Since 2008, all assistance activities under the Programme are based on the Strategic Approach. The Strategic Approach is designed to enhance the efforts of participating countries in the implementation phase of the Assistance Programme and to grant sustainability in the countries of the activities organised.
Strategic approach for the Assistance Programme (ECE/CP.TEIA/2008/5)
The Approach outlines six working priority areas of high priority – that correspond to the main obligations under the Convention – and two cross-cutting areas. The work that needs to be done in each of the six working areas is dependent on the level attained in the two cross-cutting areas.
The six working areas of high priority are:
- Identification of hazardous activities
- Notification of hazardous activities
- Response and mutual assistance
- Information to and public participation
The two cross-cutting areas are:
- Legislation (i.e. primary and secondary legislation)
- Institutional capacity (at the national, regional and local levels)
In order to identify the work that needs to be done in the above mentioned areas, each country should apply a step-wise/cyclic mechanism to each of the six working areas. The cyclic mechanism is the core of the Strategic Approach, helping countries to identify their challenges in the implementation of the Convention and to design needs-driven actions to address these challenges. The cyclic mechanism consists of three steps, with the outcome of each step being the input for the next one:
- In Step 1 countries analyze their level of implementation of the Convention under the six working areas and identify challenges faced. To support this self-assessment, a set of indicators and criteria were developed for each of the six areas that provide benchmarks for the implementation of the Convention (see Assistance Programme – indicators and criteria for self-assessment below).
- In Step 2 countries develop a national action plan to address the challenges identified in Step 1. Through the action plans, countries design individually or jointly with other countries assistance projects (see Assistance Programme – national action plans below).
- In Step 3 countries measure the results achieved. Using the indicators and criteria they can make a comparison of the situation before and after the project. If this leads to the identification of additional challenges a new cycle starts.
Assistance Programme – Indicators and Criteria for Self-Assessment
In order to support implementation of Step 1 and Step 3 of the cyclic mechanism, benchmarks have been developed for each working area (see below). The Benchmark document contains indicators and criteria that allow for the identification of a country’s progress stage in each of the six working areas during a country's self-assessment.
The indicators and criteria as well as the form for the self-assessment are laid down in the following document:
Benchmarks for the implementation of the Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents
- see annex VIII (table 1): Forms for monitoring, analysing, planning and evaluating the participation of (country name) in the Assistance Programme (revised/date/)
Assistance Programme – National Action Plans
Based on the self-assessment on the level of implementation of the Convention, the countries should design actions for those working areas in which they still face challenges. The actions would be summarized in an action plan for which the following template should be used:
- see annex VIII (table 2): Plan of activities to be undertaken (i.e. national action plan) with regard to the list of priority actions identified in table 1
Assistance Programme – Project Proposals
Based on their action plans, countries can then develop activities aimed at establishing and implementing Policies. Where necessary, these activities may be implemented through assistance projects, subject to the availability of funds and endorsement by the relevant bodies under the Convention. To help countries design good projects, a template for the submission of project proposals has been created.
Template for the submission of project proposals (ECE/CP.TEIA/2012/5, annex I)