Planning, Performance and Evaluation

Principle 4 : Planning and priority setting.
Environmental Agencies should develop clear strategies and implementation plans that address program priorities, and realistically reflect available human and institutional capacity.

For an under-funded EA, planning and priority setting can be a critical function for strengthening overall program effectiveness. Recognizing limitations in capacity, an EA should formulate clear strategies and plans that address priority challenges and set realistic targets.

When setting priorities, an EA should ensure maximum impact or optimal deterrent effect by addressing key challenges, advancing new or innovative approaches, and targeting resources. An EA should lead stakeholder-based planning initiatives that incorporate a wide range of information and inputs from other agencies, local governments, the regulated community, civil society, and experts.

In developing an enforcement strategy, an EA should deploy a combination of enforcement instruments that enable the agency to achieve its goals and test new approaches within existing program constraints. These instruments should address both preventive and punitive tools that can be applied to potential and actual violators. The resulting strategy should be a well-balanced combination of command-and-control and incentives-based measures that take into account Asia’s regulatory culture, such as a preference for consensus-building.

An EA should base strategic planning on up-to-date information on the composition and conduct of the regulated community, and agency human and institutional constraints. An EA should focus its efforts on controlling pollution from priority sources, which might include small- and medium-sized enterprises, and local governments.

An EA should clearly communicate new priorities and plans to program personnel and the regulated community via appropriate means and messages to improve program implementation

Principle 5 : Monitoring and evaluating performance.
Environmental Agencies should adopt appropriate performance management systems to support planning, performance evaluation, and continuous improvement of programs based on performance indicators.

To ensure effective implementation of compliance and enforcement programs, an EA should establish performance management systems that enable decision-makers to measure progress toward achieving priority goals and objectives. Based on performance indicators that track agency inputs, outputs, and expected outcomes related to environmental impacts, the performance management system should provide a basis for continuously improving core program activities and initiatives, such as planning, inspection and monitoring, enforcement actions, and incentives-based programming.

An EA should use performance management systems to evaluate program strengths and weaknesses, inform planning decisions, justify increased governmental expenditures, and inform the public of status and achievements. To support performance management systems, an EA should deploy computerized information management systems to store and analyze indicator information.

Principle 6 : Capacity building.
Environmental compliance and enforcement programs should include capacity development activities that build the human and institutional capacity necessary for Environmental Agencies to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Strengthening human and institutional capacity in environmental compliance and enforcement requires a comprehensive personnel management and support system that not only strengthens employee capabilities, but also provides incentives for improved performance and commitment to an EA mission. Staff member capacity building should include hands-on technical skills, management, and leadership training. On the institutional side, an EA needs to dedicate resources to secure necessary equipment, laboratories, information management systems, etc.

Since the environment is not a funding priority of many Asian governments, there are significant limitations in human and institutional capacity in many EAs. Given that budgetary constraints are a perennial problem in Asia, an EA should focus available resources on strategic capacity development activities that address priority challenges.