Programme and Dates 

  • Module 1: Drinking water and public health 
  • Module 2: Environmental sanitation
  • Module 3: Sustainable water supply
  • Module 4: Practical field work


Module 1: Drinking water and public health is entirely focused on the acquisition of skills related to drinking-water supply and management issues. A first part of the module concentrate on water quality, water borne diseases and chemical contamination of drinking water. Beside the thematic deepenings carried out by some skilled professionals in the water sector, this course conveys practical knowledge and experience through a series of hands-on laboratory practices. Specifically, students are taught how to conduct standard operating procedures for bacteriological and physico-chemical analysis of water, how to practically perform water disinfection through chlorination, and how to conduct sanitary inspections of water sources/wells using WHO standards. Finally, the module provides important insights about the current evolution of WASH-related international policies and principles, as well as on the fundamental anthropological aspects to be considered when planning any intervention related to water provision

Module 2: Environmental sanitation is focused on the acquisition of skills related to sanitation services provision and management in humanitarian and developing contexts. A first part of the module is devoted to the explanation of existing and proven technical solutions to achieve basic sanitation standards in both rural and urban environments. From short-term solutions adapted to emergency settings to the medium and long-term provision of equitable, affordable and environmentally responsible access to adequate sanitation services, participants are taught to design a sanitation system in an informed and integrated way. By focusing on the major barriers to progress in sanitation coverage in LMICs countries, Module 2 also informs students about the importance of fostering favorable conditions for environmental sanitation planning in challenging environments, and about the potential of broad community involvement and behaviour change techniques in sanitation projects.

Module 3: Sustainable water supply enables participants to plan, implement and monitor water and sanitation emergency programs and design an emergency response in the context of humanitarian operations as well as to better understand the institutional context of humanitarian situations. Main focuses will be on: i) water supply in humanitarian and development contexts; ii) from hydrogeology to urban water supply; iii) from resource assessment to exploration planning; iv) well construction and rehabilitation; v) groundwater exploration/exploitation/protection/monitoring; vi) Management of water supply projects in term of cost/analyses/contracting/bidding. The training covers a wide range of technical aspects required to efficiently handle emergency situations with approaches aiming towards development.

Module 4: Practical field work is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a “living lab” situated in Mendisio, Switzerland. At the completion of the practical module, students will have:

  1. Gained exposure to and responsability for different practical scenarios under qualified guidance.
  2. Gained knowledge and competence in team work in a structured program setting.
  3. Applied skills and tools that have been taught in previous modules.