Skat News – September 2013

Newsletter of Skat – Swiss Resource Centre and Consultancies for Development 

Dear Partners and Friends,

The electronic newsletter of Skat is sent to you approximately two 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.

Skat – Projects and Activities

* Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation *

Sanitation is now on the radar of the decentralization project DESPRO in Ukraine

The overall goal of DESPRO, the Swiss-Ukrainian “Decentralization Support Project” (Homepage DESPRO), funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is to improve the quality of life of the rural population of Ukraine through sustainable access to public services that are delivered within decentralised structures efficiently, effectively and affordably. The recently launched third phase continues institutionalising decentralised organizational structures using the example of communal water supply schemes and integrated solid waste management on all governmental levels. Soon DESPRO will also develop and implement four community-based sanitation pilots. The system design takes into account the specific contextual conditions such as current practices, preferences, level of acceptance by the key stakeholders, and willingness to pay regarding different technology options. The system designs will be developed in close cooperation with UNA Consulting (Homepage UNA Consulting), based in Bihac (Bosnia and Herzegovina).

For more information contact Juerg.Christen[AT] and Stefan.Diener[AT]
WASH Technologies

Since 2011, Skat has been developing a methodology for the assessment of the applicability of WASH technologies in developing countries, with focus on Sub Saharan Africa. This Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) tool will support the WASH sector to plan and monitor technology introduction processes. In 2013, the TAF is being finalised. The concept was presented and discussed at various events including the 2013 WEDC conference in Nakuru, Kenya. The work on the development of country specific Technology Introduction Process (TIP) in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Uganda has started. A final generic guidance document on technology introduction will be accomplished by end of the year. All relevant documents will be accessible through a web based resource

For more information contact Andre.Olschewski[AT]
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Health Facilities as the topic of the 29th AGUASAN Workshop

This year’s AGUASAN Workshop in Sigriswil (organised by Skat, Helvetas, Eawag/Sandec and SDC) tackled the topic of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Health Facilities (AGUASAN WS on SDC.Water.Blog). 41 practitioners from 19 countries gathered for one week to identify ways of providing the development community with appropriate guidance and support regarding this topic. Health facilities face very specific WASH-related challenges (e.g. accumulation of people with contagious diseases, disabled users of sanitation facilities) but also bear a very powerful potential in its function as a role model for the dissemination of hygiene practices within the community. The participants identified several important fields of action such as a comprehensive assessment of the current situation prior to any intervention or the selection of context-specific infrastructure. Finally, the development of a holistic management plan (financial, technical, environmental, institutional, social), be it for the health facility itself or on governmental level and the involvement of trained and motivated people will need to be part of every project related to WASH in health facilities (Download the presentation).

For more information contact Roger.Schmid[AT]

Water Source Protection Framework and Guidelines

Skat completed the drafting and piloting of national Water Source Protection Guidelines for Uganda, on behalf of the Ministry of Water & Environment. The finished guidelines are due to be published and rolled out nationally in the second half of 2013. The framework and guidelines are intended to help the owners/operators of water infrastructure to 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.

For more information contact Sean.Furey[AT]
Support to SDC on follow up Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative Trust Fund, the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI)

Skat supports SDC in policy dialogue with the African Development Bank and with other Steering Committee members and gives management support, in particular, concerning the follow up of the implementation of the strategic business plan of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI). It provides technical advice and training support (on demand) for specific WASH related topics and supports exchange between SDC and RWSSI actors. This year, with support from Skat and SwissPeace, the AfDB organized a workshop on the application of the fragility lens in the Bank with a particular focus on the water sector. Based on this input, the AfDB will adjust internal procedures to be in a better position to anticipate and respond to fragility issues, which could impact their water projects. Skat was also actively involved in the organisation of the first meeting of the RWSSI Coordination Committee (RCC). The RCC will play a lead role in RWSSI in sharing information and learning and playing and advocacy role between member countries and with the Bank.

For more information contact Andre.Olschewski[AT]
Tapping Treasure: Cost-effective boreholes in Sierra Leone

An objective of the Sierra Leone National Water and Sanitation Policy (2010) is to “have systematic and sustainable development and use of groundwater resources”. This includes the development and dissemination of procedures and guidelines governing groundwater development and management. Sierra Leone has considerable untapped potential for borehole drilling. Skat Foundation has just released a report that summarises the findings from an inception visit examining water well drilling in Sierra Leone:

For more information contact Kerstin.Danert[AT]

Two Day Writing Course for WASH practitioners

Skat Foundation was commissioned by WaterAid to develop a writing course aimed specifically at helping improve the quality of documentation produced by WASH professionals. The course that was developed has seven components that focus on the critical areas of creating good, readable documents and articles that are effective at delivering a well-defined message to the intended audience, in the right way, at the right time. The course was launched successfully in 2012. This year, Skat undertook again a-two-day writing course in Kampala, Uganda attended by 12 staff from various organisations such as World Vision, Plan International, Water Missions International, Ministry of Water & Environment, Triple-S Uganda, Peace Corps and UWASNET. A further half day writing workshop was carried out at the 36th WEDC Conference in Kenya in July and in Dar-Es-Salaam for WaterAid, in September.

For more information contact Sean.Furey[AT]

* Building and Settlements *

Strengthening the Disaster Management System in Cambodia

Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) has submitted a successful bid to the World Bank for Strengthening the Disaster Management System in Cambodia. The overall objective is to improve the capacities of the national and sub-national committees and stakeholders to reduce disaster risks. As part of a cohesive plan for addressing key skills that have been assessed as lacking, the consulting team performing this project will focus on sub-objectives as described below under three sub-components: i) development of national and provincial risk maps, ii) emergency management information and an early warning system, and iii) development of housing and building codes. The principal outputs from the consultancy will be: a) A probabilistic risk assessment and open source software platform for risk maps, covering all provinces and identifying vulnerabilities and impacts on major sectors; b) an end-to-end multi-hazard Early Warning System (EWS) and disaster awareness program from national to communal levels together with a fully functioning Disaster Management Information System (DMIS) at NCDM that includes an operational national and sub-national Damage and Needs Assessment (DANA) and Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA) data management system; and guidelines, training manuals and standards development for different types of construction in the housing sector to improve quality and sustainability. The Project has been launched in July 2013 and will be completed in 2015. Skat has been mandated by ADPC to provide specific consultancy services for the development of housing and building codes.

For more information contact Daniel.Schwitter[AT]

* Energy and Climate *

Desk Study on Framework and Investment Conditions for Small Hydropower (below 10 MW) in Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, and Slovakia

Sol-E Suisse AG is part of the BKW Group (former Bernische Kraftwerke AG), one of the biggest utilities in Switzerland. Sol-E Suisse is realising and operating various renewable energy projects in Switzerland but is also interested to expand in South-Eastern European countries. For this purpose Skat was assigned to analyse and compare potentials for small hydropower (< 10 MW) and the respective frame conditions for investment in the four countries Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. The study consisted of a comparative assessment of current electricity supply, role of hydropower, future potential of small hydropower, important stakeholders in the sector, energy policy, legal framework (feed-in tariff systems, quota and green certificates etc.) and investment support in all 4 countries. The comprehensive report provides a basis of information and an in-depth analysis and comparison of the status quo in the four countries as first step in the decision process of the client. For more information contact Hedi.Feibel[AT] Plausibility check of hydrological studies for various hydropower projects under the Green for Growth Fund

The Green for Growth Fund GGF – replenished by EIB, EBRD and KfW – provides loans to various financing institutions in Western Balkan countries, who disburse it to private investors with eligible green projects, like e.g. hydropower projects. The fund manager “Finance in Motion FIM” is responsible for checking the financial and legal matters. Part of the technical due diligence is the assessment of the hydrological study used as a basis for the design of the respective hydropower project. Skat is responsible for analysing and making a plausibility check of the available hydrological studies for a specific project in Macedonia, consisting of 5 hydropower projects which use the flow from the two rivers Boshava and Vatashka. Additionally, Skat is in charge of: analysing the available hydrological data of 2 gauging stations; establishing flow duration curves; making trend analysis and significance tests; and determining the required residual flow.

For more information contact Hedi.Feibel[AT]

Small Hydro Project Characterization and Concept Note Preparation for Scaling up Renewable Energy Program for low income countries Support (SREP) in Liberia

The objective of the assignment is to identify and characterise a number of small hydro projects that can offer cost effective electricity to rural communities in Liberia. The main activities undertaken by Skat are: to review the documentation provided by the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the Rural Renewable Energy Agency (RREA), to screen the sites through various field visits and to define prioritization criteria including cost and performance estimations. Additionally the hydrological study includes the review of existing data and information, basic training of local staff on hydropower assessment and the development of an action plan.

For more information contact Hedi.Feibel[AT]

Quality check of feasibility studies submitted to the Private Sector Participation in Micro Hydropower (PSP Hydro) Project, GIZ in Rwanda

The PSP Hydro project, carried out in the framework of the Energising Development (EnDev) Rwanda programme, aims to provide access to electricity for approximately 20.000 people and to enable small and medium-sized businesses to install and sustainably operate micro hydropower plants. Therefore, the PSP Hydro project supports private firms in the process of constructing and operating micro hydropower plants through consulting, training and limited co-financing. Skat was mandated by GIZ to provide technical advice to the PSP Hydro team regarding technical feasibility studies, determine whether improvements to these studies are necessary and to provide an input addressing specific questions of the PSP Hydro team.

For more information contact Hedi.Feibel[AT]

* Network Management *

External Evaluation of Medicus Mundi Switzerland – Network Health for All

Medicus Mundi Switzerland – Network Health for All is the network of Swiss organisations working in the field of international health. Medicus Mundi Switzerland (MMS) promotes the sharing of knowledge and know-how among its members and partners. Currently, a total of 45 organisations and around 200 individuals are members of the Network. The network MMS was established in 1978 as an Association and is led by a Steering Committee composed by eight members. In 2013, Skat was entrusted by MMS and SDC to conduct, between February and June, an external evaluation of the Network’s phase 2011 – 2013. The main objectives of the evaluation were to assess the results of the contribution of SDC to Medicus Mundi Switzerland; to address the achievement and potential of the cooperation between MMS and SDC in strengthening the quality, visibility and effectiveness of International Health Cooperation Swiss players; and to provide concrete recommendations to SDC and MMS to maximise the demonstrated potential and to tackle the existing weaknesses of the Network.

For more information about this evaluation contact Bertha.Camacho[AT]

Consulting GIZ alumni networks in Africa

The new cooperation strategy between GIZ and its worldwide alumni networks aims at establishing independent organizational structures that provide a wide range of services both to their members and to key partners in their regions. In order to reach this aim, GIZ contracted Skat to provide advice on how to optimize their marketing strategy so that they provide services on demand in their own country (and possibly internationally). From January to August 2013, Skat supported this process by defining critical success factors of five selected “Showcase” networks in Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region. At the end of the consulting period, all five networks developed marketing documents addressing their current services. They worked as well on action plans that would enable them to provide better services to their partners in the next year. Based on this experience, Skat provided as well recommendations for the sustainability of the networks.

For more information contact Bertha.Camacho[AT]

* RWSN Publications *

How Three Handpumps Revolutionised Rural Water Supplies – A brief history of the India Mark II/III, Afridev and the Zimbabwe Bush Pump

The India Mark II/III, the Afridev and the Zimbabwe Bush Pump are three of the most successful and widespread handpump designs in the world. Over the last quarter of a century, hundreds of thou-sands, if not millions, have been built and installed in wells and boreholes around the world. More information on this publication is to find at: or by contacting Kerstin.Danert[AT]
EMAS Household Water Supply Technologies in Bolivia Increasing Access to Low-Cost Water Supplies in Rural Areas

This publication, by Mike MacCarthy, James Buckingham and James Mihelic of the University of South Florida, provides background on selected EMAS household water supply technologies to the wider sector audience. It assesses and presents experiences with these technologies as used in Bolivia. The document provides: (1) an overview of EMAS household water supply technologies (specifically the EMAS Pump, a percussion-jetting-rotation manual drilling method, and rainwater harvesting systems) and of EMAS’s approach to improving water supply, and (2) an independent assessment of these EMAS technologies as used in Bolivia. Reference is given to other available resources related to EMAS technologies, including EMAS training videos that are available on the internet. Available for download from: or by contacting Kerstin.Danert[AT]
Human Right to Water: What does it mean in Practice? World Bank – RWSN Webinar with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Ms Catarina de Albuquerque

This edited transcript of the webinar is intended to enable rural water supply professionals and practitioners to understand more about what the human right to water means in practice. This document is now available for download from or by contacting Kerstin.Danert[AT]
Experiences and Ideas from RWSN’s Sustainable Groundwater Community 2013: What are we talking about?

The RWSN’s Sustainable Groundwater Development community ( comprises over 500 members from 69 countries. There has been vibrant exchange and debates on topics such as national groundwater policies, gravel packing, drilling technologies, the life of a handpump and many more. This synthesis pulls together the many ideas, opinions, experiences and suggestions from the online community and makes recommendations for a collaborative way forward. This document is available for download at: or by contacting Kerstin.Danert[AT]

About Skat

In 2013, Skat welcomed new staff:

Julie Bergamin joined Skat as Assistant Coordinator, ApaSan Project Moldova. Her professional background is in international relations with 5 years of experience in program management, as well as planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects in the field of water and environmental sanitation. Her interest is focussed on holistic approaches, which integrate institutional, social, economic, technical and environmental aspects. She has experience in the development and implementation of public partnerships; capacity building; multi-stakeholder dialogues; international water law; water tariffs; household water treatment and hygiene education. After several field visits in Mauritania, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Kenya, she is now working in Moldova.

Jean Louis Lavalade joined Skat as Project Manager for the Programme Eau Potable pour les Populations des Grands Lacs: DRC (South Kivu), Rwanda (western province) and Burundi (Ngozi province)’ – PEPP. He is hydraulic engineer and hydro-geologist with almost 30 years of professional experience in the WASH sector. He gained broad experience during his work in many African countries (Togo, Chad, Mali, Benin, Mauretania, Senegal, Ghana, Niger, Guinea, and Sudan, among others). Besides having led and managed a number of water and sanitation projects in rural, urban and semi-urban areas, he elaborated feasibility studies and hydro-geological studies and was responsible for monitoring and evaluation of WASH projects. His main fields of experience are among others: development of sector policies and strategies, integrated water resources management, financial and economic analysis of water and sanitation projects and establishment of sustainable structures for operation and management of water supply and sanitation infrastructure.

Cyr Franck Ahononga joined Skat as Technical Deputy for the PEPP. He is a water and sanitation engineer with more than 19 years of experience in situation appraisals, design and management of WASH programs in rural and urban contexts and providing advisory support for skills transfer to decentralized structures. In addition, he’s specialized in conception and controlling of hardware work with regards to dams, irrigated schemes and rural roads. He worked as project manager of WASH projects in several countries in West Africa such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo.

Heidrun Simm joined Skat as Geographer for the Program Promoting off-farm employment in Africa’s Geat Lakes Region through climate responsive construction material production (PROECCO). She spent the last 15 years working in programmes of international development agencies, NGOs, universities, and the private sector, mainly in the Philippines, Rwanda and the DR Congo, and on several short term assignments in Uganda, Tanzania, and Burundi. She worked as advisor, project manager and programme director in particular in the fields of environmental and sustainable resource management, community based conservation focusing on forests, protected areas and their buffer zones, as well as integrated coastal resource management, involving multi-stakeholder dialogues and awareness rising. Part of this work was also setting up environmental information systems, building capacities in GIS, income generation through alternative livelihood projects, sustainable tourism and marketing, and health programs for rural communities. She is experienced in organizational development, facilitation of decision making processes, planning, M&E, and data management supporting various stakeholders, and in particular local authorities with a main emphasis on sustainable development.

Michael Velten joined Skat as Economist for PROECCO. His professional background is on private sector promotion and local economic development with more than 20 years of working experience in programmes of the Swiss and German Development Co-operation and multilateral agencies. He has been engaged as project manager and programme director, advisor and consultant in Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Rwanda and Burundi. His key competencies are in the fields of: Local economic development, value chains and sustainable resource management; Institutional development and capacity building for small and medium enterprises (associations, chambers, and cooperatives); Vocational training systems; and financial services (micro credits, guarantees).