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Welcome Note

This edition of The Resource Spring is packed with news and resources related to WatSan, public health and the environment and I hope you will take a few minutes to read over the content and see what may be useful for you and your organizations. Updates on what’s been happening in the sector can be found in the national and international news sections.

Learning opportunities in the area of public health and climate change are available. Upcoming events for the next few months are also looking exciting. If you are planning to host any events or activities please feel free to let us know the details and we can publish them in The Resource Spring as well as on our facebook pages.  If you have any comments, suggestions or feedback on them we would also be pleased about it.

I hope you enjoy October’s edition of The Resource Spring and we look forward to hearing back from you. If you would like to include information in The Resource Spring please contact us through the details provided below.

S.M.A. Rashid
Executive Director
NGO Forum for Public Health

National News

Raise a hand for HYGIENE, Global Handwashing Day 2015 observed

Global Handwashing Day is a global campaign celebrated each year on 15 October to motivate and mobilize millions around the world to wash their hands with soap. The campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of handwashing with soap as a key approach to disease prevention. 

This year Bangladesh is celebrating the Day with the slogan ‘Raise a hand for HYGIENE’. The day is significantly celebrated through rallies, demonstration of handwashing, exhibition of posters and distribution of leaflets all over the country.

As a part of the campaign the event is organized at the Osmani Auditorium premises, Dhaka. This year, hundreds of school going children washed their hands with soap to mark the Day.

Mr. Akram-al-hossain, Additional Secretary, Local Government Division welcomed the participants. He also informed that the Local Government Division has taken initiative to develop an independent commission for improving water supply and sanitation facilities.

Mr. Edouard Beigbeder, Country Representative, UNICEF, Bangladesh, was present as a Special Guest stated that washing hands with soap is a no cost intervention that can save lives of millions of children all over the world.

Read more

Sanitation success declines open defecation into 1pc

Speakers at an international sanitation conference in the capital on commended Bangladesh on its remarkable success in reducing open defecation and improving access to sanitation, while emphasising on the need to prepare for future challenges. The inaugural session of the conference, entitled Journey To Zero, took place on 03 Oct 2015 at Hotel Lakeshore in Gulshan, and was attended by representative of the Government of Bangladesh, civil society and academia.

Mr. Abdul Malek, Secretary, Local Government Division, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, spoke of rates of open defecation falling from 34% in 1990 to 1% today. Alluding to this as a joint success, the secretary applauded the role of the government, civil society, and the united efforts of the people of the nation in almost eliminating open defecation.
A presentation on the end of open defecation in Bangladesh by researchers Ms. Suzanne Hanchett and Mr. Shafiul Azam Ahmed, also cited the role of social mobilisation and the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) movement as being key to this achievement.

Other guests at the event included Mr. Edouard Beigbeder, Country Representative of UNICEF, Mr. Delwar Hossain, Chief Engineer, Department of Public Health and Engineering, and Engineer Md. Wali Ullah, Member Secretary, Sanitation Secretariat and Additional Chief Engineer, DPHE. The speakers welcomed this conference as an opportunity for practitioners and policymakers to reflect on past lessons and understand future challenges. In particular, issues such as faecal sludge management, poor hygiene behaviour and the impact of climate change were discussed as pressing concerns.

Read more

New Dental Project of NGO Forum Aus-Bangla Care for Dental ABCD

Bangladesh is a country with a population of approximately 160 million people with around 7,000 registered dentists. This means that on an average there is one dentist for 22,800 people. As with most developing countries the majority of the dentists stay in large cities and towns while the majority of the population lives in rural areas. Rural villagers and urban slum dwellers struggle to access dental care.

Being the networking and service delivery agency in the domain of public health, NGO Forum for Public Health, with support from the Rotary Club of Dee Why Warringah, Australia and the Rotary Club of Dhaka, Bangladesh, has launched a one-year (August 2015 to July 2016) dental project titled “Aus-Bangla Care for Dental (ABCD) on pilot basis with the aim to providing essential dental care/services for the poor people living in Mirpur slum areas in Dhaka and in few selected rural areas of Bangladesh targeting the poor school children. 10 nos. of two-day monthly camp and a five-day rural camp are planned to take place during the project period facilitated by renowned and experienced Australian dentists and local Bangladeshi dentists who have committed to extend their voluntary services for the poor and distressed population.

In September 2015, a total of 7 dental camps were organized both in urban and rural locations from which 1,021 patients had received dental services that included screening, teeth extractions, fillings and the application of sliver fluoride. A high level of decay has been observed among the screened patients, especially the school children. As part of the services, the ABCD team also facilitated lively hygiene sessions on dental care for the school children.

Read more

Politics of Climate Change - The next phase in the global battle

The recent award of Champion of the Earth conferred upon Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a fitting recognition of her personal achievements, as well as that of the government and people of Bangladesh, in being a pioneer among nations in tackling climate change in particular. The head of UNEP Achim Steiner made special mention of the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) and the fact that Bangladesh has been implementing the plan using its own funds under the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCTF) for the last six years.

At the same time, Bangladesh leads the world in the number of Solar Home Systems (SHS) installed (now well over three million) through a very successful model of public-private partnership of the Infrastructure Development Company (IDCOL) and its franchise model of delivering SHS to millions of customers around the country.

Bangladesh has been able to gain valuable experience by implementing both adaptation as well as mitigation actions through hundreds of projects, both by government ministries and agencies as well as by NGOs and private sector. As a result, thousands of people from all walks of life are rapidly climbing the climate change knowledge ladder and becoming well-informed not only about climate change problems but more importantly, about solutions to those problems.

Read more

Knowledge Corner

Understanding Complexity

In development agencies, paradigms of linear causality condition much thinking and practice. They encourage command-and-control hierarchies, centralize decision making, and dampen creativity and innovation. Globalization demands that organizations see our turbulent world as a collection of evolving ecosystems. To survive and flourish they must then be adaptable and fleet-footed. Notions of complexity offer a wealth of insights and guidance to 21st century organizations that strive to do so.

More information can be found on the website

Distributing Leadership

The prevailing view of leadership is that it is concentrated or focused. In organizations, this makes it an input to business processes and performance - dependent on the attributes, behaviors, experience, knowledge, skills, and potential of the individuals chosen to impact these. The theory of distributed leadership thinks it best considered as an outcome. Leadership is defined by what one does, not who one is. Leadership at all levels matters and must be drawn from, not just be added to, individuals and groups in organizations.

More information can be found on the website

Managing Virtual Teams

Virtual team management is the ability to organize and coordinate with effect a group whose members are not in the same location or time zone, and may not even work for the organization. The predictor of success is as always clarity of purpose. But group participation in achieving that is more than ever important to compensate for lost context. Virtual team management requires deeper understanding of people, process, and technology, and recognition that trust is a more limiting factor compared with face-to-face interactions.

More information can be found on the website

Learning Opportunities

Relief Web

Course name: Online Certificate Course on Hygiene Promotion in Emergencies

Description: The course explores the fundamentals of hygiene promotion in emergency environments. You will look at methods of hygiene behavior change, community engagement and facilitation, and how to ensure that affected populations are fully integrated in the WASH responses that your organisation implements.

Date: 1 December 2015- 1 February 2016
Cost:  $ 500

The World Bank

Course name: Basics of Health Economics

Description: Health economists can contribute to better decision making. While most economists train through university degree programs, short- and medium-term training is also required. Furthermore, health economists, even when they do exist and are well trained, are not always part of decision making in health ministries. A clear need exists to train and empower policy and operational decision makers on how health economics can help make health systems more effective, efficient and equitable.

Date: 11 Nov 2015 - 16 Dec 2015

Red R India


Course name: Monitoring and Evaluating Humanitarian Responses

Description: The objective of the course is with increasing emphasis on accountability to key stakeholders in the humanitarian sector, the Monitoring and Evaluation course helps agencies and individuals in learning from past experience, improving service delivery, planning and allocating resources optimally, and demonstrating results. The course enables participants to develop critical skills to design Monitoring and Evaluation systems for more efficient and effective impact-oriented humanitarian responses.

Date: 2-5 February 2016 
Cost: $ 440

Useful Links

Contact Us

If you would like to subscribe to the Resource Spring or have any story ideas, comments or suggestions please email us.

email: nrc@ngof.org

postal address: NGO Forum for Public Health, 4/6, Block-E, Lalmatia, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh

website: National Resource Centre

In this Issue ...

International News

UNICEF warns inadequate hygiene endangers key development goal

More than 40 percent of health facilities have no water resources within 500 metres in sub-Saharan Africa where the practice of handwashing with soap is dangerously low even though it is "one of the cheapest, simplest, most effective health interventions," the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.

The UN agency made the statement on the eighth Global Handwashing Day, which came less than a month after the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, including hygiene for the first time in the global agenda. One of the SDG targets is to achieve "access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene" by 2030.

UNICEF said improvements in hygiene must supplement access to water and sanitation, or children will continue to fall victim to easily preventable diseases like diarrhea.

"Along with drinking water and access to toilets, hygiene -- particularly handwashing with soap -- is the essential third leg of the stool holding up the (Sustainable Development) Goal on water and sanitation," said Sanjay Wijesekera, global head of UNICEF's water, sanitation and hygiene programs, in a press release.

"From birth -- when unwashed hands of birth attendants can transmit dangerous pathogens -- right through babyhood, school and beyond, handwashing is crucial for a child's health," Wijesekera said. "It is one of the cheapest, simplest, most effective health interventions we have."

Read more

Opinion: 'Sanitation, Water & Hygiene For All' Cannot Wait for 2030

The new Sustainable Development Goals, agreed upon recently by the member states of the United Nations, are all interconnected, as has been reiterated time and again. However, it is in the new Goal 6 – "Ensure access to water and sanitation for all"—for which this interconnectedness is most apparent.

Geeta Rao GuptaWater flows throughout the 2030 Development Agenda. And sanitation and hygiene underpin any possible gains from access to water. If we do not reach Goal 6, the other goals and targets will not be reached. Progress in the areas of education, health, inequality and extreme poverty all depends on how well we do on water and sanitation.

The United Nations some years ago declared that access to water and sanitation is a basic human right. However today, 663 million people are without access to adequate drinking water and 2.4 billion lack adequate toilets.

We at UNICEF are particularly concerned about the children, who are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to these basic needs. It affects their health. Water and sanitation related diseases are one of the leading causes of death in children under five. Without access to sanitation hundreds of them fall ill and die every single day from preventable causes, particularly diarrhoea and other fecal-oral diseases.

It affects their education. In many communities, girls stay out of school because they need to fetch water; because they do not have a safe space to use when they menstruate; because they must help their mothers care for those who are sick – often from water-borne diseases.

Read more

WHO unveils plan on water, sanitation, hygiene integration

The World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled a global plan to better integrate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) with four other public health interventions to strengthen programs against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020.

WHO director for public health, environmental and social determinants of health Maria Neira, said millions suffer from devastating WASH-related neglected tropical diseases such as soil-transmitted helminthiasis, guinea-worm disease, trachoma and schistosomiasis – all of which affect mainly children.

“Solutions exist, such as access to safe water, managing human excreta, improving hygiene and enhancing targeted environmental management. Such improvements not only lead to improved health, but also reduce poverty,” Neira noted.

Targeted water and sanitation interventions are expected to bolster ongoing efforts in tackling 16 out of the 17 NTDs, which affect more than one billion of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations.
A recent report showed that this year, more than 660 million people do not have access to improved water sources.

The WHO-United Nations Children’s Fund joint monitoring program for water supply and sanitation report also showed that almost 2.5 billion people lacked access to improved sanitation. Open defecation and lack of hygiene are important risk factors for the transmission of many NTDs. Over half a million lives are lost each year as a result of NTDs.

According to Dirk Engels, director of the Department of Control of NTDs, joint planning, resourcing and delivery of WASH interventions are key to eliminating NTDs and in achieving many public health and human development goals.

Read more

UN-sustainable development goals 

As the time frame for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) draws to an end in December 2015, the United Nations is about to adopt a new set of goals known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), under the theme of “Transforming the World”.

The process of drawing the new goals began with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20) in June 2012. The Open Working Group, with representatives from 70 countries, was set to prepare the draft proposals while a series of “global conversations” were also conducted by the UN in different countries to identify the priority areas.

The 70th United Nations General Assembly went into session on September 15, 2015. The General Assembly will adopt the new set of development goals at the Sustainable Development Summit scheduled to be held from September 25-27. Developing nations are expected to frame policies based on SDGs and allocate funds in such a manner that by 2030 poverty can be eliminated.

In short, the 17 goals are : i) ending poverty; ii) ending hunger; iii) ensuring healthy lives; iv) education to all; v) gender equality; vi) ensuring clean water and sanitation for all; vii) access to energy; viii) ensuring full employment; ix) sustainable industrialisation; x) reducing inequality within and among nations; xi) safe human settlement; xii) ensuring sustainable production and consumption; xiii) combating climate change; xiv) sustainable use of marine resources; xv) protecting terrestrial ecosystem; xvi) justice for all and accountable institutions; xvii) strengthening global partnership.

Read more

New Resources Available

The NRC library acts as a sector memory and contains a rich collection of resources with complete connectivity to a state-of-the-art Online Library Information System (OLIS). The physical library itself contains over 4,000 books, journals, articles and other related resources and is open to the public free of charge.

For a complete list of physical resources available visit our Online Library Information System or for online resources our PHED Database.

Climate-Smart Development : Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change

This unique sourcebook provides a global, state-of-the-art review of the rapidly evolving field of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) that is intended to serve as a baseline for the work of an OECD Task Team on SEA and a UNEP initiative on integrated planning and assessment. It describes trends in application and experience in different contexts worldwide, providing in-depth coverage of the status of SEA systems, and practice in developed, transitional and developing countries by a range of development agencies. The book draws on a large body of published and unpublished material, and contributions from a wide range of individual experts, organizations and agencies. It provides an unparalleled and invaluable understanding of the emerging scope and potential of SEA and describes how, when and where it is being used. The sourcebook includes a probing review of concepts, terminology, approaches and tools of SEA, and a comparative analysis of the different types of existing SEA systems. The volume also contains many case examples illustrating SEA practice in different countries and contexts, a full set of references and a number of appendices containing source materials.

Published by: Earthscan UK

The report can be accessed through the NGO Forum Library

Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Emerging Lessons

As the world faces the reality of climate change, the urgent needs of communities vulnerable to the changing climate must be addressed. Communities need support in how to adapt; and this adaptation must be rooted in local realities, though supported at district, regional, national and international levels by policy frameworks, and technical and financial resources.

Community-based adaptation (CBA), a concept developed in the late 1990s by academics, was taken on board by development NGOs. As an emerging field of work, one for which the scientific knowledge base is fast increasing, it is vital that development practice, and the understanding and capacity of those affected, develops in tandem. This book is written largely by practitioners and researchers from Asia, sub Saharan Africa and Mexico. It derives emerging lessons which will assist in advancing academic work, as well as policy and practice at government level in developing countries, and will deepen understanding and create a sound basis for wider application of CBA among policy makers and practitioners in NGOs and other organizations working on CBA, as well as researchers and students studying climate change adaptation.

Published by: Practical Action

The book can be accessed through the NGO Forum Library

Freedom from Want

BRAC, arguably the world's largest and most successful NGO, is little known outside Bangladesh where it was established in 1972. Author Ian Smillie predicts, however, that this is bound to change. BRAC's success and the spread of its work in health, education, social enterprise development and microfinance dwarfs any other private, government or non-profit enterprise in its impact on tens of thousands of communities in Asia and Africa. Freedom from Want traces BRAC's evolution from a small relief operation indistinguishable from hundreds of others, into what is undoubtedly the most variegated social experiment in the developing world. BRAC's story shows how social enterprise can trump corruption and how purpose, innovation and clear thinking can overcome the most entrenched injustices that society can offer. Its a story that ranges from distant villages in Bangladesh to New York's financial district on 9/11, from war-torn Afghanistan to the vast plains of East Africa and the ruins of Southern Sudan. Partly an adventure story, partly a lesson in development economics, partly an examination of excellence in management, the book describes one of the world's most remarkable success stories, one that has transformed disaster into development and despair into hope.

Published by: The University Press Limited (UPL)   

The book can be accessed through the NGO Forum Library

Upcoming Events

21-22 November 2015, International Conference On Sustainable Development (ICSD) 2015, Chittagong, Bangladesh 

The International Center for Research & Development and Unique Conferences Canada are proud to announce the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation 2015 (CCA 2015). Climate Change Adaptation 2015 is an interactive platform to connect and reconnect colleagues around the world. You can meet 2012, 2103, 2014 participants as well as new participants in our conferences. CCA 2015 conference is the premier knowledge building event and the largest annual Climate Change event in South Asia.

Organised by: Southern University Bangladesh 

More information can be found on the website

3rd International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention

3rd International Conference on Environment Pollution and Prevention is one of the leading international conferences for presenting novel and fundamental advances in the fields of Environment Pollution and Prevention. It also serves to foster communication among researchers and practitioners working in a wide variety of scientific areas with a common interest in improving Environment Pollution and Prevention related techniques.

Organised by: Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India and Krishi Sanskriti, New Delhi, India 

More information can be found on the website

21- 23 December, 2015,International Conference on Climate Change & Sustainability, Mumbai, India

Aims and Objectives of IC3S-2015...

* To bring World environment lists under one roof.
* To discuss the varied environmental issues.
* To share the idea about environmental conservation locally and globally.
* To increase the awareness about global climate and fluctuation caused so far.
* To initiate National and International collaborative research.
* To evaluate the present status of the environment, locally and globally.
* To bring environmental NGOs under one roof.
* To facilitate the propagation of sustainable technology and its emergence at individual level
*   to enhance the sharing of the same nationally and internationally.
* To increase citizens participation in conservation of the Environment.

Organised by: Thakur College of Science and Commerce 

More information can be found on the website

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