of the MCGM-NGO Council MoU
CC: Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects)
Municipal Commissioner (Western Suburbs)
Additional Municipal Commissioner
Convenor, NGO Council
From: Additional Municipal
Date: 6th June, 2006
Period of Review:
6 months (12th Dec.2005 to 12th May 2006)
Objective of the Review:
review the implementation of the MoU between the MCGM and the NGO Council
that seeks to provide an institutionalised partnership between MCGM and
Civil Society Organisations to promote good city governance.
- In the
aftermath of the floods in Mumbai in July 2005, during the post-flood
relief work undertaken by MCGM, a strong need for an NGO Coordination
Committee was felt to maximise and efficiently use the diverse and valuable
skills, services and experiences that NGOs and Civil Society had to
offer to MCGM,
led to the formation of the NGO Council, as a representative and coordinating
body of Civil Society (Organisations)
- In December
2005, an MoU was signed between MCGM and the NGO Council to formally
recognize and institutionalize
the partnership between MCGM and NGOs/CSOs to promote Good City Governance,
and preparing the way for a new way of engaging and working
with the MCGM.
Methodology of working:
- The process
of interaction between the MCGM and NGO Council, as outlined in the
MoU envisages the setting up of steering groups for each functional
area which is mutually identified with due representation for members
of the NGO Council, experts and eminent citizens.
process was followed for “Cleanliness of the city”, the first issue
that was taken up, and a working group of over 100 NGOs/individuals/
experts in consultation with MCGM framed the “Policy Framework Recommendations
for a Clean Mumbai”. After a series of joint meetings over three months,
these recommendations were integrated and incorporated in the “Municipal Solid Waste (Prohibition of Littering
and Regulation of Segregation, Storage, Delivery and Collection) Rules
2006” that were notified on 1st March 2006.
- Subsequent issues
that were taken up such as Public Health, the framing of a Charter for
a partnership between MCGM and citizen groups, stray dogs, etc. evolved
further mechanisms of working, where since the issue under consideration
being specialised (as compared to cleanliness which could be said to
be a pan-Mumbai concern), a smaller group of interested persons participated,
giving responses and feedback during the process, leading to a set of
recommendations or policy framework that was then presented to MCGM.
sharing: One of the biggest impacts of MCGM’s partnership with the NGO
Council has been the ease and efficiency of information dissemination.
The NGO Council, through its convening NGO, Karmayog, has set up a joint
MCGM-NGO Council web-section, where relevant information about MCGM
policies and programmes, as well as overall structure and functioning
has been put up for public display, leading to a better understanding
of MCGM in the public domain. This change of public image of MCGM is
a critical and desirable step, where citizens who understand the MCGM
better are able to go beyond complaints and come forward with constructive
suggestions for improvement.
transparency: The sharing of information publicly also significantly
contributes to establishing principles of transparency and gaining public
support. For the first time, the MCGM Budget 2006 was displayed publicly
on the joint web-section, and this generated great interest from citizens,
not only in Mumbai, but also from other parts of the country. Similarly,
displaying contact details of key MCGM officials such as Complaint Officers
in each Ward also drew many positive responses from citizens, demonstrating
the effectiveness of using basic technologies such as a citizens’ e-group
to distribute information.
and synthesising of past initiatives undertaken: The learnings of several
past initiatives and partnerships undertaken by MCGM and citizen groups
have often been lost due to a lack of documentation and the absence
of a formal structure that recognises the same. The MoU between MCGM
and the NGO Council provides such a structure of recording of experiences,
and using these for any on-going and future initiatives. Such a resource
base is of great value to MCGM as well as citizens as it makes effective
use of available resources, and also helps highlight and recognise best
practices and exemplary efforts both within MCGM and outside, thus encouraging
such efforts to continue.
understanding between the partners: Interactions and collaborations
with citizen groups through a framework of the NGO Council also provides
benefits to MCGM officials, who are able to receive feedback and suggestions
in a manner that can be organised and incorporated where appropriate.
The workshop organised by the NGO Council for CBO’s participating in
the Dattak Vasti Yojana is one such example, where a platform was provided
for them to express their concerns and MCGM officials were able to respond
to improve and upgrade the scheme as required.
- BMC officials
from many levels such as the Ward Officers, Zonal DMCs, OSDs, Heads
of Department, as well as those from specific departments such as the
PRO or E-Governance Dept., have participated in meetings, as required.
Such interactions have exposed both the BMC to the benefits and value
of such a collaborative partnership, and the participating organisations
and individuals to the operational and on-field aspects of implementing
rules and schemes.
is a need to have a policy document for all issues, under which specific
schemes and rules can be framed. The involvement of civil society organisations
in the framing of such polices is desirable and necessary, and this
MoU enables one such mechanism for such interactions to happen.
- The methods
of working under the MoU illustrate that there is a need to incorporate
emerging technologies and methods of communication in ways of working
that enable swifter response mechanisms, and increased efficiency.
- The MoU
demonstrates that the heterogeneity of civil society and the vastness
of the MCGM need not be inhibiting factors to having meaningful dialogue
that sensitises both sides to each other, and to how best approach common
concerns for the city.
to be addressed:
NGOs who were part of the NGO Council have subsequently opted out questioning
the basis of the NGO Council, the propriety of signing a MoU, and the
internal functioning of the NGO Council.
MCGM is clear that the NGO Council is a needed and valuable mechanism
that encourages better MCGM-civil society interaction and the MoU that
has been signed enables collaborative working and the initiatives as enumerated
above. The internal functioning of the NGO Council is not a concern of
MCGM; however as processes of working between MCGM and the NGO Council
evolve, working mechanisms between MCGM and the NGO Council will be set
up so as to better achieve the objectives of the MoU.
MCGM has always had the option of interacting with individuals and groups
of NGOs on different subjects whenever it feels the need to do so, and
this option continues and is exercised. However, the potential of a partnership
with civil society organisations for achieving common or mutually supportive
objectives such as promotion of transparency, dissemination of information
and conducting discussions for obtaining inputs for policy formulation
and feedback regarding performance, is possible through a formalised structure
such as the one enabled by the MoU with the NGO Council.
Another issue to
be addressed is interaction with the Councillors. While several Councillors
have themselves welcomed the help
of the NGOs and civil society organizations in civic issues, it is acknowledged
that a lack of interaction between the various entities creates friction
amongst them. Greater communication and building trust would be important
factors that could change this, leading to effective coordination between
the NGOs, Administrative Wing and Councillors.
for next 6 months:
Structures need to be formally established
to implement the principles of working as outlined in the MoU, specifically
the formation of steering groups for each issue under consideration.
There is a need to further broad-base
this partnership to include other participants such as the elected representatives,
MCGM field level staff, etc., so that the MoU is then implemented in both
letter and spirit.
MCGM – NGO Council MoU provides for a collaborative working process resulting
in holistic policies and practices, acknowledging that Civil Society Organisations
are important and necessary; and need to be empowered, and emphasising
that institutional partnership with MCGM is critical for good city governance
and overcoming Mumbai's challenges. The process of collaboration
of MCGM with civil society groups, such as the NGO Council, is open-ended
and inclusive, incorporating the views of other NGOs, experts and individuals,
both within the framework of the MoU and outside.
1: Issues taken up for consideration
1) Solid Waste Management
2) Citizen group interactions with MCGM
3) A Public Health Policy for Mumbai
4) A policy for hawkers in Mumbai
areas covered: (through Dec.Jan. BMC-citizen meetings)
and Resident Organisations
Prevention & Management
or Hearing Challenged
Challenged & Differently abled
Roads and Traffic
1) Municipal Solid Waste (Prohibition of Littering and
Regulation of Segregation, Storage, Delivery and Collection) Rules 2006
2) The Charter for the MCGM-Local Area Citizen Group Partnership 2006-05-20
3) A draft Public Health Policy for Mumbai
4) A draft set of recommendations for a Policy for Hawkers in Mumbai