Ten guiding principles for consensus building:
participant must have a valid reason for participating
2. the process must include every stakeholder that is
3. all participation must be voluntary
4. participants to design / decide the parameters - the what,
who, why, how, when and where
5. the process to maintain flexibility - to deal with possible changes
6. all participants must have equal access to information and
opportunity to participate
7. participants must a respect for diverse interests
8. participants to be accountable to their fellow
participants, the process, the public and their own constituents
9. time limits for taking decisions must be set - these
can be both firm and flexible
10. decision must be capable of implementation - so include those
who will be responsible for implementation
A post-agreement mechanism should also be established to monitor
the implementation and deal with any future problems.
Read the interesting details in http://www.cfcj-fcjc.org/full-text/energy.htm
Designing for Civil Society:
technology, engagement, governance:
If the links below are not
clickable, see this email in "Latest News" in www.karmayog.org
eGovernment - from Enterprise Architecture to eDemocracy
A blog by John Gøtze, who is a consultant and professor working
in the areas of e-government, enterprise architecture,
standardization, openization, governance, digital leadership,
strategic planning, and communities of practice.
25 Civic Engagement Blog
Canada25 is an organization dedicated to providing a space for
young Canadians 18-35 to discuss policy issues affecting our
country in a non partisan environment.
An American blog that focuses on building a politics of
community around the ideals set forth in the Preamble to the
for Civil Society: David Wilcox on technology, engagement,
David Wilcox has worked as a consultant, writer and trainer,
specialising in community engagement and cross sector
- Democracies Online
Democracies Online, the blog/newswire, the wiki, and interactive
groups are a public service hosted by Steven Clift. They are
designed to share information about e-democracy on the global
basis as well as connect information-age democracy builders for
e-Democracy National Project Blog
This blog is part of the local e-Democracy National Project, one
of 22 local e-Government National Projects initiated by the
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to
help deliver the national strategy for local e-government.
Operated by Alexandra Samuel who is a researcher and writer
specializing in online dialogue and electronic democracy. She
helps governments, NGOs and businesses use the Internet to
engage citizens, members and employees in discussion and
A blog focussed on how to make collaborations work through
facilitation in workshops and online, with various digital
Peter Levine is Deputy Director of CIRCLE, The Center for
Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
Who should take the lead in organizing and convening dialogs?
In many professional
circles there is an ongoing debate about the role and ability of
government to convene effective collaborative processes. Many
people argue that government cannot successfully organize and
convene such efforts given its built-in institutional resistance
and lack of responsiveness. Citizens, by contrast, often can
provide more effective forums through organic, grassroots
Recent studies indicate
that participation by one or more levels of government is
essential to the effectiveness of the more ad hoc,
citizen-driven processes (Kenney 2000; Susskind et al. 1999;
Susskind et al. 2000). Governments not only provide financial
and technical assistance, but also become critically important
if the intent of an initiative is to shape or influence policy.
Official government institutions, after all, constitute the
formal public decision-making processes in our society.
Neither top-down nor bottom-up approaches are inherently
superior, and in the final analysis the two ends of the spectrum
need to come together to facilitate positive change. Whether a
regional initiative is catalyzed and convened by citizens,
nongovernmental organizations, businesses, or public officials,
it is most effective when the people initiating the process
exercise collaborative leadership. Such leaders facilitate
development of a shared vision by crossing jurisdictional and
cultural boundaries; forging coalitions among people with
diverse interests and viewpoints; mobilizing the people, ideas,
and resources needed to move in the desired direction; and
sustaining networks of relationships. In this respect, regional
collaboration is more like organizing a political campaign than
preparing a regional plan.
Imp to list the problems & the info needed
If there is a problem, we need to know what are the BMC rules
and procedures regarding it.
If the rules / procedures are not
ok, we need to work at improving them.
If there are no rules / procedures
for that problem, we need to work at creating them.
So I think the first step that we
need to do is to ensure that all rules / procedures are
publicly known e.g. by being displayed on the Karmayog
website. (Actually, they should be displayed on the BMC
My impression is that within BMC
also, all the rules / procedures / statistics / reports for a
particular department are not available as a ready compilation.
So we need to ask for rules pertaining to specific topics.
So my request to you'll is to state
the problem(s) you face or see, and state that along with what
is the info you seek. Sometimes by stating the problem, it is
not so obvious (to me) what is the info that is needed.
If you know that there are some
specific rules, court orders, committee reports, etc. that
exist, please let me know so that I can try to obtain those
I think that as we all get to know
the contents of these, we can go to the next step i.e. to
discuss whether some of these need to be modified or whether new
ones should be made by BMC.
Then the dialog amongst ourselves
and with BMC would be at deeper levels.
BTW, often people say that
individual NGOs or groups of NGOs or some Govt or Court
appointed Committees have made reports or have some indepth
studies or reports. I would request and urge people to share
these or let me know whom to contact for these.
For example, Meenakshi Verma (ex-AVSAR)
is working on behalf of the NGO Council currently to prepare a
base document reg. Public Health. Someone or the other will
mention to her that some studies have been done in the past but
when she tries to find out about these, she does not get
any info about the existence of such studies or reports.
We are facing a similar situation
reg. education of children. So many NGOs, so many formal
groups, but no one willing to give the info. Doorstep
School is the only one who sent a (non-updated) Charter of
Demands made in 1998.
involvement is key in improving civic services
to make Community Partnership work
Thoughts about how to
take the BMC - NGO MOU forward.
For each civic issue /
citizen concern / ngo sector:
1. Brainstorming meeting:
(e.g. the ones planned at 3:30 pm daily on different issues
- to identify key
- to identify
interested people & orgs from each stakeholder group &
to set up a mailing list of such people
- to identify
themes and theme leaders
- to identify
leader of entire group
- to identify
person(s) who can make policy framework document
- to identify
core group members i.e. those who will give time
- to identify all
NGOs in this sector so as to create a resource directory
- to identify
applicable laws, policies, procedures
- to identify
gaps in the current laws
- to chalk out a
plan of action
- to have a
preliminary meeting with BMC -- if possible, simply because so
many would have assembled together on that day.
2. Goal of the preliminary
meeting with BMC: i.e. the ones at 5 pm throughout Jan
- to introduce
ourselves to one or more of the senior concerned officials
- to show that we
have the expertise and interest to collaborate
- to understand
what are BMC's new plans for the coming year
- to convey
the areas of concerns (not in a complaint format)
- to understand
briefly their perspectives
- to chalk out a
plan of action for co-operation
3. Share info, analyse,
ideate, collate data - 2-4 weeks.
- laws, policies,
procedures, statistics, addresses, etc. to be posted on karmayog
- lacunae in
implementation, policy clauses, monitoring, be discussed via the
- suggestions for
improvements in current policies, procedures, implementation,
awareness, monitoring, and feedback be identified
- relevant info
found via search engines, NGOs, BMC, etc.
- begin preparing
a policy framework document
framework document to be on basis of ideally desired situation
in the future, and then to work backwards till today about how
4. Meet with BMC with the
draft policy framework document
- meeting with
key officials (this meeting will be restricted to those who have participated
in point 3 above)
discussion on the policy framework document
- both sides to
get an understanding of the other side's views regarding
policies, procedures, awareness creation, ngo capabilities,
monitoring and feedback
- points in
agreement to be listed
- to discuss how
to handle points of disagreement (within NGOs or between
NGOs and BMC)
- decide course
of action to prepare final policy framework document
5. Submit final draft policy
framework document - 2 weeks
- discuss amongst
ourselves via email, phone, meetings
- prepare and
submit the final document to BMC
- form a core
6. Finalise a common policy
framework document - 2 weeks
- have meetings
of very small core group with small core group of BMC to
finalise the policy framework document
- to minute the
final policy framework document
new rules, etc. expected to flow in due course on the basis of
document is not expected to be a rigid document but to be
modified based on feedback, learnings, etc.
a. If we can't get a good leader or
core group, then we may not be able to do much with the policy
document or even make one.
b. At some point, a core group may
have to pay yearly fees to cover admin costs of group, as e.g.
the Cleanliness Group has done.
c. A BMC - NGO Committee to be
formally instituted at some stage
e. If someone can prepare a draft
policy framework document, we will use that right from the
beginning, else we will have to follow the 'revolutionary'
strategy instead of the 'reform' strategy.
f. Liza will attend all the meetings
in Feb so do give her your feedback about the meeting, the
g. My impression is that there are
no overall policy documents for any specific civic issue in
Mumbai -- with BMC or with NGOs or other orgs. If you know of
any, please be good enough to give me the details.
h. I knows it sounds
idealistic. Let's give it a shot. Do see the Policy Framework
documents for Cleanliness and for Stray Dogs in www.karmayog.org
to get an idea of what I mean. The one for cleanliness was put
up for discussion and most of it was approved as can be seen in
the minutes. The one for stray dogs is at point 4 above.
Goals / Objectives &
a. to form an easily accessible resource
group of all individuals and organisations in Mumbai interested
or involved with a particular civic cause so as to be available
to give meaningful input quickly when new policies or procedures
are being planned by BMC.
b. to form a core group of those
willing to commit time to work on these issues
c. every citizen to know what is the
BMC policy regarding a civic issue incl. rules, notifications,
procedures, contacts, etc.
d. the idea is to work in a
collaborative way. Other forums and methods exist to work in
other ways which, indeed, are also needed in a democracy.
e. etc. etc.
See you at the meetings.
Please share your documents and
Please volunteer to attend every
meeting, minute the discussions, and act as a general co-ordinator.
If you are seriously interested in
any of the issues, please contact me, as I am obviously way
beyond my depth now.
BMC partnership with the NGO Council is not meant to take up
individual cases for redressal. However individual cases can be
taken up for study to understand and suggest systemic improvements
in terms of FAQs, a Citizens' Charter, improvement of OCMS,
procedures and processes in BMC, etc. So do send us copies of your
complaint letters to BMC.
MCGM also has a Citizens' Charter gathering dust somewhere which
can perhaps be taken up by the NGO Council for review and
improvement. Any volunteers?
Reg. "why can BMC not enforce even after they decide?"
Do contact Shailesh Gandhi, Kewal Semlani, Leo Rebello, and others
on the Karmayog Group who have filed PILs and / or are experts on
RTI. They also hold periodic workshops. Mr. Jani, a lawyer, has
offered his services free every Saturday at the Karmayog office.
We shall put up the entire BMC Act online this week.
Performance measurement for government - result-based reporting
and management tools for government, at: www.seagov.org/
Various local e-democracy projects worldwide: http://dowire.org/wiki/Local_e-democracy_projects
The National Civic League: The National Civic League
(NCL) is America's original advocate for community democracy. It
is a non-profit, non-partisan, membership organization dedicated
to strengthening citizen democracy by transforming democratic
institutions. NCL fosters innovative community building and
political reform, assists local governments, and recognizes
collaborative community achievement. NCL accomplishes its mission
through technical assistance, training, publishing, research,
and the All-America City Awards, America's original and most
prestigious community recognition program.
NCL brings together all sectors of our society - public, private,
and nonprofit - to address our common needs and build a thriving
democracy. NCL envisions a country where citizens are actively
engaged in self-governance and works to create an active civic
culture reflective of the diversity of community voices.
Understanding and supporting effective local government is a
significant part of NCL's overall commitment to the goal of
reinvigorating citizen democracy. www.ncl.org/about/index.html