SuSanA - Forum Kunena Site Syndication Sun, 21 Dec 2014 22:15:31 +0000 Kunena 1.6 SuSanA - Forum en-gb Re: Is there a need for more trained Local Project Support personnel for better Project outcomes? - by: F H Mughal
I fully agree with your views. Working for nearly 40 years in government departments in Karachi, I had many, many opportunities of working with British consultants, Australian consultants, and experts of the World Bank, JICA and ADB. I found that the consultants have a much higher level of knowledge. Here, baring very few exceptions, the level of technical knowledge of locals, in water and sanitation sector, is low. The consultants come in handy in such situations.

On irrigation side, as you would know, the Sukkur Barrage was designed by British consultants, nearly 70 years back, and it is still going strong. However, since some wear and tear has taken place over the 70 years, the chief minister, Sindh, sometime back, specifically requested the British Ambassador here to convey to the British government for technical help in the rehabilitation of Sukkur Barrage. My interaction with the foreign consultants enabled me to acquire more knowledge.

I may also add here that, when the foreign consultants come, they spend quite some time, in familiarizing themselves, initially, with the local conditions. This comprise of talking to government officials, NGOs, civil society members, associations, site visits and reviewing previous reports. Only then (when they acquaint themselves with local knowledge), they start their work.

Call it exception, or whatever, I had nice experience of working with foreign consultants.

F H Mughal]]>
WG 1 (Capacity development) Mon, 17 Nov 2014 06:39:41 +0000
Re: Is there a need for more trained Local Project Support personnel for better Project outcomes? - by: christoph And Dennis, from what I read ... I assume that Kevin is using without knowing your puzzle the basic ideas from the puzzle you promote.

The basic point is... not to explain how it works. Work together with people, wait until they come up with their questions (promote situations which provoke questions) and than work on capacitation - when the brain is naturally open. And help to foresee the situation in future to be able to go to planning. When they do that - you are done.
Very simple to say, VERY hard to get.

I am not sure that whatever instrument is valid, when you are not able to fulfill the hunger for knowledge in the moment you created the situation. Therefore you need experts (local, international or from the moon), but these have to know the basics (at least) of how do people learn best - and that differs very much.

WG 1 (Capacity development) Sun, 16 Nov 2014 10:05:59 +0000
Re: Shame in Sanitation (article in Indian newspaper: The Dirty Fight) - by: denniskl
Thank you for your well-reasoned response and comments. And yes, my photo does not lie (I am from Australia:)

And I agree wholeheartedly with your comment "I also know that there is a lot of ignorance out there about basic technical and social aspects of sanitation - among governments, communities and those working for international aid organizations. There is a need for people who know what they are talking about and there is a need for dialogue and discussion on what works and why it works."

** Different Thinking**

I guess how we are "different" in our thinking from other training programmes out there that we have seen is NOT that we think that "we know better", rather that we feel that "we know what we don't know" - and we are working to fill those gaps with people who do (like yourself).

** Aim of Training**

But what we do know is what we are trying to achieve as far as the JigSaw Puzzle Workshops and training programmes are concerned - and that is NOT to train local people in technical expertise (whether in sanitation, health or any other specific subject).

Instead, our aim is to raise the capability of local community leaders (whether grass roots political or social leaders) to:

* clearly identify community problems

* understand (and have access to) the range of possible solutions

* know when (and how) to call in the expertise that is required for implementation

* know how to successfully manage the projects they have scoped and designed

But even with those aims, we recognise there are local, cultural and other issues which impact effectiveness of training and knowledge transfer, which is why we are currently going through the process of brainstorming for the development of the training programme across several countries in Asia.

**Limits of Knowledge**

Kevin, I will never know as much as you will about sanitation systems - I know that. Nor will I ever know how to diagnose and treat a child's disease. Or how to solve the low soil nutrient issue in a farmer's smallholding.

But you and I have the privilege in coming from, and living in, a developed country and society that gives us access to whatever information we require, and the expertise of whoever we need it from, whenever we need it. So all those problems are just an internet search, some reading and a phone call (to an expert like you) away - and the confidence and belief that we can do those things, and that we will get the solutions we need, when we need them.

As you know even better than I do from your work in developing countries, that's simply not the case for the people who are in need of those solutions

Our Programmes are meant to bridge the gap between the knowledge that is "out there" and the people who need it - and the capability of how to use that knowledge when it is available.

So (for example) in developing the sanitation component of the JigSaw Puzzle Programme, we would tap into the knowledge and experience of experts like you for the overview of options - suitability, challenges, etc - but we won't be trying to instil expertise in sanitation systems in our Graduates.

Most trainings would hand over the Compendium of Sanitation Systems and Technologies and say "read this".

But is it enough to just know the 9 systems listed in the Compendium? We say No - you need to understand the complexities involved (societal, environmental, engineering, financial, etc) before finalising the solution - again, recognising what "we don't know".

But here is where we (beg to) differ from standard development project practice.

While you may need technical expertise and experience to lay out the solution (in conjunction with the community and the trained leader), we say you don't need to have the project conceived, scoped, designed, managed and implemented by the expertise provider or foreign experts. Nor do you need my "swarms of well-meaning volunteers" to do the work.

In a sanitation project:

* Local people can dig a trench or a hole.

* Local people can devise suitable collection systems and make sanitation shelters from local materials.

* Local people can define the problem, scope the alternatives and implement the projects - we say that is the role of the community leader and the community - and that is what we are aiming to achieve with our Programme.

So again, I appreciate you commenting on my post Kevin - and now I know you are there, rest assured, we will reach out to you for help to make the JigSaw Puzzle Programmes as effective as they can be. If you feel like helping, we would be grateful.

Thank you again]]>
WG 1 (Capacity development) Sat, 15 Nov 2014 22:39:37 +0000
Re: Shame in Sanitation (article in Indian newspaper: The Dirty Fight) - by: kevintayler
The answer is simplistic - I am not sure where you come from Denniski but I imagine from his photo that you, like me, are an outsider to most of the countries that you work in. What makes you think that the training you are giving is any different from all the other interventions. I have worked both as a volunteer - directly employed by the Regional Government of Southern Sudan before the civil war started up again, for a consultancy firm and as an individual consultant working for a variety of organizations. I know a lot about sanitation - I also know that a lot of money is wasted on poor projects and initiatives. I also know that there is a lot of ignorance out there about basic technical and social aspects of sanitation - among governments, communities and those working for international aid organizations. There is a need for people who know what they are talking about and there is a need for dialogue and discussion on what works and why it works. My rant would be about people who insist that septic tanks are sealed systems (as opposed to a sealed part of a system), that people can be taught to use twin pit toilets when no division chamber has been provided and that community organizations are homogeneous entities that magically make the hierarchy and division within communities disappear overnight.

It is true that the most satisfying projects that I have worked on are those that are led by local people - I believe that the role of the outsider is to provide another perspective and bring real practical experience to bear on problems. But training is not a panacea. The first paper that I wrote on development issues, in 1983, was about training water technicians to serve Southern Sudan's urban water supply systems. I would still agree with much that I wrote then but now recognize that training is only effective if it is done within the context of institutions that are open to change - unfortunately this is not always the case.

When training, one of the most important needs is to ensure that people are able to analyze the problems that they face - a skill that is often assumed but not always present. I would argue that you need to have a good knowledge of a subject if you are to analyze it - I would also say that the some of the most satisfying training that I have been engaged in was with a retired Pakistani engineer who knew the water sector in the country in great detail and could give sound and realistic advice on operational issues - together we made a good team, with my shorter talks introducing some of the theory and his presentation being about how this could be put into practice, with lots of practical examples - local government engineers loved this because they could relate to it.

I may appear to be arguing against myself in the last part of the last paragraph but I would say that it shows that outsiders do have a role - when they have the relevant knowledge - but that role does need to be linked to the knowledge and skills of local people.

One last point - local people do initiate improvements - witness the hundreds of kilometers of self-built sewers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other places. However, the quality of such initiatives is often very poor so that many fail prematurely. A need for appropriate technical skills to provide a counterpoint to community willingness to pay for improvements perhaps? The other point here is that of maintenance, often overlooked by everyone.

So, I agree that a lot of money is wasted on inappropriately or non-skilled consultants (dare I say management consultant types) but there is no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are plenty of us around who do know what we are talking about, want to work with our colleagues in 'Southern' countries and can offer a lot of value if used wisely. (There is a problem with the way 'projects' are structured' but that is another story.]]>
WG 1 (Capacity development) Sat, 15 Nov 2014 20:42:50 +0000
Re: RE: shit flow diagrams - does it need to be shit? - by: denniskl Note by moderator: this post first appeared as a reponse to this post:
but has now been moved to here.


Elisabeth and all - this refers to your comment mentioned below but I admit it strays from the thread topic

Elisabeth, I cannot overstate how much I agree with your statement "training of facilitators is really important"

But I feel the need goes deeper than that; training of local people to act not just as facilitators, but as project initiators, designers and implementers is the real key to success in overcoming not just community sanitation issues but ALL community facility and service issues, from sanitation to health to education and so on

"Time for a little rant here from my soapbox - apologies in advance"

It is time the developed countries and project funders stopped paying for high priced foreign experts and swarms of well meaning volunteers to fly in and "save the poor"

Use that money instead to give training in project management and design, transfer knowledge and skills about what's possible and the options in each sector, help locals to be the communicators and change makers in their own communities, give them access to the resources they need - and then step away and let the "poor" manage their own progress

In many cases, that would mean less cost, less waste and better outcomes

### RANT OVER:)###


I was taught to never complain about a problem unless you can offer a solution, so here is one option

We have been developing a capacity building Programme for exactly this purpose called "The JigSaw Puzzle Workshop"

We are holding a series of brainstorming sessions in Asia (Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia) with agencies, ngo's, government ministries and community leaders to finalise format, content and structure now

The first of these will be in Phnom Penh cambodia on Sunday 30th november

If any readers are in cambodia and would like to attend and give input to this programme, please contact me on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or if interested in the concept, email me for the overview and I will send

If I get enough responses will create a web page version for convenience

If you would like to discuss for your country or location or project, let me know

The training is intended to be low resource for delivery in difficult conditions and open source when complete (disclosure - we have a related profit based operating model to make sure this programme is sustainable and viable - we will share this also with interested partners)

thank you from your patience:)]]>
WG 1 (Capacity development) Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:34:04 +0000
Re: List of NGOs in South Sudan - by: muench
By the way: You have just made your 500th post on the forum!!
Thank you for always being so helpful with everyone's questions - awesome!!

WG 1 (Capacity development) Wed, 05 Nov 2014 11:14:11 +0000
Re: List of NGOs in South Sudan - by: JKMakowka
Otherwise... just check the recruiting pages (like the job section of reliefweb) and you will get a pretty good idea who is working in WASH there

Edit: for 3W/cluster data see for example
or :

Second edit: full 3W list here:
(set "cluster" filter to "WASH")]]>
WG 1 (Capacity development) Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:58:24 +0000
Re: List of NGOs in South Sudan - by: muench
And according to our member list by country we have 14 SuSanA members in South Sudan
( You could perhaps contact them via the secretariat.

WG 1 (Capacity development) Wed, 05 Nov 2014 08:16:23 +0000
Re: List of NGOs in South Sudan - by: awesome WG 1 (Capacity development) Wed, 05 Nov 2014 04:48:56 +0000 List of NGOs in South Sudan - by: Doreen
Could you please give me a list of NGOs that are involved in water and sanitation in South Sudan?

I ask on behalf of my colleague who is currently based in Juba.

Best regards,

WG 1 (Capacity development) Tue, 04 Nov 2014 12:13:16 +0000
Re: Is there a need for more trained Local Project Support personnel for better Project outcomes? - by: denniskl WG 1 (Capacity development) Tue, 28 Oct 2014 14:51:41 +0000 Is there a need for more trained Local Project Support personnel for better Project outcomes? - by: denniskl
* Bi-lingual

* Understands (and has a working knowledge of) local and national government processes

* Is from the community - or at least, from a similar community, (so the shared experiences can aid in communication and understanding)

* Aware of, and has capability to add value to, the dev project processes

* Have a good awareness of community participation processes (and has the skills to run them)

* Good communicators of the project messages and benefits (and it's limitations)

* Can manage community expectations

* Understand the importance of M & E (and can manage M & E after the implementation)

If sourcing this type of resource in the countries you operate in is an issue for you, please let me know as we have been putting a Training Framework together to address these issues in-country and would appreciate some input from the field]]>
WG 1 (Capacity development) Sat, 25 Oct 2014 15:26:25 +0000
Re: Concept of Massive Open Online Courses for SUSANA and its members & users? - by: ulrichl
The MOOC “Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies” by Eawag's department Sandec in partnership with EPFL (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) has started today. So far more than 5'000 students from 173 countries are enrolled. You can still sign up and participate for free.
For further information please see below.


Online course “Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies”
On 13 October 2014, the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec/Eawag), in partnership with the EPF Lausanne, is launching its second Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The course is entitled “Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies”, and is for free, in English and has French subtitles. Join the course and learn how to plan affordable and context-specific sanitation solutions. We will present examples of successful and failed urban sanitation systems in low- and middle-income countries. For further information and to sign up for the course, please go to:


Cours en ligne « Planification & Design des Systèmes et Technologies d’Assainissement »
Le département Eau et Assainissement dans les Pays en Développement (Sandec/Eawag) et l’EPFL lancent leur second MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) le 13 octobre 2014. Ce cours gratuit en ligne, intitulé « Planification & Design des Systèmes et Technologies d’Assainissement » est donné en anglais avec des sous-titres en français. Inscrivez-vous et apprenez à planifier des solutions d’assainissement accessibles et spécifiques à des contextes donnés. Nous vous présenterons les différentes technologies à disposition, comment les combiner et des exemples de systèmes d’assainissement urbains, dans des pays à bas et moyen revenu, ponctués d'exercices interactifs. Pour obtenir plus d’information et s’inscrire aux cours, consultez:]]>
WG 1 (Capacity development) Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:49:56 +0000
Working Group 1 meeting - next Saturday 6th Sept 11:45-13:00 - by: dorothee.spuhler
Please find attached the agenda for our upcoming meeting on next Saturday 6th Sept 11:45-13:00.

For general information on the meeting and to learn how to get there, please visit the meeting page.
If you can not attend, be aware of the life streaming and the opportunity of online participation!

Kind regards and looking forwards to seeing you soon!

WG 1 (Capacity development) Mon, 01 Sep 2014 10:59:28 +0000
Re: Water and sanitation courses at US universities - by: CeciliaRodrigues
Just came across an event organized by the ABCON (Associação Brasielira das Concessionárias de Serviços Públicos de Água e Esgoto) and SINDCON (Sindicato Brasileiro das Concessionárias de Serviços Públicos de Água e Esgoto) - 5° Encontro Nacional das Águas. I checked the program and I found a presentation that matches with your research interests:

Projeto PROBIOGÁS - iniciativas para o aproveitamento energético do biogás em ETEs, by Victor B. Valente - GIZ (15.08 at 15:00)

It will take place next week in São Paulo: Even if you are not taking part, perhaps it's an good contact here in Brazil to start with.

The full programme:

Also, I am finding good reference material regarding fecal sludge composting at the PROSAB - Programa de Pesquisa em Saneamento Básico website. There might be also few things on biogas production from wastewater treatment plants.(

Good luck!
WG 1 (Capacity development) Wed, 06 Aug 2014 14:09:28 +0000