COMPETENCIES NEEDED TO BUILD KNOWLEDGE AND CAPACITY FOR SANITATION MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA
The paper seeks to explore the quality of sanitation management content in the training of key sanitation professionals in Nigeria in particular and in Sub-Saharan African countries.
1. Brief overview of research/project:
The paper seeks to explore the quality of sanitation management content in the training of key sanitation professionals in Nigeria in particular and in Sub-Saharan African countries. The results indicate that the sanitation management content is inadequate and outdated, which corresponds to the current low skills and knowledge, especially amongst government responsible officers that are mandated to manage sanitation, and is also responsible for the country’s’ SDG sanitation low performance.
2. Innovation and integration in research/programs towards going beyond traditional boundaries (focus on disciplines, can also consider educational settings, organizational arrangements, and funding structures):
The traditional approach of sanitation education that is either ad-hoc or merely small parts of other disciplines (water, health etc) do not quite capture the essence of managing sanitation issues, which can explain the lack of core sanitation professionals and why the sanitation SDG are under-performing. Thus, sanitation management higher education is crucial in the race to 2030 and beyond other to produce competent and efficient workforce as well as versatile and viable enterprises that produce innovative and contextual solutions. A deliberate and structured design for sanitation management higher education as a focus discipline is recommended. We proposed a National Sanitation Management Higher Education (NSMHEd) pathway, an integrated sanitation management education at higher academic institutions, technical and vocational education institutions and professional/practitioner training to build effective, efficient competent and sufficient sanitation management workforce for the country. The proposed transformation pathway requires a systematic approach that is Needs-based, Competency-based and Inter-profession-based with practical linkages between academia, research, industry and governance.
3. Which competences are needed to build, or are developed through, ITP-disciplinarity?
The sanitation management skills and competencies that are required include but not limited to:
I. Knowledge of the science and technology of sanitation management;
II. Operations and management of sanitation facilities;
III. Treatment and disposal standards and guideline requirements;
IV. Sanitation resource recovery and reuse know-how; and
V. Governance and management skills.
It is key to note that the core public sector sanitation managers in Nigeria and sub-Saharan African countries are the Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), but the sanitation management of their training curricula is grossly inadequate and outdated. It is expedient that the curricula be updated and improved funding is highly recommended for this. Also, further study into refining and testing of the proposed NSMHEd pathway and its viability is required. More studies for appropriate funding strategies for sanitation management higher education in developing countries is recommended.