event 11 Dec 2018

Urban Nexus // Training for Urban Challenges in Danang, Vietnam

By Ruth Erlbeck, Ralph Trosse and Rashane Sala-Ngarm. In the framework of the GIZ “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus”, two back to back workshops were conducted in Danang, Vietnam from October 30th to November 2nd 2018. They introduced the Urban Nexus approach to a variety of stakeholders as well as specific tools for analyzing urban challenges embedded in the Global Agendas.

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https://unsplash.com/photos/vkJyIXLHvIE (C) Anne Lin / Unsplash

In the framework of the GIZ “Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: The Urban Nexus” project financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), two workshops were conducted in Danang, Vietnam on 30 and 31 October as well as 1 and 2 November 2018. The workshops were led by two trainers from the German consultancy Denkmodell GmbH using the “Design Thinking Method”. It was attended by different stakeholders, about 50 participants representing national ministries and agencies, city level agencies as well as training institutes.

The first workshop concentrated on interactive modular training on integrated resource management introduced the Urban Nexus approach and specific tools for analyzing urban challenges embedded in the Global Agendas. Subsequently 20 participants also attended the training of trainers’ workshop. This second workshop enabled participants to become trainers themselves or improve their training experiences replicating the urban Nexus approach through interactive training formats.

In the opening speech Mr. Ho Ky Minh, Danang City People’s Committee Vice Chairperson mentioned that Danang is a growing city and faces several challenges on water, energy, and food security management. The Vice Chairperson pointed out the relevance of these workshops saying, “I am convinced that the back to back workshops are organized with great purpose- that is to create a favorable platform for local cities and experts to share their experience and measures of integrated urban management.”

Ms. Nguyen Thanh Nga from the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) hosting the Urban Nexus Workshops together with GIZ, expressed the interest of MPI in the Workshop seeing “the relevance of this training to apply the urban Nexus as tool to reach out for more integrated resource management and inter-institutional cooperation within the framework of the SDGs.”

The Urban Nexus Training started with a new format of introducing the circular economy and the Urban Nexus Approach. In this new format, Ms. Ruth Erlbeck and Mr. Ralph Trosse, respectively the Director and Technical Director of GIZ Nexus project, were interviewed by both the moderator of the session and the participants. The format allows the participants to learn about the Nexus approach and relevant project best practices in a more interactive manner, as compared to the conventional power point presentations. Subsequently, major urban development challenges of Danang, like Municipal Solid Waste Management and Waste Water Management were presented and discussed.

Those challenges were the basis for the workshop, as the participants were split into groups focusing on one challenge each. The first day was spent analyzing those challenges, and the second day concrete solutions for selected Vietnamese cities were elaborated requiring lively involvement by the participants. They were provided with analytic tools to scrutinize their respective urban challenge, with a focus on inter- and intra- institutional cooperation both vertically and horizontally.

Participants learned how to identify stakeholders and pursue synergies between sectors, jurisdictions and technical domains, how to increase institutional performance, optimize services quality and contribute to greater resource efficiency in the context of a circular economy. Moreover, participants learned how integrated planning helps to avoid poorly coordinated investments and underutilized infrastructure, as well as the relevance of cities for global agendas.

During the Training of Trainers workshop the participants learned how to improve their training skills or how to become successful trainers themselves. They were provided with techniques for organizing interactive training sessions and reflected upon what makes an ideal trainer. Moreover, they practiced those skills, such as successfully moderating discussions involving appropriate gestures and active listening. They were provided with visualization techniques and learned how to deal with difficulties normally being faced by trainers.

The participants had positive feedback on both parts of the workshops and expressed that the new perspectives and skills gained are of great value for their daily work. Participants from training institutions expressed their intention of conducting the Urban Nexus training in their own context within Vietnam.

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