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Reforming solid waste management in Phnom Penh

Published by: The Asia Foundation and ODI


About

This paper tracks the efforts of an Asia Foundation team working with local stakeholders to support improvements in the solid waste management sector in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The team worked in a flexible way with a range of partners, and with a particular focus on understanding the incentives and politics affecting service delivery. While reform of the sector remains in progress, steps have been taken to introduce more competition and better public sector management of solid waste collection in the city. This case study lays out the real-time decisions and processes which drove the strategy and implementation of this project, providing useful insights into how politically astute and flexible programmes can be successfully implemented. This case emerged from an action research process, led by a researcher from the Overseas Development Institute and conducted over the course of almost two years. By capturing and analysing the experiences of the programme team in Phnom Penh, the paper intends to provide practical insights for others in the development community aiming to implement similar kinds of programming.

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General Information

SDGs Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities Goal 12: Responsible consumption, production
Published
2016
Thematic Area
Sustainability
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Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will have risen to 6.5 billion people – two-thirds of humanity. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.

The rapid growth of cities in the developing world, coupled with increasing rural to urban migration, has led to a boom in mega-cities. In 1990, there were ten mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. In 2014, there are 28 mega-cities, home to a total 453 million people.

Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces, and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.

Sustainable city life is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 11.

[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will have risen to 6.5 billion people – two-thirds of humanity. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.

The rapid growth of cities in the developing world, coupled with increasing rural to urban migration, has led to a boom in mega-cities. In 1990, there were ten mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. In 2014, there are 28 mega-cities, home to a total 453 million people.

Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces, and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.

Sustainable city life is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 11.

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The SDG Fund response

The UN Development System, through joint collaboration, can contribute to:

  • promote sustainable urban local and national policies,
  • support better spatial planning and design, to “optimize density, connectivity and diversity”
  • advocate for a more equitable financing of urban initiatives.

For example,

  • In April 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York, the SDG Fund hosted the Pritzker Architecture Prizeand brought together renowned architects such as Alejandro Aravena, Glenn Murcutt, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Wang Shu, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, and Christian de Portzamparc to explore links between contemporary society and the role of architecture to improve livelihoods. The SDG Fund is working to engage leading world architects in social housing.
  • In Mozambique, the SDG Fund is providing training opportunities on green construction using traditional techniques and materials. The objective is to create residences that are less expensive while also preserving the environment.
  • In Honduras, the SDG-F supports the protection of the cultural and natural heritage in the Ruta Lenca. The programme aims at sustaining culture and heritage for the Lenca people by generating income opportunities through the revitalization of the Lenca culture and the development of micro-businesses in the area, led by youth and women, geared towards sustainable tourism.
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

The SDG Fund response

The UN Development System, through joint collaboration, can contribute to:

  • promote sustainable urban local and national policies,
  • support better spatial planning and design, to “optimize density, connectivity and diversity”
  • advocate for a more equitable financing of urban initiatives.

For example,

  • In April 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York, the SDG Fund hosted the Pritzker Architecture Prizeand brought together renowned architects such as Alejandro Aravena, Glenn Murcutt, Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Wang Shu, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, and Christian de Portzamparc to explore links between contemporary society and the role of architecture to improve livelihoods. The SDG Fund is working to engage leading world architects in social housing.
  • In Mozambique, the SDG Fund is providing training opportunities on green construction using traditional techniques and materials. The objective is to create residences that are less expensive while also preserving the environment.
  • In Honduras, the SDG-F supports the protection of the cultural and natural heritage in the Ruta Lenca. The programme aims at sustaining culture and heritage for the Lenca people by generating income opportunities through the revitalization of the Lenca culture and the development of micro-businesses in the area, led by youth and women, geared towards sustainable tourism.
) ) ) [field_targets] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] =>
  • By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
  • By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
  • By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials
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  • By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
  • By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
  • By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
  • Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
  • By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
  • By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
  • By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
  • By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
  • Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials
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Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Achieving economic growth and sustainable development requires that we urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources. Agriculture is the biggest user of water worldwide, and irrigation now claims close to 70 percent of all freshwater appropriated for human use.

The efficient management of our shared natural resources, and the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants, are important targets to achieve this goal. Encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important, as is supporting developing countries to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption by 2030.

A large share of the world population is still consuming far too little to meet even their basic needs. Halving per capita global food waste at the retailer and consumer levels is also important for creating more efficient production and supply chains. This can help with food security and shift us towards a more resource efficient economy.

Responsible production and consumption is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 12.

[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Achieving economic growth and sustainable development requires that we urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources. Agriculture is the biggest user of water worldwide, and irrigation now claims close to 70 percent of all freshwater appropriated for human use.

The efficient management of our shared natural resources, and the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants, are important targets to achieve this goal. Encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important, as is supporting developing countries to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption by 2030.

A large share of the world population is still consuming far too little to meet even their basic needs. Halving per capita global food waste at the retailer and consumer levels is also important for creating more efficient production and supply chains. This can help with food security and shift us towards a more resource efficient economy.

Responsible production and consumption is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 12.

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The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund is collaborating with partners, including from the private sector, to promote more responsible consumption and outsourcing practices, with a particular focus on ensuring that local farmers can obtain a fairer share of the value generated across the value chain.

For example,

  • The SDG Fund is working with the UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, the Roca Brothers chefs, who are leading a conversation on how chefs can make a difference in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. At the UN ECOSOC Chamber they gathered with key representatives of the food, nutrition, and development world to discuss how the food industry can contribute to achieve the SDGs and make food accessible for everyone everywhere. They are already working on the ground in some specific projects, including in Nigeria.
  • In Peru, the SDG Fund is contributing to establish an inclusive value chain in the production of quinoa and other Andean grains, so that the increased demand in the international market can convert into economic and social improvements of currently vulnerable producers.
  • In Fiji, the SDG Fund is promoting organic agriculture, a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved. The programme is working with the tourism industry to ensure that organic production satisfies a growing demand in the industry.
  • In Bolivia, the SDG Fund joint programme is supporting four municipalities to establish sustainable agricultural production systems which will increase the incomes of the poorest families and improve the nutritional state of boys, girls and mothers.
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund is collaborating with partners, including from the private sector, to promote more responsible consumption and outsourcing practices, with a particular focus on ensuring that local farmers can obtain a fairer share of the value generated across the value chain.

For example,

  • The SDG Fund is working with the UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors, the Roca Brothers chefs, who are leading a conversation on how chefs can make a difference in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. At the UN ECOSOC Chamber they gathered with key representatives of the food, nutrition, and development world to discuss how the food industry can contribute to achieve the SDGs and make food accessible for everyone everywhere. They are already working on the ground in some specific projects, including in Nigeria.
  • In Peru, the SDG Fund is contributing to establish an inclusive value chain in the production of quinoa and other Andean grains, so that the increased demand in the international market can convert into economic and social improvements of currently vulnerable producers.
  • In Fiji, the SDG Fund is promoting organic agriculture, a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved. The programme is working with the tourism industry to ensure that organic production satisfies a growing demand in the industry.
  • In Bolivia, the SDG Fund joint programme is supporting four municipalities to establish sustainable agricultural production systems which will increase the incomes of the poorest families and improve the nutritional state of boys, girls and mothers.
) ) ) [field_targets] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] =>
  • Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
  • By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
  • By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
  • Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
  • By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
  • Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production
  • Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
  • Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities
[format] => full_html [safe_value] =>
  • Implement the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, all countries taking action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries
  • By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses
  • By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment
  • By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
  • Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle
  • Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities
  • By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature
  • Support developing countries to strengthen their scientific and technological capacity to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production
  • Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
  • Rationalize inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by removing market distortions, in accordance with national circumstances, including by restructuring taxation and phasing out those harmful subsidies, where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts, taking fully into account the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and minimizing the possible adverse impacts on their development in a manner that protects the poor and the affected communities
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The concept of long term sustainability of development programmes is constantly evolving.

The SDG Fund definition involves:

  1. Inclusion and participation in programme initiatives within the vision of a Human Rights-based approach
  2. Economic use of resources in programme implementation
  3. Sustainability of programme achievements after termination of activities
  4. Mainstreaming environment and climate change in development programmes

For our programmes integrating sustainability requires an analysis of the governance architecture and the different stages of the programme cycle. At the national level, this could include the formulation of national policies, long term and multi-year development plans, sectoral budgetary allocation processes, and regulatory processes. At the level of projects on the ground, climate change adaptation considerations might need to be factored within specific elements of the project cycle.

As an example, a key element to mainstreaming climate change is the use of a climate lens. The following criteria are essential elements to be observed:

  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project under consideration could be vulnerable to risks arising from climate variability and change
  • The extent to which climate change risks have already been taken into consideration
  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project could inadvertently lead to increased vulnerability and maladaptation or miss important opportunities arising from climate change

The following publications offer useful guidance for introducing environmental sustainability and climate change sensitivity into development programmes:

See also this list of references from the UNFCCC on how to mainstream climate change into development programming.

[summary] => [format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

The concept of long term sustainability of development programmes is constantly evolving.

The SDG Fund definition involves:

  1. Inclusion and participation in programme initiatives within the vision of a Human Rights-based approach
  2. Economic use of resources in programme implementation
  3. Sustainability of programme achievements after termination of activities
  4. Mainstreaming environment and climate change in development programmes

For our programmes integrating sustainability requires an analysis of the governance architecture and the different stages of the programme cycle. At the national level, this could include the formulation of national policies, long term and multi-year development plans, sectoral budgetary allocation processes, and regulatory processes. At the level of projects on the ground, climate change adaptation considerations might need to be factored within specific elements of the project cycle.

As an example, a key element to mainstreaming climate change is the use of a climate lens. The following criteria are essential elements to be observed:

  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project under consideration could be vulnerable to risks arising from climate variability and change
  • The extent to which climate change risks have already been taken into consideration
  • The extent to which the policy, plan, or project could inadvertently lead to increased vulnerability and maladaptation or miss important opportunities arising from climate change

The following publications offer useful guidance for introducing environmental sustainability and climate change sensitivity into development programmes:

See also this list of references from the UNFCCC on how to mainstream climate change into development programming.

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Embedding sustainable principles in all our projects and ensuring long-term development gains

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Embedding sustainable principles in all our projects and ensuring long-term development gains

) ) ) [field_image] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [fid] => 8 [uid] => 1 [filename] => Nicaragua-environment-woman-at-well.jpg [uri] => public://Nicaragua-environment-woman-at-well.jpg [filemime] => image/jpeg [filesize] => 137912 [status] => 1 [timestamp] => 1449239930 [type] => image [field_file_image_alt_text] => Array ( ) [field_file_image_title_text] => Array ( ) [rdf_mapping] => Array ( ) [metadata] => Array ( [height] => 1183 [width] => 1600 ) [alt] => [title] => [height] => 1183 [width] => 1600 ) ) ) [field_type] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => crosscuting_issue ) ) ) [field_paragraphs] => Array ( ) [rdf_mapping] => Array ( [rdftype] => Array ( [0] => sioc:Item [1] => foaf:Document ) [title] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => dc:title ) ) [created] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => dc:date [1] => dc:created ) [datatype] => xsd:dateTime [callback] => date_iso8601 ) [changed] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => dc:modified ) [datatype] => xsd:dateTime [callback] => date_iso8601 ) [body] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => content:encoded ) ) [uid] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => sioc:has_creator ) [type] => rel ) [name] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => foaf:name ) ) [comment_count] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => sioc:num_replies ) [datatype] => xsd:integer ) [last_activity] => Array ( [predicates] => Array ( [0] => sioc:last_activity_date ) [datatype] => xsd:dateTime [callback] => date_iso8601 ) ) [path] => Array ( [pathauto] => 1 ) [name] => sysadmin [picture] => 0 [data] => a:2:{s:7:"contact";i:0;s:7:"overlay";i:1;} ) [access] => 1 ) ) ) [field_downloads] => Array ( ) [field_delivering_as_one] => Array ( ) [field_country_entity] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [iso2] => KH [value] => KH [country] => Entity Object ( [entityType:protected] => country [entityInfo:protected] => Array ( [label] => Country [entity class] => Entity [controller class] => EntityAPIControllerExportable [base table] => countries_country [fieldable] => 1 [module] => countries [entity keys] => Array ( [id] => cid [name] => iso2 [label] => name [revision] => [bundle] => ) [bundles] => Array ( [country] => Array ( [label] => Country [admin] => Array ( [path] => admin/config/regional/countries [access arguments] => Array ( [0] => administer site configuration ) ) [rdf_mapping] => Array ( ) ) ) [view modes] => Array ( [full] => Array ( [label] => Country [custom settings] => ) [token] => Array ( [label] => Tokens [custom settings] => ) ) [static cache] => 1 [field cache] => 1 [load hook] => country_load [translation] => Array ( ) [base table field types] => Array ( [cid] => serial [iso2] => char [iso3] => char [name] => varchar [official_name] => varchar [numcode] => int [continent] => char [enabled] => int [language] => varchar ) [schema_fields_sql] => Array ( [base table] => Array ( [0] => cid [1] => iso2 [2] => iso3 [3] => name [4] => official_name [5] => numcode [6] => continent [7] => enabled [8] => language ) ) [label callback] => countries_i18n_country_entity_label [token type] => country [configuration] => ) [idKey:protected] => cid [nameKey:protected] => iso2 [statusKey:protected] => status [defaultLabel:protected] => [wrapper:protected] => [cid] => 38 [iso2] => KH [iso3] => KHM [name] => Cambodia [official_name] => Kingdom of Cambodia [numcode] => 116 [continent] => AS [enabled] => 1 [language] => und [rdf_mapping] => Array ( ) ) [safe_value] => Cambodia [safe] => Cambodia ) ) ) [field_body] => Array ( [und] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [value] => This paper tracks the efforts of an Asia Foundation team working with local stakeholders to support improvements in the solid waste management sector in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The team worked in a flexible way with a range of partners, and with a particular focus on understanding the incentives and politics affecting service delivery. While reform of the sector remains in progress, steps have been taken to introduce more competition and better public sector management of solid waste collection in the city. This case study lays out the real-time decisions and processes which drove the strategy and implementation of this project, providing useful insights into how politically astute and flexible programmes can be successfully implemented. This case emerged from an action research process, led by a researcher from the Overseas Development Institute and conducted over the course of almost two years. By capturing and analysing the experiences of the programme team in Phnom Penh, the paper intends to provide practical insights for others in the development community aiming to implement similar kinds of programming. 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