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Waste Management 25 (2005) 531537

Stakeholder-based SWOT analysis for successful municipal

solid waste management in Lucknow, India
P.K. Srivastava


, K. Kulshreshtha a, C.S. Mohanty a, P. Pushpangadan a, A. Singh


Eco-Education Division, National Botanical Research Institute, Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow 226001, India
Ministry of Environment and Forest, Central Regional Oce, CGO Complex, Aliganj, Lucknow 226020, India
Accepted 27 August 2004
Available online 21 November 2004

The present investigation is a case study of Lucknow, the main metropolis in Northern India, which succumbs to a major problem of municipal solid waste and its management. A qualitative investigation using strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
analysis (SWOT) has been successfully implemented through this community participation study. This qualitative investigation
emphasizes the limited capabilities of the municipal corporations resources to provide proper facilitation of the municipal solid
waste management (MSWM) services without community participation in Lucknow city. The SWOT analysis was performed to
formulate strategic action plans for MSWM in order to mobilize and utilize the community resources on the one hand and municipal corporations resources on the other. It has allowed the introduction of a participatory approach for better collaboration
between the community and municipal corporation in Lucknow (India). With this stakeholder-based SWOT analysis, eorts were
made to explore the ways and means of converting the possible threats into opportunities and changing the weaknesses into
strengths regarding a community-based MSWM programme. By this investigation, concrete strategic action plans were developed
for both the community and municipal corporation to improve MSWM in Lucknow.
2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
Municipal solid waste (MSW) is an essential by-product of everyday living. Thus, the idea of eliminating solid waste is an impractical proposition; what is realistic
is the management of solid waste in an eective manner,
which is scientically approved and needed for sustainable urbanization and development. Eective and scientic municipal solid waste management (MSWM),
including prevention and reduction of waste, is necessary for sustainable urbanization and development. If
the population and resources are not accompanied by
the development of innovative approaches for availing
enhanced community participation and government

Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 522 2205831 35x353/94154

69871; fax: +91 522 2205836/2205839.
E-mail address: (P.K. Srivastava).
0956-053X/$ - see front matter 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

support for environmental management, it may lead to

deterioration of environmental quality and social conicts (GTZ, 1988). This approach would promote eective strategies for conict resolution in participatory
environmental management (Furedy, 1991). It is becoming increasingly evident that a waste management programme that ignores the social aspect is doomed to
failure. The problems of public participation in planning
and implementation are no less important than the technical or economic aspects in waste management and
decision-making (Joos et al., 1999).
In India, MSWM is an obligatory function of urban
local bodies and corporations. But this service is poorly
performed by these agencies, which results in problems
regarding health, sanitation and environmental degradation (Report of Indian Supreme Courts Committee,
1999). In the Indian context, especially in the northern
states, there is a lack of skills and awareness of the need


P.K. Srivastava et al. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531537

to adopt proper MSWM services, resulting in inadequate allocation of nancial and human resources by
the government authorities and a general public apathy;
thereby, the existing scenario of MSWM has become
very chaotic (Raman, 1995).
Several case studies on MSWM in India have shown
that the higher the average income of the people, the
higher is their per capita waste generation (Report of Indian Supreme Courts Committee, 1999). It was observed that the composition and volume of waste
generated might change following urbanization in a city,
and associated changes in peoples lifestyles (Zhao, 1998;
Capua and Maganani, 2000).
Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh (India)
situated between 265200 N latitude and 805200 E longitude and having a unique blend of heritage and culture.
Due to improper solid waste disposal and management,
there is an urgent need to initiate a well-planned integrated MSWM approach with the communitys participation in the city. Per Census 2001, this city has a total
population of about 2.8 million (including 0.5 million
oating population), which generates 12001400 metric
tonnes of municipal garbage per day. On average, 70
75% of total MSW generated is collected by the municipal corporation of Lucknow, and the collection eciency
ranges from 60% to 70%. In the city, street sweeping is
the only method of primary collection of MSW. It was
observed in a survey made by the authors that rapid
urbanization, population increase, inux of oating population, lack of motivation and skills among municipal
corporation sta, public apathy and lack of human resource development activities etc. are the major limiting
factors that are hindering proper MSWM in Lucknow.
The same survey also reported that an urban area city
dweller in Lucknow is responsible for generating 400
450 g per day of waste as compared to rural areas that
produce less than 200250 g daily.
The present study focused on ways of encouraging
community participation in MSWM services and, in
particular, how such participation by community and
government sectors (especially the municipal corporation) can be increased.
SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats. Every programme, project,
development and management plan has its strengths
and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Considering
these strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
(SWOTs), a project coordinator can deal more eectively with the problems that are likely to come up,
and look at ways and means of converting the threats
into opportunities, and o-setting the weaknesses
against the strengths. This analysis could be undertaken
for any idea, organization, person, product, programme
or project (Johnson et al., 1989).
In this project, SWOT analysis was applied to develop
action plans for successful implementation of new

initiatives for MSWM. In other words, this stakeholder-based SWOT analysis was performed to develop
a strategic action plan of MSWM for Lucknow city. It
aimed at identifying the positive and negative factors,
as well as internal and external factors, that might have
an impact on the proposed MSWM programme. SWOT
analysis of this programme and its components (community and city municipal corporation) was intended
to maximize both strengths and opportunities, minimize
the external threats, transform the identied weaknesses
into strengths and to take advantage of opportunities
along with minimizing both internal weaknesses and
external threats (Saaty, 1987).
SWOT is a tool designed to be used in the preliminary
stages of decision-making on the one hand and as a precursor to strategic management planning on the other. It
should be performed by the individual user and also in
groups. The group-wise analysis is particularly eective
in providing factors, major objectives, clarity and, therefore, focus to all the discussions about strategy-formulation regarding any proposed MSWM programme
(Johnson et al., 1989).
In the SWOT analysis, available resources and their
potential utilization are studied from the viewpoints of
economic, ecological and social sustainability. However,
its main purpose in the planning process is to obtain
decision support that is to be utilized in the choice of
the strategy to be followed. In a decision-theoretic
study, a decision is considered as a choice between two
or more alternative measures. Generally, rational decision-makers choose the alternative that maximizes the
utility, determined on the basis of information available
on the decision-alternatives. In decision support, information is produced on the decision situation, on alternative choices of action and its consequences etc. A
complete decision-model constitutes the basis for the
decision support. The alternatives available, information about the consequences associated with these alternatives and the preferences among these consequences
are the three criteria for the decision (Bradshaw and
Boose, 1990). Each aspect of the information must be
sound so that the best alternatives can be selected. Thus,
SWOT is used for analyzing internal and external environments in order to attain a systematic approach and
support for a decisive situation. If used correctly, it
can provide a good basis for successful strategy
It was intended that the SWOT analysis could provide
a framework for analyzing a situation and developing
suitable strategies and tactics; a basis for assessing core
capabilities and competences; the evidence for, and key
to, change and success and also provide a stimulus to
participate in a group experience (Schmoldt and Peterson, 2000). The further utilization of SWOT is usually
based on qualitative and quantitative analysis of internal
and external factors, as well as on the capabilities and

P.K. Srivastava et al. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531537

expertise of the people involved in the planning process

(Saaty, 1987; Anselin et al., 1989).
A SWOT analysis needs to be exible. Situations
change with the time and an updated analysis should
be made frequently. Further, we may conclude that
SWOT is neither cumbersome nor time-consuming but
is eective because of its simplicity (Schmoldt et al.,
The present investigation attempted to examine the
strengths and weaknesses of the stakeholder, as well as
the opportunities and threats in the external environments for MSWM. The intention was to develop strategy action plans for improving MSWM planning
through stakeholder-based SWOT analysis with a view
to make the Lucknow city cleaner and greener.

2. Methodology
The methodology for SWOT analysis (Saaty, 1987;
Pearce and Robinson, 1988; Anselin et al., 1989; Pesonen et al., 2001) that was adopted in the present study,
included the following steps:
1. Identication of relevant factors of the external and
internal environments by a baseline survey using an
activity worksheet (see Table 1) and interviews with
the stakeholders (including concerned governmental
departments, institutions, ministries and community


representatives) of MSWM in Lucknow. The number

of factors within every SWOT group (namely
strengths group, weaknesses group, opportunities
group and threat group) was xed at ten; otherwise,
the number of pairwise comparisons needed in the
analysis would increase rapidly and pose problems
for further comparisons (Saaty, 1987; Kangas, 1994).
2. Pairwise comparisons among factors were conducted
within every SWOT group. When making the comparisons, the questions at stake were: (i) which of
the two factors compared was greater, and (ii) how
much greater? With these comparisons as the input,
the relative local priorities of the factors were computed using SWOT analysis.
3. The pairwise comparisons were made amongst the
four SWOT groups. The factor with the highest local
priority was chosen from each group to represent the
group. These four factors were then compared and
their relative priorities were computed in the second
step. These were the scaling factors of the four SWOT
groups, and they were used to analyze the overall priorities of the independent factors within them (Kangas and Pukkala, 1992).
4. The pairwise comparisons were made between alternative strategies subject to all SWOT factors. While
making the comparisons, the questions at stake were:
(i) which one of the two strategy-alternatives was better in maximizing or responding to the specic factors
regarding strengths or opportunities, and which one

Table 1
Activity worksheet for SWOT analysis


 What are the advantages?
 What can programme do as well?
 What are the factors supporting the programme?

What could be improved?

What is not done properly?
What should be avoided?
What obstacles prevent progress?
Which elements need strengthening?
Where are the complaints coming from?
Are there any real weak links in the chain?

Where are the good chances facing the programme?

What are the interesting trends?
What benets may occur?
What changes in usual practices and available technology on both a broad and narrow scale may occur?
What changes in Government Policy related to Municipal Solid Waste Management (as advocacy-campaign) may be possible?
What changes in socio-economic patterns, MSWM practices, life-style, economic standards of project beneciaries may occur?

What obstacles do programme face?

Are the required support and necessary facilities for the programme available?
Is the changing technology threatening the programme?
Do the stakeholders show their interest and willingness for supporting the programme?




P.K. Srivastava et al. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531537

of the two alternatives was better in minimizing or

avoiding the factors regarding weaknesses or threats;
and (ii) how much better is that alternative? The overall importance of the strategy-alternatives was analyzed in this manner.

The analysis was performed on a random sampling of

stakeholders using an activity worksheet (see Table 1)
for a biannual period from July 2002 to January 2003.

3. Results
The internal analysis was a comprehensive evaluation
of the internal environments, i.e., strengths and weaknesses, while the external analysis included the opportunities and threats that might arise when changes occur in
the external environments during the implementation of
the MSWM programme. When both the abovementioned analyses had been completed, a SWOT prole was generated for the purpose of setting goals, local
priorities, and strategy formulations, and for their subsequent implementation (Glass, 1991).
It was suggested that the quality of the analysis might
always be improved greatly if interviews are held with a
spectrum of stakeholders concerned with the programme.
Furthermore, information that would represent a single
viewpoint must be avoided. In SWOT analysis, multiple
perspectives are always needed (Heinonen, 1997).
In the current study, appropriate contributors and
concerned stakeholders were selected on the basis of
their jobs, expertise and stake in Lucknows MSWM
to ensure that a diverse cross-section of opinion and
groups were represented. Background preparation was
made for the successful SWOT analysis. This preparation was carried out in two stages:
(a) exploratory, followed by data collection, and
(b) detailed, followed by a focused analysis (IETC,
1996; Guariso and Werthner, 1989; Schmoldt and
Peterson, 2000).
It was decided at the compilation of the SWOT prole that the analysis would be specic and evaluative,
because its ndings were used in subsequent strategic
planning eorts (Bartol and Martin, 1991). The analysis
of opportunities was designed by assessing the socioeconomic, political, environmental and demographic
factors; by evaluating the benets within the programme; and by analyzing the duration of opportunities
beneting the programme and the stakeholders.
The SWOT analysis was performed with diverse communities from dierent income groups and dierent habitats like residents of colonies, multistoried complexes
and slum dwellers of the city. The other stakeholders
were government ocials from the City Municipal Corporation, State Urban Development Department, State
Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment
and Forests, Centre for Environment Education, National Research Institutions, National Cadet Corps,
Municipal Ward Corporators, City Mayor and Representatives of non-Governmental Organizations, and Civil Defence Organization.

3.1. SWOT analysis of community for MSWM

The factors investigated as the strengths of the community are:
 Several community groups and organizations (Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and NonGovernment Organizations (NGOs)) are involved in
various societal and developmental activities utilizing
formal as well as non-formal methods.
 Youths are the energetic, enthusiastic and productive
human resources in the community for good MSWM
through active community participation.
 Involvement of housewives, senior citizens and students to support the programme.
 High quantum of waste generated by community in
the city.
In terms of weaknesses, the factors obtained are:
 Lack of waste segregation at source of its generation,
viz. household segregation.
 Public apathy and communitys non-willingness to
cooperate and participate (like, Not In My Backyard
(NIMBY) syndrome and Who cares syndrome).
 Usually people wait for the governments action.
 Unavailability of door-step primary collection pattern in the city.
 Limited environmental awareness, education and
attitudes among the society.
 Lack of information, education and communication
(IEC) resource materials for human resource development (awareness and training) of sanitary workers
and community people.
 The lack of an integrated approach and system for
MSWM in the city.
Regarding the opportunities, the factors observed
 Mobilization and capacity building of the disciplined
workforce of a semi paramilitary group at college
level (National Cadet Corps of India) as key role
players for MSWM.
 Youths who are unemployed can contribute for establishing MSWM microenterprises and community
based organizations. The establishment of MSWM
microenterprises can be an alternative employment
opportunity for youths involved in the programme.

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 Promotion of cost-sharing activities and adopting

appropriate mutually agreed strategies for MSWM,
so that community groups and other stakeholders
can support and strengthen the programme more
 Waste to Energy Facility established by Asia Bioenergy (India) Ltd. and Lucknow Municipal Corporation can be demonstrated to be of value, as the
production of 5 MW of electricity is possible by
assimilating biodegradable waste of the city.
 Regulation of new rules and acts, and a new ordinance to be enacted for promoting proper MSWM.
 Maximizing self-reliance and mutual self-help among
the stakeholders.
The factors to be considered as threats for the
MSWM programme with community involvement are:
 Poor inter-sectoral co-ordination among the
 Lack of publicprivategovernment partnership.
 Tedious motivational exercises about the MSWM
programme for diverse groups of stakeholders
and tremendous eorts in lobbying with community
and municipal corporation ocials and other stakeholders.
The ndings presented as the factors in above section
are drawn from the activity worksheet of SWOT analysis as highly prioritized factors for the community
towards successful MSWM in the city.

3.2. Strategies derived from SWOT prole of community

for MSWM
While considering the overall factors of strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the following
strategies are derived to be used for eective community
participation in MSWM:
(a) Community participation should be accompanied
by human resource development (HRD), which
means that HRD is needed for a high degree of participation and involvement by developing awareness
and skills among the community for proper
(b) The role of youths, housewives and senior citizens
in community participation should be strengthened.
(c) Community participation can increase the employment of target youths, through setting up of
MSWM microenterprises and maximizing mutual
self-help among the community.
(d) Need to impart environmental education (EE) to
the community and to resolve how it can be more
eective in increasing community participation in


MSWM through awareness raising and training

activities using EE-based information, education
and communication (IEC) materials.
(e) Encouraging community based initiatives (preferably involvement of youths) and strengthening self
reliance and mutual self help which can enhance a
communitys potential to participate in MSWM.
(f) Strengthening mutual consensus through public
workshops and hearings to solve social problems
in the community along with environmental problems for managing MSW in the city.

3.3. SWOT analysis of government authority (local

municipal corporation) responsible for MSWM
Regarding the strengths of the local municipal corporation, the factors observed are:
 The government is still the main source of funds and
has experience in planning and implementation.
 Strong top-down planning (when the working is
within a positive environment).
 The governmental hierarchy, bureaucracy and organizational infrastructure in a municipal corporation.
 The powers to make the rules, acts and new ordinances for strict implementation of proper MSWM.
In terms of weaknesses, the factors observed are:
 The limited capabilities of Lucknow municipal corporation in MSWM as most of the concerned ocers
are from a medical discipline instead of environmental sciences or engineering discipline.
 Strong top-down planning (when working environment is negative).
 Poor transportation facilities.
 Lack of proper treatment and disposal facilities for
 Lack of integrated approach and proper scientic system for MSWM in the city.
 Political interventions in the ocial working of the
local municipal corporation.
Regarding the opportunities, the factors observed
 Restructuring of government administration to be
best suited to recent demands, such as a decentralized
 Encouraging small enterprises and community based
organizations as a main support to strengthen the
economic standards of MSWM workers.
 Waste to energy facility established in the city.
 Regulation of new rules, acts and new ordinance to
be enacted for promoting proper MSWM.


P.K. Srivastava et al. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531537

 Adoption of bottom-up planning for MSWM in the

 Establishment of the publicprivategovernment
partnerships for MSWM.
The factors to be considered as threats for the
MSWM programme from the local municipal corporation are:
 The government is not giving enough power to the
 Non-willingness among government ocials to perform better and to nd out the best, mutually agreed
upon solutions for proper MSWM in the city.
 The government and community have dierent ideas
and ideologies, in general.
The ndings presented as the factors in above section
are drawn from the activity worksheet of SWOT analysis as highly prioritized factors for the municipal corporation towards successful MSWM in the city.
3.4. Strategies derived from SWOT prole of government
authority (local municipal corporation) responsible for
MSWM in the city
While considering the overall factors of strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the following
strategic actions are derived to be used for the eective
role of the municipal corporation in MSWM:
(a) Provision by government of nancial resources and
simultaneously by the community of human
resources for MSWM to support organizations
for community-based MSWM initiatives.
(b) Cooperation between government and community
in planning and implementation for MSWM.
(c) Decentralization of MSWM services.
(d) Increasing good communication and building up
partnerships among government, community for
(e) Bottom-up planning process in MSWM.
(f) Increasing support to microenterprises and cooperation to the economy of community-based
(g) Consideration by government of new alternatives
to enhance community participation.
(h) Increasing government responsiveness.
(i) Looking for consensus regarding the best possible
solution to adopt proper MSWM.

and successfully implementing the MSWM programme.

In this investigation, the SWOT analysis looked at the
success of dierent scenarios through a systematic approach of introspection into both positive and negative
concerns of the solid waste management through community participation. Whatever course of action is decided
upon, decision-making should contain each of the salient
elements (i.e., building on strengths, minimizing weaknesses, exploring opportunities and counteracting
threats) to make a successful strategic management plan
(the SWOT process). Strategies have been identied and
formulated from the SWOT matrix in relation to increasing participation of the community and government for
the MSWM programme in Lucknow city.
For purposeful community involvement in MSWM,
strategies are needed to: increase the degree of youth participation and include their ideas, basic understanding,
skills and experience for adopting proper MSWM; increase EE comprised of community training for proper
MSWM, awareness campaigns and development of
appropriate IEC materials; develop the EE-based HRD
programme to enhance community participation, which
is related to the need for a high degree of participation
in managing solid waste and promoting household segregation and doorstep collection, etc.; and strengthen CBOs
and MSWM microenterprises towards community selfreliance, which are most necessary in todays concern.
For the government authority, the strategies required
 build partnerships with community, private sector
and support organizations,
 decentralize MSWM,
 increase the democratic process in decision-making
and formulation of strategies of MSWM for the city,
 enhance bottom-up planning by generating community-based initiatives,
 increase the governments responsiveness,
 enhance comprehensive, appropriate and logical communication between government and community,
 encourage community-based organizations and
MSWM microenterprise, and
 look for mutual consensus among the stakeholders
for the best solution and appropriate strategy for
MSWM in Lucknow.
It will certainly serve as a foundation for feasibility
and sustainability of Municipal Solid Waste Management Programme for Lucknow city through community

4. Discussion and conclusion


It was observed that the SWOT analysis was an excellent tool to explore the possibilities and ways for initiating

Council of Scientic and Industrial Research (CSIR),

New Delhi, Government of India, is thankfully

P.K. Srivastava et al. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531537

acknowledged for providing nancial support to corresponding author to carry out the present study during
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