Skat News - April 2012
Newsletter of Skat – Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development
Dear Partners and Friends,
The electronic newsletter of Skat is sent to you approximately three times each year. Skat News provides you with brief summaries of a selection 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
* Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation *
28th AGUASAN Workshop Series – Financial sustainability of WASH services – about mindset change and an eye for the future
From the 18th to the 22d of June, 2012, the 28th AGUASAN Workshop will take place in Gwatt, Switzerland. This year’s workshop aims at finding concrete answers to the key question of “What kind of change in mindset is required to achieve long-term financial sustainability of rural and small town WASH services - what will it take and how can it be put into practice?”. More specifically, the practical questions of “What are the costs that need financing in the life-cycle of sustainable WASH services?”; “How do financial mechanisms for capital investment influence the sustainability of WASH services?”; as well as, “How can better operation of WASH services contribute to their long-term financial sustainability?” will be addressed. Next to the participants’ knowledge, the workshop will feature topic-related key inputs from thematic specialists and well-selected case studies from different contexts.
For more information about the workshop please contact Roger Schmid (roger.schmid[AT]Skat.ch)
The RWSSP aims at improving quality of life and public health of the rural population in the South-Eastern Region of Kosovo through increased sustainable access to safe drinking water and environmental sanitation. Within the backstopping support provided to the programme by Skat a study tour to France was organised in November 2011 on the topic of rural wastewater management. The study tour allowed water sector specialists from national, regional and municipal level as well as project implementers from Kosovo to study for the first time different technological, institutional and financing options for rural wastewater management.
For more information contact Florian Klingel (florian.klingel[AT]skat.ch) or follow the link
In the framework of the European Union – Seventh Framework Programme, Skat is responsible for designing the Technology Assessment Framework (TAF) of the WASHTech Project. The WASHTech has the objective of strengthening sector capacity to make effective investment in new technologies, through the development of a framework, which assesses the potential of new technologies introduced into innovative de-centralised systems. The TAF is a decision-making tool on the applicability and sustainability of the use of a specific WASH technology in a specific context. It gives a view of the likely success of a specific technology in terms of sustainability, uptake and scalability considering also the contextual conditions needed for the successful introduction. Target users of the TAF are national and local governments, donors, NGO, R&D institutions, private sector enterprises, and academia. Skat conducted a review of existing tools and frameworks for the assessment of new technologies in order to set the ground for developing the TAF. It is expected that different partners test the TAF in pilot countries and feedback those experiences, so that the tool can be refined and improved. Skat is also producing supporting materials for the implementation of the TAF and is undertaking a training of trainers in the three pilot countries.
For more information contact André Olschewski (andre.olschewski[AT]skat.ch).
* Waste Management *
Integrated Waste Management in Bhutan
Waste management is an emerging problem in almost all municipalities in Bhutan. The increase in waste generation can be primarily attributed to the rapid urbanization, rural-urban migration changing consumption patterns and the increasing population. Whilst the magnitude of the problem is relatively small in rural areas, it is significantly growing in urban areas. Actual urbanization in Bhutan started in the 1960ies with the introduction of the Five Year Plans. Today the capital Thimpu has a population of roughly 100,000 and Phuntsoling has about 60,000 inhabitants. The urban population in 2005 accounted for 21% of the national population and 65-70% are engaged in agriculture. With the increasing development and employment opportunities, rural-urban migration increases and cities are expanding at an extraordinary pace. As a result urban centres witness severe constraints on housing, water and environmental sanitation. Under these circumstances inappropriate handling and disposal of waste causes additional, adverse impacts on the ecosystem and the human environment. Today it is estimated that domestic waste constitutes the largest percentage of approx. 70 – 80% and per capita generation is assumed to be 0.54 kg/day in both urban and rural areas. It is against this background that the National Environment Commission (NEC) of the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) requested Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation to assist it in the development of a strategy with the aim to strengthen the regulatory and organizational framework for Integrated Waste Management (IWM). Skat has been entrusted by Helvetas to initiate a 12 months, stepwise planning process with the aim of developing an overall strategy for IWM, to strengthen and improve the current draft waste regulation and fill possible gaps, as well as, suggest capacity building measures to implement IWM.
For more information contact Jürg Christen (juerg.christen[AT]skat.ch).
* Building and Settlements *
Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln and other Sustainable Construction Practices (SCP) Project in Nepal
The VSBK and other SCP Project is the logical continuation of the former VSBK/CESEF Programme in Nepal. The funding has been obtained through an open competition under the SWITCH Asia Programme of the EU. In March 2011, the consortium consisting of Deutsche Management Akademie, from Lower Saxony (DMAN), Skat and FNCSI (Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries) submitted a Concept Note for the financing of the VSBK/SCP project, which was subsequently accepted. Following its acceptance, the consortium was requested to submit a Full Application which, in September 2011, has been awarded with EUR 2 million over a forty month period. In November 2011, the contract between the European Union and DMAN for the implementation of the VSBK and other SCP materials was signed in Kathmandu Nepal. The project implementation therefore started in January 2012. The project is working under the overall theme of Sustainable Production and Consumption.
For more information contact Urs Hagnauer (urs.hagnauer[AT]skat.ch)
In February and March, 2012, Skat was commissioned to evaluate the Retrofit Project (RTE) of CARE in Carrefour, Haiti. The purpose of the RTE was to gain lessons learnt as well as to consider different options in order to make an informed decision on whether and how the pilot phase can be scaled up onto Phase II of the Retrofit Project. Retrofit means the reinforcement or upgrading of existing houses to become more resistant and resilient to the damaging effects of hazards (earthquakes). The RTE reflected on the technical feasibility, acceptance of the project by the community, and the adequacy of the project team to reduce and mitigate risks. Skat provided recommendations and a proposal for the next steps; identified potential risks and how to mitigate them; developed a suitable approach for the implementation of phase II; and drafted ways of how to multiply and institutionalise the retrofit model in the future in Haiti. This was all done in close consultation with CARE’s Shelter Coordinator and the Project Manager Retrofit.
For more information about this evaluation contact Claudia Schneider (Claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch).
Under request from the Swiss Development Cooperation – Humanitarian Aid, Skat developed construction guidelines and five design options for child-friendly and storm-safe schools in Myanmar. The Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in May 2008, making landfall in the Ayeyarwady Division, approximately 250 km southwest of Yangon, and affecting more than 50 townships. With wind speeds of up to 200 km/h accompanied by heavy rain, the damage was most severe in the Delta region, where the effects of the extreme winds were compounded by an up to 3.6-metre storm surge.
For more information contact Daniel Schwitter (daniel.schwitter[AT]skat.ch).
* Decentralization and Local Governance *
DESPRO - Swiss-Ukrainian Decentralisation Support to Ukraine Project - Study Tour to Switzerland on Solid Waste Management
Skat organised and led a Study Tour to Switzerland, Austria and Southern Germany, with the aim of giving project partners from the Ukraine the opportunity to learn about expertise on efficient and effective solid waste management systems. The Ukrainian delegation included partners of the Ministry, regional and district governments, village heads, and public entrepreneurs. The study tour started with practical insights into waste management through visits to land-fills and waste sorting stations. The tour included visits to private entrepreneurs who manage waste sorting and recycling stations. Furthermore, composting facilities were visited to learn how to gather and treat organic waste. The tour was rounded up through a visit of a waste incineration plant, where participants were able to see how waste is burnt and electricity and thermal energy is gained out of the process. Representatives of the Office of Environment and Energy of the Canton St.Gallen, and from the Sanitation and Waste Disposal Department from the Municipality of St.Gallen, gave participants eye-opening insights on waste prevention, disposal, waste as a valuable resource, the various actors in the process, finances, planning as well as distribution of responsibilities in integrated solid waste management. The practice-oriented visits were enriched through an in-depth introduction to the Swiss Federal Political System by the Institute of Federalism, Fribourg. The presentation addressed the Swiss legal framework for solid waste management and infrastructure, as well as the inter-municipal cooperation.
For further information contact Jürg Christen (juerg.christen[AT]skat.ch),
With the goal of raising the standards of decentralised public services provision in Ukraine through the integration of effective KM processes into the local governance system, Skat organised and led a KM training and exposure visit in Switzerland, with the aim of giving project partners from Ukraine the opportunity to learn about expertise on knowledge management in the public sector. The Ukrainian delegation included partners of Parliamentary Committees, Ministry, and agencies/academies who train civil servants and employees of public authorities and governments. The KM training and exposure visit combined site visits, analysis of best practices in the public sector in Switzerland and gained insights on the following topics: Introduction to the concept of KM, its benefits and added value; incentives for knowledge and information sharing; KM practices in the public sector, strategies and tools; as well as communication and information channels within the Swiss administration and with the population.
For further information contact Jürg Christen (juerg.christen[AT]skat.ch),
* Energy and Climate (New!) *
Skat seeks to interlink climate protection, renewable energies, community empowerment and poverty reduction through holistic approaches, which facilitate equal access to environmentally sound energy technologies to foster productive and income generating activities. It offers a wide range of services related to renewable energies, energy efficiency and other climate relevant topics with special focus on hydropower, hybrid systems, eco-efficient technologies (e.g. improved brick kilns) and process optimisation. Besides own project development, consulting and engineering services include know-how transfer and capacity building on planning, implementation, operation and management, but also policy and legal advice, concept development and market analysis. Skat brings broad experience in isolated and grid-connected micro, mini and small hydropower systems and exploitation of hydropower in drinking, irrigation and treated waste water systems. As part of its climate relevant activities, Skat also offers services on process optimisation and eco-efficient technologies. In the wake of the gathering pace of urbanisation Skat’s services related to environmentally sound building materials and improved brick kilns gained importance. Targeting sustainable urban development, Skat is strengthening and extending activities in these climate relevant topics.
For more information have a look at http://www.skat.ch or contact Hedi Feibel (hedi.feibel[AT]skat.ch) or Martin Bölli (martin.boelli[AT]skat.ch)
Contracted by the GIZ, Skat carried out a study on and evaluation of the available potential of mini and small hydropower in the drinking water supply system of SONEDE in Tunisia. It also provided assistance for implementation of a demonstration project in combination with on-the-job and classroom training on relevant issues. The study focused on the available potential of mini and small hydropower in drinking water supply systems, as well as on their required investments and economic profitability. Assistance was given to SONEDE to realize a pilot project and a 3-days training session on mini and small hydropower technology for the technicians of the water (SONEDE) and electricity supply (STEG) utilities.
For more information contact Hedi Feibel (hedi.feibel[AT]skat.ch)
In cooperation with ECOWAS Regional Centre for Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), Skat was mandated by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to review and improve ECOWAS up-scale programme document for Small-scale Hydropower. Within this framework Skat has to prepare and implement a capacity building workshop in Monrovia to provide technical assistance in issues related to SHP. The workshop will include various presentations on key concepts and case-studies from the region together with a planning workshop for the follow-up and fund-raising activities of the Programme.
For more information contact Hedi Feibel (hedi.feibel[AT]skat.ch)
* Network Management *
SDC Central Asia Water Team Days 2011
Based on the idea and outcomes of the SDC Water Team Days 2011 of the RésEau held in June 27th/28th in Bern, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tashkent hosted on October 13th/14th 2011 the first ever SDC Central Asia Water Team Days – a face-to-face event of the RésEau’s regional chapter in Central Asia. Water sector practitioners from the SDC Cooperation Offices, projects and implementing partners in the region had the opportunity to exchange and reflect together about good practices and lessons learnt of water for people and water for food projects in the field. Apart from sharing knowledge, the aim of the event was to build up and push an active regional sub-network of SDC and partners in the water sector and to trigger continued exchange and information sharing among its members beyond the F2F meeting. Skat was in charge of facilitating this event.
For more information contact Roger Schmid (roger.schmid[AT]skat.ch)
On March 19/20, 23 sector practitioners gathered in Prishtina (Kosovo) under the umbrella of the RésEau for an exchange workshop among SDC projects/programs on rural water and sanitation in Eastern Europe. The event provided the NPOs of the Swiss Cooperation Offices in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Kosovo and Ukraine, as well as representatives of the respective implementer teams of Gov-Wade, ApaSan, RWSSP and DESPRO and their backstoppers with the opportunity to share knowledge on technical and project management issues and to network among each other. Next to individual project and program presentations, a knowledge cafe tackled the issues around operational models for rural water supply systems and various open space sessions addressed topics such as (waste) water treatment, social mobilization, strategic sector planning, national CoPs, policy dialogue, M&E systems and backstopping support. Furthermore an action plan for the sub-RésEau was developed. The workshop was rounded-off by an excursion to RWSSP project sites in North-East Kosovo. Skat was in charge of facilitating this event.
For more information contact Florian Klingel (florian.klingel[AT]skat.ch)
* Networks activities *
Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) – 6th International Forum
The 6th RWSN Forum in Kampala took place on the 29th of November and the 1st of December, 2011 and was a huge success. Around 450 delegates from around 52 countries participated in the different sessions. The Forum was opened and closed by Hon. Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Water and Environment. A sizeable delegation from the Government of South Sudan and the Hon. Ato Kebede Gerba, Minister for Water and Energy for Ethiopia were also present. The big discussion point of the week was ‘sustainability’ – how can rural water services be implemented that last for many years, not just one or two. All aspects were scrutinised and case studies discussed, looking at aspects of governance, technology, financial management, empowerment and capacity building. Self supply, equity and inclusion and groundwater were also popular topics and have given momentum to the new and existing RWSN themes. It was a week packed with fascinating content, useful discussion, a lot of good presentations, posters, exhibitions stands and entertainment. Did everything go without a hitch? Of course not – the rain early in the week was a challenge and the field trips at the end of the week were more adventurous than expected, but overall it went smoothly and was a fantastic experience enjoyed by all.
An attractive and detailed report is now available for download and in hardcopy from the RWSN Secretariat. The report is a guidebook to the papers, presentations, posters, films and exhibitions which can all be found on the RWSN Forum website: http://rwsnforum.wordpress.com/. The report also provides details on the funding, expenditure and delegate feedback. Once again we would like to thank everyone involved in organising and attending what was a successful and enjoyable event, which has created a great foundation for the network going forward.
High resolution download (7.5MB):
For more information contact Kerstin Danert (kerstin.danert[AT]skat.ch)
RWSN took the lead on Target 1.1.2 “Global Rural Access to Safe Water” at the 6th World Water Forum. This involved compiling and reviewing solutions, organising a 2-hour session at the Forum and considering a global action plan for rural water. The rural water session was opened by the Hon. Minister Maria Mutagamba, of the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), Uganda. The session Chair, Eng. Disan Ssozi of MWE Uganda, then interviewed the RWSN Chair, Prof. Richard Carter, about the Kampala Commitments and the value of international targets and action plans. Three solutions were then presented briefly – the SABA project in Peru, Accelerating Self Supply, and the Community Managed Project in Ethiopia. In the workshop part of the session, each table was chaired by a co-ordinator for one of 30 short-listed solutions. The groups then discussed how that solution could be scaled up and improved. As well as hopefully, being helpful to those solution co-ordinators, the key points were recorded and common themes brought out.
For more information please contact Kerstin Danert (kerstin.danert[AT]skat.ch) or watch the rural highlights on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA2EDD821F24DE901
In preparation for the RWSN-World Bank webinar on 5th June 2012 on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation, the equity and inclusion group of RWSN will host a three week e-discussion from 16th April to 4th May 2012. This will enable RWSN members and others to articulate their hopes, fears and questions about how the Human Right to Water affects the finance, planning and implementation of rural water supplies projects and programmes. The UN Special Rapporteur, Ms Catarina Albuquerque will respond through a webinar on 5th June 2012. The E-Discussion can be accessed by joining the Equity and Inclusion Theme of RWSN on D-Groups.
For more information please contact Kerstin Danert (kerstin.danert[AT]skat.ch)
Urs Hagnauer is back in Skat Headquarters after many years as Programme Manager of the VSBK Programme Nepal. Urs will continue working as consultant and backstopper of the VSBK Programs supported by Skat He has a professional background in management and human resources development. He has over 29 years of professional experience. During the past 25 years he has been working in a number of programmes and projects funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and implemented by Swiss NGOs.
Jonathan Hecke is now Senior Project Coordinator, of the ApaSan Project Moldova after more than 7 years of professional experience as consultant in the fields of solid waste management, water supply, sanitation and wastewater treatment in a variety of institutional settings in Europe and in low- and middle-income countries.
New Team Members
Skat would like to welcome three new team members reinforcing the company’s expertise in the fields of: Water & Environmental Sanitation and Energy & Climate.
Marina Münchenbach joined Skat in January 2012 as Water and Environmental Sanitation Specialist. She has an MSc in Water and Waste Management (WEDC, UK) and an MA in Emergency and Development Practice (Oxford Brookes, UK) and has worked in Kenya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda and oPt - occupied Palestinian Territories (ACF, International Committee of the Red Cross, World Bank, consultancy works) with extensive experience in design and implementation of urban and rural water supply programmes and construction and rehabilitation of health facilities and hospitals.
Martin Bölli joined Skat in February 2012 as Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Specialist. He is Electrical and Environmental Engineer and works as an expert on renewable energy and environmental technologies since 2004. His main activities are planning, design, capacity building, technical and environmental assessments of renewable energy systems (with a strong focus on small hydropower) and the improvement of frame conditions for an increased utilisation of renewable energy resources.
Dr. Hedi Feibel joined Skat in March 2012 as Renewable Energy and Water Expert. She has a diploma in hydrology, interdisciplinary PhD (Civil Engineering / Political Economics) and has worked on a broad spectrum of renewable energy-related assignments in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe with a special focus on mini hydro. She has broad experience in project design, planning, management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, participatory development concepts and impact analyses.