Developing A Knowledge Management and Exchange System for City Managers
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
a) Participation: Participating cities should be consulted regularly on project implementation. While the LCP is the project implementing entity, feedback from the member cities is important to find out the effectiveness and relevance of the intervention or training that they are undergoing. This participant feedback approach will improve the quality and process of implementation including the design of similar interventions in the future. b) Partnership: In this kind of project, it is important to partner with academic/training institutions since they have the expertise to provide content for possible courses to be offered to the city members. Such an approach was pursued under the project, specifically with the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning. This kind of partnership will allow LCP to focus on its mandate while being able to mobilize the expertise of institutions that are better positioned and equipped to deliver the necessary training. LCP can serve as the knowledge broker between the cities and the academic institutions hence providing the necessary link between the demand for knowledge from cities and the supply of knowledge resources available in these institutions and various sources. This matching of demand and supply of knowledge materials could also be facilitated in the KMES portal. c) Scaling up: The SCURP module should be offered to a wider audience. Given the experience and feedback on the pilot implementation, new courses should also be developed in partnership with academic institutions. The LCP and the prospective partners should consider strategies to mobilize resources as funds are vital in scaling up the project and its lessons. d) Financial sustainability: In order for any project to be sustainable, financial support is needed. In this case, a business plan was prepared to provide options on how to operate the KMES portal and continue to offer courses and be an online library of knowledge resources. LCP should consider the options presented in the business plan and more importantly, prepare and follow an implementation plan. e) Commitment of Organization: The organization should be committed to provide dedicated staff and funding during project implementation; and agree to a business plan for scaling up the project. It is also critical for the leaders of the organization to have project buy-in because if they do not believe in the objectives of the project, then they will not provide any kind of support. It is also important for the leaders to be aware of the project from the beginning until its completion so that they will be engaged and able to contribute suggestions to improve the quality of implementation. This is particularly important in the case of the LCP because the leadership of the organization changes with the conduct of the local elections every three years. Without proper and well-timed orientation for the new leaders, then such changes, although at different levels, affect the quality and timeliness of project implementation. f) Quality of Project Focal Person: It is critical for the implementing organization to designate a focal person who has the managerial capacity to oversee the achievement of project activities; the technical competence to guide project consultants; the genuine commitment to shepherd the project towards its satisfactory completion; and the time to focus on the project. Related to this, it is suggested that for future projects, the designation of the Project Focal Person be jointly agreed between the implementing organization and the Task Team.
The Philippines is undergoing rapid urbanisation with about 60% of the total population residing in urban areas. In 25 years, this proportion is expected to increase to 75%. Alongside this phenomenon is the improved economic growth of urban centres, which are estimated to account for 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Urbanisation and economic growth continue to attract people in urban centres, thus causing significant strain on the capability of cities to manage development and provide for the basic services required by an increasing number of constituents. However, the ability of cities to respond to the challenges brought forth by urbanisation is constrained by the varying levels of technical capacity across different types of cities. This issue of inadequate technical capacity is further heightened by the limited term of LGU leaders with the three-year local election cycle ushering, in most cases, new leaders and new sets of key local government unit (LGU) personnel that need to undertake capacity development programmes. These changes in LGU leadership affect considerably the level of technical capacity among city managers, consisting mainly of elected city officials and key personnel, as the outgoing LGU administration normally takes with it the knowledge that it has gained and renders the incoming administration relatively fresh and with little knowledge base to build upon.
The main objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of cities to effectively manage inclusive urban development through the implementation of a knowledge management and exchange system among city managers and stakeholders.
Activity 1. Development of a League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) Knowledge Management and Exchange System (LCP-KMES) Activity 2. Conduct of a Knowledge Conference on City Management which primarily involves the conduct of a 3-day learning conference consisting of discussion and workshop groups for specific city management issues Activity 3. South-South Knowledge Exchange and Site Visits Activity 4. Roll-Out and Pilot Implementation of the LCP-KMES
Expected Impacts and Results
The main activity of the project, which is the development and implementation of a knowledge management exchange system, strengthened the capacities of city managers and planners to manage their cities. The pilot training assessment report reveals that the cities improved their capacities as seen in their final outputs, which are city plans. The Knowledge Conference brought a good mix of urban practitioners and imparted valuable knowledge in the different aspects of urban management. The participants in the South-South Knowledge Exchange learning Visit gave good feedback from the trip wherein they learned new trends in urban management and development as well as networking with mayors from other countries. Other institutional achievements include: a) Change the focus of LCP from content provider to enabler/broker in the KMES portal. LCP should partner with academic institutions to provide the content while LCP should focus on the overall design of the modules, marketing and operation of the KMES. As of this date, LCP has executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ateneo School of Government, La salle Institute of Governance and Philippine Women’s University. b) LCP will initiate the accreditation process with the partner academic institutions that will provide content. c) LCP will recommend to cities the need to invest on reliable internet connection to take advantage of the resources available on the KMES portal. d) LCP will promote the KMES portal to cities and other stakeholders after enhancement of key features.