Feedback from 15th SuSanA meeting in Cairo

  • muench
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Feedback from 15th SuSanA meeting in Cairo

Dear all,

The 15th SuSanA meeting running inside of the 4th Africa Water Week in Cairo is just drawing to a close now. I will make a few postings over the course of the next few days to give you some feedback on how the meeting went.

(edit on 5 June: see here a related posting about menstrual hygiene management at the Africa Water Week: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/24-men...mit=12&start=24#1561
and see here a related posting about a presentation by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/39-mis...oilet-challenge#1567 )


To start with: We launched the factsheet compilation during a Side Event at the Africa Water Week.

I am attaching the powerpoint presentation which I used below in two file formats (scrol down to see the files): Smaller pdf file and also the ppt file - Feel free to use these slides if you want to tell other people about the factsheet.

Everyone seemed very impressed and enjoyed receiving the hardcopy. Compared to other publications, the layout and design looks perhaps less fancy, but we have more in-depth content than many other glossy, fancy publications! The only problem will generally be the time required to read the whole document...

The presentation includes at the end two slides which I would like to put to you for your information and discussion.






Regards from Cairo,
Elisabeth

P.S. And thanks to Bismark Yeboah, Enno Schröder and Trevor Surridge who helped in the preparation of this powerpoint presentation!

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  • dorothee.spuhler
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Re: Feedback from Side Event on Capacity Development (WG 1 meeting)

Dear all

I’ve just returned from Cairo and would like to quickly inform you about the meetings we had.
You may know that we organised the meetings differently this time: Instead of holding a separate meeting, we decided to get together during several events we organised embedded within the g the conference’ programme.
Personally, I am very happy with the meetings we had and especially for working group meetings, the setting of a side event was the ideal format to achieve our aim of coming together, sharing our experiences and discussing these experiences and concerns also with a wider public!

The side event we organised for working group 1 together with Cap-Net, AskNET, cewas and seecon was called “Closing the gaps: Building up capacities and creating enabling environment for sustainable sanitation and water management in Africa"
Keeping in mind that the side event was scheduled during a free gala dinner, we were a good crowd of 20 people.
Chair was Anselme Vodounhessi who is now working with the African Union but was a Sustainable Sanitation pioneer for many years before (some of you might know him!).
After a short introduction on SuSanA by Elisabeth, I shortly introduced our working group 1 and the SSWM Toolbox ( www.sswm.info ) as an example for an outcome of our group. I also introduced the STEP Africa, a Specific Topic Entry Pages (STEP) to the Toolbox focussing on Sub-Saharan Africa (the user monitoring study recently published showed that overs 30% of Toolbox users come from this region!).
We then listened to one more presentation held by Johannes (Johannes Heeb is CEO of cewas) on their approach to strengthening the business skills of SMEs and other organisations that are active in the field of sustainable sanitation and water (see also www.cewas.org ). Nick Tandi (some of you might know him from our meetings in Stockholm) then presented the way Cap-Net is implementing a network approach for capacity development as well as the challenges they are facing with this approach regarding network management and knowledge sharing. The last presentation was held by Bernhard Groosjohan from AskNet (the African Sanitation Knowledge Network) on their network approach and the achievement and products they have made so far. He also illustrated their innovative learning approach addressing multiple disciplines from the academic sector in order to produce curricula and experts that are able to respond to the challenges they will encounter in the professional reality.
All the slides are ready for download on the SuSanA webpage: www.susana.org/lang-en/meetings/may-2012-cairo-no-15
At the end of the event, we divided all participants into three groups. Each group had a few minutes to answer to one of the following questions:
- Capacities/Skills of professionals: What kind of capacities/skills do professionals need to understand and react to the challenges in their professional life or in the field? And how can we train them in order to make them strong private sector actors being able to offer services in the field of sustainable sanitation and water management?
- Knowledge management/sharing: What methodologies for knowledge management and sharing within sectors (public, private, and academia), disciplines (health, infrastructure, water, sanitation, environment, agriculture) and levels (individual, organisation, and institutional) are the most effective?
- Network approach for capacity development: What are the key elements that make networks an effective approach for multi-dimensional capacity development and how are they implemented in reality?

Are you curious what the answers were?
We will soon upload several videos from the session. You can follow the presentations, listen to the discussions and learn about the answers to the questions in life!

Thanks to them who were with me in Cairo. I hope to see you all again soon!

Dorothee

Dorothee Spuhler
WG1 Co-lead
Working with Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) based at seecon, Switzerland
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  • muench
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Re: Video: Launch of the factsheet compilation at 15th SuSanA meeting in Cairo

Good news: The videos from the SuSanA meeting in Cairo are now online!

This video (12 minutes) shows myself talking about the "launch" of the factsheet compilation and answering some questions afterwards:



All the other videos are now also available in the SuSanA Youtube channel under "most recent uploads":
www.youtube.com/user/susanavideos

Just as a reminder: all presentations from the 15th SuSanA meeting are available here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/meetings/may-2012-cairo-no-15

Please note these are not "professional, TV-quality videos" but I think they are useful to have and should be standard practice for all international conferences and seminars which are trying to have an "outreach function".

(if you have suggestions about simple, low-cost improvements to the way the videos were filmed or edited, please put them here on the forum - we are still learning).

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • muench
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Re: Check-list for improved effectiveness (German development cooperation, BMZ)

Dear all,

There is one more thing from the last SuSanA meeting in Cairo which I wanted to draw your attention to with this posting.

It was the launch of the short 4-page BMZ document "Check-list for Improved Effectiveness in the Water and Sanitation Sector in sub-Saharan Africa".
The link to the check-list is:
www.susana.org/images/documents/04-meeti...s_englisch%20_2_.pdf

(For those who don't know the German funding for development cooperation so well: BMZ is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development; it is the ministry on behalf of which GIZ carries out the bulk of its work in development cooperation; for example also the GIZ program which I lead called "sustainable sanitation - ecosan", and under which we are able to do this SuSanA secretariat work, is funded by the BMZ. Thus BMZ is not unimportant for SuSanA.)

I think this document is not only relevant for GIZ and KfW but also for SuSanA as a whole.
First of all the side event where it was launched was called "Inspired by SuSanA: Development partners strengthen their focus on sustainable sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa - the example of Germany and Japan" --> thus, we can use this in future as an example of the impact of SuSanA's work.

Secondly when you read this document, there are a number of statements in there which we as SuSanA members should generally be happy about and support, for example:

In order to increase effectiveness, the following eight criteria for enhanced effectiveness have been
established.
[...]

5. Focus on sanitation: Taking waste water/sanitation into account in every water programme. The
intended health impacts can only be achieved through an integrated approach consisting of water and sanitation. This also calls for separate sanitation measures and cooperation with partners other than water suppliers.

6. Focus on health impacts: Informing the population and raising awareness throughout the whole coverage area must be included in the programme as a focal area from the start. Hygiene and awareness raising measures must be complemented by regular sampling of the water to check the quality (at standpipes and in households). Possibilities for implementing awareness raising and hygiene campaigns include the WASH United approach, Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and social marketing.

7. Focus on basic systems: Increasing the number of low-cost basic systems. Standpipes, water kiosks and sanitation facilities with decentralised waste systems are often cheaper options. If these approaches are used then more people can be reached with the same volume of funding. Sustainable, environmentally friendly waste water systems urgently need to be considered as part of investment.

8. Low investment costs: The investment costs per person should be kept as low as possible. More attention must be paid to using basic sustainable systems when drawing up strategies in order to reduce the costs per additional person reached. Per capita investment costs should be an important criterion in selecting projects. The introduction of competitive elements into project selection can
further reduce costs.


Here in this 3-minute clip you can see Stefanie Lorenz (GIZ on behalf of BMZ) doing the official launch (sorry, the first part of her presentation was cut off because of problems with the microphone):



And here you see Andreas Holtkotte from the German Development Bank, KfW, explaining what this means for their work in Kampala, Uganda:



The powerpoint files of both presentations are available here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/meetings/may-2012-cairo-no-15

I think this document gives very clear and concise guidance in which direction the German government wants to head with respect to its development cooperation in the water/sanitation sector in Sub-Saharan Africa (the focus is, by the way, on urban and peri-urban areas).

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • jonpar
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Re: Check-list for improved effectiveness (German development cooperation, BMZ)

Regarding the BMZ checklist - Improving Effectiveness of German Development Cooperation in the Water and Sanitation Sector in sub-Saharan Africa which you can download from SuSanA website at :

www.susana.org/lang-en/meetings/may-2012...12-cairo-egypt-no-15

My comment is that, although “low investment costs” is a laudable objective (as oppose to excessive expenditure on costly toilets which don't necessarily contribute more towards reduction in disease transmission than low-cost options), it is a bit of a limited perspective when we see increasing focus on :

a) cost-effective solutions over the life cycle of the investment (taking into account O+M costs as well as capital investment); and

b) investments that may be demonstrated to be more cost-beneficial than others (e.g. because they enable resource recovery and reuse) even though they may be more expensive in terms of financial cost.

I bring to your attention the concept note containing proposed activities for Working Group 2 which aims to focus attention on these important elements. You can see the concept note here:

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See also my earlier posting on a related matter here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/55-wg-...and-economic-costing

best regards,

Jonathan

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  • muench
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Re: Check-list for improved effectiveness (German development cooperation, BMZ)

Dear Jonathan,
Stefanie Lorenz from GIZ/BMZ who was involved in writing this Check-list (and who can be seen in the video which I had linked above) has sent me the following as an answer to your questions:

++++++++++++

Dear Jonathan,

thank you for the question.

The BMZ-Checklist is meant as a guidance instrument for German Development Cooperation. The perspective here is to look at the overall portfolio and define criteria for the future development. SuSanA is one small part of the German engagement. Most of the infrastructure development in Africa (as you may know) is financed by KfW.

When we put “low investment cost” as a criteria it is meant to differentiate between big centralized systems (e.g. household connections) and small de-centralized systems (e.g. standpipes). As mentioned on page 1 of the paper, findings of the World Bank and others show that we can reach more people with low-cost technology (standpipes, UDDTs, etc.) than with household connections (tap, flush toilet with sewage treatment). The low-cost technology is about one-third of the cost of centralized systems. So, by making “low investment cost” a criteria we aim for UDDTs, VIPs, standpipes etc. which are always cheaper compared to household connections and flush toilets.

The checklist does NOT define which low-cost technology should be used. This decision must be taken according to the general conditions in the country where the program is implemented. And, as you stated, there may be good reasons to choose a low cost technology which is a bit more expensive in terms of investment, but more cost effective in terms of O+M.

Best regards,
Stefanie

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  • jonpar
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Re: Check-list for improved effectiveness (German development cooperation, BMZ)

Dear Stefanie,

Many thanks for your response to my posting.

We are obviously on the same page in terms of our thinking.

My only additional point as a follow up, would be that the recommendation as it stands is better for advocacy purposes as it challenges the traditional approach towards sanitation improvements that has focused on systems that have tended to have high unit costs but have not necessarily achieved the desired outcomes.

However, for programming purposes which I think is the level that the checklist is targeted at, the recommendation could be nuanced so as to emphasize that it is the cost of service provision that matters (not the technology) and that there is a need for an assessment and comparison of different proposed solutions in term of their relative costs over the life-cycle of the investment.

best regards,

Jonathan

Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
Principal Consultant – Water and Sanitation
IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, United Kingdom
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