Faecal Sludge Management Conference, Durban South Africa, 29 - 31 October 2012 (with feedback)
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TOPIC: Faecal Sludge Management Conference, Durban South Africa, 29 - 31 October 2012 (with feedback)

Presentations from FSM-2 conference are now available online 21 Nov 2012 16:10 #2692

  • muench
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Dear all,

Good news: the presentations from the recent FSM-2 Conference in Durban are now available online! See here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/conference-and-tr...anagement-conference

The page looks super nice, well done Trevor, Cecilia and Bobbie!

I think this should be the new standard for all conferences that deal with sanitation in developing countries (i.e. where lots of interested people cannot afford to travel to the conference venue). The ppt, paper and video should all be available online afterwards.

In this case, the papers (for those authors who had submitted full papers) and the filmed presentations are still coming (soon).

I am inviting all of the 320 participants of the conference to write their take-home messages here. What were the key points that were discussed? What were your main learnings?

One thing that stuck with me is this: We were discussing in one of the sessions the value of excreta, and that we may even pay people to bring their urine to a collection point (presentation of Liz Tilley). One person in the audience remarked (I can't remember his name): in the future, we will no longer say "sorry, the pit is full" (see cartoon below) but we will say "well done and thank you, you have collected all the valuable excreta cum fertiliser!". Very true.

banner-fsm2-cropped2.jpg


If you have questions about any of the presentations, you can also ask them here.

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
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Last Edit: 21 Nov 2012 16:12 by muench.
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Conference feedback 21 Nov 2012 22:26 #2697

  • muench
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It was very interesting to read the posting by Max and Ruth about comparing the FSM conference with the EcosanLAC conference in Brazil which was almost back to back (see their posting here on the forum:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/21-eve...w-with-feedback#2674).

It shows that in the South-South sphere the countries are sometimes dealing with very different issues. I am very happy to see that those presentations from the EcosanLAC conference are already online as well! Wonderful. Now I just need to find the time to browse through all of them, but what a great opportunity for self study.

Then there is a third sanitation conference on this week in the South (the IWA Nagpur conference, see other posting on this forum). Unfortunately, that one being an IWA conference, I have been informed that their policy is not to make the presentations available afterwards. In my opinion not a good policy as we are dealing with developing countries issues where people simply cannot afford to travel all over the planet to attend conferences. But IWA will have their reasons.

Finally, some more thoughts of mine about the FSM-2 conference as a way of feedback to those who couldn't attend:
  • Incredibly well organised (thanks to the team at PID), with very good pre-conference and post-conference follow-up.
  • I have never been to a conference with so many participants from the US when it comes to low-cost sanitation issues (or even wastewater treatment conferences in general). Usually, the US and European/Africa/Asian crowds were quite separated in the past. Great that due to the sponsorships from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this fruitful exchange was now made possible.
  • There were quite some presentations dealing with quite fundamental science stuff (in the lab), where it was difficult to see how this could be implemented in practice. But I still think it is important to do this fundamental research and to get new professors interested in this topic.
  • As Doulaye Koné said: We are challenging scientist with what users want, and we want the scientists and engineers to come up with a whole range of solutions.
  • Achieve equity in sanitation: one service for everybody (but not one technology for everybody), said Neal MacLeod.
  • Check out the presentation by Jay Bagwhan on introducing pour-flush toilets of the sitting kind to South Africa (see in Session C1): www.susana.org/lang-en/conference-and-tr...onferences/781-fsm2. We also saw this toilet during the field trip, see field trip photos.
  • The large VUNA project is very interesting and had a number of presentations. It is about collecting urine from the UDDTs in eThekwini and making struvite but also ammonium nitrate after distillation (with a heat recovery process). Very interesting research, although it seemed to me that the distances they need to travel to collect the urine would be prohibitive (and under the incentive scheme, 2 Eur was given per 20 L jerrican, which is too much in my view; it is however seen as a promotional activity to use the toilets). But stay tuned for more results and discussions from this large project.
  • In general in South Africa it seemed that there was little need for additional fertiliser as people have access to sludge and manure, and are not so familar with urban gardening. This could change though. We saw a gardening training centre and were told that eThekwini is promoting urban gardening because: vacant inner-city land can attract squatters and overnight you have another illegal settlement springing up... An urban garden on the other hand does not attract squatters and has multiple other benefits.
  • There was quite some talk about franchising for pit emptying and franchising for school toilet maintenance.
  • South Africa seems miles ahead of other countries in the region with a real political will to tackle their sanitation problems. And eThekwini Water and Sanitation Services is miles ahead of any other municipality in South Africa. No wonder they are getting so much international recognition! Must be pretty satisfying working there.
  • In the audience, I saw that there were quite a few local government employees as well as councillors (these are elected). But I felt they were not given enough of a voice, e.g. the final discussion panel was dominated mainly be the science and research crowd. But not policy makers, that was missing. Also the discussion on how to take the research to scale was thin and generally lacking (as Max and Ruth also remarked in their posting).


I hope that some people found this conference feedback useful. Please react by adding a reply posting or at least by clicking the thank you button below this post so that I know that someone read it and I didn't write it in vain.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Frankfurt, Germany
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Twitter: @ostella42
Website: www.ostella.de
Member of SuSanA (www.susana.org)
Last Edit: 23 Nov 2012 13:00 by muench.
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Re: Conference feedback 22 Mar 2013 14:24 #3983

  • Dave
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Dear all,

As one of the organisers of the FSM2 conference in Durban last October, I have good news for you today: 45 presentations from the FSM2 conference are now available on Youtube in the SuSanA Youtube channel (we do apologise for the time delay of 5 months, which was due to contractual problems with the filming company):

You can find all the video clips (one clip per presentation) here under “uploaded videos”:
www.youtube.com/user/susanavideos
(they will also be linked one by one from the SuSanA FSM2 Conference page here:
www.susana.org/lang-en/conference-and-tr...conferences/781-fsm2)

Here is a direct link just to give you one example (for Laura Talsma’s video):


In the first batch, only those presentations got done which deal with projects funded by the BMGF because they are being discussed in the forum here, and the video clips will help in the discussions: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/96-inn...ience-and-technology

If the click rates get quite high for these videos, and if there is further demand from you, it could perhaps be possible to get more of the remaining 50 videos done, but let’s first see how these are received, before finding another funding source and spending more money and time on this.
Thanks to Carl Hensman from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation who made additional money available to pay for the cutting of the raw footage; the DVDs with the raw footage had kindly been sent to the SuSanA secretariat by Jay Bhagwan from WRC.

I should point out that the filming company decided to only film the presenters at the start and end, and for most of the presentation, they focused the camera onto the screen with the powerpoint files. Ideally the presenter and slides should have been filmed simultaneously and then later mixed and edited, but this would have cost more than had been allowed for - something to bear in mind for the next time.

A big thankyou to SuSanA for their assistance with getting the filmed material edited and on the website, especially to Elisabeth who has championed the cause.

Dave Still
PID
Regards

Dave
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