Kicked off workshop and signing ceremony of project "Develop Water Supply and Sanitation Sector in Vietnam through New Partnership"

On June 28, 2017, in Hanoi, Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association (VWSA) and the Finland Water Forum (FWF) held a kicked off workshop and signing ceremony of project "Develop Water Supply and Sanitation Sector in Vietnam through New Partnership", funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and the FWF.
The objective of the project is to improve the capacity of VWSA and its enterprise member.  At the conclusion of the project, it is expected for a strengthen VWSA, capable of providing quality support and professional training to its member utilities in the development process, improving performance and service quality.
The kick-off workshop took place in a welcoming atmosphere with the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Construction (MOC), Administration of Technical Infrastructure - MOC, Embassy of Finland in Vietnam, Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association and water utilities. 
Mr. Cao Lai Quang - Chairman of VWSA, and Mr. Markus Tuukkanen - CEO of FWF, on behalf of the two associations signed the MOU. The project starts from 1.1.2017 and ends on 31.12.2019. The majority of the project activity will take place in Vietnam. Total budget of the project is 454,118.00 EURO.

Mr. Cao Lai Quang - Chairman of VWSA and Mr. Markus Tuukkanen - CEO of FWF deliver keynote speech.
Project Objectives
Outcome 1: Performance of VWSA is enhanced 
The stronger organization the more capable VWSA is to support its members. The performance of VWSA will be improved by developing their operation and training the staff. Results will be indicated through increased member satisfaction with VWSA and increased number of members, among others. 
Output 1.1: Baseline survey of member on training demand and other projects' objectives (2017)
A baseline survey will be executed to analyze the needs of VWSA (e.g. objectives, rules, guidelines, workspaces, finance, communication, direction, memberships etc.) and its members. Based on this analysis an updated operation model and an implementation plan will be developed in cooperation with FWF.
Output 1.2: VWSA staff is trained for the updated operation model
Regarding staff members, a training plan will be developed which takes into account both present skills and the updated operation model. Training will be provided to the VWSA staff during the second half of 2017 and at later stages of the project if necessary. Case by case the training can include group training, workshops, individual training, self-study, job exchange or on-the-job training. 
Output 1.3: Communication activities are improved
Communication of VWSA and its members will be developed by improving their web pages and communication in national and local medias and developing promotion materials.

   The signing Ceremony of the MOU
Outcome 2: The network of VWSA and its members are enlarged
A wide network of national and international partnership as access to information and services is important for VWSA and its members. Means to increase partnerships are among others, improving awareness and the establishment of contacts, between organizations as well as that among people. Increased partnerships can be reflected through new contacts, new co-operation projects, new memberships in sectoral organizations and new representation in committees and working groups of the water supply sector.
Output 2.1: Contacts to national partners increased
Project supports participation in national events, arranging networking meetings and excursions, spreading information of events and supporting cooperative activities. Establishing Water-source Protection Association/s in cooperation with other relevant organizations like Vietnam Environment Agency will be considered.
Output 2.2: Contacts to international partners increased 
Information of potential international partners and events will be collected and communicated and meetings arranged. Promotional materials are developed. Participation in international events and hosting of international guests will be supported. Opportunities to join international organizations will also be explored and supported.
Outcome 3: Pilot project on performance improvement successfully implemented
One water supply utility and one waste water treatment utility will be selected based on voluntary and willingness. The pilot utilities will be supported in implementing the development plans and scaling up. Guidelines on supporting water utilities will be developed for VWSA based on the piloting experience.
Output 3.1: Supported in developing and implementing an action plan
A development plan covering all elements (technical methods, administration, human resources and finances) will be created for the pilot utility upon their needs. A training program for the utility staff will also be created. The utility itself is responsible for the physical development. The project will support the pilot utilities by providing technical assistance and training.
Output 3.2: Appropriate guidelines have been accepted by VWSA's members
Based on the experiences and findings gained through piloting, a Guideline for Supporting Member Utilities will be developed for the use of VWSA. Support Guideline takes into consideration the role and the resources of VWSA and serves as a training tool (Output 4.1). A separate Guideline might be necessary to create for water and waste water utilities. Guidelines are updated as needs arise.
Outcome 4: Service quality of members improved through popularization, replication, experience sharing and application
A main objective of the project is to improve the performance and service level of member utilities, which is to be achieved by providing guidance, TA and training. A training program will be developed and carried out during 2017-2019. Training will cover different themes according to the needs of member utilities.
Output 4.1: Disseminate and replicate the pilot model through VWSA's activities
Workshops and excursions based on the pilot experience will be arranged. Training sessions consist mainly of group training and presentation of best practice solutions. Technical assistance and guidance will also be provided to the member utilities.
Output 4.2: Finnish experience in developing water-source protection network is shared with VWSA's members 
Finnish experiences in water-source protection network will be shared in workshops and a web site for experience-sharing and dialoged policies will be launched.
With a good start, the VWSA and FWF believe that the project will be successfully implemented, contributing effectively to the development of Vietnam water sector in the coming time.
Highligh of the Kick-off workshop



Ha Tham
Translator: Minh Hai

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