State of Environment Rapid Assessment (SoERA): Development of a Tool for Framing and Managing Urban Environmental and Social Challenges

"This paper sets out a cost-effective solution to one of the key challenges facing developing urban centres around the world, namely how to manage a seemingly vast array of environmental and associated social issues in an integrated, technically valid and economical way. We describe and critically examine the process by which we have adapted and applied an established approach - State of the Environment reporting - into an integrated rapid assessment and communication tool which we found to be effective in practice even in the absence of a robust set of baseline data. This is particularly applicable in the context of urban development policy, planning and management in developing countries."