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PROJECT: Integrating sustainable urban drainage, resource-based sanitation, biogas and food security


Project Reference: AAGL-0009A

This project, funded by the CDKN Innovation Fund, aimed to create a thought-provoking platform to explore and support cross-sectoral climate compatible development strategies and plans for Vientiane, Lao PDR. Vientiane is at a juncture in deciding how it will deal with the serious impacts of its drainage water within the city and on it receiving aquatic ecosystems. Although policymakers and practitioners acknowledge the sustainability of a multi-goal strategy, their perception  of the complexity of overlapping mandates prevents a shift from a comfortable approach of providing their own solutions for their own specific areas of responsibility, to a multi-goal strategy for climate compatible development.

There has been a need for a bird-eye-view of the various cross-sectoral challenges and opportunities in order to provide policymakers and practitioners with strong evidence-based support to trigger multi-institution and multi-mandate discussions.  Instead of seeing problems as local, institutional and individual, this research has provided evidence to support jointly developed and tested sets of locally desired climate compatible solutions (in contrast to externally/donor demanded).  The research has been used to rally support and keep up momentum in the multi-stakeholder planning process, ranging from policy-makers to private ventures.

The outputs of this project include:

1) Three development workshops with policymakers and practitioners involved in solution development. Each workshop was accompanied by a half day meeting involving top-level policymakers and the press.

    • Inception workshop – introduces project objectives/approach and initiates problem scoping, focusing on the “the big picture” and system thinking.
    • Second workshop – Focused on emerging solutions, identifying and prioritising key elements to be quantified to trigger/support policy shifts
    • Final workshop – Focused on finalising the research platform (what, how, where, when and by whom), implementation framework (building of emerging synergism among institutions) and financing strategy.

2) Virtual platform hosted by Kristianstad University (Lao version facilitated by the Lao Institute for Renewable Energy) – to support brainstorming, document exchange, inter-workshop meetings and public information.

3) Survey Report document based on a survey of key policy makers and practitioners which assessed the understanding and prioritisation of the multi-goal integrated approach in climate compatible development, identified gaps, assessed the impact of Stage 1 and set a baseline for Stage 2 evaluation. The survey was conducted twice, once before the first workshop and once after the final workshop.

4) Joint Statement, a two to three page document prepared at the final workshop by the participating policy-makers and practitioners.

5) Research project proposal ready for implementation, including an implementation structure directly linked to policy support. This was divided into work-packages, and set the bases of a “concept validation”, addressing the issues defined as cornerstone to facilitating an approach-shift.

6) Press releases and associated media coverage (linked to each workshop) highlighting the ongoing innovation process and providing visibility necessary to stimulate and maintain momentum.

Read the project description.

Lead: Kristianstad University (Jean O. Lacoursière)

Project Partners: Lao Institute for Renewable Energy (Aurelie Phimmasone); Department of Public Work & Transport Vientiane Capital (Dedsongkham Thammavong); Asian Institute of Technology (Oleg V. Shipin); Stockholm Environment Institute (Madeleine Fogde).

CDKN Funding: £99,000

Project Manager:  Janet Southern

Photo courtesy of Jean O. Lacoursiere from Kristianstad University, Sweden

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