The third regional workshop in Francophone Africa was held from 3 to 7 October 2016 in Parakou, Benin. All 8 projects were represented with 19 participants from 6 different countries (Mali, Niger, Togo, Benin, Madagascar, Switzerland). The three main objectives of the workshop were:
to share good practices and lessons learnt
learn from technical expertise and solutions found in other projects
to plan joint activities such as trainings, workshops, publication for 2017
All workshop objectives were met during a productive week of sharing knowledge and experience with presentations, videos, group work and two field visits. This year, a special focus was laid on discussing the sustainability of projects. The workshop participants conclude that the following factors are crucial to guarantee sustainability beyond duration of the project: 1) regular maintenance of public latrines 2) ensuring continuation of a public water provider and 3) building the capacity of local communities. During two days the workshop participants visited a drinking water project in schools, health centres and communities implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in two communities in northern Benin. The participants conducted a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the visited project and made the following recommendations:
Communities, health centers and schools need to be involved in the projects from the start
Advice given by users of latrines needs to be taken into account when designing the project
Success of ‘Blue School’ approach ought to be shared with the Ministry of Education in order to upscale the project.
Provide training/ develop training materials to show the link between the water cycle, the environment and health
The workshop closed with an internal evaluation of consortium activities in Francophone Africa and a roadmap for exchange visits and joint activities in 2017. The evaluations highlighted that the participants appreciated the support of the regional advisor, effective learning and collaboration between organizations, the consortium intranet and access to information and trainings.
The Regional Workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa was held from 31 October to 4 November 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and brought together 25 participants from 7 organisations from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Sudan. The overall goal of the workshop was to foster knowledge sharing, present good practices and lessons learnt and strengthen cooperation between participants and project teams.
The first day was dedicated to sharing of good practices addressing project teams, country representatives and programme coordinators. The following days were dedicated to deepening two technical topics: 1) increasing the sustainability of school interventions, and 2) sustainability of water systems. The discussion between the different project teams made clear that they all face similar problems regarding operation and management (O&M) and sustainability of WASH infrastructure. Jointly, the teams reached the conclusion that involving a private operator in the O&M of WASH infrastructure, together with generating demand for either improved sanitation or safe water services can improve sustainability considerably.
The field trip provided an interesting insight into one project site of HEKS in Modjo, where bone char is used for defluoridation, which is very important in the Riff Valley, where naturally high fluoride levels pose significant health risks.
On the last day an external expert delivered an input on how videos can be used to capture the voice of beneficiaries (participative video). This input was greatly appreciated by participants who have shown interest to use this approach for evaluation or to capture good practices. Overall, the workshop was very successful and the goals were met with a mix of interactive activities and presentations by the facilitators and participants, which resulted in active participation and lively discussions.
The third regional workshop in Asia took place from 14 to 17 November 2016 in Bardiya, Nepal. Once more, the regional workshop has provided an inspiring platform of exchange for the regional teams across Nepal and Bangladesh. The teams presented their good practices and lessons learned drawn from Consortium projects in the form of innovative videos and posters, which created an enthusiastic atmosphere of mutual learning and collaboration. The workshop has also been successful at clarifying specific technical issues related to water quality, handwashing and functionality of public latrines. For example, to improve water quality at point of use, the participants came to the following conclusion: The projects need to:
follow the Water Safety Plan concept
ensure the use of household water treatment systems such as filters
induce behavior change at household level and provide private taps.
Furthermore, the teams could benefit from expert advice given by Olivier Magnin (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Global Program Water) and Manohara Khadka (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation country office Nepal), who participated at the whole workshop, and Ursula Schmid (Program Coordinator Nepal, Consortium Focal Point Swiss Red Cross), who attended the workshop during 3 days. An input on SDGs and Integrated Water Resource Management from an invited external expert of the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition in Nepal was very much appreciated by the participants and ended in enriching discussions among the participants.
On the third day, the teams visited the Joint Emerging Town Project, which aims at improving access to water and environmental sanitation in the town of Katarniya in Nepal’s Bardiya district. For planning purposes, joint action plans were developed for the year 2017 at intra- and inter-country levels. To conclude, the teams evaluated advantages and disadvantages of working as a Consortium in the Asia Region which will be evaluated in an internal review of the Consortium.
The results of a multi-stakeholder roundtable on “The importance and expansion strategy of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) at school level” have been broadcasted in the two Bangladesh journals, the Daily Kaler Kantho (link) and Daily Sun newspaper (link). The event was jointly organized by Caritas Bangladesh on behalf of Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium and Daily Kaler Kantho. The roundtable was attended by the Bangladeshi Minister of Health, the Director of Higher Education, the Chief Engineer, Department of Public Health Engineering, the Vice Chancellor of Stamford University and Country directors of several international and national NGOs such as WASH alliance, Save the Children and WaterAid Bangladesh.
The roundtable participants highlight the importance of personal hygiene and improved sanitation for the health of children and the future of Bangladesh. Many promising ideas were shared to overcome problems related to water, sanitation and hygiene in Bangladesh:
- the formation of cleanliness committees at school
- building separate toilets for male and female students
- water and sanitation issues to be included in text books and in national academic curriculum
- conduct a handwashing campaign at national level, as this has proven successful in 83 pilot schools
- children act as change agents for the society: what they learn at school will be passed on in their families
- to guarantee that the message is shared with the families, mothers can be invited to monthly WASH meetings
- sanitary napkins provided by female teachers has proven to be very useful for effective menstrual hygiene management at schools, this approach could be up-scaled to national level
In Nepal, different medias have covered news on the solar lifting drinking water supply system, which was implemented by a Consortium project in villages of the Dailekh District. Their main massage is that villagers are happy benefiting from the new technology getting water nearby their houses.
The report broadcasted on Nepal Television (link) and the articles in the national daily newspaper Naya Patrika and the Kekrebihar daily newspaper of Surkhet district point out, that prior to the installation of this system, villagers had to walk long distances every day in order to fetch water. “The solar lift system made it possible to pump water up to the hill and provides water nearby the village, something I had never imagined”, the villager Top Bahadur Thapa explains. Mr. Mohan Bhatta, technical Coordinator of the project, says that the solar lift can pump water up to 90m height and 17 taps are to be installed for distribution. He adds, that ponds are constructed above the sources in order to ensure enough water discharge. The community has established an operation and maintenance fund, which ensures the long run of the system. According to the team Leader of the project, Madan Raj Bhatta, the Water Use Master Plan (WUMP) - instrument for local actors to address water management issues - has helped in identifying places, where the real need of such technology to serve the community is. The water supply system is presented as an example for development with a new technology, from which the community can benefit from.
The present report summarises the results of the period January to June 2016. The report highlights both achievements at project level as well as at regional and global level. It further presents the lessons learnt and joint activities realised during the reporting period.
Remarkable achievements in terms of beneficiaries have been reached during the reporting period respectively since the start of the second phase. The Consortium has also strongly contributed to fostering effective knowledge sharing and learning. Besides encouraging project teams to implement lessons learnt in their current project interventions, good practices have been documented by the teams resulting in several posters and videos.
This year’s Stockholm World Water Week will take place from 28th August – 2 September. This conference for experts, practitioners, decision-makers and business innovators from a range of sectors and countries is to network, exchange ideas, foster new thinking and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today.
The Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium will participate at the booth of the Swiss Water Partnership (SWP). We will present what we do and share information on our promising approaches and experiences. With a focus on the Blue Schools – which in the framework of the Consortium have found its way to several countries – we want to show others, how working as a Consortium makes a difference. Furthermore, we aim to have exchanges with other alliances and networks to learn from them.
Join us at the following events:
Working in alliances for improved learning and collective impact?
Discussion with representatives from the Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium, German Toilet Organisation and Partnerships in Practice.
Mon 29 – 12:30 – 13:00
Swiss Water Partnership booth Nr. 6
Share, learn, scale-up – how working as a Consortium makes a difference
Presentations and exchange on the Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium with a focus on the Blue Schools approach
Tue 30 – 10:30 – 13:00
Swiss Water Partnership booth Nr. 6
Boosting the local-global interaction for sustainable water policies development
Discussion with representatives from the International Secretariat for Water, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium, European Youth Parliament for Water and all interested people.
Tue 30 – 17:30 – 18:15
Swiss Water Partnership booth Nr. 6
The present report summarises the results of the period January to December 2015. The report highlights both achievements at project level as well as at regional/global level. It further presents the lessons learnt and joint activities realised during the reporting period. Additional information available regarding this period are the Results, News and Publications published on the Consortium website.
The second regional workshop in Asia took place from 23 to 27 of November 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The workshop has been very successful in terms of further strengthening the mutual cooperation and collaboration among the regional projects. The process and methodologies used in conducting the workshop, solely aimed at recognizing and inspiring Consortium partners to share their best practices and lessons learnt with each other. In Consortium projects, cross-learning of best practices and innovations stand at the heart and all projects enthusiastically participated and shared those in respective sessions.
The workshop was also very successful in clarifying various issues and challenges that projects were facing, such as; measuring water quality at point of use, monitoring hand washing at households, school latrine standards and WASH service sustainability, etc. The technical sessions provided common solutions and understanding on the mentioned issues. It was agreed that field-based staff responsible for project implementation will be trained to adhere to the agreed methods and procedures. Additionally, joint action plans were developed for the year 2016 at intra- and inter-country levels.