Bringing all partners together
The third hands4health face-to-face workshop took place on August 31 and September 1, 2023, at the FHNW in Muttenz, Basel, with representatives from all partner organisations and project countries. With a total of 33 participants, the two-day meeting enabled the partners to:
- Share updates on their activities, including main highlights, challenges and solutions from the implementation phase, as well as the status of the stakeholder engagement in the countries;
- Network, coordinate activities and deepen their knowledge on specific topics through in-depth trainings;
- Connect in a field visit to the FHNW and Swiss TPH research labs.
Updating each other
Day 1 focused on group discussions and updates from the project partners. The workshop was kicked off with a break-the-ice exercise, enabling partners to get to know each other while exchanging about what they liked most about the hands4health project. Many of them had never met in person prior to the workshop.
After welcoming words and a general project overview from Maryna Peter (FHNW), EPFL-LTQE and Martin Systems presented their updates on the chlorine disinfection research and the filter membranes, respectively.
Each country team then jointly shared the main insights regarding the success factors and challenges of the implementation phase, as well as the status of the stakeholder engagement in country.
In the afternoon, the partners came together in groups, to discuss issues related to fieldwork and data collection in the countries, technical aspects, and how to bring the hands4health results to scale.
Similar to a science fair, a marketplace was set up. It comprised 8 stands, in which the partners presented the different technologies and approaches being used within the hands4health intervention. The stands enabled the partners to network and learn about the different topics, including Gravit’eau handwashing stations (Gravit’eau, FHNW and Tdh Nigeria), water quality & chlorination (PPU, Cesvi and EPFL), WASH FIT (Tdh Burkina Faso) and the RANAS approach to behaviour change (Ranas).
You can access the posters presented here:
- Water quality monitoring in Palestinian Schools
- Amélioration durable de l’accès aux services de base WASH et aux innovations « hands4health » dans les établissements de santé grâce à l’approche WaSH
- WASH FIT in the WASH Agenda For Change System Building Blocks
- The Behaviour Change Toolkits in the hands4health project: Ranas4HCFs and Ranas4Schools
Day 2 provided space for capacity building and in-depth discussion through trainings run by the partners themselves. The trainings covered the following topics: Preventative maintenance & WASH FIT (FHNW and Tdh); How to evaluate impact (Swiss TPH); Technologies – Gravit’eau, Chlorination, etc. (FHNW and PPU); and the RANAS approach to behaviour change (Ranas).
Following the training sessions, the partners visited the research laboratories at FHNW and Swiss TPH. The visit started at the Environmental Technology Lab of the FHNW, which features an in-house wastewater treatment plant. The plant is mainly used for educational purposes and treats half of the wastewater produced in the building, before redirecting the treated effluent to a wastewater treatment plant for correct discharge. The visit enabled the partners to learn about the different treatment membranes, as well as the ozonation and reverse osmosis processes.
Afterwards, the group visited the Swiss TPH. A warm welcome was given by the Director, Prof. Dr. Jürg Utzinger, who provided a short introduction into Swiss TPH’s history and research portfolio. The group then went for a tour to learn more about some of the institute’s biosafety level 3 labs, which carry out research on infectious agents, covering diseases such as Malaria, Esquistossomosis, Tuberculosis and Chagas. To close off the visit and workshop, an apéro was held at Swiss TPH.