Action Plan for your town or city.
possible, the process will not only ensure
that expectations are realistic, but will also The LA21 Action Plan has certain
generate and maintain enthusiasm. characteristics:
• A climate of mutual distrust (between • It rests on a community vision and common
organisations and between individuals set of goals that has been arrived at through
within the same organisation ) contributes a public participation process.
to the discreditation of the people in • The actions it proposes aims to improve the
leadership positions. This should be quality of life for all the inhabitants of that
counteracted through openness and city, with both the benefits and the burdens
transparent processes from all role of development distributed fairly and
players. equitably amongst them, without using the
• With the initialisation of a Local Agenda 21 environment and its resources in such a
programme in an area with complex way that future generations will not be able
problems and a low level of awareness on to achieve the same quality of life.
sustainability, raising of awareness as • It has built-in feedback, monitoring and
initialising phase take up more time and evaluating processes to make sure that any
effort than what is normally budgeted for. negative impact caused by the proposed
However, should this be aligned with actions can be picked up and acted on
community concerns from the beginning, before the problem becomes serious.
following up with actions within a
sustainable framework can proceed much The IDP process (which includes the LDO
easier. process) provides an integrated Plan of Action
Financing: for the development of your city. If this Plan of
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Action follows the principles of sustainable
Tourism provided initial funding for raising of development and shows the above
awareness and definition of broad guidelines characteristics, it is a LA21 Action Plan.
for the sustainable development of Marabatad.
This was followed by R 1 million for the IDP and LA21 tend to be processes driven by
implementation of the identified projects in the local authority, but both depend on
Marabastad , which was allocated by the grassroots public participation. This manual
aims to teach people at grassroots level how to
create a Sustainable Neighbourhood
Organisation (SNO) that will be responsible for
drafting and implementing a LA21 Action Plan at
neighbourhood level. These neighbourhood
LA21 Action Plans can then be used to define
the LA21 Action Plan for the entire city.
The following diagram describes the
relationship between the local planning
processes, Local Agenda 21 an d Sustainable
Your sustainable neighbourhood
organisation can contribute to:
• IDP strategic visioning
• The LDO development framework
• The implementation of NEMA by
monitoring industries and developers to
ensure that the environment is not
Agenda 21 Principles
Vision and Action LA
Plan for city 21
SNO SNO SNO
Action Action Action
Plan Plan Plan
“The Five Step Approach to Sustainable Community Development”
Step 1 - one
Getting started-Partnerships and Common Values
“Each journey starts with one step, each project is initiated by one idea and a small dedicated group of
neighbourhood, it is likely that the process will
“It is not because things are difficult that we require the assistance of an outside
do not dare. It is because we do not dare that organisation such as a non-governmental
organisation responsible for environmental
things feel difficult.”
education or your local authority.
Seneca, Roman philosopher
What are we trying to do?
Kickstarting the process The initiators have to be very clear what it is that
To get the process towards a sustainable makes their initiative different from the work
neighbourhood going you need a small group of done by all the other community-based groups
people dedicated to making it work (the in their neighbourhood. (See also Sustainable
initiators), and a clear idea of what it is you want Neighbourhood Organisation)
to achieve. It does not really matter who these
people are, but it is important that they are Remember that the goal of a sustainable
enthusiastic and understand the issues, neighbourhood is to improve the overall quality
challenges and opportunities within the of life for everyone in the community while
neighbourhood. Often these issues trigger the encouraging all members of the community to
formation of sustainable neighbourhood protect the environment and limit their use of
organisations as communities take a proactive resources. It does not focus on only one
role in their own development. problem such as crime, poverty or pollution, but
look at the bigger (integrated) picture to see how
The initiators would start the process by groups can work together to solve one another’s
establishing the borders of their neighbourhood problems.
and identifying who in the community need and
should be involved. (See Establishing a What you are trying to achieve is to bring
constituency) They would then organise the first together a group of people in your community
community meeting at which two things need to who are committed to the values of sustainable
be established. development in order to form a Sustainable
Neighbourhood Organisation (SNO). The
The first is to get support from the community for purpose of the SNO is to design and help
the process you are about to set in motion and implement an Action Plan (your neighbourhood
establish a common value system for your Local Agenda 21) for the neighbourhood. This
community that supports sustainable plan should further sustainable development
development. The second is the election of an and improve the quality of life for the community.
interim committee that will be responsible for The SNO would also represent the
setting up a legally recognised sustainable neighbourhood at local authority planning
neighbourhood organisation and organising processes, to the press and with possible
future meetings until the organisation is project funders.
established and running.
The SNO can be an informal group of people
The initiators – who are they? who agree to make certain changes in the way
The initiators can be a few individuals who have they live and in their neighbourhood. This can be
decided to mobilise their community and a loosely organised group with some people
improve the quality of life in the neighbourhood. (office bearers) having certain responsibilities
They can be community leaders, members of a such as arranging meetings and keeping order
ratepayers association, concerned parents or during meetings. However, if your group intends
representatives from a government agency. to influence the local authority and be
Unless you live in an exceptional represented on its stakeholder meetings, or
want to raise funds for community projects, you • To support community-based issue analysis of
will need to set up a legally recognised local issues, including long-term systemic
• To identify and prioritise key issues that need
• To develop action plans for addressing key
issues, drawing from the experiences and
What does the process look like? innovations of a diverse local community.
Initiators organise initial activities and set the
process on tract
Establish the borders
What is the area this neighbourhood
organisation is going to cover? Draw it on a
Values Workshop map, using the features listed below as
Widely publicised workshop used to establish boundaries.
common community values
Informal, non-legal association of individuals
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation
Organisation, the formal elected governing
structures to ratify the neighbourhood
Establishing a constituency
• Infrastructure – Railway lines, Major roads,
The first thing you need to do is establish the
borders of your neighbourhood. You can use
• Natural features – Parks, Ridges, Rivers etc.
existing geographical boundaries or social
• Business Centre – Shopping, Offices
boundaries such as political constituencies. • Shared Social Facilities – Schools, Churches,
(See box) A neighbourhood should not be too etc.
big. A good rule of thumb to use is a radius of • Statutory boundaries – Local Council
about 1km, but it can be bigger. You can use a boundaries, political constituency
community focus point such as a local shopping
centre, a church or a school as the central point
of your neighbourhood. Who are the stakeholders?
A neighbourhood is made up of many different
Once you know the borders of your role players who have a “stake” in the quality of
neighbourhood, you can start identifying the life of the neighbourhood. These include
stakeholders who should be invited to community and environmental groups,
participate in your Local Agenda 21 process. business, non-governmental organisations,
local authorities, government agencies and
Why have open participation processes? individuals. For your Action Plan to be
• To educate the community about sustainability successful, it will need the participation and co -
and the individual actions they can take to operation of all these stakeholders.
improve their neighbourhood.
• To ensure community ownership of the process Involving a wide range of individuals and groups
and the programmes initiated by it.
in the development of the Sustainable
• To create a shared community vision of the
Development Organisation not only creates
legitimacy for the SNO and the programmes it It is clear that to achieve this, all of society needs
will initiate, but it also brings a wide range of to work together in partnership, in an open
skills and insights to the process. participation process. Therefore, an essential
component of a neighbourhood organisation is
List of possible stakeholders to invite the development of partnerships between all the
Neighbourhood residents groups within communities.
• Special groups of people such as women,
youth or the disabled Partnerships are an efficient way of using the
• Community leaders resources and skills in your community in such
• Households a way that all stakeholders benefit. This means
• Teachers that partners are not just participants who
Community-based organisations occasionally share their opinions. They are
• Church groups expected to share responsibility for the planning
• Formal women’s groups process and its outcomes. Formal partnerships
• Social groups are usually formed to address specific aspects
of the Action Plan in special Working Groups.
• Neighbourhood Watch
Working group partners are drawn from the
• Parents/rate -payers associations
stakeholder groups according to the skills and
• Sports and cultural clubs
type of contribution required, and include the
local authority, local businesses and community
• Non-governmental organisations
groups. Howeve r, all members of the
• Academic/Educational institutes, local
neighbourhood community are partners in
formulating the community vision and action
plan and in working towards making their vision
• Local businesses and service providers
• Professionals practising in the Identifying common values
neighbourhood (doctors, dentists, lawyers, Before a Sustainable Neighbourhood
architects) Organisation can be initiated, it is important that
• Home-based enterprises the community accept the values of sustainable
• Informal traders development as a common value system. A first
• Artists and craftsmen step is to educate the community and make
• Environmental organisations people aware of sustainable development and
• Property developers Agenda 21 principles. This can be done through
• Banks an initial values workshop.
• Major employers
Local government and associations Supporting information
• Elected officials A good starting point is the Earth Charter. It
• Political party representatives provides a set of universally accepted principles
• Service providers (police, health care, social for sustainable development and the supporting
service) principles explains clearly how these should be
• Community policing groups interpreted.
• Town planners
• Line department officials (transport, Copies of the full Agenda 21 and Habitat
environmental management, etc.) Agenda documents are also available on the
National/regional government agencies Internet. Summaries of the principles contained
• Infrastructure and service providers in these documents are available from the
• Economic development agencies Department of Environmental Affairs and
• Provincial line department officials Tourism. If your local authority already has a
Local Agenda 21 process in place, it may be
able to provide explanatory material.
Traditional values such as ubuntu , batho and
As you remember, sustainable development
setho also provide a good basis for your
requires that we balance the diverse interests of
community. Drawing on the values of all the
business, the environment and the community.
major world religions, the Parliament of World
Religions identified the following four directives of such a pledge is provided as an appendix, but
for a global ethic. These directives also describe you can write your own pledge, using the values
the ethics followed by a sustainable community. described above as a basis.
Another good idea is to circulate forms for a
• Have respect for all life on Earth community skills register. The skills register can
• Deal honestly and fairly with each other be used to identify individuals who could make a
• Speak and act truthfully valuable contribution to various projects, as well
as to provide the basis for establishing
• Respect and love one another and all
community businesses and promoting the use
beings on Earth as equal participants in of local resources. The register should ask
Life people not only what their occupation is, but
World Parliament of Religions: Towards a also what other skills they have. People have
Global Ethic skills and interests well beyond what they do for
Values workshop –
Introducing sustainable neighbourhoods Finally, the meeting should call for volunteer
to a community members for an Interim Committee that will take
This is the first public meeting to introduce the the process forward.
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation and
the issues of sustainable community Goals of the Workshop
development. The purpose of the meeting is to • Provide information on sustainability and
generate enthusiasm; to gather support and Local Agenda 21
commitment; and to motivate people for action. • Get support and buy-in from the community
• Agree on common values
It is important that all the stakeholder groups • Form an Interim Committee
you have identified are invited to this meeting. • Start a community skills register
Take care not to exclude any relevant people or
There may already be an organisation or group The Interim Committee is a non-legal group of
that can stimulate interest, or you can discuss volunteer and interested stakeholders whose
the meeting and its aims with community primary responsibilities are to set up the
leaders such as church officials, teachers and structure for the Sustainable Neighbourhood
street committee leaders. They can then invite Organisation, develop a constitution and start
their constituencies to attend the meeting. You the process for developing an Action Plan.
can also ask these people for contributions to
the agenda. Put up notices in public places The secondary responsibilities of the Interim
such as clinics, libraries, shops, restaurants Committee are:
and shebeens. For more information on how to • Communication and co-ordination between
organise a meeting, see Part Three. community and stakeholders.
• Keeping track of the program.
An invited speaker from a local organisation, • Continue to build broad community interest
local authority or from an academic or research in the project.
organisation could be asked to introduce Local • Undertake issues workshops within the
Agenda 21 and explain some of the issues and community (assist in building
reasons for sustainable development, including membership).
those outlined in the introduction. • Doing a community audit (of strengths,
weakness, opportunities and threats)
The initiators can then explain why they feel the • Identifying action areas.
need for a Sustainable Neighbourhood • Initiating community projects.
Organisation in their specific neighbourhood.
Use some of the local issues you know about to The primary purpose of the Interim Committee
illustrate this. is to establish a work program for the creation of
an incorporated organisation that can represent
A pledge can be circulated at the meeting to the neighbourhood.
encourage community commitment. An example
In some cases the initiators may form the core neighbourhood achieves its goals to the
of the Interim Committee, and have an ongoing members of that community.
responsibility to recruit new members
throughout the process of developing a The purpose of establishing a new,
permanent Neighbourhood Organisation. The independent organisation is to form a common
Interim Committee can consist of as many ground and build bridges between existing
people as possible who can meet on a regular organisations and individuals. The sustainable,
but largely informal basis. As not everyone can integrated development of the neighbourhood is
be represented on the committee, the the focus. Smaller, localised issues can be
community as a whole should be kept well tackled by existing organisations.
informed of the decisions and activities of the
Interim Committee. The Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation
can take two forms. It can be similar to a club
It is not necessary that the Interim Committee with a constitution and a set of appointed office
has an official Chairperson, Treasurer, bearers (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer). In
Secretary etc., but it works better if specific many cases where all you want to do is
people are given certain responsibilities. It is mobilise your neighbourhood and initiate
important that records of meetings are kept and communal neighbourhood projects, this may be
that everyone knows who is responsible for this. all you need.
The Interim Committee lasts as long as its However, operating as an informal committee
needs to establish the democratic and legal can reduce your ability to be recognised by other
structures for the Sustainable Neighbourhood stakeholders and government agencies as the
Organisation. It has exactly the same appropriate organisation to deal with, and will
responsibilities, although the Interim Committee reduce opportunities for funding and support. It
is a non-legal and self-elected entity. may therefore become essential to establish the
organisation as a legal body.
The Sustainable Neighbourhood
Organisation The SNO then becomes a legally incorporated
Many bodies are working on selected issues organisation, such as a Section 21 company,
within a neighbourhood. The Sustainable which can act as the legal entity of the project. It
Neighbourhood Organisation is developed upon is a body that can apply to organisations for
the holistic principles of sustainable funding and in other arenas be recognised as a
development, being equity, participation, and a formal organisation representing the interests of
search for solutions to address future needs. that neighbourhood.
Born out of the international Local Agenda 21
process, it localises international concerns Please see Part Three for more information on
within a neighbourhood, seeking local solutions establishing a legal identity for your Sustainable
to global problems. It complements many Neighbourhood Organisation.
organisations currently working within
neighbourhoods, giving control of the way a
Step 2 - two
Developing a community vision
drawing up an IDP for your neighbourhood. The
Things get better when enough people decide only difference between an IDP and a Local
that they should get better. Things change when Agenda 21 Action Plan, is that the LA21 plan is
ordinary people come together in a common built around the principles of sustainable
purpose. development, while the IDP has community
Kofi Annan, 1999. needs as its main driving force.
Visioning – from dream to reality Finding the facts
Visioning is a process by which a community There is certain information you will need for the
develops a picture of the future they want for community profile and issues analysis.
themselves and their children, and plans how to
achieve this. The process of visioning allows The first of these is a map of your
communities to list and prioritise the issues of neighbourhood showing natural features such
importance to them, while establishing goals as streams and green open spaces, as well as
and objectives from which the Action Plan will infrastructure such as roads, railway lines,
grow. schools and hospitals. An ordinance map from
the Surveyor General’s office is ideal (copies are
The visioning process has four components: available at your local authority’s planning
• Profiling the community office). They may also be able to provide you
• Community issues analysis with an aerial photograph of your
• Prioritising the issues neighbourhood. Failing this, you can use a map
• Formulating the vision statement bought in a bookstore and draw a big copy of it.
If your community is not on the map, drawing
your own map can be a fun, and educational,
Preparing for the visioning process thing to do for the local schoolchildren. The map
The visioning process is carried out at public does not have to be perfect, but should show the
meetings and community workshops, but main geographical features of your
requires certain preparations and gathering of neighbourhood.
information by the Interim Committee, the
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation Some other facts you may need;
Steering Committee, or dedicated Workgroups • The population breakdown (men, women,
within the SNO. children, age profile, cultural groups);
• Employment and unemployment statistics;
Learning from others • Local business profile;
A good place to start is with your local authority. • Community resources and organisations;
The visioning process described here is very • Crime patterns;
similar to that followed by your local authority • Housing stock and condition;
during the IDP process, and indeed, your • Level of services;
neighbourhood vision statement and issue • Annual public investment – and where it
analysis can contribute to the formulation of the goes;
next IDP. If you were not involved in your city’s • Local car ownership.
IDP process, talk to the officials responsible for
it and find out how they did things and what the
issues were that determined the IDP Vision Sources of information
Statement. They should also be able to provide • Local Authority
you with some of the facts you need. • Political party offices
The Department of Constitutional Development • Central statistical service (Stats SA)
also provides a guide to the IDP process that is • Government departments
very useful. Remember that you are really • Library
• Internet social conditions. Technical assessments help
• The Yellow Pages to inform the discussion, and can improve
• Community newspaper people’s understanding of the true scope and
• Anecdotal – Interviews and observations impact of the various issues, as well as how
• Local police station they relate to one another.
However, the help of technical experts are not
Profiling the community critically important. Although certain issues can
Where are we now? more easily be identified by outside experts,
Before you can decide where you want to go, you local residents have day-to-day contact with the
need a clear picture of where you are. This way problems affecting them and they can identify
your Vision and Action Plan will be grounded in key problems more readily. It is more important
reality and not based on unrealistic that the local stakeholders discuss the issues
expectations. as they see them. Just to remember to look at
environmental issues, as well as social and
A community profile is a picture of where your economic issues.
neighbourhood is right now, in other words the
current reality. It describes all the different Role of Community Issue Analysis
elements that make up the neighbourhood such • It focuses planning on people’s recognised
as the natural resources base; the geography interests, needs, and preferences.
(natural and human); demographics; • It initiates detailed dialogue among
neighbourhood assets such as housing and community groups and between the
transportation, education, cultural and community and technical experts and
recreational resources; and the different planning officials.
business, political, and community institutions. • It informs the community about a wide
Local issues, forces and trends should also range of local issues, creating a well-
form part of your community profile. informed constituency of residents to work
Creating a community profile need some • It helps stakeholders understand each
background work (see Preparing for the other’s problems, and how these are
visioning process) to gather the basic facts interrelated.
about your neighbourhood. It is then further
developed in a workshop with all the From your community profile, it is possible to
stakeholders. Draw on the local knowledge of identify some trends and issues both outside
the participants to build the picture. and inside your neighbourhood that are positive
or negative. You can use these to start the
Do not go into too much detail, but focus on conversation.
describing your neighbourhood as it really is,
not as you want it to be. A good community Depending on the size of your SNO, you can
profile describes what you have to work with break into smaller workgroups focused around
(strengths and opportunities), as well as what common interests. These workgroups will then
the main obstacles are (threats and bring the main issues they identified back to the
weaknesses). This is where the community general meeting where they are discussed
issue analysis comes in. alongside the issues identified by the other
workgroups. Write all the issues identified down
Identifying the issues on one list under columns marked ‘positive’ and
Community Issue Analysis ‘negative’ and eliminate duplications. Try to
group similar issues together.
Community-based issue analysis uses a series
of exercises to help stakeholders share
This method makes sure that the opinions of a
knowledge, review and participate in technical
broad range of stakeholders are heard. It also
assessments, set planning priorities, and jointly
helps to identify possible areas of conflict.
develop options for action. - ICLEI
People often find it easy to think of negative
aspects, but difficult to identify positive issues
If you have the funds available, it is good to have such as strengths and opportunities. Take care
some technical experts to help with the analysis, not to let the workshop focus on the negative.
especially as it relates to environmental and
It is very important that all the stakeholders your problems, and is therefore of high
understand and agree on the issues that importance.
affect the development of your neighbourhood.
Some questions a community can use to
To get this understanding a SWOT analysis
evaluate and prioritise the issues can be:
is very useful. • What can we change easily?
• What can we influence?
SWOT Analysis • What are pressing concerns?
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats • What do we have to initiate?
SWOT Analysis is a tool that can be used to do • How do we communicate?
an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats of any issue. It Identify those issues where actions and
develops a picture of what the community has to changes can lead to significant and lasting
work with and what the obstacles to its vision improvements. Do not focus only on the critical
are. This helps them to formulate attainable issues where stress is the greatest, but also
goals, objectives and actions. focus on those pivotal issues that will unlock
Take the list of issues identified in the previous
exercise and, together with all the participants in Make a list of the five or ten issues that should
the process, place each of them under one of be prioritised. You can order them according to
SWOT Matrix in the SWOT matrix. urgency or importance, or not at all so that they
are all of equal importance. It is best not to order
Strengths and weaknesses are usually internal them according to categories such as social, or
issues. Strengths are those positive issues in environmental. Issues that may appear social
your neighbourhood you can build on. on the surface may actually have an
Weaknesses are the negative things within your
neighbourhood that you need to overcome.
environmental cause or effect.
Discuss this list with all the stakeholders until
Opportunities and threats are usually external. there is cons ensus on the priorities identified for
Opportunities are positive factors or trends the neighbourhood. This is very important, as
outside your neighbourhood that you might want this list will determine not only your vision, but
to exploit for the good of your community. also your Action Plan.
Likewise, threats are negative external forces,
the influence of which you would want to limit.
O The Vision Statement
You now know what the current reality is in your
Priorities neighbourhood; what the strengths,
Now that all the stakeholders have a clear idea weaknesses, opportunities and threats are; and
of what the positive and negative issues are in what the priority issues are that needs to be
your neighbourhood, and which are internal addressed. Finally, you are ready to prepare
factors you may have control over, the next step your neighbourhood vision statement.
is to prioritise those issues.
The vision describes what a community wants
Your issues list includes a broad range of to become. It describes its dreams and hopes
problems, challenges and wishes. Not all of for the future and will guide your entire LA21
them can be addressed at the same time. You process from here on.
therefore need to prioritise the issues in terms
of importance and urgency.
Requirements for a LA21 vision statement
• It should be rooted in reality and therefore
It is essential to evaluate all issues raised,
discussing each one as appropriate. Many
• It should be based on the common values
issues may be linked with others and it is
identified by the community, and on the
important to recognise these links in prioritising
values of sustainable development.
the issues. A useful exercise is to draw a map of
• It should be shared by all the stakeholders.
how issues are linked. You may find that an
• It should be focused on the priorities
issue that did not appear very important
because it is not immediately visible or very
urgent, may actually be pivotal to solving many of
• It should motivate people to take on
personal responsibility for realising the
The purpose of a vision statement is to build a
basis for agreement on the general direction in
which the community should go. It should be
brief, positive and inspiring.
A good way to write your vision statement is to
start with a brainstorming session around your
priorities and values. Take each priority and start
writing down words and ideas that describe
what your community would look like if the
priority has been successfully addressed.
Measure this picture against your common
values and see which of these can be used to
describe the envisioned outcome. Now
consolidate these descriptions into one picture
that describes your future.
Your first vision statement will not be perfect and
it should be revisited from time to time.
The following is an example of a vision
statement from the United States.
“ A dynamic and diverse community celebrating
its heritage, committed to sharing power and
opportunity and working in harmony to sustain
our environment and create economic vitality for
this and future generations – the City of
Brainstorming is an integral part of the visioning
process. By involving many diverse people, it
stimulates creativity and the potential to solve
problems. However there are some basic
guidelines for it to be successful.
• Keep a record of all ideas (a flip chart may
• Be open to new ideas.
• Avoid criticism of others’ ideas.
• Allow time for the idea to be explained.
• Encourage all to contribute.
• Keep the comments short so all get their
Action Plans - From Ideas to Actions
A vision without a task is but a dream.
A task without a vision is but drudgery.
A vision with a task can change the world.
From the declaration given by Global Co -operation for a Better World, Mount Mbu, Rajastan, India, 1989.
How do we get there?
Everything you have done up to now has been a preparation for the Action Plan. Guided by the Vision
Statement, the Action Plan provides an agenda for the sustainable developm ent of your neighbourhood, in
other words, a Local Agenda 21 that is specific to your community.
An action plan is a set of agreed goals, targets and triggers, developed with strategies and commitments
to achieve those targets. At its simplest, an action plan provides the neighbourhood with a list of things to
do and a plan for doing them.
A strategic Action Plan addresses problems and needs at a systemic level and with a long-term
perspective. It contains concrete targets for both short -and long-term progress and describes the
mechanisms by which the achievement of these targets can be evaluated.
To make sure that the Action Plan is implemented, it is important to link your goals to that of existing,
formal planning processes such as the IDP, and to national government policy.
Why develop action plans?
Action plans help a community to manage a wide range of activities, develop timetables, establish
budgets and assist in fundraising. By having an agreed set of goals and targets, as well as an
implem entation strategy, it allows the development of a community project and the monitoring of its
An action plan that clearly describes the process, goals, strategies and expected outcomes, allows
people to come in at different stages of the process, as the common vision of where the process is going
is clear. A well prepared plan assists in the implementation of a project in a co-ordinated and systematic
An important function of the action plan is that it includes a budget or business plan, which establishes
the financial and resource requirements and limitations of the project. The budget gives an indication of
the funding mix required for the implementation of the project. The other information contained in the
Action Plan can combine with the budget to serve as the basis for funding applications, as all the
necessary information has already been outlined. The action plan can be also used as the basis of a brief
for consultants. [See Part 3.]
An action plans consists of:
• A community vision, developed by the stakeholders, including a consensus position on current
problems and opportunities;
• Strategic goals for each problem or opportunity area related to this vision;
• Specific targets to be achieved in meeting each goal;
• Identified implementation strategies and programs for achieving these targets and goals;
• A description of key partnerships to be established for implementation, including linkages with
existing planning processes; and
• A framework for periodic evaluation of progress, including ‘triggers’ for future planning and action.
(From the ICLEI Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide)
Setting goals, targets and triggers
Goals describe the desired outcomes of your responses to the issues identified in the Community
Issues Analysis, and describe what you want to achieve.
An example of a goal is to boost job creation in the community by supporting locally owned and small
scale and community based enterprises. They are responses to the priorities identified in the issue
analysis and should be regularly reviewed as priorities might change.
There should be at least one goal for every issue identified. These goals can be prioritised and listed
according to whether they are long or short term in focus.
The ability of the Action Plan process to establish clear goals requires that:
• Clear information is available about the nature and extent of a challenge or opportunity.
• Viable and acceptable action options have been identified to address the challenge or opportunity.
• The cost of implementing different options is known.
Targets are measurable commitments to be realised within a specific time frame. They are also used to
measure the progress of the Action Plan.
Some questions you may want to ask in setting the targets are:
• Is the target sufficient to meet immediate, priority needs?
• Is the target sufficient to achieve, over time, the goal?
• Can the target be achieved? What actions need to be taken? Are the stakeholders and community
members willing to take these measures?
• Would we be willing to settle for a lower level of achievement than is set in the target? What level?
• What indicators are needed to measure progress and implementation?
Triggers are future conditions that “trigger” specified, previously agreed to, actions at a future date.
If long term or lower priority issues are incorporated into action plans there needs to be continued
monitoring of that issue, and the development of triggers and specified actions if those issues
deteriorates in the future.
A trigger is a commitment to take a specified action at a future date. The implementation of this agreed
action is catalysed or 'triggered' when certain specified conditions develop. The instrument is called a
'trigger' because a future condition (e.g. increase in pollution, decline in water supply of quality) 'triggers' a
specified action that has been defined by prior agreement.
In developing a trigger, the working committee needs to agree on the 'future conditions' that they feel
requires and justifies immediate action, and the different actions that must be taken when the trigger
conditions take place. Monitoring will be required, so indicators will need to be developed in conjunction
with the trigger.
When the goals and targets have been established, the next step is the development of an
implementation strategy to achieve those goals and targets. The implementation strategy provides a set
of actions for every goal, as well as a strategy of how you are going to go about performing those actions.
Actions can be steps to reduce those factors impacting negatively on the well-being of your community
and the environment. Or they can be steps to strengthen those factors that improve the well-being of the
community and the environment.
When deciding on the actions you want to take, it is useful to ask the following questions:
• Will the selected actions be sufficient to achieve the related targets?
• What is the likelihood that the selected actions can be successfully implemented?
• Do the selected actions fairly distribute the responsibility and cost for their implementation amongst
• What impact can the proposed actions have on the environment and on society?
Before you decide on any actions it is important that you consider their possible impact, both short term
and long term, as well as possible alternatives. The ideal action provides a win -win solution for all three
sectors of environment, economy and society. In practice this is not always possible, and various
alternatives have to be looked at in order to find the solution that causes the least harm and provides the
maximum benefit, now and in the future. To help you decide on these actions you can use scenario
Scenario planning is a way of rehearsing several possible futures and testing decisions against these
scenarios. It provides an informed long-term view to guide the setting of priorities.
Using the information you collected for the community profile you can create stories (or scenarios) of
possible futures by adding the proposed actions or their alternatives in different combinations. The
implications of each scenario can then be identified and you can develop a strategy that will work
regardless of which future will unfold.
In the process you will also identify a list of indicators and trigger situations that will be useful in
monitoring the success of your Action Plan.
The introduction provided you with some ideas for actions you can undertake in your neighbourhood. The
following list gives some further examples of actions that can be carried out by the individual or
• Insulate your house.
• Install a solar hot water system.
• Grow food-producing trees in the garden.
• Plant a vegetable garden.
• Collect rainwater from the roof for the garden
• Build secondary accommodation
• Make sure your house overlooks the street and people in the street overlook the house.
• Ask your local authority to provide traffic calming measures in your street.
• Lower your fences or make them more transparent.
• Form street committees - get to know your neighbours.
• Share childcare and tutoring.
• Help your neighbours.
• Plant street trees.
• Plant trees in your parks.
• Clean your rivers and streams.
• Form a Local Agenda 21/ Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation based on the street committees.
• Keep the streets clean of rubbish.
• Walk around your neighbourhood – reclaim the streets.
• Use local shops, services, trades people and institutions.
• Paint out graffiti.
• Report petty vandalism – fix anything broken.
• Plant community food gardens in unused open space and vacant plots.
• Encourage formalised street trading and markets – busy streets are safe streets.
• Walk and cycle rather than use the car.
Once you have decided on a set of actions, you need to break these actions up into manageable tasks
and put them onto a time-line that tells you when what needs to be done. This will help you with drawing
up the budget and finding out what you will need in terms of skills, resources and technical knowledge.
Some projects will have only basic expenditures, while more ambitious projects may need complex
funding mixes. The majority of projects will need some funding. A budget can help you when you are
looking for funding, whether you are asking donations from local businesses, organising cake sales or
applying for international donor funding. It also helps you to monitor the implementation of the project.
Things to factor into a budget are capital expenses such as buying equipment or seed; running costs for
telephone calls, travel and printing; and human resources, that is people’s time, energy and knowledge.
A budget will also quickly tell you how feasible your plan of action is. However, don’t let a lack of funds
discourage you. There are many things you and your community can do that requires only your energy,
creativity or small lifestyle changes. Focus on these first, and the successes will improve your chances of
getting outside funding for some of the more expensive projects you would like to do.
Who will do the work? Many projects will only happen because individuals give freely of their time and
expertise. These volunteers are the most important partners in the project, but they often need direction.
Your implementation strategy should clearly identify the type of skills needed for each task. By developing
a skills register, you can make optimum use of the skills available in your community, appointing people
to tasks where their skills are most useful.
Often all that is needed are extra hands and able bodies, but sometimes you need special skills or
technical knowledge. Your community may already have many of these skills available on a voluntary
basis, but occasionally you will need outside help.
The three most important partners in accessing external help are the local authority (who should be a
main partner of the project in any case), the relevant NGO’s and local businesses.
Make a list of all the key partnerships and responsibilities for implementation, including those that need to
be developed t roughout the lifetime of a project. One of the first tasks should be to approach possible
partners (including the community at large) to develop partnership agreements for implementation.
An excellent Action Plan provides no guarantee that the problems will be solved, that the community's
needs will be met, or that it will become more sustainable. Two important factors for the successful
implementation of the Action Plan are the listing of the responsibilities for the working committee and
stakeholders. The distribution of tasks and responsibilities helps to ensure the implementation of the
project. The second aspect is an appropriate budget, funding mix and investment of community resources
in the project.
Step 4 - four
Monitoring – Measuring progress,
Be careful what you wish for, you just might
Your neighbourhood has now agreed on a
common vision, decided on a plan of action to
realise this vision and is busy implementing this
plan. Hopefully, you are already seeing some of
the changes brought about by your actions. Are
they changes you wished for?
We are part of very complex social and
environmental systems and any action we
perform have several impacts on these systems
that we cannot predict. Something we thought
would be the ideal solution to our problems may
turn out to have created our worst nightmare. To
avoid this, we need to monitor projects closely
and react to possible problems before they
become too big.
Therefore, once the action plan is being What is an indicator?
implemented, a monitoring program for the
An indicator is something that helps a
project needs to be put in place. While
community to understand where it is, which way
developing the vision and action plan, a series
it is going and how far it is from where it wants to
of indicators would have been identified. These
be. A good indicator alerts a community to a
monitor the changes your action plan for
problem before it gets too bad and helps it to
economic, environmental and community health
recognise what needs to be done to fix that
brought about. It is important to monitor the
direction of change. Are the strategies put in
place assisting or hindering the development of
the community? Indicators are tools for measuring impact and
progress and are integral to monitoring the
Indicators can also be developed to measure implementation of the projects outlined in a
community performance and progress towards community's action plan. The publishing of the
meeting your targets. indicators helps to convey progress to the
community, keeping the project honest and
The community profile should have measured alive.
and recorded the existing situation to provide a
baseline set of data that future recording of the The indicators should be measured periodically
project’s performance or the state of the by the community members themselves, or
environment can be compared to. responsibility given to a Working Group or
individuals to monitor and report the results
back to the Sustainable Neighbourhood • The indicator is developed, accepted, and
Organisation and community at large. used by the community.
• The indicator provides a long-term view of
The style of presenting the indicators is the community. It provides information
important. It needs to be clear and concise so about where the community has been, as
that the information can be easily used to well as a goal set for where the community
influence major decisions on the progress should be in 20, 30 or 50 years.
being made, the success of the project and any • The indicator is based on information that is
changes of direction that may be necessary, timely, reliable and easily accessible.
• The indicator links the different areas of the
A presentation style that has been successful in community. The areas to link are:
other indicator projects includes: culture/social, economy, education,
• A graph showing trends, casting back as far environment, health, housing, quality of life,
as possible. politics, population, public safety,
• A description of the indicator, and why its recreation, resource consumption/use, and
important to monitoring the project. transportation.
• A definition of what is being monitored (Sustainable Community Indicators Checklist
• An interpretation of the trends demonstrated Source: Hart 1996 ABRIDGED)
• An evaluation of the results against the
• A statement of the linkages between what is Is this progress?
being measured and other aspects of the After the program has been going for some time
project or spheres of sustainable (6 months - one year) some questions need to
development. be asked:
• Have goals been reached, if not were they
The different types of indicators reasonable and achievable?
Indicators are used to monitor the unfolding of • Did the Action Plan translate into action?
• Were the indicators sufficient to measure
possible futures as caused by our actions, as
well as changes in our outside environment
• What was successful?
such as climate change or changes in national
• What problems can be identified?
priorities or even political systems.
• Were people motivated to participate in the
working comm ittees?
They are also used to monitor the impact of
• Is the community generally aware of the
decisions made against the neighbourhood
vision, its common values and the principles of
• Look at your accomplishments and
Depending on what is being measured,
indicators can fall into different frameworks. The Update and revise the Action Plan!
causal framework, described by Pressure-State- Things change. Projects are implemented, new
Response indicators, is the most widely used, information and knowledge becomes available,
especially for physical systems. It can be used you become more experienced, the situation in
to describe environmental, economic or social your neighbourhood change because of internal
pressures (the issues you have identified), or external forces. In reality, the Action Plan is an
system conditions and the responses to these evolving document, and as projects are
problems. Goal-based frameworks are implemented and monitored, goals and
characterised by performance-based indicators priorities may change and the programme may
categorised as inputs, outputs, efficiency and need to be revisited and reviewed.
Additional stakeholders and funding can also
Characteristics of a good indicator change the extent and intensity of the actions.
• The indicator is relevant to an individual The process of implementation is a way to
community's vision of the future. communicate and give form to community
• The indicator is understandable to the values, and in itself usually attracts the greatest
community at large. If only experts support. This is why short and long term
understand it, only experts will use it. objectives are separated, and projects are
prioritised according to need and resources.
and evaluated, again using the indicators. This
After completing a specific project, the information can then be used to see how things
successes, failures, and lessons that can be might be changed in future projects.
learnt from the process needs to be reviewed
Step 5 - five
Celebrating – Feedback and promotion
It is good to have an end to journey toward, It is important to provide periodic feedback to
but it is the journey that matters in the end. stakeholders and the community at large on the
Ursula Le Guin progress and performance of the action plan,
and check with them that the plan still reflects
the wishes of the community and continues to
support sustainable development. This ensures
Celebrate that the community continues to feel ownership
This step does not come at the end of a project, of the process and therefore support it through
but starts with the visioning process and their own actions.
continues throughout the lifetime of your
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation. Feedback can take many forms. It can be in a
community newsletter, regular articles in the
Celebrate key moments in creating and local newspaper, or community meetings.
implementing your Local Agenda 21. These
• Setting up the Sustainable Neighbourhood
People will only be aware of your programme of
• Completing the Vision Statement creating a healthy, safe, sustainable
neighbourhood through information, action and
• Introducing the Action Plan
• Starting and completing projects, as well as promotion. If the community is informed about
the issues then one of the major goals is
key moments during the lifetime of the
Use every opportunity you can think of for a • Promote the Local Agenda 21 / Community
celebration. Celebrations serve many purposes. Development to the community through
They provide opportunity to promote your Local projects and events.
Agenda 21 and attract new partners; to give • Promote the Local Agenda 21 program to
feedback to the community about where you are outside agencies through the power of the
in the process and what is being achieved; and media reporting on your projects and
to raise funds. By allowing the people in your events.
neighbourhood to meet and mingle in a joyful • Promote your neighbourhood to other parts
spirit, celebrations also strengthen the of the city - be proud of where you live,
community and improve community pride and claim it, make it yours, improve it for your
social cohesion. children.
Community activities such as picnics in the
Successful promotions do not just happen. They
park, tree planting days, clean street days, local
need extensive planning and communication.
shopping days and celebration of local
Use your commercial and community centres
landmarks and important local stores are
as focal points for your promotion campaign.
important to foster pride of the neighbourhood.
Existing community structures such as religious
groups, schools, civics or street committees can
Celebrations need not be expensive do’s. Be
help to spread the word. Use your partnerships
inventive, use local talent and support
with community organisations and
structures, and above all, have fun.
Attitudes are delicate - perceptions quickly The following list provides some ideas for a
become realities. However, attitudes and promotion programme. Some may be
perceptions can be changed. It is important to appropriate to your community, others not. Use it
keep this in mind because negative attitudes as inspiration to create your own promotion
can be changed with the right approach. programme that celebrates the unique
strengths of your community and the successes
More than any other point in the Local Agenda of your Local Agenda 21 programme.
21 process, promotion will expand the potential
of your program to change peoples perceptions
and attitudes. • Focus on the environmental assets of the
neighbourhood: street trees, gardens, parks
It should be a goal of the promotional program and streams.
to generate a popular image of your • Provide information on local improvements
neighbourhood. Good marketing techniques happening or about to happen.
can create a sense of zest, excitement and • Encourage local improvement through
vitality, generating community well being, and promoting examples of best practices -
contributes to a sense of ownership and desire solar hot water, food producing gardens and
to improve the environment in which the parks.
community lives. • Plan seasonal events - spring bulb planting,
winter tree planting, harvest festivals.
Building an image Retail Promotion
Image is possibly the most important factor in • Focus on the variety of goods and services
improving your neighbourhood - it is the available.
impression other people have of your • Celebrate local retail centres with events.
neighbourhood. Having a good image helps a • Organise “shop local” campaigns.
neighbourhood to attract investment, thus
creating jobs and improving services. It a lso
• Organise celebrations for all - young, old,
fosters a sense of civic pride. Generating civic
pride is essential to a successful Local Agenda
• Use events to build community interest in
21/ community development programme.
• Use events to initiate projects and end
The image of a neighbourhood is determined by
its physical appearance and by its particular
• Celebrate traditional, ethnic and local
identity. In search of “progress” many
holidays, people or history.
neighbourhoods have lost sight of their identity:
the aspects that make that community look or Many organisations can help you organise
feel unique. An identity might be based on an special events to promote your Sustainable
important historical event, ethnic group, Neighbourhood Organisation and Local Agenda
distinctive landscape, architecture, feature, or 21. Ask your local authority for a list of
reputation for safety or friendly people. environmental organisations in your city or
region. Service providers such as Eskom or your
Once an identity is rediscovered, it can be built local Water Board, and big companies such as
upon and used as the basis for celebration and Pick and Pay also have community outreach
promotion. Use this new-found civic pride to programmes that you could benefit from. Your
mobilise the community into improving the local businesses can also provide some help in
physical appearance of the neighbourhood. return for the good publicity this gives them.
Image is determined by: The media can help
• A clean environment. Getting the word out is the most important factor
• A safe environment. in the success of your promotional programme.
• The visual impression of area. If your city or community has a local paper, it is
• The attitude of locals and retailers. particularly important to develop a good working
• Greenness of the area. relationship with its editor or reporters. Local
• Air quality and noise levels radio stations could also be used to keep the
• A clear identity. community informed. If you have access to the
Internet, set up a community website to
A promotion programme generate interest and publish positive stories.
Whatever route you decide to go, it is important
to know how to deal with the media and prepare
press releases. Remember that a media
release should help the press to quickly identify
the points you want to get across.
Preparing Media Releases
• Opening statement of press release needs
to have “punch” and interest.
• Provide graphics or photographs to
accompany the press release.
• Provide a human -interest story - children,
• The first sentences of your press release
are the “lead”. Your lead should answer six
questions - Who, What, When, Where, Why,
• Be brief, two sentences make a good
paragraph in newspaper copy.
• Be factual, write in third person (i.e. not “our
project, or “my project”, but “the project”).
• Avoid adjectives like “very, attractive”, or
• Type the press release, leave wide margins
for editors to make notes.
• Keep a record of where the press release
has been sent and published it.
Preparing and holding meetings and workshops
The Perfect Meeting
Preliminary Checklist Who should attend?
• Purpose - All participants know and understand • Those with information to give to the
the purpose of the meeting and its desired meeting.
outcomes. Clearly state the purpose and • Those who will gather useful information
objectives of the meeting. Produce an agenda from the meeting.
and stick to it.
• Those with expertise to contribute to the
• Agenda - The framework upon which the meeting
rests, organised to achieve the purpose and
• Those that need to be invited to support the
outcomes of the meeting.
• Participants - Those invited to attend, whether legitimacy of the meeting – stakeholders,
they have expertise, experience, are and interested or affected parties.
stakeholders or interested people or • Those who may provide balance in areas of
organisations. In the case of a public meeting or conflict.
workshop, broad representation of community • Those who are empowered to implement
groups and individuals is essential. any actions agreed.
• Facilitator - The facilitator guides the discussion
according to the agenda, while still Choosing an appropriate venue
accommodating individuals’ ability to participate.
Apart from being big enough to accommodate
• Agreed Action - A meeting is about an action,
whether it’s the dissemination of information or a all those who may wish to participate, it is
specific task. The outcomes (agreed and helpful if the space has enough chairs and
achieved) should be summarised clearly by the some tables for working groups.
• Follow-up - A secretary records all decisions and Other resources that may be important and help
action points in the minutes, for reference by in the free flow of ideas are white boards, black
participants. boards, pens, crayons and large sheets of
paper for groups, overhead projectors, and slide
Before you organise the meeting, you need to be Some communities may have a wide range of
clear on what you want to achieve, as this choices, some may not, so what is available is
determines the type of meeting and the structure also a consideration. Spaces that may be in
of the agenda. your community include the local town hall,
community hall, clubhouses, libraries, schools,
Meetings have different functions. These include churches and conference centre. Many
disseminating information, exchange of ideas successful meetings have been held under a
and experience, developing teamwork, tree or in a public open space. (Clear any open
instigating internal or external changes, and air meeting first with your local police station, as
rapid decision-making, there may still be some by-laws prohibiting it)
The most important aspect is that the space is
Types of Meetings well known to the community. When advertising
• Informative / Advisory the meeting include a location map and street
• Consultative address.
• Problem solving
• Decision taking If possible, try to book the space for free, or at
• Negotiating least at a discounted fee. Explain to the owner or
manager of the space what is taking place, and • Able to manage the group process without
invite them to attend. Ensure that you book taking over or manipulating the group’s
ahead so as not to be disappointed. Try to decisions.
organise a night or weekend day when the most • Able to harness the skills and potential of
people can attend. Remember to confirm the all participants.
arrangements before the meeting. • Able to put aside their own needs in favour
of the group’s needs.
• Aware of both the content of the meeting,
Setting the agenda and of how group members interact.
Establish a reasonable timetable for the • Able to set a positive tone for the meeting.
meeting and stick to its contents to keep • Willing to show respect for the values of
people’s attention and the issues focussed. each person involved in the meeting.
Consult people within the community about the
contents of the agenda.
Revisiting meetings / workshops
People should enjoy themselves and have a
The agenda has the following functions
• It communicates certain expectations to sense of achievement. It is important that a
summary is given at the end of the meeting, and
everyone involved well in advance of the
minutes are kept of decisions made, as well as
of objections made to these decisions. In
• It helps to order the meeting and keep it to
addition, revisiting workshops should be held
regularly, especially in the early stages. Things
• It makes sure that all the important issues
change quickly as the community develops legal
structures and holds visioning and issue
workshops. This is an open process, which
Generic Agenda allows people to become involved at any stage.
(Provide Date, time and place) Therefore, it is to the benefit of all to revisit the
• Open - call meeting to order outcomes of the previous workshops and the
• Apologies progress the committee has made in its role.
• Minutes of last meeting This way a history is built up, allowing new
• Matters arising from minutes people to see the way the program has
• Inward and Outward Correspondence developed.
• New Business
• General Business
• Fix time and place of next meeting. Some tricks of the trade that may assist the
• Adjourn meeting success of the meetings and workshops are:
• Allow plenty of time for organisation and
Role of a Facilitator • Make a checklist of tasks, set deadlines, and
The facilitator has the role of making a public delegate responsibilities.
meeting or workshop work. From organising the • Publicise the meeting widely throughout the
meeting, to making sure that all people in the community - use newspapers, fliers, delegate
meeting have the opportunity to contribute, the responsibilities.
facilitator should ensure the smooth running of • Develop an agenda and display it, or distribute
a meeting, During the meeting the facilitator (or copies (leave copies in library, butchers,
chairperson) must make sure that all issues hairdressers, cafes etc)
have been discussed and that the participants • Arrange to have a 'facilitator' or a person
experienced in-group meetings chair the
are happy with decisions.
• Have other facilitators organised to run
A good facilitator earns the respect of those he
or she is working with, giving them the ability to • Consider having popular local politicians or
direct the smooth running of a meeting or other special speakers contribute to the
What to look for in a facilitator: • Give everyone a nametag.
• Positive, energetic, assertive, respected. • Provide refreshments.
• Well organised. • Ask all speakers, including interjectors to state
• Able to work well with a variety of people. their name.
• Have people organised to record minutes and • Send out a summary of the meeting to all who
facilitate the meeting and workshop. attend and make copies publicly available in the
• Record names, addresses, phone numbers, of local library, post offi ce, etc.
all participants (distribute a questionnaire and
Your community may not be able to afford things
• End evening by summarising main points -
like nametags, refreshments and postage. This
develop consensus. Have people sign off on this.
does not matter, as these are only helpful extras
Set up next tasks and enrol other people into
project. and not essential to the success of a meeting.
Setting up the Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation
When to establish the Sustainable • The size of the Organisation’s governing
Neighbourhood Organisation • The most appropriate people to fill the
The establishment of the Sustainable positions of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson,
Neighbourhood Organisation needs to happen Treasurer and Secretary.
early in the process. This is because of the • The contents of the Constitution of the
need to generate funding for projects, if not also organisation.
for the employment of a co -ordinator. Funding • The establishment of membership.
agencies, both government and charitable, will
not, on the whole, give funding to an informal
organisation without a legal constitution.
Around ten people are considered a workable
size for a governing Board. Given that it is rare
The timing of the establishment of the
for all members to be able to attend every
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation is
meeting, the size of the Board could be set at
dependent on the ability of the Interim
twelve to fourteen people.
Committee to access funding. If there is no
other organisation that can apply for funding on
its behalf, then the early formalisation of the
Much thought should be given to choosing the
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation
right person for the role of chairing the
becomes critical and needs to be initiated
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation’s
immediately. If funding can be accessed
Board. The Chairperson must be able to
elsewhere then the Interim Committee can
remain informal for several months or so. Like communicate with all sectors of society from
children to politicians. Leadership skills are
many companies and trusts, a sustainable
neighbourhood organisation has a Board, which essential, along with having the respect of the
has the responsibility of ensuring the
successful running of the organisation and its
The Vice-Chairperson must be able to work
closely with the Chairperson and be able to
stand in whenever the Chairperson is
Features of an effective organisation: unavailable.
• Decisive and action oriented
• Clear in its focus The Treasurer needs to have good accounting
• Possesses a consistent and well structured and financial record-keeping skills. Incorporated
work program organisations are bound by law to keep financial
• Acts as a visible symbol of new activity records, have them available for scrutiny by the
• Firm strategy for ongoing funding and Organisation’s members if requested, and
support annual accounts must be audited and
presented along with the Organisation’s Annual
Structure of the Sustainable Report every year.
The role of the Secretary is primarily to keep
The important things to consider when evolving
accurate records of meetings. Depending on the
from the Interim Committee into the Sustainable
job description for the Co-ordinator, the
Neighbourhood Organisation are:
Secretary may also be responsible for the of the workload, and allow several issues to be
distribution of minutes of meetings, the worked on simultaneously.
preparation of agendas for meetings and the
typing and distribution of any correspondence. These groups are composed of all interested
participants, as well as specialist bodies and
Other board members experts, and stakeholders. This part of the
In addition to the above four “official” positions, sustainable neighbourhood organisation has
there will be another eight to ten positions to fill the potential to involve the greatest number of
on the Sustainable Neighbourhood people, as this is the action stage, where the
Organisation’s Board. It is essential that these focus is implementing strategies and
positions be filled by people who represent the developing mechanisms to monitor change.
broad range of interests in the community. The
members must be able to contribute time, The Working Groups act on directives of the
energy, skills, money or provide access to Interim Committee or Organisation’s Board.
funding sources, and overall, be able to take on This way a clear work program can be
the level of responsibility that has been vested in established without overlap and confusion.
the Board by the wider community. Resources may be tight amongst the Working
Groups, making the use of volunteers who have
The constitution skills in areas important.
The constitution includes the Value Statement,
describes the official and other positions and The role of the Working Groups:
their terms of office and election procedures, as • Empower all those that wish to participate
well as the legal structure of the organisation. • Make things happen
• Act on priorities and tasks set by the Interim
Establishment of membership Committee or Organisation’s Board
To build broad community support for the • Encourage widespread public involvement
Neighbourhood Organisation, membership of it to get things done
should be open to any group or individual who • Organise task forces to accomplish short
wishes to be a member. Depending on your term activities
community, membership could be free, or • Co-operate with other working groups
people could pay a small fee, in return for which • Keep the Interim Committee or
they receive regular updates on the work of the Organisation’s Board informed of progress
Committee and the Working Groups and an
invitation to general meetings. Through paying a The Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation
small fee and receiving updates on the activities is responsible for prioritising the actions that
of the Neighbourhood Organisation, ownership need to be taken when individual Action Plans
of the organisation's activities is established are developed for each project area. Then it is
throughout the community. up to working groups to carry out the actions so
that results are achieved.
Having defined the issues through community Building Networks of Support
meetings and workshops, action is needed. The Building networks of support between the
Interim Committee, Sustainable Neighbourhood Interim Committee and Neighbourhood
Organisation’s Board and Co-ordinator can't be Organisation, the wider community,
expected to do everything. The devolution of professionals and government agencies is an
responsibility to the Working Groups is the next ongoing and essential part of the sustainable
step. The purpose of the Working Groups is to development process.
develop actions. They are formed out of the
community meetings and workshops to focus While they may not wish to fill a permanent
on major themes developed from those place on the Neighbourhood Organisation, there
meetings. They have an essential function in are many individuals in the community who can
prioritising issues and actions, and in the contribute a broad range of skills on an as
development of individual action plans, their needed basis. They do not need to attend every
implementation and monitoring of results. meeting but need to be kept informed of the
These Working Groups assist in the distribution Organisation’s progress and decisions via
copies of minutes of the meetings. When their
particular skills are needed for a project, a • Financial and technical resource
personal invitation to the next meeting can be assistance, including information on the
extended. This type of relationship could exist areas infrastructure, resources and needs.
with local engineers, architects, town planners, • Support and give credibility to project when
landscape specialists, journalists, artists, approaching other funding agencies.
environmentalists, mechanics - whoever has • Implement public improvements advocated
skills that could be called upon without requiring by community.
a regular commitment to the Sustainable
Neighbourhood Organisatio n. Making it work
Your local authority, local businesses, police
To build trust between the Neighbourhood
station and schools, as well as contacts in
Organisation and the community there has to be
provincial and national government departments
an ‘open door’ policy for meetings. Rather than
and donor funding agencies are all very
being a closed shop, board meetings, usually
important members of your support network.
held on a monthly or 2 monthly basis, and are
open for anyone to attend. This stops any fear
Working with Local Authorities that decisions are made without openness and
Local Authorities can be very supportive of a transparency, or that the Neighbourhood
community development programme. In some Organisation is an exclusive ‘club’ of people
cases, they could be the outside agency that who are making important decisions without the
instigates a programme to empower a inclusion of community concerns. A decision
community. Not only can local authorities identify making process needs to be established,
a need within a community for a deve lopment showing the Board and Sustainable
programme, but they can also assist it in its Neighbourhood Organisation’s members how
running through information, resources and decisions are made.
accessing funding. They can therefore play a
central role in the activities of the Sustainable Each community must develop its own protocols
Neighbourhood Organisation. but must guard against long meetings that do
not advance projects. Set an agenda, set
Many of the issues that resulted from the objectives, aim to agree on targets and allocate
community development programme can be tasks.
incorporated into local authority programmes
and plans, especially the IDP process. There
Funding and Fundraising
are also other areas where this may be
A successful program is dependent on the
appropriate such as renewal projects,
resources and funds it can raise for day-to-day
recreational opportunities, and maintenance of
management and for the development and
public amenity and provision of infrastructure.
implementation of the Action Plan. As described
previously, it is essential to have a legal
It should, however, always be remembered that
structure and a clear project outline and
your Neighbourhood Organisation and action
implementation strategy. The more organised
plan depends foremost on the participation of
the program is, the greater the potential of
your neighbourhood community. It is not the
fundraising from a wide range of sources.
responsibility of the local authority to keep it
These funders need to know that there is some
going or implement any of its activities. South
benefit involved in the project, whether to the
African local authorities are also in many cases
community at large, their business, or to a long -
unable to assist with funding or manpower.
Benefits and Potential of Partnerships Identifying potential funders involves a great
with Local Authorities deal of networking. Start local, whether it is a
• Assistance in getting starte d by providing a local employee, community foundation, an
venue for meetings, initial leadership and in individual or member of local government
the funding of a co-ordinator or consultants. agency or authority. Then expand the search for
• Involvement of local politicians. funders to municipal, regional and national
• Supporting a complementary community agencies. Funding may be direct or in kind.
Writing a grants application is a skill in itself. A
great deal of thought and background research
needs to be done. Contact has to be made with chairperson, secretary, and co-ordinator, along
the potential funder, establishing a dialogue and with perhaps summaries of progress from each
relationship. of the Working Groups.
All the possible material a funder may wish to For the benefit of the community, we would also
see about the community, the process, its recommend that the Annual Report is the
project, and the outcomes needs to be collated, appropriate document in which to include the
and included as additional material to the monitoring program for each year. Further
proposal if required. Included could be a proposed strategy for the
following year in response to the findings of
Potential sources of funds may include: each year's indications.
• Government Agencies
• Local Government The legal requirements, however, are only a
• Foundations small part of the overall communications
• Local Businesses picture. The Sustainable Neighbourhood
• Corporations Organisation must be able to communicate
• Utility Provider with:
• Community Development Corporations • The wider community;
• Government agencies;
• Funding sponsorship bodies;
Getting the Word Out • other Sustainable Neighbourhood
Media and information is important to the wider Organisations
awareness and involvement of the local
community and interested individuals and In order to keep the high profile of the project
groups. While only a small part of the town may regular newsletters, although a lot of effort to put
be active at the committee level, or in attending together, are valuable means of getting
meetings, it is still important to provide information out.
information on the project, vision, actions and
updates of progress. If funding allows, sending copies to all
members, the local council, public libraries,
Keeping channels of communication open is government agencies, professional bodies, as
essential to the ongoing success of the Local well as placing copies in local cafes,
Agenda 21 program. Remember that a Local newsagents and grocery stores will help to
Agenda 21 / community development program stimulate communication in an outwards flow at
is about managing change in your least. A request for feedback and volunteers,
neighbourhood on an indefinite basis. It is not as well as the inclusion of a meetings schedule
about short-term action only. for the next few months may result in
communication flowing back into the project.
By keeping doors of communication open,
people are kept informed and involved and the A sequence of activities that can be carried out
opportunity remains for new people to get on a time-line, or simultaneously are:
actively involved in projects at any time in the • Designate a spokesperson or group of
• Recruit volunteers or make use of Co-
As the Sustainable Neighbourhood ordinator to help with the media campaign.
Organisation is a legal entity, there are statutory • List all local media outlets. (newspaper,
requirements to communicate with members of radio, TV)
the public and members of the organisation. • Complete a media contact form for each
The legal requirements are: outlet.
• An Annual General Meeting; • Meet with the editor or publisher of the
• Presentation of Annual audited accounts newspaper and reporters or managers of
• An Annual Report radio and local TV stations.
• Offer written and in-depth materials on
The Annual Report is the “official” newsletter of sustainable development and the Local
the Board that acts as a record of all the major Agenda 21 program the community is
activities of the Organisation. It might include a carrying out.
report from each of the chairperson, vice-
• Develop a media budget for resources, Once this has happened, the search for an
materials and the development of press appropriate co-ordinator must begin. Someone
packs and press releases. involved in the Interim Committee or Board to
• If you need help writing press releases, find date may be qualified and interested in the
a good local writer who'll volunteer. position. If not, the process of finding a suita ble
• Write press releases for the first few candidate must begin.
• Establish a group within the committee to The Brief
brainstorm publicity ideas. The Board’s first tasks are to define a job
• Develop a leaflet or poster on the description, formulate an advertisement for the
community development project that is position, place the advertisement calling for
distributed before the first series of applicants, review the applicants, select a short
workshops. list, contact referees, conduct interviews and
• Invite local press representatives to the then select the person considered to be most
workshops. suitable for the job.
Co-ordination Qualities of the Co-ordinator:
Case studies and local experience has shown • Experience in community development
that a co-ordinator, a paid or voluntary person work - the ability to help make projects
who is 'on the ground' in the community, is a happen.
critical element in the success of a Local • A clear understanding of community
Agenda 21 / community development project. development and the principles of Agenda
Interim Committee and Board members are 21.
voluntary and are usually people who lead very • An ability to motivate oneself and work
active and full lives. Given these constraints, independently.
someone else is needed to do day to day • The ability to work with a broad cross
administrative tasks, keep in touch with all section of people.
committee members and other people in the • A capacity to communicate with government
neighbourhood, and to carry out many of the agencies, politicians, business leaders.
actions identified by the working parties. • Skills in putting funding proposals together.
• Administrative skills.
The co-ordinator is the lynch pin - the person • A high level of professionalism in
who keeps the doors of communication open presentation, actions and attitudes.
and the momentum of the project rolling. The • Above all, be able to maintain the trust and
co-ordinator is someone engaged by the Interim respect of the community while being an
Committee or Board to undertake the work of the integral part of it.
Sustainable Neighbourhood Organisation. • Patience, tack and sensitivity to the local
situation are essential qualities.
The funding of the Co-ordinator position and a
project office is an essential part of the funding Where to Advertise
mix. This should be one of the first undertakings Advertising the position in daily newspapers is
of the Organisation’s Board. likely to generate interest. Other avenues are
government publications, and professional
When to bring in the Co-ordinator? institutes. Care and attention must be paid to
It is a good idea to engage the co-ordinator on a the above qualities even if the Co -ordinator is
part-time or full time basis as soon as possible. appointed on a voluntary basis.
If funding is available from the beginning, a co-
ordinator will be invaluable during the Contents of advertisement:
organisation leading up to the first series of • salary,
community workshops and meetings. • hours,
Obviously funding is key - the likelihood is that a • location, and
significant level of funding will not be available • contact address phone number.
until the Sustainable Neighbourhood
Organisation is established as a legal entity.
Another consideration is the workplace of the
Co-ordinator. Renting an office in the
neighbourhood with all the associated running
costs will be expensive - telephone, fax,
computer, photocopier, electricity. Sharing an
already established office within a small
business may be more cost effective for all
parties. Do a door to door search of offices in
the neighbourhood. Another option may be
using space within the local library, information
centres, council offices, or school.
Projects require the assistance of a variety of The Consultants’ work is only as good as the
people and a variety of skills. Much can be brief. Do not let the consultant tell you what you
undertaken by the local project group and local already know - employ them for solutions not
organisations but consultants should be question.
considered when you do not have the time or
expertise to do the job yourself. Consultants can Terms of Reference
provide specialist knowledge and expertise as
• General statement of objectives.
well as offering an independent unbiased
• Organisational background.
viewpoint. The right consultants can grow your
• Community profile.
projects and introduce new partners to the
• Specific objectives of project.
• Context and background to project.
• What resources and references are
You can ask for assistance from local NGO’s
available to consultants
who employs specific experts to help with
• Organisational chart with points of contact.
community development projects, or make use
• Time-line dividing work into phases.
of the voluntary skills available in your
• A budget.
community. If you have access to funding, the • Evaluation method.
best option may be to hire consultants.
• Number of consultants invited.
When dealing with consultants it is important to Six Steps to Hiring Help
deal with organisational matters such as Terms
of Reference, Budgets, time and payment
schedule, and a system to monitor progress. 1. Know your objectives.
Often local authority planners and other staff can 2. Interview at least three consultants.
assist a community in their projects or in 3. Set clear brief and requirements.
defining the tasks of the consultant, and can 4. Call for proposals.
give advice on which consultant to use. 5. Evaluate proposals.
Remember it is im portant that these consultants 6. Sign contract.
have experience working with communities and
can articulate scientific information into
language ordinary people can understand. Step one - Know your objectives
Know what you want the end product to be,
What does consultants offer? anticipate the time it will take to get there, the
• Knowledge and expertise that may not exist appropriate disciplines to be involved and set a
in the Committee and other members of the budget.
• Skills to complete tasks identified and Ask the following questions to clarify your
within a determined period of time objectives:
• Objectivity and independence from local • Why are you hiring a consultant?
issues • What do you expect to achieve?
• Short term assistance in achieving goals • What do you want the end product to be?
• Have you the resources?
• Do the objectives reflect the views of the
The following steps will help you get maximum
benefit from your consultant and work towards a
• Have you looked for partners - local
authority, businesses, and government
Remember that a consultant should only be
hired after your terms of reference and
Step two - Interview at least three
objectives are well defined. You are the client,
you are paying for their assistance, and you consultants
must be able to tell them as clearly as possible Invite three suitable consultants for a pre -
what you want accomplished. interview discussion. Outline project, objectives,
and outcomes. Seek their input; “pick their • are there charges for extra copies of
brains”. The more times you have to explain the reports, etc
project, the clearer it will become. • is there a ceiling on disbursements
Step Three - Set clear brief Step Five - Evaluation
Set terms of reference. (See Box) The consultant Set criteria to evaluate proposals
should not set the scope of work! Provide all according to:
background material; do not pay to be told what
• Professional and technical merit.
is already known.
• Innovative ideas and approaches.
• Communication and listening skills.
Step four - Call for Proposals • Experience of people who will do the work,
Two to five consultants should be invited to as opposed to company experience.
submit proposals. If the project is small, invite • Do they seem genuinely interested in
fewer to save resources. At a minimum, ask for project?
details of approach, time schedule, who will do
the work, associated fees and experience. Step six - Contract
Thank all those who respond to your call for
The contract should be centred on the original
terms of reference, and the winning proposal.
Approach someone with legal expertise or
What to ask for and what to look for in a approach the local authority or government
proposal agency to assist.
Consultant Team • Basis for fee.
• who will carry out the tasks • Disbursements and expenses.
• fee schedule • Key personnel involved and their
• local knowledge / interest responsibilities.
• professional competence • Methods and dates of payment.
Proposal • Dates the consultant submits pieces of
• compliance with terms of reference work.
• depth of understanding of objectives, vision, • Cancellation clause.
project • Alterations clause.
• appropriateness of approach
• originality, innovation, imagination
• organisational quality of proposal - clarity
• technical aspects of work program and
• does it meet program
• is it realistic
• can you keep up with timetable
• are all anticipated costs included
• are charges fixed
• can you afford it
Who can help?
Professional directories http://www.simpleliving.net
The South African Development Directory EPA Green Communities
A national directory of South African and
The Natural Step
international development organisations active
in South Africa. This includes national and http://www.naturalstep.org
provincial government departments, parastatals, Sustainable Cities Programme
research institutions, diplomatic representation, http://www.sustainable-cities.org
CSI programmes, NGO’s, research institutions , Global Eco-village Network
development corporations and international http://www.gaia.org
Programme for Development Research Organisations
(PRODDER) Saving water
Human Sciences Research Council Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
PO Box 32410
Private Bag X313, Pretoria 0001
Tel. (012) 338 7500; Fax: (012) 328 6041
Tel (011) 482 6150 Fax (011) 482 4739
National Water Conservation Campaign
Private Bag X9052. Cape Town, 8000
Tel.(021) 462 1460; Fax.(021) 462 1719
The Professions and Projects Register
A national register of planning and development
Energy and Development Research Centre
Avonworld Publishing University of Cape Town
Tel (011)280 5299 Private Bag, Rondebosch 7701
Tel. (021) 650 3230; Fax. (021) 650 2830
Eskom Enviro Help Line
The SAPOA Property Register (24 hours) Tel (011) 800 4727
Eskom Environmental Affairs
A national register of professionals , financiers
PO Box 1091, Johannesburg, 2000-01-31
and property advisors
Tel.(011) 800 8111; Fax (011) 800 4983
Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs
Tel (011)280 5299
http://www.avonworld.co.za Private Bag X59, Pretoria, 0001
Tel (012) 317 9000; Fax (012) 322 5224
Energy and Development Group (EDG)
Environment Resource Centre for
PO Box 261
Noordhoek, Cape Town, 7985
Database on environmental experts in Southern
Tel (021) 789 2920 Fax (021)789 2954
Africa The Renewable Energy Demonstration Centre
PO Box 5690, Harare, Zimbabwe
Private Bag X515, Silverton, 0127
Tel (263-4) 737301 Fax (263-4) 738693
Tel (012) 804 3435/ 1540 Fax (012) 804 3435
Pollution and Waste Management
Institute of Waste Management
Head Office. PO Box 48533,
Agenda 21 Roosevelt Park, 2129
http://www.igc.apc.org/habitat/agenda21 Tel (011) 782 3503/4; Fax (011) 782 3507
Habitat Agenda Department of Environmental Affairs and
International Council for Local Environmental
Chief Director: Pollution and Waste
Private Bag X447, Pretoria, 0001
World Business Council for Sustainable
Tel (012) 310 3842; Fax (012) 320 1167
National Recycling Forum
PO Box 48533, Roosevelt Park, 2129
Sustainable Communities Network
Tel (011) 782 3503; Fax (011) 782 3507
Packaging Council of South Africa Tel (012) 841 3068/ 3871
PO Box 782205, Sandton, 2146. A Place Called Home
Tel (011) 783 4782; Fax (011)883 7170 Sowman, M. and Urquhart, P. UCT Press
Durban Solid Waste C/o Jute & Company Customer Services
17 Electron Rd. PO Box 1038, Durban, 4000 PO Box 14373
Tel (031) 302 4841 Wetton, 7790
Share-Net Urban Green File
PO Box 394, Howick, 3290 PO Box 922, Parklands, 2121
Tel (0332) 303931; Fax (0332) 302549 Tel (011) 482 4706 Fax (011) 482 3407
Fairest Cape Association http://www.urbangreen.co.za
PO Box 97, cape Town, 8000 Earthyear
Tel (021) 462 2040; Fax (021) 461 9519 PO box 771, Sea Point, 8060
Waste Aware. Eastern Gauteng Services Tel (021) 790 1362/3 Fax (021)790 1384
Private Bag X 1069, Germiston, 1400
Tel (011) 704 1101; Fax (011) 820 4011
Head Office, PO Box 30500, Kyalami, 1685
Tel (011) 466 2939; Fax (011) 466 2941
Aluminium Can Recycling Association
PO Box 751815, Garden View, 2047
Tel (011) 454 1408; Fax (011) 454 1501
Glass Recycling Association
PO Box 5303, Delminville, 1403
Tel (011) 827 0338; Fax (011) 827 6944
PO Box 2253, Rensburg, 2401
Tel (011) 824 6855; Fax (011) 827 3600
Plastic Federation of South Africa
Private Bag X68, Halfway House, 1685
Tel (011) 314 4021; Fax (011) 314 3764
SAPPI Waste Paper
PO Box 114, Eppingdust, 7475
Tel (021) 531 3077; Tollfree 0800 221 330
PO Box 12168, Vorna Valley, 1686
Tel (011) 315 8450; Fax (011) 315 8313
Tollfree 08000 22112
Nampak Paper Recycling
PO Box 89, Crown Mines, 2025
Tel (011) 839 1840; Fax (011) 837 1157
Tollfree 0800 01 8818
Rose Foundation (Oil recycling)
Suite A9, Waverley Court, Kotze St. Mowbray,
Tel (021) 448 7492; Fax (021) 448 7563
PO Box 1126, Krugersdorp, 1740
Tel (011) 762 5506; Fax (011) 762 4830
Guidelines for Human Settlement
Planning and Design (Redbook)