|PHASE 1: Initiating cooperation|
|PHASE 2: Establishing cooperation|
|PHASE 3: Implementing IMC|
|PHASE 4: Evaluating IMC|
A restricted number of relevant municipal officials are involved in the exploratory tasks and the discussions of the findings of the feasibility study. It is not advisable to involve other stakeholders and raise expectations before knowing the results of the legal assessment and the feasibility study. But once a preliminary agreement is reached on the areas of IMC, it is imperative that all major stakeholders (any individuals or groups that are impacted by, and can directly or indirectly influence the implementation of the recommendations of the study) are identified and that they have an opportunity to discuss and comment on the initiative.
In particular, it is essential that the feasibility study be shared with the respective municipal councils. Discussions and endorsement by the municipal councils are critical, since it is the latter that will be requested to approve any contract, agreement or statutes as well as the release of funding. It is also essential that the initiative be presented to and discussed with citizens, NGOs and businesses. This is important to ensure that citizens, civil society and private sector stakeholders understand why the initiative is undertaken, it ultimate goals and the benefits they can derive from it. This can be done through press releases, interviews on local radio and television, the Internet or workshops. The concerned mayors can formally announce their decisions to initiate IMC at a joint press conference where they can present a joint policy statement explaining the ultimate goals of cooperation and its benefits.