Eawag-Sandec plans to conduct applied research workshops focusing on public health and sanitation linkages to build sectoral research capacities in low-income and emerging countries like Vietnam. This is part of a 3-year interdisciplinary research initiative on small-town sanitation in collaboration with regional research centres in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Workshops will bring together selected sector stakeholders from the public health and sanitation sectors and explore linkages and successful pathways for promoting healthy environments and disease reduction in small town urban and periurban settings. The expected result of this research is adapted and contextualised environmental sanitation and public health guidelines for Vietnamese urban areas.
Much current research is centred on the challenges faced by megacities and large urban areas which draw most attention both by research and funding agencies. But demographic trends place the bulk of expansion of urban population in smaller cities and towns, which face weak financial and technical capacity. A key focus of our research initiative will be on small town sanitation planning, with the goal of validating appropriate tools and guidelines to a small town context. One country of investigation is Vietnam. This workshop in Hanoi will help to build links to sector stakeholders in small towns in Vietnam, select the towns to be investigated and jointly define the detailed research agenda following the 11 KFPE principles (Swiss Commission for Research Partnerships with Developing Countries).
The Hanoi School of Public Health has proven to be a valuable research partner during the NCCR North-South project, which ended in 2013. This North-South collaboration generated capacities (the start-up of CENPHER at HSPH), publications and new sector knowledge and, given the pertinence of the topic should be further strengthened.
Dr. Christoph Lüthi
Dr. Hung Ngyen Viet