Resource Manual to Support Application of the Protocol on SEA
A6. Policies and legislation
B2. Example structure of practical exercise
for use in training course on the Protocol
Chapter as printable file
Chapter B1: Capacity-development framework for the Protocol
B1.1 INTRODUCTION TO THE CHAPTER
The Protocol refers throughout to ‘the environment, including health’. To avoid repetition, the Manual refers only to ‘the environment’, but this should always be understood to include health.
For more information on health issues, please see [Annex] [Chapter] [XX].
1. This Chapter highlights the importance of a proper approach to ensure the overall effectiveness of capacity-development interventions for SEA. It covers the following issues:
- A capacity-development framework for SEA (section B1.2), outlining the main issues that should be analyzed in the design of strategies that aim to develop capacities for effective implementation of the Protocol, and presenting examples of capacity-development tools.
- Capacity assessment (section B1.3), outlining the key issues that should be addressed in capacity assessment and presenting simple capacity-assessment tools.
- Tips for designing relevant SEA capacity-development strategies (section B1.4), describing key assumptions for capacity development
- Concluding remarks (section B1.5), describing the basic issues that influence the quality of systematic capacity development for SEA.
- An example of a detailed capacity-assessment questionnaire used in five countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (Annex B1.1).
- Examples of simple terms of reference for national capacity-development strategies for the introduction of SEA and the implementation of the Protocol requirements (Annex B1.2).
B1.2 INTRODUCTION TO CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT FOR THE PROTOCOL
B1.2.1 Capacity-development framework for the Protocol
Effective implementation of SEA systems generally requires development of three types of capacity: system capacity, institutional capacity and human capacity. Key issues in the development
of these capacities are summarized in Table B1.1 below.
Table B1.1: Capacity-development framework for the Protocol 
| Types of capacity
|| System capacity
|| Institutional capacity
|| Human capacity
| Key elements
- Legal, policy and procedural frameworks within which institutions and individuals operate
- Ability of an organization to operate effectively within the given system
- Skills & expertise of individual persons and their motivation
- Develop overall legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks
- Improve inter-institutional coordination
- Develop organiz-ational performance and functioning capabilities
- Develop skills
- Support long-term motivation and commitment
| Specific interventions (non-exhaustive list)
- Legislative, policy and regulatory reforms
- Practical guidelines to assist interactions between key players in SEA process
- Monitoring and review of the effectiveness of the entire system
- Institutional audits
- Internal management guidelines
- Improved working conditions (e.g. tools and means of commun-ication)
- Development of basic skills
- Advanced professional development
- Professional certification
| Cross-cutting interventions (non-exhaustive list)
- Awareness raising about benefits of SEA and principles for its sound application
- Platforms that facilitate regular professional debate and policy dialogue between the key stakeholders (e.g. professional networks or regular conferences to review and discuss states of practice)
- Pilot projects that test proposed changes in legislation or guidance, are implemented as part of inter-institutional learning and involve local expert through on-job training
- Award schemes that identify and reward good practices
System capacity is determined by the quality of the overall system within which institutions and individuals operate. Systems may be ineffective (i.e. not reaching their objectives) or inefficient (i.e. too slow, costly, complicated or resource demanding). The development of system capacity aims to enhance the effectiveness of the entire system through legislative, policy and regulatory reforms, the provision of practical guidelines and the monitoring and review of the effectiveness of the entire system.
4. Legislative, policy and regulatory reforms. The Protocol may be transposed into a national setting through, for example, an Environmental Protection Act (a framework environmental law), declaring that the provisions of the Protocol be applied, establishment of the national framework law on SEA (through either a separate act or amendments to existing environmental protection legislation or EIA laws) or through amendments to existing planning or sectoral legislation.
5. Practical guidance for SEA is generally one of the most effective means for capacity development. It may be issued in the form of generally-applicable guidance or as specific guidelines that customize general SEA procedures and approaches to the needs of a specific plan- or programme-making process. Guidelines may contain a description of the key elements in SEA, expected outputs of SEA and their links with plan and programme making, tools and methods that can be applied and may even include checklists to review whether the requirements of the Protocol were complied with. A list of examples of practical guidance, with hyperlinks, may be found on the UNECE website (http://www.unece.org/env/sea/), and this list will be kept up to date as new examples become available.
6. Periodic reviews of the entire SEA system can be used to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the entire SEA system and to propose a plan for future reform. There is also a need for a monitoring and audit system.
7. Institutional capacity is the ability of an organization to operate effectively within the given system. The development of institutional capacity aims to enhance overall organizational performance through internal institutional audits, internal SEA management guidelines and internal communication mechanisms.
8. Internal institutional audits can be performed periodically to review whether an institution operates effectively within the SEA system, to identify achievements and obstacles in its internal functioning and to suggest means and actions to enhance organizational performance. Such audits may focus on internal coordination within the organization, and on the capacity and accountability of staff. Staff performance evaluations may be conducted routinely as a part of an organization’s self-evaluation process to identify gaps and suggest improvements.
9. SEA may benefit from improved internal communication of different departments. Internal management guidelines can specify processes for internal communication and decision-making. However, choice of the right communication mechanisms is important, and electronic tools in SEA can make work more efficient. Nonetheless, team discussions and expert consultations can more effectively clarify conflicting opinions and enhance synergies between various parts of an organization. Such consultations also contribute effectively to the development of institutional capacity.
Human resources comprise the skills and expertise of people and they play a central role in SEA. The development of human capacity aims to ensure that key people have appropriate skills and are committed to their work. This can be done through, among other means, the development of basic skills, advanced professional development and certification.
11. Development of basic skillsis the starting point in the development of human capacity. It usually includes the availability of SEA and related courses in universities, awareness-raising workshops, seminars and, increasingly also, films and web-based distance learning
tools  that target relevant stakeholders.
12. Advanced professional development may occur through advanced courses and studies in selected disciplines. Other effective means include on-the-job training, where experts acquire advanced know-how through involvement in real SEAs and communication with more experienced colleagues.
Certification for SEA may be one of the means to increase human capacity and skills. SEA certification may be established as a sub-system of certification of environmental professionals or EIA experts. It is important to ensure that certification of SEA experts should be combined with periodic training, workshops and other capacity-development activities.
Cross-cutting capacity-development interventions
In addition to specific tools to build capacities of different types, there are several tools that create ‘enabling environments’ for development of all three types of capacity identified above. These include awareness raising about the benefits of good practice, platforms for regular professional debate, pilot projects and award schemes. Top-down support for SEA is critical. Therefore, policy makers and other high-ranking government officials (not only in the field of the environment) should be aware of the benefits of good SEA practice.
15. Awareness raising about the benefits of SEA and principles for its effective application can enhance appreciation of this instrument among plan and programme makers and decision-makers. In a changing political environment, this tool can be used for promotion of SEA in different sectors and on different levels. It can be done through, for example, promotional materials that present examples from real-life cases and that present the views of decision-makers and practitioners.
16. SEA pilot projects can be used to develop, test or demonstrate new SEA approaches. Such projects provide practical experience and establish precedents of good SEA practice. They are typically used in the early stages of the introduction of the SEA process. They test possible SEA formats and linkages with similar existing practices and procedures that may be linked or merged in the future, such as EIA. They can be implemented as a part of inter-institutional learning and involve local experts through on-the-job training.
17. Platforms for regular professional discussion and policy dialogue between the key stakeholders can be supported through professional networks, regular conferences to review and discuss the state of practice, or through email discussion lists. Such regular interactions between institutions and individuals, from different professional and geographical areas, establish a professional debate that may significantly influence development of the entire SEA system, can promote capacity-development initiatives within key institutions and might coordinate various interventions to develop human resources for SEA. An example of a successful networking facility is the global International Association for Impact Assessment
(www.iaia.org ) that also has numerous national affiliates.
18. Award schemes can be used to identify and recognize good SEA practices. Award ceremonies may be linked with national SEA conferences that discuss approaches and debate the key issues in current practice. SEA awards may be given to institutions or individuals for completed SEA projects that demonstrate the principles of good practice, for example for SEA in specific sectors or for innovative practices in a specific element of SEA (e.g. assessment tools, public participation techniques, consideration of alternatives, assessment of cumulative impacts, etc.).
B1.2.2 Key issues in capacity development
19. Capacity development is not a finite process, so at any point only key issues may be addressed with the possibility to reassess the impact of the initial capacity-development strategy.
20. SEA capacity-development effort should start with a strategic design that answers the following questions:
- Which capacities need to be built for SEA?
- What are the priorities and in what sequence should they be approached?
- How should various capacity-development interventions be linked to achieve a synergetic effect?
- What combination of capacity-development tools will be most effective?
21. Selection of one or more strategic directions depends on the time and resources available as well as the cooperation and commitment of participating stakeholders. Therefore, preparation of a capacity-development strategy should be preceded by a stakeholder analysis and the assessment of their needs and capacity.
B1.3 CAPACITY ASSESSMENT
B1.3.1 Capacity assessment – purpose and tools
22. Any capacity development for the Protocol will be ineffective unless it is well planned. The causes of a lack of capacity as well as its symptoms should be understood better to match problems and solutions.
23. The design of any effective capacity-development intervention should therefore begin with a review of existing capacities, which may identify:
- The needs of key stakeholder groups in SEA
- Key gaps, and the desired focus of capacity-development assistance
- The parties that can be involved in delivery or supervision of capacity-development interventions
- The assumptions and risks in capacity-development programmes
24. Capacity assessment should always be carried out through consultations with key stakeholders – environmental authorities, planning authorities, consultants and NGOs that are likely to be involved in SEA.
25. Capacity assessment might be conducted by a variety of methods, taking into account the time and resources available and the extent of the capacity-development strategy.
26. Workshops are usually least expensive and time-consuming – they may take anything from two hours to two days, or more, depending on the group of people.
27. Interviews and surveys are more time-consuming but provide broader and deeper insights than a simple workshop. Interviews and surveys have been used to carry out capacity assessments for the Protocol in five countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, as outlined in Annex B1.1.
B1.3.2 Key questions for SEA capacity assessment
28. The capacity assessment should enable the identification of the key weaknesses of the system, the key players and the best possible capacity-development efforts.
29. System and problem analysis should address:
- The review of the planning framework
- The identification of plans and programmes that will undergo SEA
- Experience with current environmental assessment systems for plans and programmes
- The most challenging aspects of the practical implementation the Protocol
30. Stakeholder analysis should address:
- Key stakeholders in SEA reforms and their networks
- Key providers of capacity-development services in SEA and resources available from their past, ongoing and planned capacity-development initiatives
31. A capacity-assessment framework that is focused on these issues has been used by UNDP and the REC in analyzing capacities for the implementation of the Protocol in five countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Capacity assessment has been carried out through interviews and surveys and the questionnaire used is provided in Annex B1.1.
B1.4 TIPS FOR DESIGNING SEA CAPACITY-DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
32. A capacity-development strategy or programme should outline a longer-term strategy (objectives and priorities) as well as a short-term plan (immediate priority actions) to build up capacity in the specific areas determined during the SEA capacity assessment. Some issues for consideration when elaborating capacity-development strategies are outlined in Annex B1.2.
33. The preparation of a capacity-development strategy should ideally facilitate consultations among relevant authorities, practitioners, providers of capacity-development services (universities, national training institutes for public administration, etc.) and other stakeholders interested in SEA reforms (e.g. NGOs) in order to ensure that it addresses the common priorities and is not biased to the needs or agenda of a particular group.
34. It is usually helpful if the strategy identifies responsible institutions for implementation of various priority actions and also outlines the review of the strategy at the end of the short-term action plan. Such a review could be combined with a meeting among key stakeholders or stakeholder representatives to analyze progress, to identify lessons learnt, to revisit the objectives and to set up an action plan for a new period.
35. The elaboration of a capacity-development strategy is rarely a linear process – the strategy may undergo several reviews and changes with new information input over time.
36. Since capacity development for implementation of the Protocol is very similar to any other institutional or structural capacity development, it is recommended to review other resources developed for capacity development such as the UNEP EIA Training Resources Manual, CIDA Capacity Development Tool Kit, and UNDP Capacity Development resources and tools.
B1.5 CONCLUDING REMARKS
37. The authorities responsible for the implementation of the Protocol can play a significant role through awareness raising and through supervision of the implementation of the national legislation on SEA. With certain simplifications, it can be concluded that the quality of capacity development is a good indicator of real interest to develop an effective SEA system in any given country.
38. Systematic capacity development will not proceed unless key institutions in charge of SEA acknowledge the need for capacity development in SEA. This may be politically sensitive since some countries may not wish to admit openly a lack of capacity. However, this acknowledgement is a vital precondition for any systematic capacity development.
39. The availability of human and financial resources is another natural prerequisite for SEA capacity development. Taking the initiative can enable good coordination of time and effort. However, real actions will require the allocation of sufficient resources for implementation.
 Adapted from Jurkeviciute A. and J. Dusik (2004), REC approach to capacity development for EIA/SEA reforms, unpublished material, REC Environmental Assessment Team
 For example, joint World Bank/IAIA Distance Learning Programme on SEA developed for China, available at http://info.worldbank.org/etools/docs/library/107861/sea/sea/ index.html
 Morgan, P., (1998), Capacity and capacity development – some strategies. Note prepared for the Political and Social Policies Division, Policy branch CIDA, Quebec.
 Also available at http://europeandcis.undp.org/environment/iep .
 UNEP (2002), EIA Training Resources Manual, version 2, UNEP ETB, 2002 http://www.unep.ch/etu/publications/EIAMan_2edition_toc.htm
 CIDA (2000), Capacity Development Tool Kit, CIDA Quebec.
UNDP (2006), Capacity Assessment Practice Note, UNDP (2006) Capacity Development Practice Note, and others, available at http://www.undp.org/capacity/ .
A6. Policies and legislation
B2. Example structure of practical exercise
for use in training course on the Protocol