The objective of the course is to gain an understanding of all of the required aspects for the design and operation of a comprehensive faecal sludge management (FSM) system.

Course Learning Objectives


Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Have an understanding of the treatment, management, and planning aspects related to FSM, and how they interact;

  • Comprehend the importance of proper sludge characterisation for optimal collection and transport, treatment and reuse;

  • Apply engineering fundamentals to design systems for management and treatment of faecal sludge.

  • Describe how valorisation of faecal sludge can be accomplished;

  • Place FSM in an urban waste management context for sustainable and feasible planning of FSM systems




This is the first e-learning course dedicated to faecal sludge management. It compiles the current state of knowledge of this rapidly evolving field and presents an integrated approach that includes technology, management and planning. It addresses the planning and organization of the entire faecal sludge management service chain, from the collection and transport of sludge and its treatment options, to the final end use or disposal of treated sludge. (More…)

In addition to providing fundamentals and an overview of technologies, the course deals with details of operational, institutional and financial aspects, and provides guidance on how to plan a city-level faecal sludge management plan with the involvement of all the stakeholders. The theoretical background of the course is based on the book Faecal Sludge Management: System Approach for Implementation and Operation. Furthermore, the course incorporates a number of illustrative real-life case studies, a helpful toolbox and an insight into the most recent technological innovations in the field.

The course is designed for professionals who are dealing with the planning, promoting, designing, operating or managing of faecal sludge for residents in urban, peri-urban, slum or rural areas in low-income countries and beyond. The course program is taught over a period of four months. For starting dates please refer to the web page of one of the six course providing institutions.


Participants benefits


Participants can make use of some of the advantages and possibilities that the alliance offers, such as:

  • Access to updated information, knowledge and experienced coaching staff in the field
  • A formal certificate from an internationally recognized educational institution;
  • Participation in the international community of professionals;
  • The opportunity to enhance their professional career e.g. through involvement in projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others;