Institutionalizing urban reforms in India by integrating the Indo-FIRE(D) experience into the regional training network: knowledge sharing and guidebook dissemination of “Developing Sustainable...
This proposed small grant from Cities Alliance will be used by USAID/India to support the institutionalization and dissemination of best practices in urban governance and service delivery. It will allow USAID and its partners to record and disseminate lessons learned from one of its most successful urban infrastructure programs, and at the same time it will enable USAID to share these lessons with counterparts in India to encourage capacity building and knowledge transfer. The result will be improved expertise among local governments in India, ensuring the continuity and sustainability of the gains that have previously been accomplished. The component activities will be the completion and printing of approximately 5,000 copies of a guidebook documenting the important lessons from the program, the integration of the guidebook into a training curriculum for municipal officials, and the dissemination of the knowledge to the municipalities throughout India that have begun the reform process. Most of India’s 5,000 urban local bodies have been included in the country’s flagship urban reform and infrastructure programs under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) or the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT). The managers of these cities require guidance and training that this Cities Alliance initiative aims to advance. Over the coming years, the city managers will increasingly participate in formal urban training, with this guidebook serving as a key knowledge tool for this.
This guidebook was designed as a tool for learning the overall infrastructure development process and for gaining more knowledge of specific aspects. It presents a comprehensive approach, which has slowly evolved over the years, to demonstrate how a sustainable and inclusive urban infrastructure development process can be successfully implemented. The guidebook can benefit government officials, utility employees, private firms, educational institutions, and donors. These stakeholders are divided into two groups in this guidebook: those responsible for policy making and those responsible for project implementation.
Curriculum Development and Knowledge Dissemination USAID will use the Cities Alliance small grant to enable City Partners International, the non-profit foundation associated with the implementer of the FIRE-D program, to print the guidebook and work with the National Institute of Urban Affairs to incorporate it into a curriculum for use by India’s regional urban planning training networks and the four Regional Centers for Urban Excellence that the Ministry of Urban Development has set up to advance technical training among urban professionals. Once the training curriculum is developed, City Partners International and the National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA) will work with the Ministry to disseminate the curriculum’s components. This will be done by leveraging the existing reputation, outreach, and network of Indian training institutes, including the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) academy, which trains the civil servants who manage Indian cities. The IAS is currently in the process of increasing the urban requirements of their training. Other likely partners include the PEARL initiative, which is run by NIUA for a peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. City Partners and NIUA also plan to approach YASHADA and CEPT to discuss its potential application for e-learning, although the platform is quite new in India and might not be the best method for dissemination. This dissemination component will include at least one workshop in India with key Indian city managers and several training institutes to kick start the process of “training the trainers.”
Expected Impacts and Results
The Cities Alliance small grant will support the knowledge management component of one of USAID’s most successful urban programs. This will enable important gains achieved by the program to be continued and multiplied by local authorities, encouraging host-country ownership and capacity-building. The result will be continued improvement of India’s municipal management and infrastructure service delivery.