DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/63/S27.107

MUNICIPAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOVERNANCE INDICATOR SYSTEM INNOVATION: INTRODUCTION AND ASSESSMENT

J. Kaulins
Thursday 23 November 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgemviennagreen.org, SGEM2017 Vienna GREEN Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-29-4 / ISSN 1314-2704, 27 - 29 November, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 63, 861-870 pp; DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017H/63/S27.107

ABSTRACT

Quantitative supervision of the implementation of planning documents is one of the fundamental elements of good governance and is vital for ensuring sustainable development perspective. The sustainability of a territory may be specifically defined in developmental planning documents as a long-term goal or indirectly emanate from the territorial vision and set of defined measurable objectives. The most effective way to supervise progress towards planned objectives is with the help of the relevant indicator system (IS). In the Latvia, such IS having been first introduced as a municipal governance instrument in Saulkrasti Municipality in 2013. Currently, the IS’s first measurement cycle of their 64 indicators has concluded and evaluated by the University of Latvia within SUSTINNO project framework. The main results are twofold: 1) an assessment of the municipality’s sustainability based on four main sustainable development dimensions has been done with recommendations for the decision-makers and a special innovative report (Sustainability Governance Outlook) for the needs of the general public, and 2) an assessment of the functioning of the IS itself and proposals for the improvement of the system were done too.
The sustainability report is compiled according to the dimension principles, with the separate attachment of an assessment regarding the municipality’s long-term developmental objectives. On a five-point scale, the sustainability of Saulkrasti Municipality is evaluated as being 3.3 in relation to the natural environment, 2.8 in regard to the social environment, and 2.7 in terms of the economic and governance environments.
The indicators themselves were evaluated according to a seven criteria system. Five criteria applied to data obtainability and quality, while the remaining two were applicable to the compatibility of an indicator to its objective. Individual indicators that were deemed to be largely ineffective or incalculable, because of a lack of adequate data, were replaced with others. The system as a whole was improved by slightly restructuring it, identifying primary indicators for dimensions and individual sectors, and by augmenting the list of strategic indicators.
Regardless of its individual shortcomings, the specific municipal IS functions successfully, but the problem is the lack of resources allocated by the municipality to the maintenance of the IS. Moreover, the system is not satisfactorily integrated with others, including higher level developmental planning documents. This is being taken into account in the development of municipal sustainability monitoring systems for other municipalities and in provisional forming of the national network of sustainable development governance evaluation IS.

Keywords: sustainability, development, indicators, indicator system, municipality