Skat News – December 2012

Dear Partners and Friends,

The electronic newsletter of Skat is sent to you approximately three times each year. Skat Consulting Ltd. News provides you with brief summaries of a selection of recent and on-going projects; links you to further information and documents; and provides you with relevant contact addresses. Your feedback at is welcome.

We wish you all happy end of the year celebrations and a good start in 2013!

Skat – Projects and Activities

* Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation *

Drinking Water Supply for the population of the Great Lakes

After a successful tendering process, Skat has been entrusted the implementation of a drinking water supply project in the Great Lakes region with the main objectives of improving the access to sustainable drinking water supply systems and respecting equal access to water of good quality of about 400,000 people in Rwanda, Burundi and the DR of Congo. The project will consist of the construction of new water supply systems, as well as on the rehabilitation of existing ones including the improvement of hygiene practices in the three countries. Additionally, the project will provide support for establishment of sustainable management structures and exchange of knowledge and best practices among water and sanitation specialists. The project will have three initial phases starting in 2013, Phase 1 – Establishment of the Project Document; Phase 2 – realization of studies and piloting; and Phase 3 – implementation of water supply systems including rehabilitations.

For further information contact AnneSophie.Aublet[AT]

Support to SDC on follow up Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Trust Fund

The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) is a multi-lateral program lead by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The overall goal of the RWSSI is to reduce poverty by increasing access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Since 2005, a total of 28 WASH related projects/programs have been implemented in several African countries utilizing the RWSSI funding mechanism. Countries with RWSSI projects have progressed faster with respect to the MDGs. The RWSSI Trust Fund (RWSSI TF) is a mechanism to leverage additional funding into the sector in order to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs for water and sanitation in the rural areas of Africa. In 2012, Skat has been mandated to support SDC in policy dialogue with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other Steering Committee members by giving management support in particular concerning the follow up of the implementation of the strategic business plan for RWSSI. Skat provides technical advice and training support (on demand) for specific WASH related topics and supports exchange between SDC and RWSSI actors.

For further information contact Andre.olschewski[AT]
Operational Regional Direction of the Water and Sanitation Programs of SDC in Central America

In 2012, Skat was selected by SDC to provide support to the SCO in Central America with an Operational Regional Director and targeted backstopping services. The objective of this assignment is to efficiently steer the Swiss water and sanitation programmes in Central America during a transition phase of one and a half years. The main activities are to ensure the efficient implementation of the programme WASH in Small Towns and Schools, including the tender processes, contract management, quality assurance and outcome measurement; to supervise the implementation of Project Cycle of all four Water and Sanitation Programmes of SDC in Central America; to promote knowledge management with other water and sanitation programmes creating a strong Swiss expertise in selected areas; and to participate in the design of a new Water and Sanitation Programme and manage the coherent transition between current and new programmes.

For further information contact florian.klingel[AT] or urs.hagnauer[AT]
28th AGUASAN Workshop Series – Financial Sustainability of WASH Services – about Mind-set Change and an Eye for the Future

43 WatSan practitioners and wider development specialists from both humanitarian aid and development cooperation gathered in Gwatt, Switzerland from 18 to 22 June, 2012 within the framework of the 28th AGUASAN Workshop. This year’s event was dedicated to the key question of achieving long-term financial sustainability of rural and small town WASH services. Presentations from resource persons, discussions in the plenary, group work on topic cases, a crash course on the life-cycle cost approach, individual sustainability clinics and an excursion into Swiss solid waste management (as neighbouring sector) supported the exchange and learning process, as well as the development of new ideas. At the end of the workshop, different results can be highlighted: participants learned about the topic, peer assistance for the case and clinic presenters and an outline of a framework for a successful approach to financial sustainability of WASH services. Within this framework, 6 key conducive elements were underlined: appropriate sector governance, comprehensive cost analysis, financially viable and socially equitable services, a solution suitable to the context, organizational capacity of relevant actors as well as ownership and commitments.

For further information, please see or contact roger.schmid[AT]
SDC Backstopping Mandate on Water and Environmental Sanitation – Feasibility mission for a watsan project in health centres and schools in Chad

SDC has implemented development and cooperation projects in Chad since 1964, mainly in the fields of rural development, health and education. The lack of water and sanitation infrastructures in partner schools and health centre is still an issue to solve. In order to tackle it, the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) in Chad mandated Skat to conduct a mission to design a single phase project, allowing these schools and health centres to gain access to water and sanitation. The objective of this mission was to provide advisory work to the SCO so that the project managers are fully aware of the challenges of implementing a watsan project and the added value of such a project to their current intervention in the education and health fields. The main activities included various meetings with SCO staff, field visits and a final workshop in Ndjamena with key stakeholders. One of the main results obtained was a new approach with specific actions in health centers including water, hygiene and sanitation on a first 3 years pilot phase.

For further information contact roger.schmid[AT] or AnneSophie.Aublet[AT]
Water Source Protection Framework and Guidelines

The overall objective of this assignment is to provide support to the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda in development and implementation of water source protection guidelines. The framework and guidelines are intended to help the owners/operators of water infrastructure identify and work with stakeholders in the catchment areas that supply them water so that problems of siltation, pollution, over-abstraction, erratic river flows can be addressed. The aim is to create a partnership approach whereby both upstream and downstream water and land users benefit from better catchment management. During the first Phase (Feb 2012 – Jun 2012), Skat developed a National Framework for Water Source Protection Guidelines and guidelines documents for different water uses. During the second Phase (Aug 2012 – Feb 2013), Skat piloted the water source protection guidelines in the River Manafwa catchment, near Mbale/Mount Elgon.

For further information contact sean.furey[AT]

Regional Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (RRWSSP) in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan

Skat carried out in the name of SDC, an external review of the regional Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in the Fergana Valley, Central Asia. The objectives of the assignment were threefold: a) to review activities and results of the Tajik part of the RRWSSP and propose the outlook for further continuation/development of the project (bridging phase 2013); b) to review activities and results of the Uzbek part of the RRWSSP and propose the outlook for the consolidation and exit strategy (phasing out) from the Fergana Valley (2013-2015); and c) to propose scenarios and/or approaches for the possible scaling up of the rural water supply experience in Syr Darya region (in cooperation with the World Bank). The review underlined that the project in both countries is highly relevant due to the critical situation in the WES sector. The community based approach to drinking water supply and hygiene promotion contributes to improved quality of life and public health of the rural population. The project has a positive impact on local governance by increasing community participation through social mobilisation. However, without increased Rayon and Oblast involvement in participatory planning long-term impact will be limited.

For further information contact juerg.christen[AT]
Development of Secondary Legislation for the new Water Law in Moldova

The new Water Law of Moldova requires the amendment or development of a range of regulations concerning water quality, river basin management, water sources protection and other aspects of water management. On behalf of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova, Skat provides supports to the Ministry of Environment in the development of four of these regulations (regulations on surface water quality, groundwater quality, protection from agricultural pollution, as well as water monitoring). The support aims at developing regulations that not only comply with the new water law but are also coherent with European legislation and are passed for Governmental approval. Support provided includes: preparatory work to collect and analyse all relevant information, organisation of workshops and working groups with all relevant national stakeholders. Additionally, the drafting of the guidelines include the revision of the guidelines in sub-work groups. The support will be concluded in early 2013 with the integration of comments from public consultations and the finalisation of the regulations for submission to the Government for approval.

For further information contact florian.klingel[AT] or jonathan.hecke[AT]

* Waste Management *

Development of a Strategy for Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) in Bhutan

Skat supported the National Environment Commission (NEC) of the Royal Government of Bhutan in developing a strategy and strengthening the regulatory and organisational framework, as well as identifying capacity building measures for Integrated Solid Waste Management. The process of developing the strategy followed a stepwise participatory approach consisting of mobilising stakeholders, data collection, establishing the strategic planning framework, identifying and evaluating technical and organisational options and developing a capacity building and implementation plan.
Skat in collaboration with the NEC working group is in the process of developing the national strategy based on which the waste regulation will be reviewed for wider consultation

For further information contact juerg.christen[AT] or sanjayenvi[AT]

* Mobility *

Trail Bridge Capacity Building Programme (TBCBP)

Skat was in charge of the elaboration and formulation of the key elements for the continuation of the Trail Bridge Capacity Building Programme in Ethiopia. The assignment included overall planning and preparation of the programme document for a three-year operational framework to be negotiated between the donor and the Rural Roads Authorities and the Ethiopian Roads Authority. Strategically the TBCBP is considered a national programme with a regional focus, i.e. integrating and anchoring the trail bridge technology and the processes in few demonstration regions complemented by targeted capacity development and institutional strengthening. The main elements and focus was on the development of bottom-up inclusive participatory planning processes; the design of mechanisms for demand-oriented collection and prioritisation of bridges as well as defining roles of actors involved; governance aspects such as participation, transparency and accountability, decentralisation, social inclusion and gender mainstreaming; and the creation of institutional capacities anchoring the technology at federal and regional levels as well as in educational institutions, the private sector and the civil society.

For further information contact juerg.christen[AT]

* Building and Settlements *

PROECCO-Promoting Off-farm Employment and Income in the Great Lakes Region though Climate Responsive Building Material Production

Rwanda and Burundi are Africa’s most densely inhabited countries. Their population doubles every 25-30 years and the cultivation land per farmer family is shrinking far below the FAO minimum for a sustainable agricultural livelihood. To address the fast growing housing and building material needs and to compensate their decreasing agrarian income, hundreds of thousands of farmers seasonally mine millions of cubic metres of clay and burn hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel-wood in brick kilns each year. During the past 50 years, the two countries lost nearly two thirds of their forests.

Mandated by SDC, Skat has established the Skat Consulting Rwanda Ltd., which acts as Regional Building Material Knowledge HUB in Kigali and opens two field offices in Rwanda and Burundi. The first out of four project phases will be implemented between November 2012 and October 2015. The Programme supports the creation of permanent non-agrarian jobs in rural block- and brickyards, firing alternative fuels. The people targeted for this project are the rural young, who are currently labouring seasonally in farm-side brickyards. Innovative entrepreneurs offering stable village employment shall be supported with technical and management knowhow and access to investment capital shall be facilitated. In cooperation with vocational training centres, occupational health hazards, especially for women shall be reduced and trainings modules for labour and production managers shall be developed. Relevant administrative offices shall further be equipped with maps and data infrastructure and its officers trained sustainable management of natural resources for identifying suitable building material production zones.

For further information contact daniel.wyss[AT] or juerg.christen[AT]

* Energy and Climate *

Reuse of Treated Wastewater for Irrigation Purposes in the Northern Jordan Valley

The treated wastewater of two rehabilitated Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTP) and a new constructed WWTP in the region of Central Irbid in Jordan will be used for the irrigation of agricultural land in the Northern Jordan Valley. As part of the project, the utilisation of the hydropower potential of the treated wastewater was analysed and a design for a Small Hydropower Plant developed and tendered. In contract with KfW, Skat was in charge of conducting a Feasibility Study and a Design Report and developing Tender Documents and Evaluation of the Small Hydropower Plant.

For more information contact martin.boelli[AT]
Hydrological Analysis for Hydropower Project Prell, Albania

With the aim of checking the plausibility of available hydrological studies and general hydrological and geological assessment for the planned privately financed 10 MW hydropower system of Prell, Albania, in the name of the Green for Growth Fund Southeast Europe, Skat provided in-depth hydrological analysis based on available hydrological data and studies, data evaluation, establishment of rating curves, duration curves and calculation of residual flow
The main activities were: to develop an overview on and assessment of the various available hydrological studies; to assess the reliability of data for 2 gauging stations; to establish flow duration curves, conduct risk assessments and the calculation of residual flow.

For more information contact hedi.feibel[AT] or martin.boelli[AT]
Provision of professional services to conduct a micro to small scale hydropower assessment for public utilities and networks for Lebanon

Skat was mandated by UNDP Lebanon to provide backstopping services to the hydropower expert of the partner organisation and to review the project report. The general objective of the assignment was to analyse hydropower potentials in existing infrastructures in Lebanon (irrigation systems, thermal power plants etc.). As a result, in-depth information about the energy potentials in such infrastructures and the technical and economic feasibility of their implementation has been made available.

For more information contact martin.boelli[AT]
Scoping of Opportunities for Integrating Micro-Hydro Turbines into existing Irrigation Weirs in the Lower Mekong Basin

In close cooperation with the Mekong River Commission MRC and its Initiative on Sustainable Hydropower ISH, Skat was entrusted by the GIZ to conduct an assessment of possibilities to upgrade irrigation structures for multipurpose use (add hydropower and where possible fish passage structures) and to develop a proposal of pilot sites and recommendations on how to improve accuracy of estimates for potential sites. A field survey of about 20 potential sites was conducted including the analysis and evaluation of information from existing databases and reports and the assessment of conditions for off- and on-grid options under the current legal framework.

As a result, the potential for equipping existing irrigation structures with micro-hydropower turbines (supplying electricity to local communities in the vicinity or providing income opportunities for these communities through feeding electricity into the national grid) has been roughly assessed and 4 most favourable potential pilot sites were proposed.

For more information contact hedi.feibel[AT] or martin.boelli[AT]

* Monitoring and Evaluation *

Sphere for Evaluators

In 2012, Skat provided consultancy services to the Sphere Project in developing guidelines on how to use the Sphere Handbook in evaluations. Skat designed and prepared guidelines “Sphere for Evaluators” on how to use the Sphere Handbook in monitoring and evaluation activities. This assignment included the development of a concept of guidance on how the Sphere standards relate to, and can be used in, the design and implementation of evaluation activities. Recommendation on how to measure the Sphere standards – protection principles, core standards, and minimum standards were formulated. Finally the guidelines provide help and useful examples on how to use Sphere key indicators in evaluations. The guide includes also a chapter on ethics of carrying out evaluations.

For more information contact Claudia.schneider[AT]

* Network Management *

Evaluation of the Interactive Grants Management Toolkit for Global Fund Sub-recipients in Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean 

The GIZ and the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria supported the development of an “Interactive Toolkit for Grant Management of Global Fund Sub-recipients in Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean”. This Toolkit was developed by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and Friends of the Global Fund Latin America. The Toolkit addresses four key areas including an introduction to the Global Fund and its principles and structures: 1) governance, accountability and project management, 2) finances and administration; 3) monitoring and evaluation; and 4) procurement and supply.

With the aim of assessing the process of development of the Toolkit and its main outcomes on the management capacities and performance of Global Fund Sub-recipients in the region, GIZ Sector Initiative PROFILE (Programme to Foster Innovation, Learning and Evidence in HIV and Health Programmes of German Development Cooperation) mandated the Swiss company Skat Consulting Ltd to carry out the evaluation.

The evaluation took place between December 2010 and September 2012. It was results-oriented and aimed to inform the discussion and decision on whether to use this approach in other contexts and regions.

For more information contact bertha.camacho[AT]
Support to set up a service portfolio to GIZ alumni networks

With the aim establishing independent and autonomous “alumni networks”, GIZ organised in November a workshop in Berlin to discuss new directions for its alumni networks seeking to achieve the following objectives: (a) activate the professionalism and expertise of alumni for ensuring future action on sustainable development, (b) learning and sharing with and from each other; (c) initiate and implement joint activities and projects. Participants are representatives from over 60 networks and alumni associations worldwide. Skat was invited to present an input on how networks can set up a service portfolio and was further engaged in developing a check list of success factors for developing a service portfolio to be used by alumni networks wishing to become financially sustainable.

For more information contact bertha.camacho[AT]

About Skat

Urs Hagnauer is acting as Operational Regional Director for the Swiss Cooperation Office in Central America in the framework of the Backstopping mandate of Skat to SDC since September 2012.

New Team Member

Stefan Diener joined Skat in November 2012 as Water and Environmental Sanitation Specialist. His professional background is in Biology (MSc, ETH Zurich) and Environmental Sciences (PhD, ETH Zurich) with several years of experience as project manager, researcher and consultant in the field of solid waste management and environmental sanitation in low and middle-income countries. He has worked and lived in India and Costa Rica and has been involved in projects in Senegal, Ghana, Uganda and Indonesia. His specialization includes grey water management, faecal sludge value chains and bioconversion of organic waste. Critical review and writing of reports, project proposals and scientific publications belong also to his core competencies and he is an interdisciplinary and intercultural team player. He was involved in teaching activities at ETH Zurich and Lausanne and has (co-)supervised several MSc and PhD students in Switzerland, Senegal, Uganda and Costa Rica.