The 33rd AGUASAN Workshop on the topic “Circular economy – transforming waste into resources” took place in Spiez, Switzerland from June 26 to 30, 2017. The main focus was analyzing successful and failed approaches for transitioning from linear to circular water and sanitation models.

Circular economy has great potential to drive the Water and Sanitation 2030 Agenda forward because it aligns directly with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.3 of improving water quality and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally and SDG 6.4 of substantially increasing water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensuring sustainable withdrawals.



Fig. 1: Graph Circular Economy


The Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium was present with five representatives from four different organizations: Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Swiss Red Cross, Caritas Switzerland and Terre des hommes. The following contributions were made:

  • The Swiss Red Cross presented a poster on menstrual hygiene management in Nepal (poster will follow)
  • Caritas Switzerland presented a poster on Blue Schools in Bangladesh: a promising way to teach reduce, reuse and recycle: Poster_Blue_Schools_Aguasan_Workshop_Caritas_Bangladesh_2017
  • Terre des hommes and Caritas jointly facilitated a clinical case on Blue School 2.0. During several group working sessions, a solution was developed on how to transition from a linear Blue School to a circular Blue School and how to teach circular economy through a learning-by-doing approach in school.  The results of the discussions were presented as flip charts/ diagrams, as shown below:Circular Flows Blue SchoolsFig 2. Circular Flows in a Blue School

Circular Business Model Blue SchoolsFig 3. Circular business model for Blue Schools

Success Criteria Blue SchoolsFig 4. Success criteria for Blue Schools


Opening of the Water Team Days in Bern


The SDC Water Team Days 2017 took place in Bern on 22-23 June 2017.  The SDC Water Team Days are one of the most important face to face meetings in the water domain in Switzerland. About 65 practitioners from the SDC, partners and guests are coming together to share, discuss and learn about recent developments in water and development cooperation. A special focus of this year's event were the SDGs and SDG monitoring. The Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium was present at the Water Team Days 2017 and contributed two Market Place sessions to the following topics:

    • Strengthening the Environmental Component of Blue Schools 2.0: Consortium partners Terre des hommes, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Caritas Switzerland presented and discussed the concept for Blue Schools 2.0. This is of particular interest as the Blue School concept is fully in-line with SDG 6, complementing usual WASH in school activities with a school  garden as practical place to show relationships between food production, an efficient management of water and a demonstrative place for watershed and land management practices. During the last years, the Blue School concept has been piloted and tested in various countries by different Consortium partners. Based on their experiences, the Consortium is currently developing the Blue School 2.0 with a special focus on strengthening the environmental component of Blue Schools. The ongoing work on developing Blue Schools 2.0 was shared and discussed with the participants.
    • Integrity Management Toolbox for small water supply systems: The Water Integrity Network (WIN) and Caritas Switzerland presented how the Integrity management Toolbox for Small Water Supply Systems has assisted pilot communities and local governments in Kenya in addressing governance and management challenges of community managed rural water supply. Lessons learnt were shared and ideas on how the toolbox can be used in other countries were discussed.









The Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium is looking for a Consultant to assist in preparing an approach and tools for “Blue Schools & the Water Cycle in My Environment”

Place of assignment: Nairobi, Kenya and “home office” | Duration of assignment: 21 Days | Dates of assignment: July-September 2017 | Language: English (knowledge of French beneficial)

Application Deadline: 4 June 2017 at 17:00 GMT

Background: The Blue School concept is a promising approach to improve and raise awareness about the link between water, waste, food and environment among children.  It has been pioneered by the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance and further developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and partners. The Blue School concept complements the usual WASH in Schools (WINS) activities with a school garden as practical place to show relationships between food production and an efficient management of water; and a demonstrative place for watershed and land management practices.

The objective is to enable members of the Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium to refine the Blue School concept 2.0 in order to provide project teams with recommendations, materials, new ideas and more practical guidance on how to better implement Blue School with a focus on the environmental component; specifically:

  • A Blue School Concept 2.0 Methodological Note
  • A catalogue with context specific technologies that can be implemented in schools to demonstrate the link between water, waste, food and environment.
  • A Kit (called blue school kit) that will provide teacher/project staff/local government experts with the necessary step by step facilitation guide and materials to initiate pupils to the different components of the blue school and the link between those components, with the focus on environment.
  • A Road Map describing all the steps to undertake to transform a school into a blue school, including steps to build ownership of key stakeholders and ensure the sustainability of the activities that will be implemented.

The above points are detailed below in the PDF: Project Outline Blue Schools

Procedure and Method of Work (estimated at 21 days)

Pre-workshop desk review / networking to identify and review relevant existing materials; review the agenda with Consortium Workshop leads; preparation of drafts: (7 days) | Workshop Facilitation: 5 days (4 workshop days and one day travel) | Post workshop Activities: 9 days

Proposal: Please respect the following structure (four components) for your proposal, which is compulsory:

  1. Cover letter with signature(s)
  2. Curriculum vitae of the consultant (max. 2 pages)
  3. Short description about qualifications and competences of the consultant with reference to the TOR; including proposed methodology for identifying/selecting the technologies and approaches for demonstration (max. 2 pages)
  4. Financial proposal in Swiss Francs in EXCEL: Worksheet_BlueSchools_Consultancy 2017

Deadline: Electronic submissions to Daya Moser, Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium Coordinator at, by 4 June 2017 at 17:00 GMT.

More information can be found on the following link: Mandate_ToR_BlueSchools2.0_Consultancy 2017

Please feel free to share this announcement with your professional network.

Helvetas Benin Blue Schools 2017

Titré: ''Les « écoles bleues » pour éduquer autrement les apprenants'' le Hebdomadaire béninois Educ'Action présente un article sur les jeu concours « Meilleurs chants et
poèmes sur le lavage des mains au savon », organisé au profit des écoles dans le cadre de la phase II du projet Eau Potable pour Ecoles et Centres de Santé (EPECS), un projet mis en oeuvre depuis 2009, financé par l’Organisation Non Gouvernementale Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation et le Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium.

Dans le cadre de cette compétition lancé en 2016, les écoles ont été invitées à produire un texte de poésie ou une chanson qui apporte des réponses aux questions sur l’utilité du lavage des mains à l’eau et au savon, les moments clés du lavage des mains à l’eau et au savon et les différentes étapes du lavage des mains. Après réception des productions, un jury composé des Conseillers pédagogiques, des Chefs de Régions pédagogiques et de l’équipe de coordination du projet EPECS, a été mis à contribution pour la lecture et la sélection des meilleures oeuvres. La seconde étape de sélection des meilleures écoles bleues du jeu concours reste la visite des écoles présélectionnées suivie de l’interprétation des chants et poèmes par les écoliers. A ce niveau, le jury a observé l’installation et l’utilisation effective des TIPY-PAP, un dispositif de lave-main mis à disposition des différentes écoles d’intervention du projet.

L’objectif principal de ce jeu concours organisé dans le cadre de la célébration de la Journée Internationale du lavage des mains, renseigne Monique Gbaguidi la coordonnatrice du projet EPECS, est d’apprécier le niveau d’observation et d’internationalisation des différents enseignements sur le lavage des mains et aussi de créer une certaine compétitivité entre les écoles bleues de la commune de Banikoara.

Pour en savoir plus, vous trouvez l'article ci-joint à la page 6 du Hebdomadaire béninois Educ'Action:

Hebdomadaire EDUC'ACTION N184 Blue Schools Benin



Madagascar a accueilli le 16è Sommet de la Francophonie à Antananarivo du 22 au 27 novembre 2016. A part les conférences ministérielles, le Village de la Francophonie à Andohatapenaka a  permis à 112 pays et institutions francophones, organisations de la société civile, médias, entreprises et artisans, d’exposer pendant le Sommet. Plusieurs événements culturels et artistiques y ont été aussi programmés.

Le pavillon Suisse a été consacré à une thématique principale : eau, paix, sécurité.

Les informations de base de ce thème sont matérialisées par les deux messages suivants :

  • Bien que la gestion de l’eau puisse être une source de tensions, elle est tout autant facteur de rapprochement et de stabilité.
  • Bien que la ressource en eau soit un enjeu stratégique, elle est avant tout vecteur de coopération et de solutions partagées

Ce thème illustre une des deux résolutions que la Suisse a présentées avec le Sénégal et la France lors du sommet d'Antananarivo.  Des informations détaillées sur ce message sont disponibles sur le site du RésEau Shareweb Water.

Un espace a été réservé au Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium dans le stand Suisse. Des collègues locaux de HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Action de Carême et ONG Taratra, qui mettent en œuvre respectivement les projets RATSANTANANA et RANO AINA ont assuré une présence active tout au long de la semaine de la Francophonie. L’objectif du Consortium d’améliorer les conditions de vie des plus pauvres par l’amélioration de l’accès à l’eau potable, aux infrastructures d’assainissement de base et en améliorant l’efficience des exploitations paysannes familiales et les approches de mise en œuvre ont beaucoup intéressé les nombreux visiteurs du stand. Deux dispositifs de lavage des mains ont été exposés et utilisés au niveau des deux portes d’accès au stand.

En plus des milliers de visiteurs nationaux et francophones, le stand a reçu trois visites de haut niveau : l’inauguration du Président Malagasy et de la Secrétaire Générale de la Francophonie, la visite de la délégation Suisse avec le Président Schneider-Ammann.


Under the topic “Water for Everyone”, the 7th Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Forum took place from 29th November – 2nd December, 2016 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. 444 delegates (water users, practitioners, service providers, political leaders, researchers, funders and policy makers) from 65 countries across 6 continents attended the Forum to share experiences, discuss and learn from others.


From the Consortium, 10 project staff members from 7 countries (Nepal, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Niger, Benin, Ethiopia, Madagascar) and 9 projects, as well as the whole Consortium Management Unit (3 Regional Advisors, Coordinator and Knowledge Manager) participated at the forum. Furthermore, one representative of the local government counterpart of one Consortium project participated at the Forum. And two other colleagues from non-Consortium projects in Bolivia and Benin participated and actively exchanged in the discussions.

The Forum was a great opportunity to share knowledge and create connections within and beyond the Consortium. In total, the Consortium members contributed 9 papers, posters or videos to the Forum (see list below) and shared their experiences on how to involve the private sector, improve WASH in Schools or enhance monitoring systems with very successful presentations. Adaptation to climate change, sustainability, technical support, tariff setting, PPPs, ICT for WASH, decentralisation – a whole range of topics were openly discussed in several parallel sessions – and allowed for many learnings and new inputs to follow up!

For example, Consortium colleagues from Mozambique are highly motivated to further learn from the Consortium colleagues in Madagascar on how to engage the private sector for investments for water supply systems. The different teams involved in mobile monitoring quickly engaged on the topic and exchanged on their experiences, advantages and disadvantages of different tools available. And from Ethiopia, the capacity building approach to couples for community and women empowerment might inspire even beyond the Forum, as the paper was cited in the Spanish newspaper El País (see Misión: Agua para todos / Mission: Water for all).

The Consortium/SDC booth was a great meeting point for all our colleagues and others. New contacts were established, relationships build and inspiring discussions held. The Forum was the first time, project teams from all three regions have met in one place, what made the Consortium participation at the RWSN Forum 2016 besides the advocacy possibilities and all the sharing and learning opportunities a big success!


Contributions of Consortium member organisations & partners:

FILM: Écoles Bleues

Présenté par Monique Gbaguidi, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

POSTER: Mobile-based Monitoring Systems

Presented by Rubika Shrestha (HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation), and Mohammad Shahnewaz Morshed (Tdh Foundation Bangladesh)

PAPER: Les Mini Adduction d'Eau Potable Multi-villages (MAEP-MV)

Présenté par Idrissa Moussa, SWISSAID

PAPER: Investisseur gestionnaire : une alternative pour le financement d'un service durable?

Presented by Heritiana Alain RAKOTOMALALA,
HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Madagascar, Madagascar

FILM: Mini-Réseaux Solaires – Une eau de proximité, Bénin

Presented by Monique Gbaguidi,
Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Benin

POSTER: Rock Catchment in South Sudan

Caritas Switzerland, South Sudan

POSTER: Drinking water quality and water users’ treatment practices
A field study of piped schemes in Mid-Western Nepal

TU Delft, Eawag / Sandec, World Health Organization, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

POSTER: PosterShare, learn, scale-up - How working as a Consortium makes a difference

Swiss Water & Sanitation Consortium

FILM: Transformation des puits à grand diamètre au Bénin

Presented by Alice Chabi Guiya, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Bénin

FILM: Evaluating water safety for supply schemes in remote areas. Novel approaches to comply with SDG 6.1 in rural Nepal

EAWAG,  HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Nepal, UNESCO-IH

PAPER: The difficulties of replicating success stories: The case of Domestic Rainwater Harvesting

Matthias Saladin1, Ramesh Bohara2
1Skat Consulting Ltd., 2Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium, Kathmandu, Nepal /

PAPER: Local experiences in water management. Water governance and integrated management of water resources promoted by municipal associations of Bolivia

Javier Zubieta, Carlos Saavedra, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, La Paz, Bolivia

EVENT : Behavior Change Networking Event, organized by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Eawag, World Vision, CAWST, Evidence Action, SDC

Massive resources are invested in water and sanitation facilities to ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Yet, efforts to date are not sufficient to provide people with facilities. And: facilities are useless if not used properly. WASH infrastructure and WASH products must be linked up with behavior change interventions or marketing activities around hand washing, latrine use and maintenance, water treatment, water storage, and payments for water fees. How do you influence behavior in the field? Join us for an interactive sharing of experiences.

SEMINAR: A new pathway to fulfilling human rights to water & sanitation, organized by WIN, Caritas, Helvetas

  • Water Integrity Charter as a tool to promote Integrity at national level in Benin  by Francoise Ndoume, Water Integrity Network and Arnauld Adjagodo (PNE Benin)
  • Addressing governance and management challenges in small scale water supply systems in Kenya by Lucie Leclert, Caritas Switzerland
  • Connecting local Water Integrity programmes to national level policy & advocacy processes by Rubika Shreshta, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation Nepal

RWSN_Forum_03 RWSN_Forum_04 RWSN_Forum_06 RWSN_Forum_07 RWSN_Forum_09 RWSN_Forum_10

Francophone Africa workshop 2016

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.

Posted in News on by .

SE Africa workshop 2016The 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.


Roundtable_Bangladesh_Daily Sun_2016

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