Category Archives: Education & training

Moving beyond construction: Asian practitioners identify sludge management as a major issue

Learning cloud gives a glimpse of the future of WASH in Asia

Which issues will sanitation and hygiene practitioners focus on in Asia? This was the question posed to the more than 50 professionals attending the 3rd Asia Regional Sanitation and Hygiene Practitioners Workshop which ends today in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Based on the above “learning cloud”, sludge management appears to be a major concern.

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Rotary partners with world’s largest postgraduate water education institution

By Arnold R. Grahl and Wayne Hearn, Rotary International News — 28 November 2011

Rotary clubs will be helping train engineers and scientists to solve problems in water and sanitation, particularly in developing countries, through a new strategic partnership between The Rotary Foundation and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education.

Through the partnership, the Foundation will offer packaged grants that Rotary clubs may use to select and sponsor scholarships for professionals in the water sector. Up to eight students a year may be chosen for any of three master of science programs at the institute in Delft, the Netherlands.

Both the institute and Rotary share a vision of making water and sanitation more accessible and more sustainable for all people, particularly the poor. The partnership directly supports Rotary’s water and sanitation area of focus.

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Viet Nam: world’s first Unilever-sponsored Toilet Academy opens in 2012

Unilever is partnering with the World Toilet Organization (WTO) to set up Domestos Toilet Academies around the world, starting with a pilot Academy in Viet Nam opening in 2012.

The Domestos Toilet Academy will run month-long training courses for local people interested in setting up their own businesses to source, sell and maintain toilets, and educate local communities on the importance of sanitation.

In Viet Nam, only half the population has ‘some sort’ of sanitation facility, and 82% do not have access to facilities that meet the hygiene standards of the country’s Ministry of Health. “Only 12% of schools actually have hygienic toilet access, with rural areas suffering the most”, said WTO founder Jack Sim.

Unilever will also be partnering with UNICEF to help promote health through improved hygiene and access to toilets, stated Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever.

Domestos is the Unilever brand name for its bleach products (also sold as Domex, Glorix, Klinex).

Source: Unilever, 14 Nov 2011

Winning the race: sanitation in rapidly-growing towns in Southern Africa – workshop video report

“The number of people without access to adequate water and sanitation facilities in Africa has risen fast in recent decades [as] rapid urbanisation has outpaced the ability of many African governments to provide essential services”, writes David Schaub-Jones in the background paper for the Learning & Sharing Session “Winning the Race: Sanitation in rapidly-growing towns”.

The 2 day session, held from 10-11 November 2011 in Lusaka, Zambia, explored proactive, tangible ways to deal with pressing sanitation issues in towns experiencing rapid growth in Southern Africa. It was hosted by the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, together with UCLGA, WIN-SA and AusAid.

Read the full background paper

Read more about the Learning & Sharing Session “Winning the Race: Sanitation in rapidly-growing towns

Inclusive WASH free learning portal

WaterAid in Australia, in collaboration with the WASH Reference Group, is  hosting five online learning sessions and a learning workshop on inclusive WASH. The first session started on 30 October 2011 and the programme will end with the learning workshop in May 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.

A recording of the first introductory webinar is now online. The second learning session on gender runs until 18 November 2011. Following sessions will be on the disabled, HIV/AIDS and chronic illness, and the poorest of the poor.

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Harnessing the wisdom of crowds – Open discussion forum helps to answer many sanitation related questions

The idea for this open discussion forum on sanitation came from our experience that when you want to buy a new car or have a question about your baby’s teeth: where do you get advice from? You put your question into a search engine like Google and you end up reading other people’s postings on a discussion forum. Usually, those questions and answers prove to be very helpful.

The same mechanism can hold true for a discussion forum on sanitation issues. This is why the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) secretariat developed a new discussion forum which was launched in July 2011. The forum is open –  as opposed to some existing closed fora which require a login even just for reading. Today, the SuSanA forum already has 930 registered users, 40 topics, nearly 1000 views for the most popular topics, and some topics have attracted up to 20 replies.

All postings are readable by everyone and searchable by search engines like Google and Yahoo. A broad range of topics are covered such as sanitation systems and technologies, health and hygiene, CLTS, school sanitation, sanitation systems for special conditions, menstrual hygiene management, SuSanA working groups and announcements and many more.

All registered users can contribute to the forum by creating new discussion topics or by responding to the posts of others. The option to create a user profile, including a passport-style photo, is available. The user can also attach additional documents and photos to his or her posts.

For people who like to receive postings via e-mail, it is also possible to subscribe to a daily e-mail alert service of new posts simply by leaving your e-mail address here. Alternatively or in addition, one can subscribe to specific categories or topics after logging in and thereby follow specific discussions.

Here are four examples of very active discussion threads so far:

To view the discussion forum or to obtain your own login for writing on the forum, please click here.

For further information or questions please contact the SuSanA secretariat (susana@giz.de)

Winning the race: Sanitation in rapidly-growing towns in Southern Africa

This is a call for participants and contributors to an in-depth learning and sharing session on sanitation in rapidly-growing towns.

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, together with UCLGA, WIN-SA and AusAid, are hosting a Learning and Sharing Workshop around this crucial topic in November 2011. The 2 day session, to be held near Johannesburg (in the week of 7 November), will explore proactive, tangible ways to deal with pressing sanitation issues in towns experiencing rapid growth in Southern Africa.

SADC participants (eligible countries in green here) are invited to apply to participate or contribute to the workshop – which discusses practical and pragmatic ways to seize the current ‘window of opportunity’ that exists in rapidly growing towns. The application deadline is 5 October 2011.

For more information and an application form go to: www.irc.nl/page/66412

Rwanda in the fast lane, sanitation field visit confirms

Around 30 percent of the national budget of Rwanda is made available to district authorities. This high share makes Rwanda a front-runner in Africa, Stephan Klingebiel and Timo Mahn, two German banking specialists write in the June 2011 edition of Development and Cooperation, Vol. 38.2011:6. In only a few years, the country has considerably improved its public financial management. And the reform impetus started in the country itself. Donors helped to mobilise reform forces, but no one questions Rwanda’s leading role.

A similar drive can be reported on sanitation. ‘From the ruins of years of war and genocide, Rwanda has moved to improve household access to hygienic sanitation  facilities faster than in any country in Sub-Saharan Africa””, writes Nitin Jain in the July 2011 Getting Africa to meet the sanitation MDG: Lessons from Rwanda.

And from my four days in Rwanda during the AfricaSan3 Conference I can confirm this reality. I had talks with a national planner who finances district level Training of Trainers on Sanitation and Hygiene, district level officials who were trained and Community Mobilisers who trained village level Community Health Workers. I also visited and talked to the Community Hygiene Club in Rwanagala umudugudu (village) in Kazence cell, in sector Ntamara, in district Bugesera, Eastern Province, some 30 kilometres out of the capital Kigali.

Handwashing facility at road toilet, Photo IRC/Dick de Jong

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UNESCO-IHE and partners get US$ 8 million Gates grant for urban sanitation education and research

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and partners have been awarded a US$ 8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will be used for postgraduate sanitation education and research with a focus on solutions for the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. This 5-year capacity building and research project was developed by Prof. Damir Brdjanovic, Professor of Sanitary Engineering at UNESCO-IHE and his team.

“This is probably the largest research and postgraduate education project targeting sanitation for the urban poor ever conducted,” Prof. Brdjanovic said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced this grant when they unveiled their new sanitation strategy at the 2011 AfricaSan 3 conference in Kigali, Rwanda on 19 July 2011.

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India: “edutainment” health camps focus on preventing diarrhoeal disease

A US-based health research firm, Abt Associates, has organised a series of diarrhoea prevention camps in low-income settlements in cities of Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi. The camps took place between May and July, the peak period of diarrhoeal outbreaks.

Saathi Bachpan Ke logo

Saathi Bachpan Ke logo

The camps are part of the ‘Saathi Bachpan Ke‘ (Friends of Childhood) programme, funded through the USAID-India Market-Based Partnerships for Health Project.

Puppet theater teaches camp participants the importance of washing hands with soap, ORS use and purifying water to prevent and manage diarrhea. Photo: Abt Associates

The Abt team has produced an “edutainment” package for parents, caregivers and children participating in the camps. They are taught important life-saving behaviors – from washing hands with soap and purifying water to rehydrating children suffering with diarrhea. Key messages are reinforced through puppet shows, interactive games and quizzes.

Presentations and demonstrations are provided by physicians and other program supporters including manufacturers of soap, water purifiers, and oral rehydration salts, and public sector partners.

Related web site:  USAID India - Market-based Partnerships for Health (MBPH) – Saathi Bachpan Ke

See a promotional video of “Saathi Bachpan Ke” initiative on USAID India’s Facebook page.

Source: PTI / Deccan Herald, 07 Jul 2011 ; Abt Associates, 06 Jul 2011