Trusting the Maturation Framework and Each Other

by Siddharth Pandit

The CITIIS program has challenged the PMU to go beyond the traditional functions of budget and process management. The complexity in the maturation framework requires the 12 city SPV teams, the technical assistance pool and the PMU to build trust in the ecosystem and in partnerships with each other. 

This framework has 24 processes working in lock-step and providing feedback to each other and to the framework. For example, the stakeholder identification will clearly inform and also be affected by the structuring of the program components and therefore the Maturation roadmap. Richness in one will improve the others and the project. Conversely, inadequacies or errors in one will amplify the risks in the ecosystem.

Secondly, the nature of the technical assistance pool is global and therefore both parts of this partnership come with different urban contexts. The cities of Dehradun and Amritsar are partnered with mentorship from the United States and similarly the city of Kochi gets mentorship from Kenya. The different contexts can give rise to confirmation bias (we tend to believe what we want to) and implicit theories (correlating the actions to the personalities without understanding the structures). Taking the time to understand the complexity in contexts-why rickshaw drivers in Amritsar might respond to incentives differently than bus drivers in Latin America do, will help to reduce these biases. At the same time, understanding that global best practices have improved systems will help the SPVs to structure their sustainability aspect better. The PMU proactively tries to manage this trust building through its support, more than technical outputs to the projects. Undoubtedly trust is key to collaboration in CITIIS. 

Besides trust also has been known to improve oxytocin (feel good hormone) and reduce stress levels. 

The 9 month time duration of the maturation phase allows for these relationships to be built, nurtured and matured. It is the key of changing the view of urban infrastructure projects from capital intensive to process driven and stakeholder invested.

The Program Management Unit (PMU) for the CITIIS program is housed at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi. This PMU tasked with managing the 100 Million Euro Loan from Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and the 6 Million Euro Technical Assistance grant from European Union (EU) has a staff of 11, each of whom bring different skills and knowledge. They can be reached at

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