The main objective of the SEAN co-ordination platform is to exchange experiences, learn from each other, and eventually further develop and improve SEAN. You are invited to send us any contributions that you think might be useful. Click here to contact us.
The Newsletter is an important channel of information to keep you up-to-date, by providing:
Until now 6 newsletters have been produced: click on the date to see the table of contents and the editorial notes of the corresponding newsletter.
Newsletter 6, January 2004 [download pdf] [download spanish version (versión española en Word)]
Contents Number 6, January 2004
From the editors
As with other planning and assessment methods, and in line with post-modernist thinking, there is a tendency of emphasising the flexibility and process aspects of SEAN, in order to make it acceptable to non-environmentalist decision makers in the 'real world'. This bears a risk of neglecting the SEAN structure and its normative goal of sustainable environmental management and protection. To strike a proper balance between the normative contents and the process, it is important to find ways to monitor or measure concrete environmental, socio-economic or institutional impacts of applying SEAN. In Central America monitoring now receives increasing attention. From Benin it is interesting to note that the result of the extensive SEAN application at Provincial level in Atacora (Atacora strategic plan) is still being frequently used by various development agencies. It shows that a major investment can have long-during effects.
New products include a short version of the SEAN Toolbox (developed for the application in Croatia, and translated in local language), which for newly starting practitioners appears to be more attractive than the Toolbox. A Portuguese SEAN Toolbox will be produced as based on the experiences in Cape Verde. Finally, there is the thesis of Jan Joost Kessler on integration of environmental issues in planning processes, with almost 300 pages of background theory and practice for real SEAN addicts.
The SEAN web-site www.seanplatform.org has been totally revised and updated. Details about the background, contents, process, experiences and documentation on SEAN can be found on the web-site. Previous newsletters can also be found on the web-site. The writing and distribution of this newsletter, as well as the updating of the web-site, were funded by SNV.
Boletín sobre el Análisis Ambiental Estratégico (AAE)
El contenido de este boletín [download spanish version (versión española en Word)]
Página Web, Capacitación y los Capacitadores
Familiarizarse con el AAE
Productos disponibles sobre el AAE y monitoreo ambiental
Esta sexta boletín presenta las experiencias con la aplicación de AAE en Centroamérica (Honduras, Nicaragua), África Occidental (Benín, Malí), Cabo Verde y Croacia. Mientras que Centroamérica y África Occidental han sido puntos focales de las experiencias AAE, los dos últimos países son nuevos. En boletines anteriores se describieron experiencias en países tales como Camerún, Senegal, y Bután. Estas y otras experiencias AAE demuestran una gradual evolución en el uso de AAE:
Como es el caso con otros métodos de planificación y evaluación, y conforme el pensar pos-moderno, hay una tendencia de enfatizar en los aspectos de flexibilidad y de proceso de AAE, para que sea aceptable para los tomadores de decisiones no-ambientales en el 'mundo real'. Esto implica que existe el riesgo de descuidar la estructura de AAE y su meta normativa de manejo y protección sostenible del medio ambiente. Para encontrar un equilibrio adecuado entre el contenido normativo y el proceso, es importante encontrar maneras de monitorear o medir los impactos ambientales, socio-económicos o institucionales concretos de la aplicación de AAE. En Centroamérica el monitoreo ahora recibe más atención. En Benín es interesante observar que el resultado de la aplicación extensiva AAE a nivel provincial en Atacora (plan estratégico Atacora) aún está siendo usado frecuentemente por varias agencias de desarrollo. Demuestra que una gran inversión puede tener efectos de larga duración.
Productos nuevos incluyen una versión abreviada de la Caja de Herramientas AAE (desarrollada para la aplicación en Croacia, y traducida al idioma local), la cual para usuarios nuevos que recién empiezan la aplicación parece ser más atractiva que la Caja de Herramientas. Se producirá una Caja de Herramientas AAE en portugués, basado en las experiencias en Cabo Verde. Y finalmente, está disponible la tesis de Jan Joost Kessler sobre la integración de temas ambientales en los procesos de planificación, con casi 300 páginas de teoría de fondo y práctica para verdaderos adictos al AAE.
La página en el web www.seanplatform.org ha sido revisada y actualizada. En la página web se encuentra detalles sobre los antecedentes, el contenido, proceso, experiencias y documentación sobre el AAE, además de boletines anteriores. La elaboración y distribución de este boletín, como también la actualización de la página web, fueron financiadas por el SNV.
From the editors
Applying SEAN with full attention to the participatory process requires quite some time and efforts; the minimum time is set at 4 months. However, decision-makers, donors and planners in most cases want quick applications. There has been discussion on whether SEAN can be used as a ‘quick scan’, because a good process is essential for SEAN, and this takes time. However, the SEAN framework and principles can be used for other purposes, including all sorts of quick scans. Quick scans can be very useful to raise awareness, get a rough idea, and raise interest for more in-depth or process-oriented follow-up activities. In this newsletter will be presented a quick scan application of the SEAN framework to define an SNV integrated regional strategy, linking up to existing institutional analyses. The approach was highly successful. SEAN principles were also used to design a methodology for the strategic environmental assessment of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in Ghana. New and ongoing activities are in Mali, Senegal and of course Honduras and Nicaragua.
We will also present the ‘interactive’ CD Rom on SEAN. It contains lively videos about a SEAN application in Yamaranguila - Honduras. Unfortunately, the mayor of this municipality who has played a key role in applying and promoting SEAN, recently died by a car accident (on his way for preparatory activities for Johannesburg). Let us hope that his work will be succeeded.
Newsletter 4, February 2002 [download]
From the editors
You have been waiting long for this new SEAN newsletter! This is partly due to the fact that DGIS funding for the SEAN platform has stopped (as foreseen). This is the fourth electronic Newsletter of the co-ordination platform that has been established as a follow-up to the development and application of the Strategic Environmental Analysis (SEAN) methodology.
The experiences and application of SEAN are gradually spreading, so far mainly within the SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) network. Most prominent are the experiences in Nicaragua and Honduras, which now starts to play its role as a focal point of spreading SEAN within the Central and Latin American region. There is a contribution from SNV Honduras on SEAN in Central America in this Newsletter. Another focal area is Western Africa, where experiences are now ongoing in Benin, Niger and Mali, and coming up in Cameroon. In Bhutan the SEAN framework was used to structure the process of institutional change of the Nature Conservation Department, including also an organisational review, and set-up of a monitoring system. This approach seems applicable to a sector-wide analysis or review. In other areas SEAN applications appear to stagnate or are not being replicated. In this Newsletter an attempt will be made to analyse the underlying reasons.
In terms of publications, it is good to know there is now a CD rom on SEAN, including not only all the texts from the SEAN Toolbox, but also a Spanish Toolbox, French documents on SEAN, an environmental scan (SEAN Light) and a general introduction on environmental assessment methods.
Newsletter 3, February 2001 [download]
From the editors
This is the third electronic Newsletter of the co-ordination platform that has been established as a follow-up to the development and application of the Strategic Environmental Analysis (SEAN) methodology.
This newsletter primarily reports on the results of an online (internet) conference, funded by DGIS, to exchange experiences with Strategic Environmental Analysis (SEAN) in different countries, and to assess its applicability and potentials for improvement. The conference was held from October to December 2000. Participation was good (50 participants) and results were valuable for further development of SEAN. Suggestions were given to improve SEAN, and a discussion was held on requirements for integrated assessment and planning tools. An extensive summary is included in this newsletter.
There are also new applications of SEAN, in the Czech Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and Benin mainly. SNV has taken initiatives to further promote and develop SEAN, amongst others by the development of a CD ROM with all information of the SEAN Toolbox in accessible html format. You will be informed when it is ready.
Also, it might be good to know that an article on SEAN was published in the December 2000 edition of the journal "Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal".
Newsletter 2, May 2000 [download]
From the editors
This is the second electronic Newsletter of the co-ordination platform that has been established as a follow-up to the development and application of the Strategic Environmental Analysis (SEAN) methodology.
As indicated in the previous Newsletter, one of our aims was to organise a number of workshops around themes related to SEAN, for instance on ways to develop a more integrated analysis methodology. We have now proposed DGIS, who is funding the SEAN Co-ordination Platform, to change the workshop approach into one of organising a number of electronic (virtual or distance) workshops. Recent experiences with this new type of communication have shown a number of advantages which we think would perfectly suit the aim of further developing SEAN. This would provide follow-up to the questionnaire proposed to provide additional information on the way SEAN is being applied in field situations.
We welcome any feed-back on experiences using SEAN or similar analysis and planning tools, and would be grateful if the questionnaire included in this newsletter would be used to structure your inputs. This will allow us to adjust and improve SEAN and make it more appropriate for your own field objectives.
Newsletter 1, February 2000 [download]
From the editors
This is the first electronic Newsletter of the co-ordination platform that has been established as a follow-up to the development and application of the Strategic Environmental Analysis (SEAN) methodology. You can read more about SEAN and the co-ordination platform in the introduction of this Newsletter, and much more on the web-site (/). The web-site also has an update on recent SEAN experiences. This newsletter was started because the number of SEAN experiences is growing, and we want to stimulate the exchange between practitioners. Also, those having been involved in SEAN applications must be stimulated to become trainers elsewhere, sharing their expertise and experiences. Up to now, the basis of potential trainers is quite limited.
There appears to be a growing demand, first of all in developing countries, for clear and practical analytical and planning tools, preferably as much as possible integrated. SEAN can only partly meet these demands, and we do not anticipate to further developing it into a tool that would meet such demands. However, bringing together experiences will stimulate potential users to develop their own way of using SEAN, and to indicate how it can be used in combination with, or alongside, other tools. Experiences so far show a large variation in the way SEAN can be used, for different purposes, at different scale levels, with different levels of participation, with variable level of detail, etc. in addition, there are other analytical and planning tools and approaches that are being applied with similar type of objectives. The newsletter, in conjunction with the SEAN co-ordination platform and the web-site, must capture this diversity and allow others to make use of it. We hope you feel motivated to inform us, to share experiences and thus allow this Newsletter to grow to a valuable forum.
You can download the full Newsletter as an RTF file, suitable for most word processors. Click here (57KB).
financed by DGIS, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands.