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Home > NGO Council > Memorandum Of Understanding with MCGM : 12/12/2005

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6 Month Review of the MCGM-NGO Council MoU
(Dec 2005 - June 2006)

Review of the MCGM-NGO Council MoU 

To: Municipal Commissioner
CC: Additional Municipal Commissioner (Projects)
       Additional Municipal Commissioner (Western Suburbs)         
       Additional Municipal Commissioner (Eastern Suburbs)         
       Convenor, NGO Council

From: Additional Municipal Commissioner (City)              
Date: 6th June, 2006  

Period of Review: 6 months (12th Dec.2005 to 12th May 2006)  

Objective of the Review:

To review the implementation of the MoU between the MCGM and the NGO Council that seeks to provide an institutionalised partnership between MCGM and Civil Society Organisations to promote good city governance.  


  • In the aftermath of the floods in Mumbai in July 2005, during the post-flood relief work undertaken by MCGM, a strong need for an NGO Coordination Committee was felt to maximise and efficiently use the diverse and valuable skills, services and experiences that NGOs and Civil Society had to offer to MCGM,
  • This led to the formation of the NGO Council, as a representative and coordinating body of Civil Society (Organisations)
  • In December 2005, an MoU was signed between MCGM and the NGO Council to formally recognize and institutionalize the partnership between MCGM and NGOs/CSOs to promote Good City Governance, and preparing the way for a new way of engaging and working with the MCGM.

Methodology of working:  

  • The process of interaction between the MCGM and NGO Council, as outlined in the MoU envisages the setting up of steering groups for each functional area which is mutually identified with due representation for members of the NGO Council, experts and eminent citizens.
  • This process was followed for “Cleanliness of the city”, the first issue that was taken up, and a working group of over 100 NGOs/individuals/ experts in consultation with MCGM framed the “Policy Framework Recommendations for a Clean Mumbai”. After a series of joint meetings over three months, these recommendations were integrated and incorporated in the “Municipal Solid Waste (Prohibition of Littering and Regulation of Segregation, Storage, Delivery and Collection) Rules 2006that were notified on 1st March 2006.
  • Subsequent issues that were taken up such as Public Health, the framing of a Charter for a partnership between MCGM and citizen groups, stray dogs, etc. evolved further mechanisms of working, where since the issue under consideration being specialised (as compared to cleanliness which could be said to be a pan-Mumbai concern), a smaller group of interested persons participated, giving responses and feedback during the process, leading to a set of recommendations or policy framework that was then presented to MCGM.


  • Information sharing: One of the biggest impacts of MCGM’s partnership with the NGO Council has been the ease and efficiency of information dissemination. The NGO Council, through its convening NGO, Karmayog, has set up a joint MCGM-NGO Council web-section, where relevant information about MCGM policies and programmes, as well as overall structure and functioning has been put up for public display, leading to a better understanding of MCGM in the public domain. This change of public image of MCGM is a critical and desirable step, where citizens who understand the MCGM better are able to go beyond complaints and come forward with constructive suggestions for improvement.
  • Establishing transparency: The sharing of information publicly also significantly contributes to establishing principles of transparency and gaining public support. For the first time, the MCGM Budget 2006 was displayed publicly on the joint web-section, and this generated great interest from citizens, not only in Mumbai, but also from other parts of the country. Similarly, displaying contact details of key MCGM officials such as Complaint Officers in each Ward also drew many positive responses from citizens, demonstrating the effectiveness of using basic technologies such as a citizens’ e-group to distribute information.
  • Documentation and synthesising of past initiatives undertaken: The learnings of several past initiatives and partnerships undertaken by MCGM and citizen groups have often been lost due to a lack of documentation and the absence of a formal structure that recognises the same. The MoU between MCGM and the NGO Council provides such a structure of recording of experiences, and using these for any on-going and future initiatives. Such a resource base is of great value to MCGM as well as citizens as it makes effective use of available resources, and also helps highlight and recognise best practices and exemplary efforts both within MCGM and outside, thus encouraging such efforts to continue.
  • Improving understanding between the partners: Interactions and collaborations with citizen groups through a framework of the NGO Council also provides benefits to MCGM officials, who are able to receive feedback and suggestions in a manner that can be organised and incorporated where appropriate. The workshop organised by the NGO Council for CBO’s participating in the Dattak Vasti Yojana is one such example, where a platform was provided for them to express their concerns and MCGM officials were able to respond to improve and upgrade the scheme as required.
  • BMC officials from many levels such as the Ward Officers, Zonal DMCs, OSDs, Heads of Department, as well as those from specific departments such as the PRO or E-Governance Dept., have participated in meetings, as required. Such interactions have exposed both the BMC to the benefits and value of such a collaborative partnership, and the participating organisations and individuals to the operational and on-field aspects of implementing rules and schemes.

Significant learnings:

  • There is a need to have a policy document for all issues, under which specific schemes and rules can be framed. The involvement of civil society organisations in the framing of such polices is desirable and necessary, and this MoU enables one such mechanism for such interactions to happen.
  • The methods of working under the MoU illustrate that there is a need to incorporate emerging technologies and methods of communication in ways of working that enable swifter response mechanisms, and increased efficiency.
  • The MoU demonstrates that the heterogeneity of civil society and the vastness of the MCGM need not be inhibiting factors to having meaningful dialogue that sensitises both sides to each other, and to how best approach common concerns for the city.

Issues to be addressed:

Some NGOs who were part of the NGO Council have subsequently opted out questioning the basis of the NGO Council, the propriety of signing a MoU, and the internal functioning of the NGO Council.  MCGM is clear that the NGO Council is a needed and valuable mechanism that encourages better MCGM-civil society interaction and the MoU that has been signed enables collaborative working and the initiatives as enumerated above. The internal functioning of the NGO Council is not a concern of MCGM; however as processes of working between MCGM and the NGO Council evolve, working mechanisms between MCGM and the NGO Council will be set up so as to better achieve the objectives of the MoU.  

The MCGM has always had the option of interacting with individuals and groups of NGOs on different subjects whenever it feels the need to do so, and this option continues and is exercised. However, the potential of a partnership with civil society organisations for achieving common or mutually supportive objectives such as promotion of transparency, dissemination of information and conducting discussions for obtaining inputs for policy formulation and feedback regarding performance, is possible through a formalised structure such as the one enabled by the MoU with the NGO Council.

Another issue to be addressed is interaction with the Councillors. While several Councillors have themselves welcomed the help of the NGOs and civil society organizations in civic issues, it is acknowledged that a lack of interaction between the various entities creates friction amongst them. Greater communication and building trust would be important factors that could change this, leading to effective coordination between the NGOs, Administrative Wing and Councillors.  

Recommendations for next 6 months:

·        Structures need to be formally established to implement the principles of working as outlined in the MoU, specifically the formation of steering groups for each issue under consideration.

·        There is a need to further broad-base this partnership to include other participants such as the elected representatives, MCGM field level staff, etc., so that the MoU is then implemented in both letter and spirit.  


The MCGM – NGO Council MoU provides for a collaborative working process resulting in holistic policies and practices, acknowledging that Civil Society Organisations are important and necessary; and need to be empowered, and emphasising that institutional partnership with MCGM is critical for good city governance and overcoming Mumbai's challenges. The process of collaboration of MCGM with civil society groups, such as the NGO Council, is open-ended and inclusive, incorporating the views of other NGOs, experts and individuals, both within the framework of the MoU and outside.  

Annexure 1: Issues taken up for consideration  

A) Focus areas: 
1) Solid Waste Management
2) Citizen group interactions with MCGM
3) A Public Health Policy for Mumbai
4) A policy for hawkers in Mumbai  

B) Other areas covered: (through Dec.Jan. BMC-citizen meetings)
Dattak Vasti Yojana
ALMs and Resident Organisations
Gardens and Trees
Disaster Prevention & Management
Mental Illness
Physically Challenged
Visually or Hearing Challenged
Mentally Challenged & Differently abled
Street Children          
Senior Citizens
Roads and Traffic  

C) Outcomes:
1) Municipal Solid Waste (Prohibition of Littering and Regulation of Segregation, Storage, Delivery and Collection) Rules 2006
2) The Charter for the MCGM-Local Area Citizen Group Partnership 2006-05-20
3) A draft Public Health Policy for Mumbai
4) A draft set of recommendations for a Policy for Hawkers in Mumbai