Skat News – December 2010
Newsletter of Skat – Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development
Dear Friends and Partners,
The electronic newsletter of Skat is sent to you approximately three times each year. Skat News provides you with brief summaries of recent and ongoing projects, links you to further information and documents, and provides you with relevant contact addresses. Your feedback at info[AT]skat.ch is welcome.
Skat wishes the readers of this newsletter a peaceful end of the year celebrations and a good start into a prosperous year 2011.
Skat Projects and Activities
* Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation *
AGUASAN Workshop Series
Under the lead of Skat, the Swiss community of practice AGUASAN organises since 26 years an annual international workshop in Switzerland. At this workshop field staff, desk officers, researchers, consultants, other sector specialists and wider development practitioners from all over the world come together for five days to collectively reflect on a cutting edge theme in the water sector. SDC funding for a series of four next workshops has been secured recently.
Based on inputs from five resource persons, four case studies and the sharing of own experiences the 43 participants of the AGUASAN Workshop 2010 discussed the potential of “Large Scaling Up” as approach to speed up efforts to increase coverage in water supply and sanitation. The key question addressed throughout the week was: “how to effectively influence large sector investments so that they contribute to the scaling up of successfully piloted service-delivery models and established good practices”. The results of that think-tank event describe in a practical way the crucial elements for successful planning and implementation of large scaling up endeavours. The main results are available online in the form of a downloadable PowerPoint presentation with a link to background documents at.
The AGUASAN Workshop 2011 will tackle the issues around the “Application of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in practice” and is scheduled for the week of June 20-24. The related workshop announcement will be published early February 2011.
For further information contact Roger Schmid (roger.schmid[AT]skat.ch)
DANIDA assigned Skat to support the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) of Uganda in updating and restructuring the Sector Performance Measurement Framework in order to capture the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) and Water Resources Management issues. Based on an Institutional Analysis several recommendations for improvements and next steps have been defined for the strategic coordination and the operational levels. Lack of enforcement, very limited financial resources for the ENR sub-sector and unclear roles of key institutions are among the major obstacles for the efficient management of the environment. With the support of Skat, a concept and a work plan were developed for the refinement of roles and responsibilities in the ENR sub-sector in Uganda. The work plan was discussed with Development Partners and key institutions in the country.
For further information contact Andre Olschewski (andre.olschewski[AT]skat.ch)
Building on the experience and reputation gained in the evaluation of complex programmes in the WASH sector, both in development and emergency relief/reconstruction settings, Skat has been recently mandated to carry out an evaluation of the regional water supply and sanitation project PARSS III, of the Austrian Development Agency, in the Province of Sofala, Mozambique. Another important mandate coming from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) focuses on the evaluation of UNHCR’s WASH Response in Eastern Chad from 2008 to 2010.
For further information contact Jonathan Hecke (jonathan.hecke[AT]skat.ch) or Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch)
The Skat-implemented ApaSan (Swiss Water and Sanitation Project Moldova) financed by SDC with co-funding from ADA started its activities in December 2008. The project builds on the achievements, partnerships and positioning established by SDC’s self-implemented former WatSan Programme and has embarked on a cost-effective scaling-up of the decentralized rural water supply and environmental sanitation (WES) services-delivery models developed and demonstrated by the agency over the period 2002-08. To achieve this effect, a multi-level approach aiming at the empowerment of relevant Moldovan sector actors to assume their roles and responsibilities in the services-delivery models is adopted, where the provision of physical infrastructures is regarded as a facility for learning processes, capacity building, institutional development, policy dialogue and financial mobilisation.
ApaSan phase 1 is coming to an end in April 2011. During this phase, the project has engaged into a planning process for the subsequent phase expected to last four years. The process started with a project internal self-evaluation in August 2010, followed in November 2010 by an external review which assessed the level of achievement of the project’s objectives and the validity of its goals, whilst elaborating recommendations and options for the future of ApaSan. The findings were then shared and debated in a broad planning workshop held early December 2010, where national and local level project partners from the Government of Moldova and the civil society, together with the donor community and the project promoters (SDC, Skat) established a common understanding and a preliminary agreement on the key elements of ApaSan phase 2. The project will continue its efforts to embed into local institutions the proven decentralized water services delivery model, whilst triggering innovations in decentralized and on-site sanitation and wastewater treatment solutions and fostering the establishment of an enabling regulatory and institutional framework for the scaling-up endeavours.
For further information, see
Skat has been commissioned by SDC to carry out a Mid-Term Review of Aguasan, SDC’s Water and Sanitation Programme in Central America. Through the Aguasan Programme, which consists of national programmes in Nicaragua and Honduras and a regional programme covering all Central America, SDC has developed an excellent reputation as one of the leading external support actors in the sector. The programme consists of the implementation of water and sanitation projects (rural communities and small towns) with state and NGO partners, promoting municipal capacity development, and working as partners of key sector institutions at national and supra-national level. In the Mid-Term Review, which was facilitated by Skat with the support of 2 local consultants, an innovative methodological approach was successfully tested, leading to a set of agreed recommendations that focus on corrective action in some critical aspects and form the basis for the planning of the next phase of the Programme.
For further information contact Jonathan Hecke (jonathan.hecke[AT]skat.ch)
* Building and Settlements *
Urban Reconstruction Manual
Skat in partnership with IFRC compiles new Guidelines on Urban Reconstruction. These guidelines for sustainable reconstruction focus especially on post-disaster urban context. The hands-on manual will serve mainly field practitioners and interested stakeholders, since they deal with the multi-facetted situation of the transitioning from emergency shelter to more permanent construction in the urban context and gives specific guidance on the complexity and challenges to safe and sustainable reconstruction in the urban context.
For further information contact Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch)
Skat is providing technical support to Caritas Switzerland’s Ali Ibra Resettlement Project in Gjakova, Kosovo, a project aiming at relocating an ethnic minority community from a squatter area besides the municipal dumpsite to a settlement of new houses. Besides technical support in the planning and negotiation processes where community, municipality and state ministries are involved, Skat has been called to conduct an analysis of present economic activities of the community, and identified / designed a set of measures to secure and improve livelihood perspectives within and without the presently predominant sources of income, which are waste-picking at the dumpsite, small-scale recycling and lumber-cutting with makeshift mechanized saws.
For further information contact Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch) and Jonathan Hecke (jonathan.hecke[AT]skat.ch) or look into the following link:
Skat has been mandated to undertake a Special Monitoring for the EEA (European Economic Area) Financial Mechanism Office (Brussels) of a public project in Recz, Poland, concerning energy savings and thermal modernisation works of public buildings. This work includes: a desk study on relevant available information on the realisation of FMO monitoring assessments, and particularly an analysis of supplementary documentation provided for the project to be assessed; the handling of the questions raised by the FMO in the document “Key questions and report template providing opinion for amendment”; and the writing up of a special monitoring report in cooperation with the Swiss Centre for International Health of the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute.
For further information contact Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch)
* Decentralization and Local Governance *
Backstopping dlgn (Decentralization and Local Governance Network)
Skat has been mandated in cooperation with Ximpulse Consultants to support and advise the SDC’s Focal Point on Decentralization and Local Governance and the Western Balkans Division on thematic issues related to the SDC Decentralization and Local Governance Network (dlgn). This mandates includes the support in the planning of the F2F Workshop in Sarajevo, formulation and organization of a Knowledge Fair with competence centres and the support in the online communications of the network.
For further information contact Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch), Bertha Camacho (bertha.camacho[AT]skat.ch)
In order to improve the implementation of gender as a transversal theme within DESPRO, a team of experts one international and one national was assigned to carry out a gender assessment to explore and analyze the needs of men and women in local governance and to identify potentials within DESPRO phase II to foster men’s and women‘s participation in decision-making, planning, budgeting, and decentralised service-provision. The assignment also included the identification of challenges and potentials of partners and the formulation of practical recommendations. The assessment was done based on relevant documents and a series of interviews with partners and resource persons in Kiev, Autonomous Republic of Crimea (ARC) and Vynnytsia Oblast from August 18 to August 27, 2010.
For more information contact Jürg Christen (juerg.christen[AT]skat.ch) and Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch) or look into the following link:
* Transport and Mobility *
International Workshop on Transport in Mountains, Kathmandu Nepal
Between the 21 and 27 November 2010, more than 50 representatives from universities, NGOs, national and international rural transport networks, transport specialists, from Nepal, Bhutan, Bolivia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, UK, USA and the Netherlands came together to share, reflect and debate controversial issues that affect transport in mountain environments.
The primary objective of the workshop was to create increased awareness of potential controversies that are likely to arise when planning infrastructures that enable transportation in mountain areas. The workshop was organised by the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD) together with the Nepal Forum Group (NFRTD). On behalf of the SDC mobility desk, Skat contributed in the planning as well as in the financing of the event.
For more information contact Jürg Christen (juerg.christen[AT]skat.ch) or follow the link:
* Emergency Response *
UNHCR Results Framework
Skat has been mandated by UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva to take stock of UNHCR’s main monitoring system, to identify alternative approaches to it, and to design a user-friendly and simplified Results Framework for UNHCR operations. The review entails (1) a screening of the current results hierarchy, finding the right logical linkages between objectives, impact, outputs and performance; and (2) a validation and sharpening of indicators, including quantitative and qualitative measurement. Skat provides an analysis of findings, formulation of recommendations on data structure, indicators and data management methodologies.
For further information contact Claudia Schneider (claudia.schneider[AT]skat.ch)
* Skat Networks activities and publications *
Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)
Siting of Drilled Water Wells – A Guide for Project Managers has just been published by RWSN. This concise document, written particularly for managers of water supply programmes and projects provides a step by step guide on the siting of drilled water wells. As a first step, the essential requirements for a simple groundwater model are set out, including some basic explanations to help the reader establish an understanding of hydrogeology. It subsequently explains what needs to be taken into consideration when selecting a suitable site for drilling. This includes the requirements of the water well, and a comprehensive set of instructions on how the most suitable site should be determined. Key considerations with respect to the tender and contract documents are also set out, as well as some basic information regarding field work and contract management. The field note takes the reader through the process from consideration of the user needs right up to the process of engaging a drilling contractor to construct a drilled water well. It can be downloaded from
Sustainable groundwater development is fundamental for universal access to safe drinking water. The Code of Practice for Cost Effective Boreholes sets out nine principles that relate directly to the practicalities of drilling management and borehole construction. The term “cost-effective” means optimum value for money invested over the long term. Boreholes are drilled to function for a lifespan of 20 to 50 years. Thus, the lowest cost is not always the most cost-effective, particularly if construction quality is compromised to save money. Cheap drilling or poor construction quality can lead to premature failure of the well or contamination of the water supply. Boreholes that are subsequently abandoned by the users are clearly not cost-effective. The Code of Practice is a culmination of desk and field work in several countries, funded by UNICEF and USAID and developed by Skat. It has been officially endorsed by the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) and the National ground Water Association (NGWA). To download the document, visit:.
Costing and Pricing – A Guide for Water Well Drilling Enterprises is a new RWSN field note written for water well drilling enterprises and agencies which manage drilling projects. Using a step-by-step approach it gives clear guidance on how to cost and price the construction of drilled water wells. It also provides tips on business management. Practical, worked examples enable the reader to easily follow the costing method. The field note sets out bills of quantities and considers how to deal with risks and uncertainties as well as the tender process. You can download the field note from:
WASH Technology Information Packages (TIPs): for UNICEF WASH programme and supply personnel by Baumann, E.; Montangero, A.; Sutton, S. and Erpf. K. (2010). These are a practical set of guidelines and selection tools for WASH programme and supply staff. The following WASH technologies are covered: (1) Hand pumps for drinking water; (2) Boreholes and drilling equipment for rural water supply; (3) Solar powered pumping; (4) Motorized and small piped systems and (5) Faecal-sludge-emptying equipment. The TIPs describe in detail selected technologies and indicate how a programme using these technologies could be implemented including necessary supervision and how to specify the equipment. The TIPs are easily adaptable to be used in training sessions. UNICEF would like these tools to be shared as widely as possible. You can download this document from
Waste governance: Next CWG workshop in Istanbul, Turkey: Since its inception, 15 years ago, Skat has been one of the driving forces of the Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Management in low- and middle-income Countries (CWG), a large global network of solid waste practitioners. Being the 10th in a series of international workshops on burning thematic issues in the solid waste management sector, the next CWG workshop will focus on the issue of governance and is entitled “Waste Governance – Sharing burdens, sharing benefits”. The geographic focus this time will be on Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the workshop is planned to take place in Istanbul, Turkey from March 6 to 11, 2011. The announcement, invitation and call for papers can be downloaded from the CWG website:or contact the CWG Secretariat at Skat, (cwg[AT]skat.ch), Jonathan Hecke (jonathan.hecke[AT]skat.ch) or Juerg Christen (juerg.christen[AT]skat.ch).
New booklet in the CWG Publication Series fresh from the printing press: The CWG has produced a small booklet (CWG publication series No. 4) with the purpose of making available to a wider audience of SWM practitioners the ideas and experiences shared in the last CWG-WASH Workshop (Dec. 2008, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Capacity and advocacy for improved solid waste and resource management). The booklet compiled by Adrian Coad, is entitled: “Solid waste management: Improved capacity equals less waste”. As the previous booklets in this series, this one is written in plain language and is meant to be distributed to municipal decision makers and solid waste practitioners in general. It has 25 pages and comes accompanied with a CD with the full workshop report, papers and other resources.
You can view or download the booklet from the CWG website:or send your orders to the CWG Secretariat (cwg[AT]skat.ch) or Jonathan Hecke (jonathan.hecke[AT]skat.ch).
If you are interested in helping to disseminate these booklets through your personal or institutional network, please send us your address and the required quantity (minimum 10, maximum 100) and we will send you the requested copies free of charge, as long as stocks last. You are also invited to order copies of the previous booklet: Solid Waste and the Millenium Goals, of the same format. The CWG as a network relies on everybody’s collaboration, so please consider helping to distribute the booklet(s) by distributing it to the members of professional associations or associations of municipalities in your country, distributing them at conferences or exhibitions, etc.
Skat has just made the series of six manuals on drinking water supply available freely online:
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.
Christian Eggs, geographer by training with an environmentalist MSc, joined Skat in October 2010 for a full-time WES specialist position. For about 70% of his time, Christian is made available to SDC in Bern supporting directly the agency’s Water Initiatives (WIS) Division in drafting project and credit proposals for the programming of the secured and expected additional funds for water sector initiatives at global and regional level.
Anne Sophie Aublet holding a MSc. in Tropical Farming Development and Water Management joined on a part-time basis the Skat team in June 2010. Within the framework of the SDC backstopping mandate in WES, she acted as event manager in different public performances of SDC’s Water Initiatives in 2010 and will continue to do so in 2011 mainly in relation to the agency’s continued public campaign on sanitation.