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Practice:Universidade Católica Portuguesa

From CAF Network

DescriptionDescription of practice

Sustainable territories (“Territórios Sustentáveis”) is a research-implementation project created in cooperation with the Portuguese municipalities, which has two main purposes: the creation of a sustainable development index that follows the structure presented by the 2030 SDGs (2030 Agenda for the sustainable development); and the creation of a municipal performance index, based on the CAF’s methodology (Common Assessment Framework). In this context, we aim at creating a CAF-municipalities manual that takes into account the local specificities and the characteristics of its public administration structure, (re)defining the criteria, sub-criteria and indicators. These are selected with unanimity by the municipalities and other stakeholders. Thus, our goal is to develop a methodology for self-evaluation that enables each municipality to evaluate their key performance results, taking into account the vested interests of all stakeholders.

Results and outcomesResults and outcomes of the CAF implementation

1. In order to promote and implement transitional measures of sustainability in situ, the involvement of the local authorities is essential due to three reasons:
  • First, they have a relevant set of functions, which can contribute to the improvement of its population’s quality of life;
  • Secondly, they have a strategic position (proximity) to influence other development actors and to involve the community;
  • And finally, they are both employers and consumers and they are responsible for the sustainable organization of the local production setting. Our project takes these premises as a starting point. Its main goal consists of creating a framework for gathering and treating data that informs the municipal decision-makers about which strategies are best and how to adapt their organizations to the new challenges of sustainable development, by promoting and implementing transitional measures.

2. We are, at the moment, building our network. The formal presentation of the project took place on March 21st of 2017 at the Catholic University of Lisbon, where the Local Public Administration’s Secretary-General and the Portuguese Catholic University’s headmaster were present. Since then, 20 municipalities have officially joined the “Sustainable Territories” project (Águeda; Alcochete; Alenquer; Alter do Chão; Braga; Cascais; Chamusca; Chaves; Fundão; Horta; Lagos; Loures; Mação; Palmela; Santarém; Santo Tirso; Sintra; Torres Vedras; Valongo e Vila Franca de Xira). The DGAEP (General Directorate of Public Administration and Employment) and the APQ (Portuguese Quality Association) have also integrated the project. We wish to enlarge this network to the whole country, including the Portuguese Islands of Azores and Madeira, so that we have a representative sample of the whole territory. However, in this initial phase, we would rather not exceed 35 municipalities. Subsequently, the project will be open to the participation of all Portuguese municipalities.

3. So far, in addition to permanently assisting the municipal coordinators, we highlight the following activities:

  • Information collection about the Total Quality Management Systems of all Portuguese municipalities (nearing completion);
  • Survey to the municipal technical staff that are part of our network about sustainable practices;
  • Creation of a digital forum platform, where the municipal technical staff interacts with the CESOP’s researching team in order to validate the indicators suggested by the latter.
  • Organization of various information sessions, at the Catholic University’s facilities in Lisbon and Oporto as well as in the city council of Valongo. About 216 municipal technical staff-members were present. These sessions were about:
  • (1) Sustainable territories – how to promote and implement transitional measures for the sustainable development in situ, following two dimensions:
  • (1.1) the promotion of active citizenship;
  • (1.2) the preparation of organizations for monitoring citizen’s opinion and collective entities’ perspectives.
  • (2) Sustainable organizations – to inspire and raise awareness of the excellence principles, with regards to the CAF’s self-evaluation tool.
  • (3) Digital platform ( - how to register on the platform and how the interactions between all stakeholders’ work.

Note that during the information session about “sustainable organizations”, which is based on the 8 excellence principles of CAF, we encourage the participants to reflect on the municipal operational structure regarding 3 dimensions: (

  • (1) Front Office – interaction with citizens/users;
  • (2) Back Office – internal relations;
  • (3) Supra Office – decision-making rules and procedures.

    Further informationFurther information of the practice

    This is an application form for a Good Practice Case for the 8th European CAF-User Event.
Universidade Católica Portuguesa PageIDUnique ID of the page: 188

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YearYear 2018
CountryCountry of the practice Portugal
CityCity, town or village Lisbon
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Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Type of organisationType of organisation Other
Function of organisationFunction of organisation Education
Size of organisationSize of organisation
Level of governmentLevel of government Central Government (national, federal)
OrganisationName of Organisation Universidade Católica Portuguesa
DepartmentDepartment of the organisation
AddressAddress of the organisation Caminho de Palma de Cima38° 44' 52.49" N, 9° 10' 0.54" W
ZIPZIP code (postal code) 1649-023
CityCity, town or village Lisbon
WebsiteLink to the Website of the Organisation
EmailEmail of Organisation
PersonName of contact person Drª Tânia Sofia Correia
Job titleJob title of the contact person