CIDCO was formed under the mandate to develop the new city of Navi Mumbai to decongest Mumbai. Having achieved the mandate, CIDCO is now entrusted to drive growth investments into the region. This role necessitates CIDCO’s planners, engineers, architects, economists, development specialists, land specialists to learn about, to apply and to evolve the emerging concepts in urban planning; concepts that extend beyond basic infrastructure provision. The existing problem of shortage of human resources of adequate skills in urban planning and management in Indian cities makes it doubly necessary for existing staff to assimilate new subjects into their existing knowledge domains and co-create solutions.
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India draws attention to the need for capacity building by making it an integral part of the missions initiated by the Government of India. Various Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the country are improving their institutional capacities under the ambit of these missions. Development agencies such as CIDCO by the very nature of their work and for reasons of self-sufficiency do not qualify for direct funding of capacity building under these missions.
CIDCO has therefore undertaken independent measures towards capacity building. Under the CIDCO Smart City Plan, ‘Smart Organisation’ is one vertical that deals with building capacities of the organisation and its employees. The NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab was formed to develop capacity building and knowledge documentation programs on Smart Cities. An exercise conducted by the team to highlight issues that acted as barriers to knowledge production and sharing revealed that 60% of the top 5 and 70% of the top 10 issues related to training, career and talent management and lack of exposure to global practices.
Over the two years 2015-2016, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab have identified training programs, workshops and institutes, both global and national that will help enhance the knowledge levels for technical personnel in CIDCO. Concurrently, YASHADA has delivered training sessions to Class III and Class IV employees. Additional training has been provided for Project Affected Persons (PAPs) for low skilled employment. But, the results have been marginal in terms of sheer number of trainings identified and the actual number of employees sent for trainings, especially in the higher cadre (Class I and Class II) employees. Moreover, no tracking mechanism currently exists for evaluation of these trainings. To institutionalise and provide a systematic strategy, the NIUA- CIDCO Smart City Lab prepared a draft training policy in consultation with CIDCO, which is now being revised before adoption. The draft policy is structured into three modules- recipients of training, mechanisms and delivery institutions, and supporting ecosystem. Key highlights of the draft policy within these modules are as under.
Recipients of training
- Training becomes a mandatory part of employee policy for CIDCO.
- The minimum duration of training for every employee is 5 days every two years and maximum of 15 days every three years (excluding e-learning).
- Employees will be eligible for various types of trainings depending on the skills and the nature of tasks assigned to the employee and not on the rank/seniority of the employees.
- Submitting feedback and knowledge sharing after having attended training is mandatory.
Mechanisms and Delivery institutions
- Mechanisms for training will include on-site training (at CIDCO), off-site training and e-learning.
- Various types of training will include technical, managerial, behavioral and induction
- The CIDCO Smart City Lab will identify delivery institutions and develop relationships with them continually through Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
- Off-site training and on-site training will be delivered by technical and policy training institutes such as Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS), Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Indian Institute of Technology’s (IITs), Indian School of Business (ISB), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) etc.
- Course providers such as Coursera (www.coursera.org), Edx (www.edx.org), World Bank (www.einstitute.worldbank.org), United Nations (www.unitar.org/event/elearning e- learning), Asian Development Bank (www.myelearn.org) etc. are identified initially for e-learning.
- A training cell set up at CIDCO will coordinate all capacity buildings initiatives including identification of training, participation in training and gathering feedback.
- An online training portal will be developed that will host all activities regarding training including training calendar and employee training profiles. Employees will be able to apply for trainings on this portal.
- A dedicated annual budget will be allotted capacity building.
This draft policy deals with the capacity building within CIDCO and excludes the efforts needed to develop capacities within the communities that CIDCO works with. It is but hoped that the augmentation of global knowledge within CIDCO staff will translate directly into more effective working within and outside the organisation.