In this step, it becomes clear how well the plan is being implemented and whether it is succeeding. The implementing agencies can still modify the "strategy for implementing the plan" or just "modify the plan," if necessary, before the full plan has been applied. The planning team may learn from experience and respond to changing conditions. When monitoring the plan, implementation data are collected to discern whether the land-use activities are being carried out as planned, if the effects and costs are as predicted, whether the assumptions on which the plan has been based have proven to be correct, whether the goals are still valid, and how far a long the goals are toward being achieved. One should keep in mind that the analysis and the action are more important than the gathering of the data. The more time spent on gathering data, the less time there is for adjustments, and the greater the loss or the failure may be. Monitoring also may involve observations at key sites, regular extension visits, and discussions with officials and land users. These periodic checkups make clear whether the goals are being met also in the long term.
There are many possible reasons for failure of the plan: It could have been based on the wrong assumptions, there may be changes in economic circumstances, the logistics of the implementation could be failing, and there could be a problem of communication and participation. Try to find solutions for these problems. Initiate modifications or revisions of the plan: Minor modifications can be made through action by implementing agencies, and larger revisions can be made by the preparation of proposals and reference back to decisionmakers. Continuous minor revisions are preferrable because more substantial changes can lead to delays.
The focus monitoring will change with the passing of years. In the first period, during and immediately after implementation of the plan, results will become visible, for example, new roads, water supplies, job opportunities. The second stage, consisting of extension and maintenance and operation of capital works, is harder to monitor. This transition is difficult and so, the latter phase calls for even more effective and willing cooperation between implementing agencies and land users.
In several of the above steps throughout the planning process, contact must be established with local people in the planning area. This is done to make sure that they are involved in the planning process. Without their support and involvement, the plans likely will not succeed . This is because many changes will have to be made voluntarily by the people, such as changing crops. For example, through analysis, the planning team, determines that wheat will provide more income for farmers than potatoes in a certain area. In the land-use plan, it is stated that the crop to be grown will be wheat, not potatoes. The individual farmers in the planning area have to grow wheat to make the plan succeed. When the farmers are not willing to do that, their income will not increase and the planning will have failed. In addition, the farmers may have had a very good reason not to grow wheat; they may have tried it before and their yield and/or income dropped and so, they switched back to potatoes. If the planning team had asked the farmers about their ideas, they would have found this out earlier so that another way to increase the farmers' income could have been explored .
Too often in land-use planning, a top-down approach is followed. This means that the government starts the planning process and fails to integrate the local people into it (,
). Thus, local people have no opportunity to participate in the development of their area. There is no link between the people and the planning agencies. The local people usually are the most knowledgeable about major problems and constraints as well as opportunities, in their area. Therefore for more successful planning, the more holistic, bottom-up approach should be followed. Not only will local people be involved in the planning process, but it is more likely that all relevant issues will be integrated in the planning.
More about the importance of people's participation can be found in an FAO report
Was this article helpful?