Skat News -August 2011

 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] is welcome.

Skat Projects and Activities

* Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation *

AGUASAN Workshop Series

“Water and sanitation are human rights- so what?” AGUASAN Workshop 2011

From 20 to 24 June, 2011, 45 WatSan practitioners and wider development specialists from both humanitarian aid and from development cooperation gathered in Gwatt, Switzerland at the 27th AUGASAN Workshop. This year’s event was dedicated to identifying how to foster the potentials of the human rights to water and sanitation towards increased equity in access and coverage for all. Presentations from resource persons, discussions in the plenary, topic cases, group activities, storytelling and an excursion supported the exchange and learning process, as well as, the development of new ideas around the topic.

At the end of the week, a common understanding of the human rights to water and sanitation was achieved and a toolkit outline with the title of “A human rights lens for the WASH sector”, was developed, presented and discussed by and among participants. It is expected that the target audience of this toolkit is the wider AGUASAN community and that it has a focus on internal and external processes (cross-cutting criteria) to achieve the objective of the human rights to water and sanitation (normative criteria). The structure of the toolkit has been adopted, whilst next steps will be to compile all existing tools and practices (case studies) in order to develop a draft document and then to test the toolkit on the field in an iterative process. The compiled outcomes of the workshop will become available on and towards the end of August 2011.

For further information, please contact Roger Schmid (roger.schmid[AT]

Swiss Water and Sanitation Project ApaSan in Moldova, Phase II

The Skat-implemented ApaSan project aims at improving quality of life and public health of the rural population in Moldova through increased sustainable access to safe drinking water and environmental sanitation. The second project phase has started in June, 2011 and will last for four years.

Building on the achievements and lessons learned of phase 1, ApaSan phase 2 will focus its efforts on engaging in effective, efficient and sustainable scaling-up of decentralized Water and Environmental Sanitation service-delivery models.
Hence, the approach of the second phase focuses on:

  • demonstrating sustainable decentralized water supply and sanitation service delivery models;
  • building local capacities for their implementation; and
  • creating an enabling environment to allow their large scale replication.

The project of roughly 9 million CHF is financed by SDC with co-financing by the Austrian Development Cooperation. On July 7, 2011, the first National Steering Committee meeting took place and was crowned with the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment of Moldova and SDC, consolidating the institutional framework of the project.

For further information on ApaSan see or contact Jonathan Hecke (jonathan.hecke[AT]

Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme (RWSSP) in Kosovo, Phase IV

In May 2011, Skat started a new backstopping mandate for the fourth Phase of the Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme in Kosovo. The program aims at improving the 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. The project, on the one hand, supports the implementation of rural water supply and sanitation schemes in order to increase access to water and sanitation in rural areas. On the other hand, it supports Regional Water Companies to enhance their capacities for sustainable O&M of rural water systems and to improve their financial sustainability. It also strengthens the capacities of policy making institutions at the national level in the area of water delivery services. The project is financed by SDC, implemented by the local NGO Community Development Initiatives and the consulting company KIWER, with backstopping from Skat.

For further information, or contact Roger Schmid (roger.schmid[AT] or Florian Klingel (florian.klingel[AT]

* Building and Settlements *

Support to the Reform of the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College (SURAFCO), Laos

The “Support to the Reform of the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College” project was set up to assist the implementation of the Ministry of Agriculture‘s strategic reform to modernize agricultural college education. It is a bilateral cooperation of the Swiss and Lao Governments, financed by SDC and implemented by HELVETAS. Skat is mandated to provide assistance in infrastructure development. At the end of the project, the college will accommodate about 600 students. The construction Phase I was completed in April 2011 and it includes academic-, accommodation-, catering and recreation facilities.

For more information contact Daniel Schwitter (daniel.schwitter[AT]

School and Storm Shelters in Myanmar

In Ayeyarwaddy Delta, Myanmar a school and storm shelters construction project is being implemented and financed by SDC. Skat is mandated to provide the architectural designs and general backstopping support. This project intervention reaches far beyond school and shelter construction. Multi-functional buildings are created by providing child-friendly schools that double-up as cyclone shelters. They are used for schools and community meetings and when a cyclone strikes they provide a safe haven for the entire village population. The architectural design integrates local knowledge, appropriate materials and internationally recognized school design standards. The buildings also comply with international safety standards and are provided with Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities.

For more information contact Daniel Schwitter (daniel.schwitter[AT]

Ketsana-affected housing reconstruction in Cambodia

Typhoon Ketsana, one of the most destructive typhoons in recent years struck in Cambodia on September 2009, leaving behind a path of devastation across Southeast Asia. The Swiss Red Cross and Swiss Solidarity assist the Cambodian Red Cross to install/improve the living conditions and reduce vulnerability of the Ketsana affected families. Skat is mandated to provide support in the reconstruction of the destroyed houses. The foremost result is the construction of 111 multi-hazard resistant homes including Water and Sanitation facilities.

For more information contact Daniel Schwitter (daniel.schwitter[AT]

* Decentralization and Local Governance *

DESPRO – Swiss-Ukrainian Decentralisation Support to Ukraine Project

Study Tour to Switzerland on Water Supply

Skat organised and led a Study Tour to Switzerland with the aim of giving project partners from the Ukraine the opportunity to learn about Swiss expertise on efficient and effective decentralised water supply systems. The Ukrainian delegation included private entrepreneurs, representatives of water cooperatives, village heads, and implementing partners of the regional and district governments.

The study tour started with an in-depth introduction to the Swiss Federal Political System led by Prof. Eva Belser from the Institute of Federalism, Fribourg. Her presentation addressed the Swiss legal framework for water supply and services provision. The tour included visits to various water supply organisations, technical units, groundwater and lake pumping-stations and water reservoirs and gave participants eye-opening insights on decentralised water supply solutions such as: water catchment and treatment technologies; means for calculating water tariffs and for managing water bills; as well as distribution of responsibilities of water providers vis-à-vis the municipality and regional government and the functioning of inter-municipal water associations.

For further information contact Jürg Christen (juerg.christen[AT] or Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]

* Monitoring and Evaluation *

Since November 2010, the GIZ (former GTZ) and the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have been supporting the development of an “Interactive Toolkit for Grant Management of Global Fund Sub-recipients in Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean”.  This Toolkit is being developed by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Friends of the Global Fund Latin America. Within this framework, the GIZ mandated Skat to conduct an external evaluation of this Project with the aim of measuring the impact of the Toolkit on the management capacities and performance of Global Fund Sub-recipients in Spanish speaking Latin America.

During the first semester of 2011, Skat conducted a Baseline Study and collected information on the current management capacities of Sub-recipients Organizations in the region. Data has been collected in the form of telephone interviews and a survey addressing four different topics: 1) governance, accountability and project management, 2) finance and administration; 3) monitoring and evaluation; and 4) procurement and supply. A total of 65 Sub recipient Organizations representing 10 countries in Latin America responded the survey and 23 Principal Recipient organizations from 12 countries were interviewed in the framework of this study.

The results of the Baseline study will provide recommendations as to how to best tackle the dissemination of the Toolkit. Once the Toolkit has been disseminated and used by the target organizations in the region, Skat will conduct a final evaluation. This evaluation is expected to take place in 2012.

For further information contact Bertha Camacho (bertha.camacho[AT]

* Skat’s Networks activities *

Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) – Annual Report 2010

The RWSN Secretariat prepared the annual report for 2010, which provides the RWSN Executive Steering Committee and Secretariat with a strong basis for developing the new RWSN strategy for the period 2012 to 2014. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – SDC, WaterAid, UNICEF, WSP, IRC, the African Development Bank and Skat are currently discussing the future strategic direction and focus of RWSN. This report reflects on the network’s achievements of 2010, and takes stock of the achievements of RWSN since 2004, in its four flagship topics:

  • The profile of Self Supply has been raised considerably and numerous organisations in the RWSN focal countries (Ethiopia, Mali, Uganda and Zambia) have been involved in piloting its incorporation into national programmes or policies. Further, interest in Self Supply, which enables rural dwellers to improve their own water supplies, is growing in other places. Self Supply is emerging as an issue alongside Community-led Total Sanitation in university research and conferences.
  • The Code of Practice for Cost-Effective Boreholes provides a systematic framework to analyse the water well construction sector in any country. Several countries have critically examined their drilling sector and are trying to make improvements (e.g. Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Sudan, Uganda and Zambia).
  • Operation and Maintenance Frameworks are now in place in Benin, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. These countries all benefited from support through RWSN.
  • National Handpump Policies are in place and manufacturing capacity has been raised in Afghanistan, Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania.
  • In addition, RWSN has published 30 field notes, and made studies available through the website which hosts almost 200 documents on rural water supplies.

The annual report can be downloaded from

* Publication on Handpump Technologies *

Groundwater supplies provide a significant proportion of rural dwellers in the developing world with access to a safe drinking water supply and will continue to do so in the near future. With the emergence of Self Supply and its increasing acceptance, low-cost handpumps have a role to play. Twenty five years ago, the emphasis was on completely enclosed pumps (for drinking water only) to avoid the contamination of the well. Over the last 10 years, cheaper and simpler pump designs have become more acceptable. This development has been strongly influenced by the general recognition of the self-supply approach. There are three possible ways to produce low-cost pumps:

  • Do-it yourself: building the pump by the owner, one-off handpump production using locally available materials and tools
  • Artisan workshop: small scale production of handpumps in small workshops with few tools using locally available materials
  • Industrial production: large scale production in local or foreign industrial units

RWSN has just published a field note that points out the strengths and limitations of a number of low cost pumps. It provides an overview of the application; technical details and materials used, installation and maintenance, manufacturing requirements; and costs of several low cost pumps, including information on the numbers installed and locations. The document can be downloaded from

* RWSN International Forum *

From 29 November – 1 December 2011, the 6th Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) Forum entitled Rural Water Supply in the 21st Century: Myths of the Past, Visions for the Future will be hosted in Kampala, Uganda. The Forum is being organised by Skat, UNICEF, WaterAid, SDC, IRC and WSP and will bring together small private enterprises, political leaders from a local level, local and central government administrators, extension staff, NGO staff and donors to engage in lively discussions about the realities of improving rural water supplies around the globe. About 400 participants from all over the world are expected to attend the event and share their practical experiences and good practices on a wide range of aspects of rural water supplies. These include cost-effective technologies, accelerating self supply, management and support systems, catchment protection and finance.

During the first semester of 2011, submissions for the RWSN Forum have been flooding in from all over the world and it is hoped that the RWSN Forum will inspire sector professionals and practitioners through face to face knowledge sharing, and enable new partnerships as well as informal networks to be formed.

For more information contact the RWSN Secretariat (rwsn[AT] or Sean Furey (sean.furey[AT]

About Skat

New Team Members

Skat would like to welcome two new team members reinforcing the company’s expertise in the field of water and environmental sanitation.

Florian Klingel joined Skat in January 2011 as Water and Environmental Sanitation Specialist. He has a professional background in rural and environmental engineering and has 10 years of experience in projects of water supply, environmental sanitation and water resources management in developing countries. He has worked in Vietnam, the Philippines, Nicaragua and Senegal as project officer in development, research and infra-structure projects, and carried out activities for project design, technical design, construction supervision, project evaluation, knowledge management, capacity development, policy development, co-ordination of large project consortiums and scientific research.

Sean Furey joined Skat in April 2011 as Water and Environmental Sanitation Specialist, providing support mainly to the RWSN Secretariat. He has worked on water and sanitation projects in Guatemala and also conducted fieldwork in Chile, Namibia and the Norwegian arctic. He worked as a water resource hydrologist, flood warning duty officer and was project manager for a pilot study on integrated water management. He also worked as deputy director of a small campaigning charity in England, where he was involved in advocacy and community engagement, providing technical advice and managing public relations.

Violeta Zivanovic joined Skat in August 2011 as apprentice in the field of administration and communication, providing support to the Skat’s secretariat for the next three years. Her apprenticeship is part of her studies at the Kaufmännisches Bildungszentrum (KBZ) School in St. Gallen. This is the first time that Skat joins the apprenticeship program and will provide guidance to Violeta in the development of her studies.