Can vocational training institutes like WET Centres, SMART Centres be financially Self sustaining? Organisations like the World Bank expect water trainings institutes to become independent from donations but is that realistic?
Vocational skills like production, installation, repairing of WatSan technologies and infrastructure are essential to reach SDG6. Institutes like WET Centres, SMART Centres, EMAS centre build local WASH capacity in technical and business skills. To get funds from larger organisations like the World Bank, it is expected that they become financially self sustaining, meaning that they can operate without subsidies or donations.
This maybe partly possible. For instance SMART Centres generate income by asking donors to fund scholarships to train welldrillers or do projects like 10 wells for a donor. They than subcontract drillers they have trained and so use these funds to do quality control. The entrepreneurs they train become 100% self sustaining. However like any vocational education, WASH trainings centres need structural funding from government or others to operate. The long term goal would be to get the specific skills and knowledge of these WASH trainings centres into the national vocational education. Would others agree? Henk Holtslag www.smartcentregroup.com