Training Curriculum Development in Bangladesh

DWA – German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste • Technical expertise in waste water management.

men in work clothes and protective helmets inspect a part of a sewage plant

Environmental compliance is of growing interest for industrial enterprises which want to benefit from sustainable production and successfully expand their business activities. The government of Bangladesh puts increasing pressure on industries that are polluting water, air and soil to abide by environmental laws and legislations. It is a well-known fact that there is a need for industries to adopt ecologically friendly practices but only a few industries are aware of the impact they have on the environment.

Before blaming the private sector for being disengaged from the battle against environmental pollution, another factor has to be taken into consideration which aggravates the situation: It is hard to find employees who dispose of the necessary knowledge, information and skills. There is a dearth of environmental specialists in the market. As a result, industries employ staff in technical key positions who have little or no expertise in their field of work.

In response to this, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ in co-operation with the Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA, launched an initiative to develop technical expertise in the area of waste water management. The German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA) was invited into the joint project on the planning and implementation of a programme to qualify managers and operators of effluent treatment plants (ETPs) in Bangladesh.

As an international training partner, DWA contributed to the initiative with its experience in vocational training in the area of waste water treatment. DWA assisted the local training partners in setting up a training curriculum on the management, operation and maintenance of ETPs for managers and operators based on the German training model and training approach.

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DWA is a non-profit German NGO with 14,000 members. DWA employees are regular participants of iMOVE seminars. The association is well grounded in setting standards and developing curricula for environmental professions. Each year around 35,000 participants are trained in DWA vocational training programmes in Germany. This comprehensive experience in combination with expert knowledge on technical safety management makes DWA a sought-after partner when it comes to capacity development in newly industrializing countries.

Main objectives of the DWA preparatory mission were to obtain the buy-in from industry on the training programme and the proposed training approach. In preparation of the training measure, DWA also settled the learning subjects and expected learning outcomes of the proposed training programme with the initiative’s stakeholder and assessed the suitability of the short-listed ETPs for on-site practical training. Finally DWA arrived at a working agreement with the short-listed local training partners for the development and implementation of the training programme.

The first training course for ETP operators took place in October 2013. The training course comprised 60 hours over a period of three months. The topics encompassed mechanical, biological, chemical and advanced wastewater treatment, sludge management, wastewater in different industries, metal and electric work as well as health, safety and legal issues. All eleven participants passed the final examination. The ETP manager course is still pending.

The project aims at implementing a training-of-trainers in the future so that the acquired knowledge can be transferred to other plants and industries as well. A book about "Operator Skills for Textile Effluent Treatment Plants – Toolbook for Practice" is to be published in 2015, in which the experiences of the conducted trainings will be summarized.

In May 2014, DWA organized a visit of a delegation from Bangladesh to the famous environmental fair IFAT in Munich, which also included a tour to one of the municipal wastewater treatment plants. In addition, the project partners prepared a recommendation for a national effluent sludge regulation which has been submitted to the government of Bangladesh via its ministry of the environment.


This sucess story was first published in the iMOVE publication Developing Skills for Employability with German Partners • 8 Success Stories from the Renewables and Cleantech Sector. The brochure was published in 2014.

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iMOVE Provider pool: DWA – German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste

Website: DWA – German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste

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