Description of the Project:
AGUASAN workshops foster a mutual learning experience and utilise the broad and multi-faceted know-ledge gathered by the participants. They provide a unique forum to explore, discuss and deepen new issues and trends based on high quality thematic inputs and selected topical case studies. Through this, they forge and facilitate the implementation of the Swiss response in water supply and sanitation issues in international cooperation. The year 2022 saw the 36th consecutive workshop in what has become a widely renowned and respected series of innovative events generating highly relevant sector knowledge.
AGUASAN workshops undergo an annual cycle of preparation, organisation, realisation and assessment conducted by the steering committee. Every year the team works with a facilitator to choose a “hot” topic and to carefully prepare and structure the event. Due to the purpose of the event, the preparations just defines the “playground” for the design of the workshop as a function of the topic, but not solutions or outcomes. This flexibility lays a lot of trust in the hands of the steering committee, which has to react to the process during the event and to steer it accordingly. Skat heads the steering committee and bears the overall responsibility of organising and conducting the workshop series. In order to do this, Skat:
- Facilitates the workshop conceptualisation, development, performance and evaluation by leading the steering committee during the preparation, implementation and after-action phases;
- Coaches the resource persons as well as the case study preparations and presentations involved;
- Organises the workshop venue and excursion, whilst assuring all logistics;
- Supports the workshop secretariat in-between and during the workshops;
- Performs the reporting of the event and produces workshop proceedings as well as wider publications according to the guidance provided by the steering committee;
- Sub-contracts, manages and evaluates the workshop moderator as well as the resource persons.
Recent topics of AGUASAN workshops include Caring and Integrated Management practices, Private Sector Participation, the Household-Centred Approach, the issues around the implications and actions needed to put human rights to water and sanitation into practice, the implementation of the SDG water goal as well as circular economy. The 36th workshop (June 2022), taking place for the first time outside of Switzerland – in Jordan, focussed on finding actionable solutions to water management challenges in the light of fragile contexts and climate change in the Middle East region.
Over its nearly four decades of existence, AGUASAN Workshops have had a high significance in the community for tackling challenges going beyond technical aspects to embrace wider sustainability issues (including social, institutional, economic, environmental, and knowledge aspects). The driving forces behind the events are carefully selected themes and the genuine workshop format allowing for direct interactions and joint developments: both made available by a committed steering committee and a qualified implementing organisation. Like this, participants learn from each other, make use of synergies, capitalise on their combined knowledge resources to jointly generate and validate new approaches and practical tools, and raise awareness of the diversity of aspects related to water and sanitation.