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Waste Management 25 (2005) 531–537

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Stakeholder-based SWOT analysis for successful municipal
solid waste management in Lucknow, India
P.K. Srivastava

a,*

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

b

a
b

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

Abstract
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 corporationÕs 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 corporationÕs 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, efforts were
made to explore the ways and means of converting the possible ÔthreatsÕ into ÔopportunitiesÕ and changing the ÔweaknessesÕ into
ÔstrengthsÕ 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.
Ó 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 effective manner,
which is scientifically approved and needed for sustainable urbanization and development. Effective and scientific 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: pankaj_riu@yahoo.com (P.K. Srivastava).
0956-053X/$ - see front matter Ó 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2004.08.010

support for environmental management, it may lead to
deterioration of environmental quality and social conflicts (GTZ, 1988). This approach would promote effective strategies for conflict 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 CourtÕs Committee,
1999). In the Indian context, especially in the northern
states, there is a lack of skills and awareness of the need

how such participation by community and government sectors (especially the municipal corporation) can be increased. On average. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531–537 to adopt proper MSWM services. weaknesses. and look at ways and means of converting the threats into opportunities. Generally. on alternative choices of action and its consequences etc. SWOT is used for analyzing internal and external environments in order to attain a systematic approach and support for a decisive situation. clarity and. weaknesses. In the city. In other words. available resources and their potential utilization are studied from the viewpoints of economic. transform the identified weaknesses into strengths and to take advantage of opportunities along with minimizing both internal weaknesses and external threats (Saaty. this stakeholder-based SWOT analysis was performed to develop a strategic action plan of MSWM for Lucknow city. a decision is considered as a choice between two or more alternative measures. which generates 1200–1400 metric tonnes of municipal garbage per day. A complete decision-model constitutes the basis for the decision support. as well as on the capabilities and . The further utilization of SWOT is usually based on qualitative and quantitative analysis of internal and external factors. In this project. and key to.532 P. The present study focused on ways of encouraging community participation in MSWM services and. influx of floating population. and the collection efficiency ranges from 60% to 70%. programme or project (Johnson et al. population increase. opportunities and threats. In decision support. It should be performed by the individual user and also in groups. that might have an impact on the proposed MSWM programme.K. Every programme. However. development and management plan has its strengths and weaknesses. ecological and social sustainability. change and success and also provide a stimulus to participate in a group experience (Schmoldt and Peterson. person. rational decision-makers choose the alternative that maximizes the utility. a basis for assessing core capabilities and competences. Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh (India) situated between 26°5200 N latitude and 80°5200 E longitude and having a unique blend of heritage and culture. The group-wise analysis is particularly effective in providing factors. 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. it can provide a good basis for successful strategy formulation. Capua and Maganani. opportunities and threats (SWOTs). 1995). 2000). Considering these strengths..5 million floating population). It was observed in a survey made by the authors that rapid urbanization. In a decision-theoretic study. Per Census 2001. a project coordinator can deal more effectively with the problems that are likely to come up. the existing scenario of MSWM has become very chaotic (Raman. information about the consequences associated with these alternatives and the preferences among these consequences are the three criteria for the decision (Bradshaw and Boose. Several case studies on MSWM in India have shown that the higher the average income of the people. project. 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. Thus. This analysis could be undertaken for any idea. The alternatives available. as well as internal and external factors. information is produced on the decision situation. 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 200–250 g daily. in particular. SWOT is an acronym for strengths. SWOT analysis was applied to develop action plans for successful implementation of new initiatives for MSWM. and associated changes in peopleÕs lifestyles (Zhao. major objectives. the evidence for. It was observed that the composition and volume of waste generated might change following urbanization in a city. public apathy and lack of human resource development activities etc. determined on the basis of information available on the decision-alternatives. the higher is their per capita waste generation (Report of Indian Supreme CourtÕs Committee.. therefore. 1989). focus to all the discussions about strategy-formulation regarding any proposed MSWM programme (Johnson et al. there is an urgent need to initiate a well-planned integrated MSWM approach with the communityÕs participation in the city. opportunities and threats. minimize the external threats. 1989). SWOT analysis of this programme and its components (community and city municipal corporation) was intended to maximize both strengths and opportunities. 1987). 1998. and off-setting the weaknesses against the strengths. thereby. Each aspect of the information must be sound so that the best alternatives can be selected. 2000). 70– 75% of total MSW generated is collected by the municipal corporation of Lucknow. Srivastava et al. Due to improper solid waste disposal and management. organization. If used correctly. 1990). It aimed at identifying the positive and negative factors. lack of motivation and skills among municipal corporation staff. this city has a total population of about 2. product. In the SWOT analysis. street sweeping is the only method of primary collection of MSW. It was intended that the SWOT analysis could provide a framework for analyzing a situation and developing suitable strategies and tactics. 1999). are the major limiting factors that are hindering proper MSWM in Lucknow.8 million (including 0. resulting in inadequate allocation of financial and human resources by the government authorities and a general public apathy.

. 3.. Further. 1989. otherwise. These were the scaling factors of the four SWOT groups. 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. 1988. Kangas. the questions at stake were: (i) which one of the two strategy-alternatives was better in maximizing or responding to the specific factors regarding strengths or opportunities. 2. the number of pairwise comparisons needed in the analysis would increase rapidly and pose problems for further comparisons (Saaty. These four factors were then compared and their relative priorities were computed in the second step. life-style.. Pearce and Robinson. included the following steps: 1. and which one Table 1 Activity worksheet for SWOT analysis Factors Questions Strengths  What are the advantages?  What can programme do as well?  What are the factors supporting the programme? Weaknesses        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 benefits 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. The number of factors within every SWOT group (namely strengths group. The pairwise comparisons were made between alternative strategies subject to all SWOT factors. The present investigation attempted to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the stakeholder. opportunities group and threat group) was fixed at ten. Situations change with the time and an updated analysis should be made frequently. and they were used to analyze the overall priorities of the independent factors within them (Kangas and Pukkala. Pairwise comparisons among factors were conducted within every SWOT group. economic standards of project beneficiaries 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? Opportunities Threats . The factor with the highest local priority was chosen from each group to represent the group. Pesonen et al. The pairwise comparisons were made amongst the four SWOT groups. Srivastava et al. While making the comparisons. 2. the questions at stake were: (i) which of the two factors compared was greater. 1987. 1987.P. 1994). institutions. A SWOT analysis needs to be flexible. ministries and community 533 representatives) of MSWM in Lucknow. we may conclude that SWOT is neither cumbersome nor time-consuming but is effective because of its simplicity (Schmoldt et al. the relative local priorities of the factors were computed using SWOT analysis. 1989).K. Methodology The methodology for SWOT analysis (Saaty. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531–537 expertise of the people involved in the planning process (Saaty. When making the comparisons. Identification 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. and (ii) how much greater? With these comparisons as the input. 1994). 1992). 2001) that was adopted in the present study. weaknesses group. 4. Anselin et al. 1987. as well as the opportunities and threats in the external environments for MSWM. MSWM practices.. Anselin et al.

State Urban Development Department. the factors obtained are:  Lack of waste segregation at source of its generation. viz. Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) syndrome and ÔWho caresÕ syndrome). household segregation. education and attitudes among the society.  Lack of information. The other stakeholders were government officials from the City Municipal Corporation. environmental and demographic factors. appropriate contributors and concerned stakeholders were selected on the basis of their jobs. 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.. 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.  Involvement of housewives. Results The internal analysis was a comprehensive evaluation of the Ôinternal environmentsÕ. strengths and weaknesses. 1996. and by analyzing the duration of opportunities benefiting the programme and the stakeholders.  Usually people wait for the governmentÕs action. 3. Background preparation was made for the successful SWOT analysis.K. and Civil Defence Organization. 2000). and strategy formulations. Ministry of Environment and Forests. and (ii) how much better is that alternative? The overall importance of the strategy-alternatives was analyzed in this manner. because its findings were used in subsequent strategic planning efforts (Bartol and Martin. State Pollution Control Board. .  High quantum of waste generated by community in the city. political.  Limited environmental awareness. multistoried complexes and slum dwellers of the city. senior citizens and students to support the programme. expertise and stake in LucknowÕs MSWM to ensure that a diverse cross-section of opinion and groups were represented.  Youths who are unemployed can contribute for establishing MSWM – microenterprises and community based organizations. Srivastava et al.534 P. In the current study. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531–537 of the two alternatives was better in minimizing or avoiding the factors regarding weaknesses or threats. Guariso and Werthner. National Research Institutions. The establishment of MSWM microenterprises can be an alternative employment opportunity for youths involved in the programme. 1989. and (b) detailed. 3. 1997).e. This preparation was carried out in two stages: (a) exploratory.  Youths are the energetic. followed by a focused analysis (IETC. 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. the factors observed are:  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. 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. education and communication (IEC) resource materials for human resource development (awareness and training) of sanitary workers and community people. In SWOT analysis. a SWOT profile was generated for the purpose of setting goals. and for their subsequent implementation (Glass. multiple perspectives are always needed (Heinonen. It was decided at the compilation of the SWOT profile that the analysis would be specific and evaluative. Furthermore. Municipal Ward Corporators. local priorities. information that would represent a single viewpoint must be avoided.  Unavailability of door-step primary collection pattern in the city.  The lack of an integrated approach and system for MSWM in the city.  Public apathy and communityÕs non-willingness to cooperate and participate (like. The analysis of opportunities was designed by assessing the socioeconomic. Regarding the opportunities. i. by evaluating the benefits within the programme.1. 1991). National Cadet Corps. In terms of weaknesses. 1991). The SWOT analysis was performed with diverse communities from different income groups and different habitats like residents of colonies. followed by data collection. Centre for Environment Education. When both the abovementioned analyses had been completed. enthusiastic and productive human resources in the community for good MSWM through active community participation. City Mayor and Representatives of non-Governmental Organizations. Schmoldt and Peterson.

 Poor transportation facilities. (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.  The governmental hierarchy. the factors observed are:  The government is still the main source of funds and has experience in planning and implementation. Srivastava et al. as the production of 5 MW of electricity is possible by assimilating biodegradable waste of the city.K.  Maximizing self-reliance and mutual self-help among the stakeholders.  Political interventions in the official working of the local municipal corporation. and Lucknow Municipal Corporation can be demonstrated to be of value. 3. Strategies derived from SWOT profile of community for MSWM While considering the overall factors of strengths. In terms of weaknesses.  Waste to energy facility established in the city. (e) Encouraging community based initiatives (preferably involvement of youths) and strengthening self reliance and mutual self help which can enhance a communityÕs potential to participate in MSWM. weaknesses. SWOT analysis of government authority (local municipal corporation) responsible for MSWM Regarding the strengths of the local municipal corporation. . the factors observed are:  Restructuring of government administration to be best suited to recent demands. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531–537  Promotion of cost-sharing activities and adopting appropriate mutually agreed strategies for MSWM.  Regulation of new rules and acts. (b) The role of youths.  Strong top-down planning (when the working is within a positive environment).  Tedious motivational exercises about the MSWM programme for diverse groups of stakeholders and tremendous efforts in lobbying with community and municipal corporation officials and other stakeholders. The findings 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. opportunities and threats. Regarding the opportunities.  Strong top-down planning (when working environment is negative). the factors observed are:  The limited capabilities of Lucknow municipal corporation in MSWM as most of the concerned officers are from a medical discipline instead of environmental sciences or engineering discipline. acts and new ordinance to be enacted for promoting proper MSWM.2. housewives and senior citizens in community participation should be strengthened. so that community groups and other stakeholders can support and strengthen the programme more successfully. The factors to be considered as threats for the MSWM programme with community involvement are:  Poor inter-sectoral co-ordination among the stakeholders.P. which means that HRD is needed for a high degree of participation and involvement by developing awareness and skills among the community for proper MSWM. through setting up of MSWM microenterprises and maximizing mutual self-help among the community.  Regulation of new rules. (c) Community participation can increase the employment of target youths. the following strategies are derived to be used for effective community participation in MSWM: (a) Community participation should be accompanied by human resource development (HRD). and a new ordinance to be enacted for promoting proper MSWM.  Lack of public–private–government partnership. bureaucracy and organizational infrastructure in a municipal corporation. (d) Need to impart environmental education (EE) to the community and to resolve how it can be more effective in increasing community participation in 535 MSWM through awareness raising and training activities using EE-based information.  Lack of integrated approach and proper scientific system for MSWM in the city. education and communication (IEC) materials.  Encouraging small enterprises and community based organizations as a main support to strengthen the economic standards of MSWM workers. acts and new ordinances for strict implementation of proper MSWM.  Lack of proper treatment and disposal facilities for MSW.3.  The powers to make the rules. such as a decentralized approach.  ‘‘Waste to Energy Facility’’ established by Asia Bioenergy (India) Ltd. 3.

Discussion and conclusion Acknowledgement It was observed that the SWOT analysis was an excellent tool to explore the possibilities and ways for initiating Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). (b) Cooperation between government and community in planning and implementation for MSWM. skills and experience for adopting proper MSWM. (i) Looking for consensus regarding the best possible solution to adopt proper MSWM.  Establishment of the public–private–government partnerships for MSWM.  increase the democratic process in decision-making and formulation of strategies of MSWM for the city. the SWOT analysis looked at the success of different scenarios through a systematic approach of introspection into both positive and negative concerns of the solid waste management through community participation. weaknesses.  Non-willingness among government officials to perform better and to find out the best. decision-making should contain each of the salient elements (i. strategies are needed to: increase the degree of youth participation and include their ideas. exploring opportunities and counteracting threats) to make a successful strategic management plan (the SWOT process). community for MSWM.  enhance bottom-up planning by generating community-based initiatives. 3. in general. develop the EE-based HRD programme to enhance community participation. Whatever course of action is decided upon. (g) Consideration by government of new alternatives to enhance community participation. Strategies have been identified and formulated from the SWOT matrix in relation to increasing participation of the community and government for the MSWM programme in Lucknow city. (d) Increasing good communication and building up partnerships among government. Government of India. 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 communities. opportunities and threats. building on strengths.  increase the governmentÕs responsiveness. Srivastava et al. and successfully implementing the MSWM programme. awareness campaigns and development of appropriate IEC materials. / Waste Management 25 (2005) 531–537  Adoption of bottom-up planning for MSWM in the city. is thankfully .  encourage community-based organizations and MSWM microenterprise. (h) Increasing government responsiveness. 4. mutually agreed upon solutions for proper MSWM in the city.4. the strategies required are:  build partnerships with community. In this investigation.. It will certainly serve as a foundation for feasibility and sustainability of Municipal Solid Waste Management Programme for Lucknow city through community participation. increase EE comprised of community training for proper MSWM.  The government and community have different ideas and ideologies. (e) Bottom-up planning process in MSWM. which are most necessary in todayÕs concern. private sector and support organizations. which is related to the need for a high degree of participation in managing solid waste and promoting household segregation and doorstep collection.e. and strengthen CBOs and MSWM microenterprises towards community selfreliance. minimizing weaknesses. The findings 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. (c) Decentralization of MSWM services. and  look for mutual consensus among the stakeholders for the best solution and appropriate strategy for MSWM in Lucknow. appropriate and logical communication between government and community. (f) Increasing support to microenterprises and cooperation to the economy of community-based organizations.K. For the government authority.536 P.  decentralize MSWM.. basic understanding.  enhance comprehensive. etc. the following strategic actions are derived to be used for the effective role of the municipal corporation in MSWM: (a) Provision by government of financial resources and simultaneously by the community of human resources for MSWM to support organizations for community-based MSWM initiatives. New Delhi. For purposeful community involvement in MSWM. Strategies derived from SWOT profile of government authority (local municipal corporation) responsible for MSWM in the city While considering the overall factors of strengths.

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