Since 2017, BORDA Southeast Asia (SEA) has been cooperating with Bangkok-based Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on the introduction and application of the FSM (faecal sludge management) Toolbox in all BORDA SEA partner countries. The FSM Toolbox is one of the tools used in the application of the Integrated Sanitation Approach by BORDA and its partners.
With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in cooperation with several regional and global organisations, an international and interdisciplinary research team from AIT, led by Prof. Thammarat Koottatep, developed version 1.0 of the FSM Toolbox, which was then refined by Athena Infonomics to come up with version 2.0.
On 3–5 June 2019 in the BORDA Laos project office, BORDA Laos and AIT conducted FSM Toolbox training for members of the Department of Housing and Urban Planning (DHUP) and other related departments housed under the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT). The main purpose of the training was to discuss the current FSM situation in Laos and to introduce ways the refined FSM Toolbox can help to address existing gaps in FSM planning and implementation.
Real practice in BORDA Laos projects in the provinces of Bokeo and Laoungnamtha has shown that the FSM Toolbox can provide significant support for feasibility studies and data collection for FSM.
During the three-day training, the AIT team including Prof. Thammarat Koottatep (Associate Professor), Mr. Santosh Dhungana (Research Associate), and Mr. Suraj Pradhan (Research Associate) presented the functionality and features of FSM Toolbox version 2.0. In addition to very informative presentations, participants also received hands-on practice with the online FSM Toolbox modules including the Rapid Assessment Tool, Pro Assessment Tool, Stakeholder Engagement Tool, Business Model Tool, and Infrastructure Planning Tool. The tools gathered in this version of the toolbox, including a Lao language version, were designed to accelerate the effective implementation of FSM practices in order to optimise the performance of FSM projects.
The training was deemed a success, as all participants concluded that the tools presented by AIT are very useful for their practical work in FSM. Applying the newly introduced tools in their daily work will help them to plan and manage FSM more efficiently in the future. Equally essential was the knowledge transfer and exchange achieved by bringing together members of DHUP, BORDA Laos and AIT.
We would like to thank all participants for their efforts in improving FSM in BORDA Laos, and we are looking forward to cooperating with and supporting the FSM Toolbox team.
On 3–5 June 2019, BORDA Laos and AIT conducted training for members of the Department of Housing & Urban Planning on how the FSM Toolbox can help to address existing gaps in FSM planning and implementation
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