India is home to almost one-third of the world's population that survive without adequate sanitation facilities. Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA) in collaboration with the Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD) Society, has developed for the last 10 years, integrated solution packages for the provision of basic urban sanitation facilities. The customised packages include all or part of key sanitation elements like: toilets, decentralised wastewater treatment systems (DEWATS), health and hygiene education, solid waste management, drainage system, stakeholder participation measures.

Over the last decade, with the support of its network partners CDD Society has been successful in delivering around 400 sanitation systems in South Asia. Due to the rapid growth of its population, India may require 1.3 million sanitation systems alone in the coming years. One of the key issues in meeting this huge target is the lack of trained professionals and implementing agencies.

To upscale the efforts in delivering basic needs services in the sanitation sector, the Basic Needs Services (BNS) Network has started the establishment of a capacity building institution for decentralised sanitation solutions called Centre for Advanced Sanitation Solutions (CASS). CASS aims at providing the entire range of knowledge and skills required for the implementation of integrated sanitation solutions such as technical know-how for designing toilets, decentralised wastewater treatment systems (DEWATS), drainage systems, solid waste management and drinking water source protection; social support measures include health and hygiene education, community-based participatory planning tools as well as project management related aspects. For town and city managers, CASS will offer planning support for city and town-wide sanitation programmes. Furthermore, sanitation related R&D activities, knowledge management and exhibition is offered under CASS's ‘One-Stop-Shop’ concept; all components of sanitation are provided under one roof.

This paper presents the basic components of the capacity building strategy developed by CDD/BORDA focusing on target groups, development of knowledge units (training module) and the didactical approach.

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