Institutional Conditions for Promoting Inter-sectoral Collaboration Between Transport, Environment and Health
Dominic Stead, Martin de Jong,, Delft University of Technology, NL
This paper identifies the key institutional conditions that support the integration of transport, environment and health issues in policy-making processes.
There are increasing calls for a more integrated, cross-sectoral approach to policy-making, predominantly as a result of the increasingly widespread view that the integration of transport, environment and health policies is crucial for sustainable development. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, for example, urges governments to "promote an integrated approach to policy-making at the national, regional and local levels for transport services and systems to promote sustainable development, including policies and planning for land use, infrastructure, public transport systems and goods delivery networks, with a view to providing safe, affordable and efficient transportation, increasing energy efficiency, reducing pollution, congestion and adverse health effects". This clearly emphasises the need for a more integrated, cross-sectoral approach to policy-making, and the need for transport, environment and health issues be more effectively incorporated in policy-making processes. Despite consensus about the importance of policy integration, however, little research has been carried out concerning the integration of transport, environment and health policies, especially in the specific area of institutional arrangements and conditions. There are unquestionably various pieces of research that have focused on the relationship between transport, environment and health (or two of these three issues) but very few that have focused on the institutional aspects concerning inter-sectoral policy-making. Thus, there is little information either in the academic or professional realm about how the integration of transport, environment and health policies can be achieved in practice.
This paper identifies the key institutional conditions that support the integration of transport, environment and health issues in policy-making processes. Some of these conditions are specifically aimed at promoting policy integration whilst others are primarily designed for other reasons. The term institutional conditions refers to a variety of organisational aspects including:
* mechanisms to promote interaction and dialogue between the transport, environment and health sectors (e.g. inter-ministerial working groups, movement of staff between sectors, secondments)
* arrangements for sharing responsibilities, accountability and budgets between sectors (e.g. joint budgets, joint teams)
* the availability of education and training to develop cross-disciplinary skills (both before and after professional qualification)
* mechanisms for public participation and the involvement of NGOs, interest groups and other stakeholders in the decision-making process
* the use of integrated assessment tools (e.g. environmental impact assessment, strategic environmental assessment and health impact assessment)
* monitoring mechanisms for inter-sectoral integration (e.g. indicators)
The paper examines current practice across a selection of countries and draws on a mixture of research techniques including questionnaire analysis, interviews and workshops. It also examines the extent to which current practice is transferable from one country to another. Much of the paper is based on research commissioned by the joint UNECE/WHO-Europe Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme.
Association for European Transport