Urban Nexus Training and Training of Trainers carried out for Indian ministries and training institutes

India’s national ministries and agencies, city level agencies as well as training institutes attended two workshops on Urban Nexus Training and Training of Trainers.
The first workshop, the Urban Nexus Training, was held on 31 July and 1 August. The interactive modular training on integrated resource management introduced the Urban Nexus approach and specific tools for analysing urban challenges embedded in the Global Agendas. Sixty-five participants representing national ministries and agencies, city-level agencies as well as training institutes (Administrative Training Institutes “ATI”) attended.
Thirty-five of the participants also attended the second workshop, Training of Trainers on 2-3 August 2018. This enabled participants to become trainers or improve their training experiences replicating the urban Nexus approach through interactive training formats. Both workshops were conducted by two trainers from the German consultancy Denkmodell GmbH using the “Design Thinking Method”.
This event marks the start of cooperation between the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), ATIs and the GIZ Urban Nexus Project and strengthens and builds up new partnerships of mutual benefit to cooperation to achieve ecological, social and economic sustainability in India.
In his opening speech, Prof. Jagan Shah, Director of NIUA expressed his delight at the new cooperation between NIUA and GIZ. He emphasised the importance of the new integrated, hands-on approach for efficiency in tackling development issues in India, noting that it perfectly matches the four big flagship programmes of India and serves as a tool for their speedy implementation.
Mr. Wolfgang Koester, Development Advisor and Deputy Head of Department of Economic Cooperation, Embassy of the Republic of Germany inaugurated the Urban Nexus Training. He pointed out that the new training format helps provide technical solutions and stimulates inter-institutional cooperation between the relevant institutions responsible for the four flagship missions under the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry: the Smart Cities Mission; Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT); Swachh Bharat; and Housing for All. He also explained that the training would support the implementation of all four “Flagship” programmes as the training is to be “practised” in kind of an “innovation lab” (working groups), with an emphasis on interaction, by utilising concrete examples to search for solutions.
“Design Thinking” will be used as the method and consists of an interdisciplinary approach promoted by SAP Co-Founder Hasso Plattner. It has become more than just a creative process and has advanced to a completely new way of seeing people in relation to work, of imagining the concept of work and of posing questions about how we want to live, learn, and work in the 21st century. The appeal of Design Thinking lies in its ability to inspire new and surprising forms of creative teamwork.
The keynote address was delivered by Shri Durga Shanker Mishra, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. He revealed several of India’s ambitious development goals such as “Housing for all by 2022” and “100% tap water provision by 2020”.
According to him, urbanisation is the engine of growth, which is critical for a country to prosper and cater to the requirements of the people. India concentrated for much too long on rural development only. However, the focus is now on urban development. Presently, urban areas contribute more than 65% to the GDP of the country and by 2050 it will be more than 80%. People move to urban areas for better quality of life and prosperity, but ultimately tend to struggle to meet basic needs including housing and jobs.
Understanding the needs of the hour and acknowledging the challenges associated with this kind of incremental growth, the Prime Minister of India released multiple programmes including Swachh Bharat Mission and Housing for All. He had a vision of rapid transformation and India is now experiencing exactly that.
All the three major programmes are being implemented across the country. However, under AMRUT, the fourth major programme, 500 cities, which comprise nearly 65% of the urban population, are being provided with infrastructure development. The massive programme of nearly INR 78,000 Crore (USD 11,314,680,000) with projects worth INR 72,000 Crores (USD 10,444,320,000) is focused on improved water supply and sewer development.  Changing all water pumps to energy efficient pumps and changing all street lights to LED lights is one of the components under the Mission.
The Smart Cities Programme is creating examples of what the country will look like in the near future. It will showcase how a planned development through retrofitting and redevelopment will look. A hundred cities have been already selected and the activities adopted in the smart cities are a reflection of the aspirations of the people. 1.5 Crore (15 Million) people were consulted for preparing the Smart City Plans. Projects worth INR 60000 Crores (USD 8,703,600,000) have already been initiated while projects worth INR 7000 Crore (USD 1,015,420,000) are already complete.
All the programmes are implemented at a rapid pace. This is considered a big opportunity to cater to the dreams of the citizens rather than a challenge. Under the nexus of the programmes, citizens are getting housing, employment and better sanitation thereby resulting in better living conditions. The growing generations are provided with a proper environment in which to prosper and support the growth of the country. This is the kind of Nexus that is required.
NEXUS improves efficiency, reduces wastage and increases sustainability. Presently, all the work undertaken in silos should be done together for enhanced development of the country. The Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Urban Development was made one single entity with this concept in kind.
The Secretary is convinced that the Nexus/Integrated approach, once understood and applied, can help India achieve these ambitious goals.
The Urban Nexus Training started with an introductory presentation on the circular economy and the Urban Nexus Approach by Ms. Ruth Erlbeck, Director of Urban Nexus project. This was followed by presentations from experts analysing India’s major challenges in four sectors; Municipal Solid Waste Management, Air Pollution, Water and Waste Water Management, and Housing for All. Concrete solutions for selected Indian cities were elaborated. They were provided with analytic tools to scrutinise their respective urban challenge, with a focus on inter- and intra-institutional cooperation both vertically and horizontally.
They learned
- how to identify stakeholders and pursue synergies between sectors
- jurisdictions and technical domains
- how to increase institutional performance
- optimise services quality and contribute to greater resource efficiency in the context of a circular economy
- how integrated planning helps to avoid poorly coordinated investments and underutilised infrastructure
- the relevance of cities to Global Agendas
During the Training of Trainers workshop, participants learned how to improve their training skills or how to become successful trainers themselves. They were provided with techniques for organising interactive training sessions and reflected upon what makes for an ideal trainer. Further, they practised those skills, such as successfully moderating discussions involving appropriate gestures and active listening. They were provided with visualisation techniques and learned how to deal with difficulties normally faced by trainers.
The workshop is the beginning of the training on integrated resource management to be replicated by the trainees in the near and far future.
The participants said that the new perspectives and skills gained will be of great value in their daily work. Those from training institutions expressed their intention of conducting the Urban Nexus training for their respective clients, who are mainly public organisations.

The “Urban Nexus Training and Training of Trainers Workshops” were conducted 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) and organised jointly with the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI South Asia), and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).


Contact information