Strategic Planning Workshop on the Formulation of the Local Heritage Plan (Lecture Series 1-A)

DSCF0221 DSCF0199 The 4 Pillars of Clean Environment based on Australian Experience are:  Clean Land, Clean Air, Clean Water and National Heritage.  Today’s activity here on Earthniversity will focus on the topic: Strategic Planning Workshop on the Formulation of the Local Heritage Plan.

Introduction

In planning the  implementation of a specific program or project in the Local Government Unit, I found it best to use the strategic planning workshop method that will involve all stakeholders so that the result of the planning process will be reflective of what the community wants or needs. The participants will be asked to answer the 4 questions which are:  Who Are We?, Where Are We Now?, Where Are We Going? and How Are We Going To Get There?

Mechanics

There will be workshops to answer the 4 questions.  Participants are going to summarize their answers by writing the top 3 answers they selected.  Group A who will tackle the first question shall report their output to the whole participants where an interaction will follow. Improvement or revision of their top 3 choices maybe done with the approval of the majority.  Group B, C, and D follows.

The participants may use the data that are available in the Local Government Unit to help them in answering the 4 questions.  Documents like the following might be of  help: 

1) Comprehensive Land Use Plan, that also contains a write-up on SWOT Analysis of the LGU,  2)  Environment Code  3)  Annual Report of LGU Departments who have participation in Local Heritage Planning Workshop  4) Socio-Economic Profile  5)  Local Budget  6) Existing Laws and Ordinances not included in the Environment Code, and others.

The participants will be given meta cards.  Each card has specific color.  For example, white for who are we?, yellow for where are we now?, green for where are we going?. and red for how to get there? Each participant must write on the meta card his answer to every question and paste it on the board provided for.  There will be many ideas pasted on each question.

The participants will discuss the merit of each response and place it in the level it is thought to be appropriate.  The top level is the best option.  The participants will further make their final choice for each question so that they can reach a final answer of, say, top 3. The final top 3 answers can be converted or formulated as Target, Strategies, Programs or Projects.  So, at the end of the day, a list of Programs and Projects will be identified with Targets and Strategies placed appropriately where they should be.

Also, an Action Plan can be drafted by the participants in session.  Samples of Action Plan is available on line and in the library.  Here I will provide a sample of its contents.  The first column is Activity, 2nd is Time Frame, 3rd is Cost Estimate, 4th is Persons Responsible, 5th is Expected Output, 6th is Implementation Status and 7th is Evaluation.  The Facilitators will guide the participation in filling up this Action Plan.  The participants can revise it depending  to suit their unique needs. The Final Report of this workshop can be written by the Facilitators or Training Director and will be submitted to the LGU official for approval, funding and implementation.  Plan for Evaluation and Sustainability Measures will be incorporated in that final report.

What is National Heritage?

According to Wikipedia, national heritage refers to “anything of national significance which is handed down and preserved through generations, specially architecture, landscapes, documents and other artifacts; also a body set up to carry out this preservation.” In this workshop, the term National in National Heritage will be replaced by the word Local, to denote the Local Government Unit, a city, town or province that will be the focus of this strategic planning workshop.

(Comment, September 25, 2014…Few years ago, the United Nations also encourages all member states and governments to implement the protection and conservation of their Underwater Cultural Heritage Sites or in my own point of view – the Underwater Heritage Sites like reefs, sunken ships and many others that can be included in the sphere of the definition of the word Heritage…)

Stages of Strategic Planning Workshop

1.  Who Are We? The things that form part of our national heritage can help us answer this question too. Who are the people that should be involved, who will be the doers, who will implement and who will be affected? (DIY-VN). Are we capable of doing a sustainable activities to make this Heritage Plan a successful one? Once the answer are written down, the discussion will follow and the final selection of the top 3 responses will be recorded.  Most probably, the answer to the question will be:  we have  heritage sites and places but there is no plan for their conservation and protection. Then, the list of these heritage sites and places will be done. A few participants may answer this way: we as a people, value our rich culture, traditions, history and historical sites. It is for the Facilitator to guide the participants’ thinking to arrive at appropriate responses.

2. Where Are We Now? This refers to analysis of the internal and external situations of the LGU or the Community. It also implies the review of the vision, mission, and other initiatives that were undertaken by the LGU or Community as far as Heritage is concerned. The SWOT analysis is an ideal tool to use for a very comprehensive understanding of the present situation as well as a good aid to plan for the future. (DIY-VN). This question shall focus on the analysis of existing situation of the LGU and the community and the responses should focus along this line. In my experience, I found the session on Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) of an LGU to be “bloody” thing, so to speak. But I also enjoyed it the most because through its output, the participants will have a clearer view of their LGU.

3. Where Are We Going? What does the LGU or Community want the future to look like? What do they want to see happening in say, 3 to 5 years? (DIY-VN). This question implies the direction upon which the LGU and the Community may follow to reach the goals which are the identification, conservation and protection of the Local Heritage Sites and Places. For example, the LGU and Community wish to conserve a historical place owned by the intestate estate of somebody, so the participants’ response here could be making a list of these historical places as an initial step that will progress to initial talks with the heirs, donation of the heritage site/place to the government, and the ultimate preparation work to make this heritage site presentable to the public.

4. How Are We Going To Get There? Creating a roadmap for achieving the strategic objectives will involve the management committee in: Setting objectives; Resourcing the organisation; Agreeing or approving operational/work plans; and Ensuring appropriate systems and structures are in place. (DIY-VN) This last question will also focus on the LGU and the Community’s means or strategies of achieving the goals which are to identify, conserve and protect the Local Heritage Sites and Places. These Strategies will include specific Programs and Projects that will later on be Funded by LGU.

Presentation of Workshop Output, Critiquing, Rewriting and Making of Final Report – The Heritage Plan of LGU or Community. The Plan shall include other things like Action Plan, Infrastructure Components, if necessary; Investment Plan if needed. The Task of the TWG, the Technical Working Group or the Ad Hoc Committee is to organize the Final Report. This final report which is now the Heritge Plan of the LGU or Community will be subjected to a series of community consultations with all the stakeholders participating.

The final document will be presented to the Local Development Council (LDC) for their review and approval in a form of LDC Resolution. This will be forwarded to the Local Chief Executive for his approval. The the LCE will submit it to the Municipal of City Council for their review and approval. A copy of this Plan will be furnished the Council Member Chair of the Committee on Environment. The final approval which include the budget details in the Plan shall be done by the Local Council. So, the Municipal or City Council’s approval will be in the form of a Resolution or an Ordinance. Then this will be submitted to the Local Chief Executive for his signature. Now, you have the approved LGU Heritage Plan for a specific period. The implementing arm of this Plan is the Office of the Environment. This is in the Philippines Setting.

In closing, I am very sure I missed some points but you can just add the items you think are important before you conduct this Strategic Planning Workshop on the Formulation of the Local Heritage Plan.

References: 1. DIY Committee Guide by Volunteer Now, website

2. Department of Environment Australia, website.

3.  Link:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/aileron/201/10/25/five-steps-to-a-strategic-plan/

Photos:  The RUINS at Talisay City and the Pink House or the Bernardino Jalandoni Museum at Silay City.

Both  are Heritage Sites in Negros Occidental, the Philippines.  Photo by Henry C. Libo-on

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