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Workshop on Capacity Building Strategy for the Implementation of Low Carbon High Volume Transport in South Asia

October 2, 2018
Shangri-La HotelUlaanbaatar, Mongolia

Organized By

The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), under the framework of the Applied Research Programme in High Volume Transport (HVT) by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID), is organising a half-day workshop in cooperation with the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) on 2 October 2018. The workshop will be held in concert with the Eleventh Intergovernmental Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) Forum in Asia, hosted by the UNCRD from 2 – 5 October 2018 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Project Background

SLoCaT is currently carrying out a joint project with DFID to explore the current state of knowledge and capacity of low carbon HVT in selected priority countries in Africa and South Asia. The project will provide a review of potential transport solutions for the selected priority countries to move towards expanding and accelerating uptake of low carbon passenger and freight transport measures.

One of the major planned deliverables of the project is the development of a capacity building strategy for the institutions responsible for the practical uptake and implementation of research findings on low carbon HVT in DFID priority countries in Africa and South Asia.

Capacity gaps are often not related to a lack of technical engineering skills but a lack of experience with problem definitions and alternatives, public engagement, stakeholder relations, and monitoring and evaluation. The reasons may have a combination of different aspects that can be addressed through capacity building:

  1. Technical – Insufficient or inadequate knowledge of available low carbon solutions;
  2. Institutional – Lack of an effective network of organisations that can achieve the specific low carbon transport objectives on a sustainable basis;
  3. Political / Social – Low priority, interest, or acceptance of developing low carbon high volume transport solutions; and
  4. Financial / Economic—The presence of barriers to implementation that dis-incentivise public or private investment in the low carbon high volume transport solutions. May include lack of ready access to targeted funding.

The capacity building strategy thus aims to:

  1. Analyse the current capacity, needs, knowledge, and knowledge-transfer processes within ministries and transport agencies in priority countries to implement low carbon HVT;
  2. Identify reasons why low carbon high volume transport solutions are not being more actively implemented in the selected priority countries. Evaluate the possible causes of a lack of broader application of effective actions based on four categories: 1) technical; 2) institutional; 3) political and social; and 4) financial/ economic.
  3. Identify capacity building opportunities, elements and requirements to increase uptake of low carbon HVT measures;
  4. Identify capacity needs for planning processes in priority countries, including how to evaluate success of low-carbon programmes and projects (using nuanced, context-specific criteria) and how to increase equity and other sustainable development objectives in addition to low-carbon impacts;
  5. Assess the need for development of appropriate skills development (including management, communication, governance) and performance indicators within transport authorities to spur critical reflection and engagement.

Workshop Objectives

SLoCaT will seek input to the capacity building strategy described above in a half-day workshop with stakeholders from selected EST countries in South Asia that are prioritised for the DFID-SLoCaT project. The purpose of the workshop is to obtain input from relevant national and local stakeholders on the needs and barriers in capacity building for implementing low carbon, high volume transport in the region. Their input will contribute to build a proposed capacity building implementation strategy that could be effective in the prioritised countries.

This will identify potential opportunities for capacity development among researchers and research bodies, government officials and implementing agencies, and political decision-makers in the prioritised countries (in cooperation with international bilateral and multilateral donors) to accelerate and streamline the adoption and implementation of research recommendations from this study.

A key objective of this study and workshop is to build not only skills and knowledge, but also levels of confidence in decision-making, assessing of proposed solutions, and developing context-specific success criteria. This will increase the likelihood of successful implementation of adopted policies and programmes, and of these programmes achieving the necessary long-term social, environmental and urban impacts.

The workshop will also pay specific attention to the implementation of low carbon, high volume transport of priority countries in the context of the Bangkok 2020 Declaration, which consists of 20 goals with measurable performance indicators categorized under the Avoid-Shift-Improve framework to serve as a recommended set of benchmark among Asian countries for their overall decisions in transport policy, planning, and development. Identifying the needs, opportunities, and gaps in implementing low carbon, high volume transport measures could also serve as input to the ongoing consultation on a possible follow-up agreement to the Bangkok 2020 Declaration.

Target Participants

The workshop will aim to invite 15-20 government officials from transport ministries of prioritised countries in South Asia for the DFID-SLoCaT project, as well as other regional peer (low- and lower-middle income) countries to bring in a wider set of best practices and perspectives.

Other invited participants will include key stakeholders from key non-government organisations, such as the Asian Development Bank, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNCRD, World Resources Institute and Clean Air Asia, who will provide additional development and technical perspectives, with a particular focus on on other service providers for other themes in the DFID study (e.g. ITDP (urban transport) and Cardno (long-distance road and rail)).

 If you are interested to participate in the workshop, please contact Alice Yiu at alice.yiu@slocatpartnership.org.

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