In 1988, the Ministry of Environment (directed by Giorgio Ruffolo) promoted a Multi-Year-Plan for the Environment in accordance with the plans previously made in other countries such as Japan, the Netherlands, France, Canada and Great Britain (the United States were the only western country – even though it was the first to have an institutional branch of the EPA, the Environment Protection Agency – to be endowed with both an official comprehensive policy and an ad-hoc institution concerning environmental protection, since a long-term environmental plan had not yet been elaborated).
Professor Franco Archibugi, special consultant of the Minister and member of the Scientific Committee of the Ministry of the Environment, has been committed to the project of elaboration of the Italian Multi-Year-Plan for the Environment. As chairman of the Planning Studies Center he proceeded to involve the Centre in the elaboration and coordination of the plan, in cooperation with other organisations such as the ISPE (Istituto di studi per la programmazione economica), and Italia Ambiente, a research institution related to Lega Ambiente (here is a list of collaborators (only in Italian)).
As multi-year perspective a time span of 10 years had been chosen, from which the denomination of a Ten-Year Plan For the Environment was derived. The work was orchestrated by Prof. Franco Archibugi and the Planning Studies Centre in a document on "Organisation and elaboration of DECAMB (only in Italian)".
The plan, which, at the beginning, was supposed to constitute the main axis of a radical renewal of the mode of operations of the ministry and, therefore, should have had a major impact on the entire administrative activity of the ministry, has been postponed because of extensive bureaucratic inefficiency and a series of traditional administrative interventions. Also, after having introduced a new legal management, the results haven't been strategically controlled but instead obstructed by the mere administration of the funds without measuring the performances.
Moreover, the plan must be accompanied by two innovative research projects in the field of environmental policy, committed to the National Research Council:
The elaboration of a “territorial reference framework for the Environmental Policy” ( Quadroter ), which the Planning Studies Center has been interested in for a long time, ever since the first schemes of the “ Progetto80 ”, which should have been the centre of a large institutional involvement and coordination on behalf of the central government and the Regions, were put into practice.
The construction of an “environmental accounting system” (COPAMB) that the Centre had carried out with regard to a scientific plan, but which would have absorbed costs and resources that only the National Research Council could bear.
A note on the research projects which were consubstantial to the Ten-Year-Plan (DECAMB): the first one was started but interrupted at some point, whereas the second one was not even started but only projected.
Therefore, the actual elaboration of the Ten-Year-Plan for the Environment has been reduced to merely a deeper-going study, which has been entirely ignored by the Ministry and only been officially presented in 1992, at the end of Minister Ruffolo's term of office, but was soon ignored and archived by the ministers to follow.
The results of the DECAMB research are encompassed in an Official report issued by the Ministry in draft form (see, first of all, the summary), containing, however, some innovative aspects (compared to similar previous examples of multi-year plans, as mentioned above) which deserve to be recorded as expressions of a new method and approach to strategic planning. Such a methodology has found its best manifestation in the currently ongoing implementation of the Federal American GPRA (Government Performance Result Act), or “Result Act”, which is valid for the whole spectrum of public policies (not only those which are environmental).
The innovations of the DECAMB research consist of two main aspects:
The programme structuring
A “programme indicators system” , connected to the above structuring .
As to the “programme structuring”, see: Graphical schemes , based on the strategic objectives expressed in a concatenated way through the relationship of objectives and instruments at many different levels, according to the principles of strategic planning.
For the Program Structuring see the Graphic Schemes of the Program Structures of different Programs, based on the Environmental Programs Indicators, which were articulated according the Program structures of DECAMB. (see INDIAMB research)
Furthermore, see a work paper not published, of DECAMB, a Guide to the writing the Sector/Programs Reports, with a exemplification based on a single sector/program: that of the Solid Urban and Industrial Waste. (unfortunally only in Italian)
As to the “programme indicators system”, see: a document in which the coordinator of the project supplied the guidelines and the basic criteria (only in Italian) for the elaboration in the different sectors of the proposal concerning both the structure and the measurement of the program results (indicators).