Sanitation Capacity Building with Academia and Universities : Experience and Lessons

  • depinder
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Sanitation Capacity Building with Academia and Universities : Experience and Lessons

Please share experience of engaging with academia and universities for sanitation capacity building.

As part of the Sanitation Capacity Building Programme(SCBP) at NIUA, we have initiated an engagement with Indian Academia and Universities on Capacity Building for FSSM. A report of the first meeting is enclosed.

We wish to know and learn from other experiences in other countries on the type of collaboration, the options for capacity building besides formal courses, research and development, filed work and internships and any other lessons and experiences on collaboration in sanitation, preferably urban sanitation.

For more details on SCBP programme, what we do and how we work, please visit our website scbp.niua.org.

We have uploaded a rich store house of knowledge resources generated in our project in the last 2 years - technical reports, training modules, workshop reports, government policy and regulations in India, advocacy material and factsheets. And also a select list of learning material on FSSM from other sources. Our website is a powerful resource centre on urban sanitation and decentralised sanitation systems. We are soon starting a blog to make it interactive and respond to the tremendous interest our website has shown among practitioners and researchers.

Depinder Kapur

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Re: Capacity Building Practitioners Meet Report

Sanitation Capacity Building Platform(SCBP) organised a national workshop in Dec 2017 in N Delhi, where research findings of urban sanitation and capacity building experiences by several partners were presented and discussed.

The workshop was well attended by several practitioners, researchers and organisations. The report is a rich account of the research work and discussion on what capacity building can and should do for promoting decentralised sanitation systems.

The report can be accessed at :

scbp.niua.org/sites/default/files/Urban%...%20Meet%20Report.pdf

For more reports, training modules and advocacy initiatives, please visit our website

scbp.niua.org/

Depinder Kapur
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Re: Sanitation Capacity Building with Academia and Universities : Experience and Lessons

Hi Depinder,

Which parts of academia are you mainly connecting with? Universities are structured into departments. I assume it would be mainly the Civil Engineering Department that would be interested in sanitation for their curriculum? Maybe also Public Health and Environmental Engineering? Urban Planning as well? Which other departments have come to your round table discussions?

In Germany, sanitary engineering would be mainly within Civil Engineering or as an elective in Chemical Engineering but usually just with a focus on technologies for high income countries. If it's about low income countries then it would be less about "hardware" and rather more about software, behavior change, policies, finance, development cooperation and then more in courses about Development issues, I guess (myself, I studied Chemical Engineering in Germany and Australia where the focus was generally on high tech engineering solutions to wastewater treatment for wealthier countries).

By the way, why have you decided to coin a new term (FSSM - fecal sludge and septage management) rather than sticking to the term that has just recently become well established: FSM (fecal sludge management). Is septage so different to fecal sludge that it needs to be included separately in the acronym?

I am not totally sure myself what the difference is between fecal sludge and septage. For me, fecal sludge is the overarching term.
See here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septage
and here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fecal_sludge_management

This is how it's worded in Wikipedia:

FSM has become synonymous with the term "septage management", but they are not the same. Septage is a specific type of fecal sludge: it is the partially digested fecal solids that accumulates in septic tanks. As defined above, fecal sludge may have a lower water content and could also contain refuse and other solid waste. The term "septage" has been used in the United States since at least 1992.[5] It has also been used in projects by the United States Agency for International Development in Asia.[6]


Do you agree with that?

Elisabeth

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Re: Sanitation Capacity Building with Academia and Universities : Experience and Lessons

Hi Elisabeth,

We are engaging with the Engineering, Urban Planning and Architecture and Humanities departments and colleges. We are therefore looking at starting elective courses in all the 3 disciplines, supporting Field work or "studios"(Urban Planning) and Research. SCBP is a platform for capacity building, we are working closely with our partners - CEPT University, CDD Society and others - to support this engagement

Please take a look at the report and the conclusions section at the end where we have tried to draw a road map of future engagement:
scbp.niua.org/content/academia-engagemen...-workshop-march-2018

Regarding your second question on why FSSM and not FSM, kindly note that India released an FSSM National Policy and we are working under that framework. I realise there is a little grey area in the definition. This is explained in the National Policy in the opening chapter.

Take a look please:
scbp.niua.org/content/national-policy-fssm

Depinder Kapur
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Re: Sanitation Capacity Building with Academia and Universities : Experience and Lessons

Dear Depinder,

Thanks for your reply. I carefully read the section on "terminology" in the FSSM National Policy document that you linked to . The definitions for faecal sludge and septage are correct, and indicate that faecal sludge is the overarching term for septage and other things. Hence, I still don't know why in India people have chosen to list them both and to make it FSSM instead of FSM. To me it's like saying:
- A policy on vehicles and cars, or
- A policy on toilets and pit latrines, or
- A policy on vegetables and cucumbers

I suspect the real reason might be more a political one. Maybe it's because the word "septage" is well-known, but "faecal sludge" is not, hence it was felt wiser to put them both together in the title even though it's not really necessary or logical. But maybe I'm wrong? I am happy to be corrected.

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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Re: Sanitation Capacity Building with Academia and Universities : Experience and Lessons

Hi Elisabeth,

FSM as a term originated from Africa I guess where toilets generate sludge and not septage. In India, besides sludge from dry toilets, Septage is the main output from our septic tanks. Hence Faecal Sludge and Septage (FSSM) was found to be more relevant for India.

Hope this makes sense.

Depinder

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