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  Home >> NGO Council >> Guiding Principles for NGO Council regarding interaction with BMC

Guiding Principles for NGO Council regarding interaction with BMC
Basic Premise:
If something is wrong, it's because policies or procedures are missing or are wrong.
Guiding Principles for NGO Council giving policy or procedural / implementation suggestions to BMC:
1. Will it significantly reduce the suffering of citizens / improve quality of life? Necessary (first criteria). 
2. Will this solution take us closer to the 'ideal' situation? Is it in tune with 'Our Vision' of Mumbai? Necessary.
3. Is it environmentally sensible? Is it proper urban planning? Is it holistic? Is it morally, ethically correct? Necessary.
4. Is it realistic? Does it address the source(s) of the current problem? Necessary. 
5. Is it maximum impact with minimum resource requirement or change? Desirable 
6. Is it a new insight? A new solution? Desirable. 
7. Is it sustainable? Will it be long-lasting? Can it be promulgated into a new Rule? Necessary. 
8. Will it be workable in other cities in India? Desirable. 
9. Is it collaborative with BMC? Is an Additional Municipal Commissioner agreeable to it & willing to 'own' it? Necessary. 
10. Is it doable? Can BMC implement it easily? Doability = Necessary; Easily = Desirable. 
11. Have viewpoints of all stakeholders been considered? Necessary. 
12. Is it fair to all stakeholders? Desirable. 
13. Will Civil Society Organisations be involved in reporting, reviewing, and re-designing? Necessary 
Guiding Principles for NGO Council to be involved in implementation:
1. Do we have a capable co-ordinator for this issue? 
2. What unique value are we bringing to the table? What unique role will we be playing? 
3. Are we capable? Can we arrange the required capability? 
4. Can we sustain our involvement? 
5. Can we put together a community, a working group, a core group?
Personal for Vinay to be involved in an activity:
1. Is it the best use / prioritisation of my time amongst the various initiatives that the NGO Council can take up? 
Please revert with your thoughts. 
What is also needed is a one para Vision for Mumbai. Any volunteers? 
thanks and regards,

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 throughout Jan)
    - to identify key concerns
    - 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 website
    - lacunae in implementation, policy clauses, monitoring, be discussed via the yahoo group
    - 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
    - policy framework document to be on basis of ideally desired situation in the future, and then to work backwards till today about how to implement
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)
    - para-by-para 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 group
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
    - implementation, new rules, etc. expected to flow in due course on the basis of this document
    - the 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
d. For procedural and meeting protocol, let's follow Liza's fine note at
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 procedure, etc.
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 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.
i. The proposed Flow Chart in NGO Council section (direct URL is may convey some idea of the overall structure.
Goals / Objectives & Purpose:
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 thoughts.
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.

The 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.


It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner