Project Description

Executive Summary

After successful elimination of open defecation, Bangladesh is now focusing on fecal sludge management (FSM), as a part of its commitment to achieving SDG Target 6.2. With the recent (October 2017) approval of the Institutional and Regulatory Framework (IRF) for FSM and successful implementation of small-scale FSM services in some cities and town by I/NGOs , a favorable environment has been created for implementation of city-wide FSM services. Currently, a number of WASH and urban development projects with FSM components are at a preparatory stage; these project are being funded by GoB as well as by development partners and banks, and are being implemented at different Paurashavas (municipalities) by DPHE and also LGED. However, awareness regarding FSM among high level policy makers, Paurashavas leadership, and people in general is very limited.  For the successful implementation of the planned and future FSM/sanitation projects, there is also a dire need to increase the capacity of staff members within the DPHE and Paurashavas on all aspects of fecal sludge management (FSM). However, there is lack of trainers and appropriate training materials. The country also lacks a proper “platform” for providing continued capacity building support to the sanitation/FSM sector.

The overall objective of the proposed project is to support scaling FSM services in Bangladesh through national level capacity building program. The specific objectives include: (a) to raise awareness among major stakeholders, including high level policy makers, LGI leadership and officials regarding FSM, and formulate necessary plans, regulations, guidelines , in an effort to create an enabling environment for mainstreaming the IRF in urban centers of Bangladesh; (b) enhance capacity of LGIs, DPHE, LGED, NGO staff, private sector, and other stakeholders for planning, implementation, and monitoring of city-wide inclusive sanitation services including FSM; and (c) development of a national capacity building platform for providing continued capacity building support to all sector stakeholder.

The proposed project aims to sensitize and generate awareness among key stakeholders through exposure visits, advocacy/policy dialogue, and orientation/training for LGI leadership and top management; the project also plans to support development of a national plan of action for institutionalization/operationalization of IRF, and formulation of priority regulations, by-laws and guidelines.

For enhancing the capacity of stakeholders, particularly of LGIs, DPHE, the project proposes to develop appropriate training materials, IEC/BCC materials; organizing training at different levels including trainers (ToTs), trainings for engineers and other officials of LGIs, DPHE, LGED, NGOs, private sectors, and other field professionals, and training of field operators and emptiers. The project also plans to establish a FSM Support Unit at DPHE and develop an Online Operation Monitoring System (OOMS) for DPHE in order to facilitate monitoring of FSM implementation centrally. The project also plans to establish/strengthen three FSM laboratories in the country. In addition, the project plans to carryout awareness campaigns at community level and through the print and electronic media. All these activities are aimed at enhancing capacity of LGIs, DPHE and other stakeholders for implementing city-wide sanitation/FSM.

For ensuring sustainability of the capacity building activities, the project proposes development of a national capacity-building platform under the leadership of ITN-BUET with active support and participation of FSM Network, DPHE and sector stakeholders. The platform that would capacity building support, carry out action research, organize learning events, workshops, and publish policy and advocacy briefs/papers, and provide technical and policy advisory support to all stakeholders. For this purpose, the capacity of ITN-BUET staff/professionals would be enhanced with support from reputed organizations having experience in the design and development of capacity building platform. A knowledge management system would also be developed for documentation and dissemination of knowledge and experience on continued basis.

Problem Statement

After successfully achieving almost complete elimination of open defecation, Bangladesh is currently focusing on fecal sludge management (FSM), as a part of its commitment to achieving SDG Target 6.2 (i.e., ensuring safely managed sanitation services). With the recent (October 2017) approval of the Institutional and Regulatory Framework (IRF) for fecal sludge management (FSM), a favorable environment has been created in Bangladesh for implementation of FSM projects. According to the IRF, the responsibility of FSM lies with the local government institutions (i.e., City Corporations and Paurashavas) with support from relevant Government agencies (i.e., DPHE and LGED) and other stakeholders (e.g., NGOs, development partners).

Currently, with the support of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Bangladesh is investing in fecal sludge management (FSM) in 23 Paurashavas (towns); there are plans to initiate implementation of many more Paurashavas with the support of the Government (GoB), ADB and the World Bank. The Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) is the lead department to provide support to the towns for implementation of these FSM projects; the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) is also incorporating FSM components in its urban development projects/programs. Currently, different organizations such as ITN-BUET, DPHE, Practical Action, SNV, WaterAid and WUSP etc. are engaged in a variety of awareness and capacity building activities on FSM.

However, at the Paurashavas level, awareness and knowledge regarding FSM is very limited. Awareness on FSM is also limited among high level policy makers (e.g., Ministers, Secretaries, Mayors). The recently approved IRF needs to be disseminated among the different stakeholders; a national action plan for phase-wise implementation/ operationalization of IRF is also needed, considering availability of resources and capacity and interest of local government institutions. For the successful implementation of the planned and future FSM/sanitation projects, there is a dire need to increase the capacity of staff members within the DPHE and Paurashavas on all aspects of fecal sludge management (FSM), including planning, design and operation of city-scale FSM projects. However, there is lack of trainers and appropriate training materials for catering to different types of training needs. The country also lacks a proper “platform” for providing continued capacity building support needed by the sector stakeholders for successful implementation of FSM on a long-term basis.

Scope and Approach

The specific objectives of the proposed work are:

  1. To raise awareness among major stakeholders, including high level policy makers, LGI leadership and officials regarding FSM, and formulate necessary plans, regulations, guidelines , in an effort to create an enabling environment for mainstreaming the IRF in urban centers of Bangladesh
  2. Enhance capacity of LGIs, DPHE, LGED, NGO staff, private sector, and other stakeholders for planning, implementation, and monitoring of city-wide inclusive sanitation services including FSM; and
  3. Development of a national capacity building platform for providing continued capacity building support to all sector stakeholder.

The proposed project aims to sensitize and generate awareness among key stakeholders through exposure visits, advocacy/policy dialogue, and orientation/training for LGI leadership and top management (Ministry officials); in an effort to create enabling environment for implementation of FSM, the project also plans to support development of a national plan of action for institutionalization/operationalization of IRF, and formulation of priority regulations, by-laws and guidelines (e.g., related to licenses, tariffs, health and safety, discharge standards, treatment by product standards).

For enhancing the capacity of stakeholders, particularly of LGIs, DPHE, the project proposes to develop appropriate training materials, IEC/BCC materials; organizing training of trainers (ToTs); trainings for engineers and other officials of LGIs, DPHE, LGED, NGOs, private sectors, and other field professionals (on planning, design, operation and monitoring of FSM projects); and training of field operators (e.g., FSTP operators) and emptiers (with special focus on health and safety aspects). Through the ToTs, the project aims to develop a pool of master trainers who will provide services to LGIs, DPHE and LGED. The project also plans to establish a FSM Support Unit at DPHE and develop an Online Operation Monitoring System (OOMS) for DPHE in order to facilitate monitoring of FSM implementation centrally. In order to enhance capacity of sector, the project also plans to establish/strengthen three FSM laboratories in the country; these laboratories are likely to play a key role in the characterization and treatment performance o fecal sludge. It should be noted that currently there is only one operational FSM laboratory in the country, located at Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET). In addition, for facilitating implementation of FSM in urban centers with active participation and support of residents, the project plans to carryout awareness campaigns at community level and also through the print and electronic media. All these activities would enhance capacity of LGIs and other stakeholders for implementing city-wide sanitation/FSM services in their respective cities, following the IRF.

For ensuring sustainability of the initiatives taken under the project, development of a national capacity-building platform (to be coordinated by ITN-BUET) has been proposed, that would, among others, would document and disseminate knowledge and experience, and provide technical and policy advisory support to all stakeholders. This initiative would involve capacity development of ITN-BUET staff/professionals, development of a knowledge management system, coordination with FSM Network (including its key members, such as WaterAid, Practical Action, SNV, WSUP, with considerable experience in FSM) and FSM Support Unit at DPHE, carrying out action research, organizing learning events, workshops, and publication of policy and advocacy briefs/papers.

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