Closing the Circle

This publication has been prepared in the context of the LOGO South Programme of VNG International. VNG International is the International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG). The LOGO South Programme seeks to strengthen local government by developing capacity. LOGO South has a strong focus on human capacity: target groups include local governors (politicians and decision-makers) and civil servants (policy makers and implementers). The programme consists of three main components: Municipal International Cooperation, Association Capacity Building and Research.

The Municipal International Cooperation component, currently being implemented in 11 countries, involves municipalities implementing projects on a specific subject with their Dutch partner municipalities in so-called twinning relationships. Regular exchanges between the partners and dissemination of the lessons learned from these projects to other municipalities are key elements. Apart from the 11 country programmes, there are four ‘Thematic Programmes’ in which South-South exchanges are a central element. The Thematic Programme on Solid Waste Management is one of these programmes, and serves as a framework for bilateral projects with one or more of seven Netherlands municipalities. The objective of the programme is to enable the participating local governments to deliver improved services in the field of waste management. Currently, two municipalities in Indonesia, three in South Africa, five in Sri Lanka and one in Nicaragua participate in the programme. Drafting the LOGO South Thematic Programme on Solid Waste Management was a participatory process in which all the stakeholders were involved.


The framework of the Programme is made up of three focus areas:

  1. Integration of solid waste management in municipal policies

  2. Financial sustainability

  3. Community education concerning waste and health issues


Each activity organized within the framework of the Thematic Programme on Solid Waste Management addresses at least one of the focus areas, which VNG International and partners see as crucial for successful implementation of integrated sustainable waste management (ISWM) projects.


Solid waste management and good governance are two sides of the same coin. This point was made clear by British scholar Sir David Wilson who said that the state of solid waste management in a city is perhaps the best indicator of the state of urban governance. Or to put it more simply: no one takes the government of a city seriously when there is garbage all over the place. This publication is primarily intended for practitioners in the field of waste management in developing countries. It is a reference that combines theory and practice. We trust that it will inspire and guide you in your pursuit to ‘close the circle’. May your municipalities be clean and prosperous.