Skat News – October 2009
Newsletter of Skat – Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development
Dear Friends and Partners,
The electronic newsletter of Skat is sent to you approximately two times each year. Skat News provides you with brief summaries of recent and ongoing projects, links you to further information and documents, and provides you with relevant contact addresses. Your feedback at info[AT]skat.ch is welcome.
Skat Projects and Activities
Evaluation of Tsunami Reconstruction Programme in Sri Lanka
Skat Consultancy has been commissioned by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to evaluate the Community Recovery and Reconstruction Partnership (CRRP) programme in Sri Lanka. The overall purpose is to understand the extent in which the project has contributed in establishing resilient communities after the impact of the Tsunami.
The CRRP programme was established by IFRC, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) in 2006 to assist Tsunami affected families in selected districts in Sri Lanka. The aim of the programme was to rebuild their houses and support in the recovery of their lives.
The evaluation intended to contribute to the body of learning from IFRC’s entire Tsunami operation. The study provides observations, useful data, and draws conclusions that form the basis for formulating ‘lessons learned’ for the involved organisations. The study is addressed primarily to the three partners: IFRC Sri Lanka, UN-Habitat and SLRCS; and secondly to IFRC senior managers in Geneva / field operations, IFRC Shelter Unit in Geneva, and to the donors.
For further information please contact Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch)
Swiss-Nepali consortium appointed as support consultants for the Rural Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Sector Development Program (RRRSDP)
The Government of Nepal with grant assistances of ADB and DFID, loan assistance of the OPEC Fund for International Development and a technical assistance grant of SDC is undertaking the RRRSDP since January 2009. The project runs until end of 2011 and the total cost of the project is USD 106.8 million. RRRSDP is designed to reduce rural poverty in hill, mountain, and terai (lowlands) districts of Nepal where isolation and hardship are common. This program will focus on immediate post conflict development priorities for accelerated poverty reduction and inclusive development and will improve connectivity, enhance economic and employment opportunities, and increase access to market and social services by rural communities. The project outputs include (i) improved rural roads; (ii) developed and improved community-based supplementary rural infrastructure; (iii) enhanced equity, employment, and income opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged; and (iv) strengthened institutional capacities.
The consulting services for supporting the project coordination unit (PCU) were awarded to the joint venture of Skat with the Nepali ERMC (P) Ltd. (http://www.ermcnepal.com) and MULTI Disciplinary Consultants (P) Ltd. (http://www.multinepal.com). This Central Implementation Support Consultant (CISC) assists the central and district implementing agencies by providing efficient and effective managerial/ technical support & backstopping in the implementation of the project. The CISC inputs cover expertise related to engineering, construction supervision, quality control & assurance, social, environmental and resettlement associated support, training and capacity building, planning, monitoring & evaluation, and project management.
The project involves a large number of small components scattered across 38 Districts in Nepal (out of a total of 75 Districts), with 60 Rural Road schemes (in 20 Districts), almost 600 Rural Water Supply schemes, 130 Trail Bridges, and a number of other Supplementary Infrastructure components. Around 60% of the total funds are allocated to Rural Roads, 25% to Water Supply and other Infrastructure, and the remaining 15% to Project Management, Contingencies, Institutional Strengthening and Community Empowerment. It represents a challenging approach to the integrated development of rural infrastructure in the emerging post-conflict context in Nepal, with a high degree of involvement of local communities in all stages of project planning and implementation.
Skat becomes backstopping consultant of SECO in Kosovo
Triggered by the regular water donor coordination meetings, the Water Task Force (WTF) Kosovo is a committee of relevant Government Ministers chaired by the Prime Minister, responsible for improving the situation in the water sector through the development of sector policies and action plans based on good practices. The Swiss Government agreed to support the work of the WTF by financing long-term and short-term consultants assisting the Kosovo Government in integrating water related issues in its development policies through the “Support to the WTF Project”. Financed and managed by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) through the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Kosovo, the project started its implementation on 15th April 2009 with a time horizon of 34 months.
After a competitive bidding process, SECO has awarded to Skat the Backstopping Mandate Support to WTF Project. Since July 2009, Skat assists and supports the SCO in Kosovo in the steering and monitoring of the Project (incl. the facilitation of the mid-term review) and provides technical support (advice, coaching and training) in relevant global and regional water sector issues and principles to the local permanent advisors. The first services provided by Skat were the commenting of the project inception report as well as an initial support mission to Kosovo to operationalize the backstopping mandate in the field and to strengthen the project design (incl. related monitoring and evaluation tools). The backstopping methodology to be applied over the coming years consists of half-yearly support mission and backstopping from the desk, provided to a large extend by the team leader (Roger Schmid) but with support from a pool of experts made up of Skat (André Olschewski, Jürg Christen) and Hydrophil (Austria) experts.
For further information see http://www.skat.ch/activities/prarticle.2005-09-20.0918038755/skatactivity.2009-09-24.7680369677 or contact Roger Schmid (roger.schmid[AT]skat.ch).
Sector Project Concept Note on Urban Assistance
Skat contributes to the development of guidelines on “Assistance in urban areas to populations affected by humanitarian crises”, which is an initiative by the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Shelter Centre. Those guidelines shall focus on the entire population affected by a conflict or disaster, whether in an urban or rural context, dealing with displaced or non-displaced people. The purpose of that initiative is to facilitate durable solutions and to prevent displacement.
The partners of the initiative currently finalise the concept note describing the objectives, focus, scope and limitations of the guidelines. This will be in line with the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) process “Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas”.
For further information please contact Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch)
Schools cum Storm Shelters for Myanmar
The Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in May 2008, making landfall in the Ayeyarwady Division, approximately 250 km southwest of Yangon, affecting more than 50 townships. The Swiss Development Cooperation – Humanitarian Aid (SDC-HA) decided to establish a project to reconstruct schools in the Bogale/Pyapon Townships area of the Ayeyarwady Delta. The design integrates local knowledge, internationally recognized structural engineering and quality standards. Integration of local communities and their needs and concerns were regarded as essential and formed part of an all inclusive approach. Skat has been mandated by SDC-HA to assess and provide child-friendly and safe storm shelter / school designs.
The aim of the project is twofold: a) to build child-friendly schools and b) to provide storm shelter for the community. This double task is challenging for the local project management since the sites are located in very remote places. The prevailing site conditions (weak soil bearing capacity, high water table, land filling, need for constructive wood preservation and wind proof roof structure, etc.) require the application of carefully selected construction materials and techniques.
Skat developed construction guidelines and five design options. For further information contact Daniel Schwitter (daniel.schwitter[AT]skat.ch).
Skat assisted the Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda with the technical editing and quality assurance of the Uganda Water and Environment Sector Performance Report 2009
This is the first year that the Environment and Natural Resources sub-sector has been incorporated into the Sector Performance Report, which has now been renamed as the Water and Environment Sector Performance Report. Given the extensive links between water and the environment as well as the need to improve performance measurement with respect to environmental issues, this is a major step forward for Uganda.
The 2008/9 Sector Performance Report is hopefully the most comprehensive and transparent report published to date by the Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda, presenting financial and performance data with respect to water and sanitation for all District Local Governments and Town Councils, and Central Government, as well as data with respect to water resources management and environment and natural resource management. This report illustrates the full commitment of the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) to improve good governance in the sector. The report includes data and analysis with respect to the access, functionality and equity of improved water supplies and sanitation, hygiene, per capita investment cost, water quality, water storage, gender and community management. It also outlines collaborative arrangements between the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) and other line ministries, Local Governments, development partners and other stakeholders.
For further information contact Kerstin Danert (Kerstin.danert[AT]skat.ch)
Skat would like to welcome Jakob Straessler as programme manager of the VBSK Programme in Afghanistan and Laura Garcia in the post of administrative officer. Jakob started activities in Kabul at the beginning of October and Laura will join Skat by mid-October 2009.
It is with a note of thanks and warm wishes that Skat announces the retirement of Karl Erpf in April and Erich Baumann in October, 2009. Erich and Karl have been esteemed Skat staff members for 25 and 14 years respectively. They will be missed by colleagues and partners alike. We have all benefited from their qualified and professional work and contributions to the Rural Water Supply Sector. Their positive attitude and friendliness will be remembered fondly and will be difficult to replace.
Skat would also like to thank dearly Alfred Mink for his work done in the VSBK project in Afghanistan since 2008. Skat has a great appreciation for his professional and personal contributions to the project in an environment filled with different challenges. We wish him a good return to Switzerland and all the best in the coming years.
Promising management models of rural water supply services
“Is community management enough to sustain the Millennium Development Goal efforts?” This question was raised to initiate the debate at the Aguasan Workshop 2008, a 5-day event gathering water specialists and development practitioners from all over the world. Although the community management model is by far the most widespread approach for rural water supply services in low-income countries, it has often failed to deliver the expected level of sustainability. Hence there is a strong need for re-examining the approach as well as for investigating alternative management models.
This report synthesizes the main workshop outcomes. It describes an analytical framework that can be used to assess the potentials and limitations of rural water supply management models, as a first step towards enhancing the sustainability of rural water supply services. It also highlights key ingredients for success in managing rural water supply services.
The publication can be downloaded as pdf from http://www.skat.ch/publications/prarticle.2005-09-29.5069774463/prarticle.2005-09-29.1875579521/skatpublication.2009-09-30.1813961035
For further information, please contact Agnès Montangero (agnes.montangero[AT]skat.ch).
Two new Case Study dossiers on Social Housing projects were published in 2008:
Basic Education (Girls) Project (BEGP) in Lao People's Democratic Republic
The overall objective of concern in this project is universal primary education by 2015 - providing access to at least five years of education for all Laotian children. Education is seen as a key step towards poverty reduction. The project objective of the construction component, was the provision of adequate, technically realistic, affordable, and environmentally sound schools and district education offices in 52 districts.
Education Development Project (EDP) 1, School Infrastructure, Laos
The objective of the infrastructure component is to establish the foundation for a systematic and sustainable construction program for primary and lower secondary schools. School building designs and institutional structures are developed, implemented and evaluated. At the primary level, the project is constructing more than 270 schools, corresponding to about 1100 classrooms. At the lower secondary level, about 32 buildings with an enrolment capacity of up to 240 students per school is envisaged. On top of this, the project is building 25 offices to accommodate education personnel at provincial and district level.
These dossiers are available for downloading at:
For further information, please contact Daniel Schwitter (daniel.schwitter[AT]skat.ch).
The Skat Foundation edits various publications in the fields of water supply and environmental sanitation, waste management, sustainable building and settlement development, and transport and mobility. Browse through our list of publications on our website: http://www.skat.ch/publications. For any enquiries please send a mail to publications[AT]skat.ch