|WG 1 Introduction|
The backlog in sanitation normally refers to the low coverage of sanitation infrastructure, but is also rooted in the huge lack of capacity at all levels. Thus, capacity development for more sustainable practices in sanitation is urgently needed especially due to the system complexity resulting from the many sectors and authority levels involved. The potential benefits of sustainable sanitation systems in terms of health, improved livelihood, environmental protection, water savings, simplicity, nutrient recovery and energy savings need to be conveyed to all stakeholders.
Governments need to be aware of the importance and the benefits of sustainable sanitation. So as to show leadership, to plan for and allocate the resources required, and to allow the creation of an enabling environment across sectors - health, infrastructure, water, environment, agriculture, and education. The civil society needs to have the capacities to ensure that sustainable sanitation is put on the local political and development agenda. Local governments, planners and the private sector need technical and managerial capacities in order to implement sustainable sanitation. Furthermore, university curricula need to be developed to build up professional capacity in sustainable sanitation.
This working group aims to create a global network to strategically accelerate and influence the capacity development process in the sanitation sector. The working group has produced a factsheet and a resource DVD for capacity development, with available resources collected from its partner network. The working group supports curricula development initiatives aiming to enhance the ability of academics and professionals across disciplines to contribute to the mainstreaming and up-scaling of sustainable sanitation. An important task of the working group is to collect and update information on training courses and training institutions for sustainable sanitation issues (see the last section in the factsheet for examples and contact details). Furthermore, regional capacity development networks, knowledge nodes, online courses and discussion fora in several languages are supported.
The working group sees itself as a focal point and networking opportunity for anyone or any organisation which seeks to become active in capacity development for sustainable sanitation. Key considerations of the group are to foster knowledge management and knowledge sharing, to use open-source approaches for sharing of course materials, and to optimise the use of the opportunities offered nowadays by the internet for capacity development.