WSUP and WEDC (the Water, Engineering and Development Centre of Loughborough University) have jointly developed a Masters-level professional training module “Water and Sanitation for Urban Low-Income Communities” and have made the training materials freely available on WSUP’s website.

We’ve had a great response so far with 75 academics, students and WASH practitioners from over 25 countries downloading the materials. About half of them say they plan to use the materials for training purposes; the other half aim to use them for personal study. We are delighted with this excellent response and uptake in the training module: it clearly shows the demand for professional training in urban WASH.

The course aims to fill a gap in professional training on WASH for urban low-income communities. Engineers are often trained in technical areas and high-cost technologies, but have no real training around the complex social and financial challenges of improving services in low-income communities.

Development of the training module, which is supported by DFID (UK government’s Department for International Development), aims to embed knowledge and understanding of pro-poor effective, viable and sustainable models in graduate students who will go to be become key players in the sector – as well as among practitioners.

The materials in each of the 16 units include a PowerPoint presentation and lecturer notes outlining the unit’s content and aims, and provide guidance on how to deliver the class. For some units  there are online links to additional support materials and recommended readings.. The course is designed  as a module to be taught within Master’s programmes in Water & Wastewater Engineering, Urban Planning, or other relevant areas. But it can also be delivered as stand-alone professional training (ie not as part of a wider academic programme). The recommended delivery approach is full-time face-to-face over a period of eight days. Of course, the materials can tweaked and adapted for inclusion within other courses, and they can also serve simply as inspiration for the planning and development of your own courses in this area.

Interested in knowing more? Then visit  here  and filter for ‘training materials’ as type of resource. You will then be able to download and complete the User Request Form to request the full module materials from WSUP. The materials are created under a Creative Commons license – so, they are freely available for use by academic institutions and other interested organisations worldwide.

More people are requesting the training materials from WSUP’s website on a daily basis; but meanwhile, WSUP and WEDC, in collaboration with in-country university partners, have delivered the course in Mozambique and Ghana, and planning roll-outs in four more countries soon.  In Mozambique the course was delivered at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, as part of a master’s programme on water and wastewater engineering directed by Dr Nelson Matsinhe; in Ghana the course was delivered by KNUST in Kumasi, under the prestigious leadership of Dr Kwabena Nyarko. Big thanks to Nelson and Kwabena!

Feedback from participants has been pretty positivewith all 15 participants in Ghana evaluating the course content and teaching method as good or very good. Most also found the topics covered relevant to their working context, and hope to apply the new knowledge acquired. Topics of most  interest included ‘providing sanitation services in urban low-income communities’ and ‘monitoring and evaluation of urban WASH’. Participants alsopointed out that their employers (ie.  water utilities, municipalities) need to be more open to new learning and support them in applying the new knowledge.. This is feedback that we gratefully take on board as we plan for further course delivery in Bangladesh, Kenya, Madagascar, and Zambia over the coming months.

So if you’re involved in training around water and sanitation service delivery in low-income urban communities: please do take a look at the materials, and let us know what you think!