Throughout its five years of existence, the MobiliseYourCity’s partnership has engaged in several activites in Asia. In September 2020, a Project Management Unit has been created to support the further development of the Partnership in the continent. To learn more about the future of MobiliseYourCity in Asia, we have asked questions to Clément Musil, Programme Manager and Technical Capacity Development Advisor for MobiliseYourCity Asia.
Can you tell us the story of the development of MobiliseYourCity in Asia?
Launched in 2015 after the Paris Climate Change Conference (Convention of Parties – COP21), the MobiliseYourCity partnership was developed in different geographies around the world. In Asia, the MobiliseYourCity partnership engaged several activities between 2015 and 2019. On the one hand, the AFD, one of the implementing partners of the partnership, led the MobiliseYourCity India Program – funded by the European Union. The main activities were conducted towards three cities: Ahmedabad, Kochi, and Nagpur. On the other hand, the GIZ, another major implementation partner, engaged in activities at the national level to support national urban mobility policy development in Thailand and in the Philippines, under the TRANSfer III Project, and in Indonesia, through the TRANSfer Program.
Sustainable urban mobility being a key area of partnership between AFD and ADB, in 2018, AFD signed a MoU with ADB to partner and develop jointly MobiliseYourCity activities in the region. In the meantime, the AFD managed to secure a 5M€ grant on its own resources to support the development of MobiliseYourCity partnership in Asia. This paved the way to scale up MobiliseYourCity in Asia and to expand the activities in the region. Today, beside the existing ongoing projects funded by the European Union on one side and by the German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) on the other side, the AFD jointly with the ADB is preparing new MobiliseYourCity activities to reinforce and scale-up the partnership in the Asia region. However, this change of intervention scale required some additional resources to ensure its smooth development, hence the idea to setup a Project Management Unit to support and manage the expansion of the partnership in the region.
Can you introduce the Project Management Unit in charge to support the development of MobiliseYourCity partnership in Asia?
The Project Management Unit (PMU) for MobiliseYourCity in Asia was jointly recruited by AFD and ADB and started its activities in September 2020. The development and the management of this PMU was assigned to a consortium of consultants gathering Espelia, Artelia, CODATU (already known as an implementing member of the partnership) and Institut Paris Region (IPR). This consortium is mainly composed by French entities but relies on a large pool of experts in mobility, transportation and urban planning, mainly coming from Asia and Europe.
In order to support the expansion of the MobiliseYourCity program in Asia, this PMU aims to deliver three main outputs. First, to provide Program Manager and a Technical Advisor in charge to coordinate technical and administrative activities to ensure successful delivery of the Asia program. Second, according to the needs of the MobiliseYourCity beneficiaries, to provide technical assistance via the mobilization of short-term experts. Those specialists will be engaged in thematic studies and capacity building services and will provide technical inputs to support the successful delivery of beneficiaries’ activities. Third, to organize some events, like mobilise days, workshops, training sessions and study tours, to ensure an efficient consolidation of knowledge on mobility and also reinforce the community of practice among the beneficiaries.
For its day-to-day activities the PMU is managed by the Program Manager, Clément Musil, a mobility and urban planning expert from Espelia, who is currently located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A cross-cutting team provides management and administrative support as necessary throughout program implementation. In addition, short-term mobility experts are already involved too. They are directly participating in the technical assistance provided by the PMU, for instance for SUMPs activities. Those experts and specialists are acting together under the umbrella of the PMU to support the development of MobiliseYourCity program in Asia.
What is happening currently with MobiliseYourCity in Asia? (projects, objectives etc.)
Several activities are currently ongoing in the context of MobiliseYourCity partnership in Asia. On the one hand, the implementing partners as the GIZ and the AFD are pursuing the already engaged activities, in India for the AFD and in the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia for the GIZ. On the other hand, several new activities have been engaged by the AFD, especially SUMP activities. Currently, the SUMP of Kurunegala (Sri Lanka) is on the way to be finalized, while the city of Medan (Indonesia) is starting its SUMP and organizing its Mobilise days, and a recruitment process is engaged to select a transport consultancy to support the elaboration of a SUMP in Mandalay (Myanmar).
The PMU is in charge to support the development of the MobiliseYourCity partnership in Asia is currently working on the preparation of its work plan for next year, based on the needs identified and expressed by the program partners. To support the development of the partnership at the regional scale, this phase is critical in order to target the relevant actions to conduct as well as to engage consistent strategies to ensure a smooth coordination with the MobiliseYourCity Secretariat, the implementing partners (AFD, GIZ) and the regional partners (ADB). Beside this strategic work phase, the PMU is already engaged in some technical assistance tasks, supporting program partners in the elaboration of SUMP ToRs for three cities in Pakistan and the review of SUMP deliverables in Kurunegala (Sri Lanka). In addition, the PMU is starting prospective studies aimed at fostering the enrolment of new cities in the partnership.
And what are the next steps for the PMU MobiliseYourCity in Asia?
In a short term, the PMU has to deliver its work plan for the next three years – the duration of the technical assistance provides by the PMU. This step is crucial as it allows to identify the needs and prepare the answers that could bring the partnership to the beneficiaries in the region. Beyond delivering a roadmap, the challenge for the PMU is to support the development of a community of practice within the region, to identify and deliver capacity building activities, through specific events like mobilise days, trainings, workshops, study tours to the beneficiaries, and to ensure knowledge dissemination through the MobiliseYourCity on-line knowledge exchange platform.
For the years ahead, the PMU has to support the enrolment of new beneficiaries, particularly cities, and to provide technical assistance for SUMPs elaboration. This support is not limited to the mobility plan elaboration but has to go beyond as for instance to ensure capacity building and training for the city to seize the SUMP methodology and ensure its efficient and sustainable implementation.