Political factors facilitating practice adoption through Asian intercity network programmes for the environment

Discussion Paper

An analysis was carried out on local and national political factors that corroborated the adoption and diffusion of environmental practices at city level via Asian intercity networks as a part of a series of studies on international intercity network programmes for the environment in Asia. This paper focuses on how participating cities in developing countries would better utilise such programmes given that the environmental practices promoted under the network programmes are relevant. The paper deals with indirect promoting factors to complement the study of motivation and benefits of participating cities in developing countries, conducted in a separate paper. The political factors within the participating cities and in developing countries are divided into two: endogenous ones and exogenous ones to the cities. As for endogenous factors in cities, the importance of support at the mayoral level, coordination and networking of stakeholders by individuals and organisations within and outside of the local government, perceived autonomy of the city government, including the mayor, and administrative and financial autonomy of local governments from the central government and higher regional authorities are observed. Although the importance of mayoral support may seem obvious, such factor still needs to be confirmed since not all mayors of participating cities show interests even if the opportunity to learn and adopt a relevant practice is equally provided to all participating cities. In looking at exogenous factors, the study confirmed that the existence of policy support from the national government and higher authorities, and financial support systems, in particular is effective. Local and national actors such as mayor, local coordinators and national governments in developing Asia could enhance the chance for city governments to better utilise the intercity network, by playing their roles of leader, coordinator and facilitator in their given positions.

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