1st SuSanA meeting, Eschborn

January 2007 | Germany

In January 2007, a first meeting resulted in a large number of commitments by the participants from various organisations, and in drawing up a first draft of a “joint road map for the promotion of sustainable sanitation within the IYS 2008”.

Agenda and minutes of the meeting

Minutes of the 1st meeting in Eschborn, Germany (PDF)

About the SuSanA network

SuSanA is an informal network of people and organisations who share a common vision on sustainable sanitation and who want to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG6. Learn more about our definition of sustainable sanitation here.

SuSanA is not itself an organisation but a loose voluntary network to which partners and individual members contribute at their own expense.

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance works for a world in which all people have access to adequate sanitation, regardless of gender, age, income, culture or location.  Sanitation systems are important contributors to broader sustainable development.

SuSanA is a network rather than an organization. Its decision-making structure is based on reaching a broad consensus and giving all its diverse members and partners a voice in the process. The main elements of our structure include: members, partners, working groups, core group, secretariat. Read more about our structure here.

SuSanA strives to be a true partnership, in which all members can have a voice and can all contribute. New members and organisational partners are welcome. Decision-making is achieved through reaching a broad consensus. Interactions within our network are creative, respectful and constructive.

SuSanA is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals. We provide policy advice, practical guidance and up to date knowledge about how to realise sustainable sanitation for all.

SuSanA came into existence in early 2007. Its creation was motivated by the UN’s decision to declare 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation (IYS). In 2006, GIZ together with several other organisations took the initiative to form a task force to contribute to the promotion and up-scaling of sustainable sanitation.

In January 2007, a first meeting in Eschborn, Germany, resulted in a large number of commitments by the participants from various organisations. The minutes of the very first meeting are available here. At that meeting, the first draft of a "joint road map for the promotion of sustainable sanitation in IYS 2008" was developed.

In order to have a joint label for the planned activities, and to be able to align with other potential initiatives, the group gave itself the name "Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)".

In January 2017, SuSanA celebrated its 10-year anniversary, see here.

The SuSanA secretariat is staffed by about 2.5 full-time person equivalents. These persons also work in the program "Sustainable Sanitation" within Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Eschborn, Germany. This arrangement for the secretariat was agreed to at the 5th SuSanA meeting in Durban in 2008.

If you are a SuSanA partner organisation and are interested in being active in the SuSanA secretariat, please contact the SuSanA secretariat.

The SuSanA Secretariat facilitates and coordinates the organisation, development and outputs of SuSanA. The Secretariat is the first point of contact for any questions about SuSanA. 

The main functions of the SuSanA secretariat are to manage the SuSanA online platform (website, discussion forum, social media), assist partners to use SuSanA, support the preparation of SuSanA meetings and side events, assist working group leads and core group members in initiatives that involve SuSanA where possible, and facilitate the production of SuSanA publications.

SuSanA is an open network based on voluntary contributions and has no legal structure. It has also no separate budget and does not provide funding. Organisations which host SuSanA meetings may obtain financial support from specific SuSanA partners.

There are no SuSanA sponsorships available, but some partners do offer travel sponsorships for individuals to be able to participate in SuSanA meetings. This kind of support is usually announced on our Discussion Forum.

SuSanA does not provide funding as it is not an organisation, just a network. Some of SuSanA´s partners are funding agencies, which could be contacted for funding if your ideas fit with their application schemes.

You can also use our Discussion Forum to look for funding by reviewing the announcements here, or by making your own post.

Tools that the SuSanA platform is offering

As SuSanA is not an organisation, it does not have any job vacancies. However, SuSanA partners may offer job vacancies, which you can find posted on the Discussion Forum here.

The SuSanA website provides various kinds of resources on sustainable sanitation, for example in our library, project database, working group pages, regional chapters, conference materials collection, photo database, video database and integrated content from other organisations.

For more information see also the Discussion Forum thread Help and tips for SuSanA website and other related tools.

You can follow SuSanA's activities and updates and participate in the discussion about sustainable sanitation through various communication channels:

  • Discuss sanitation related questions and share answers, opinions and experiences in our Discussion Forum.
  • Register as SuSanA member and receive regular information (you choose the intervals) on SuSanA's activities and the forum digest.
  • Join us on facebook to read our regular short status updates or write comments and questions on our facebook wall.
  • Follow SuSanA on twitter to be always informed about important news and updates concerning SuSanA.

The SuSanA discussion forum is an open discussion forum on all topics related to sustainable sanitation. You find a full description of what the forum is all about here. The forum help section is also a useful place to get answers to questions you might have. Tip: Your SuSanA login is the same as your Forum login.

We believe that educating the public about WASH topics is important. A good channel to do so is Wikipedia. Just like SuSanA, Wikipedia also relies on the work of countless volunteers who believe in sharing and jointly collaborating to achieve a common good.

The sanitation-related content on Wikipedia is getting better and better all the time thanks to SuSanA members and other volunteers behind the Sanitation Wikipedia project since October 2014. If you would like to contribute your time to this project please contact us at wikipedia@susana.orghere on our Discussion Forum.

Technical questions

You can find information on existing projects, technical drawings, manuals and guidelines for planning in our section on resources and publications. Also consult our Discussion Forum in the category on sanitation systems. You can search the SuSanA website and Discussion Forum together by using this search field.

No, sustainable sanitation and ecosan (ecological sanitation) are not the same. The concept of sustainable sanitation is explained here.

The main objective of a sanitation system is to protect and promote human health by providing a clean environment and breaking the cycle of disease. To qualify as sustainable sanitation, a sanitation system has to be economically viable, socially acceptable, technically and institutionally appropriate, and protect the environment and natural resources.

Ecosan systems also strive for sustainability but focus in particular on one of these criteria namely the reuse of excreta in agriculture. 

We have discussed this further here on the Discussion Forum. Please also consult Wikipedia to read up about these two related, but different concepts: Sustainable sanitation compared to ecosan. Help us to improve these two Wikipedia pages further

Questions about joining SuSana (individual member or partner organization)

The first step to join the community is to register as an individual member of SuSanA. This is fast and easy to do, and free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups. 

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login.

In a second step, how about registering the organization that you work for as a partner? Partners are organizations working in areas related to sustainable sanitation. By joining the network they openly show their support for SuSanA's vision of sustainable sanitation.

Partners can create a profile on the SuSanA website for themselves by using the partner profile page functionality. They can also use the Discussion Forum, Working Groups and SuSanA’s social media channels to disseminate information about their activities, publications etc.

SuSanA partners sometimes share the costs of exhibition booths at conferences and events. Smaller SuSanA partners can display their flyers and materials at the SuSanA booth free of charge. This is a service for SuSanA partners, but please contact the SuSanA secretariat in advance of such an event.

To join as a partner organisation with SuSanA, the organisation needs to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Support the aims of SuSanA (agree to the vision document)
  • Carry out sanitation-related work
  • Have a functioning website
  • Be willing to insert the "partner of SuSanA logo" on your organisation’s website (if technically possible) and create a link back to the SuSanA website
  • Have at least three persons working full time for your organisation
  • Have been a registered entity for at least 2 years

No, there is no fee for being a partner or member of SuSanA.

You can get an overview and detailed information about all the SuSanA partners on the partner page. You can filter the SuSanA partners by type and location.

Questions for existing members

The SuSanA Core Group takes operational decisions for the Alliance between SuSanA meetings, organises SuSanA meetings and events, and suggests strategic policies and plans. The Core Group is made up of Working Group leads and co-leads, members of the Secretariat and other volunteers from the network.

Membership of the Core Group is limited, but anyone in the network can apply. If you are interested in joining the Core Group, contact the SuSanA Secretariat stating your willingness and why you wish to join this group. 

Each Working Group has a page on the website to explain what they focus on and to provide contact details. They also have a dedicated space on the Discussion Forum. Make a forum post or contact the working group lead if you have a suggestion or want to volunteer for an activity for this working group. Each working group also has a moderated mailing list which the lead or Working Group members can use to inform the other members of the Working Group about relevant topics.

Click on the "forgot my password" or "forgot my username" on the right side of the login page to retrieve your password or login. Please enter your registered email address to receive a new password by email.

After you have logged into the SuSanA website (using the link provided at the top), you can change your details here.

Please note that to change your profile on the Discussion Forum you need to login on the Discussion Forum page. The same login works for both pages, but one is for settings related to your SuSanA membership in general and the other is for settings related to the Discussion Forum in particular.

If your question hasn't been answered, please post it on the SuSanA Discussion Forum or contact us.

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SuSanA newsmail

Stay informed about the activities of SuSanA and its partners. The SuSanA newsmail is sent out around four times per year. It contains information about news, events, new partners, projects, discussions and publications of the SuSanA network.

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Latest tweets mentioning SuSanA

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25th SuSanA Meeting in Brasilia!

We are happy to announce that the 25th SuSanA meeting will take place prior to the World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil and is tentatively scheduled on 17th March 2017. Book your calenders!  SuSanA encourages and welcomes interested organisations and sanitation enthusiasts from Latin America and beyond to get in touch with the SuSanA Secretariat (info@susana.org)!

More information can be found on the meeting page »

SuSanA meetings





Resources and publications

Our library has more than 2300 publications, factsheets, presentations, drawings etc. from many different organisations. It continues to grow thanks to the contributions from our partners.

Add item to library »

The three links below take you to special groups of items in the library for more convenient access:


The project database contains nearly 400 sanitation projects of many different organizations dealing with research, implementation, advocacy, capacity development etc. Advanced filtering functions and a global map are also available. Information on how and why this database was created is here.

People working for SuSanA partners can add their own projects through their partner profile page. You might need your SuSanA login upgraded for this purpose. Please contact us if you would like to add a project.

Trainings, conference and events materials

Missed important conferences or courses? Catch up by using their materials for self study. These materials have been kindly provided by SuSanA partners.

Regional chapters

Use the map or the search tool to access the most relevant information and knowledge products for your region or country. This includes relevant resources, events, partners or projects.

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs), excreta flow diagrams

Shit flow diagrams (SFDs) help to visualize excreta management in urban settings. Access SFDs and more through the SFD Portal.




Discussion forum

Share knowledge, exchange experiences, discuss challenges, make announcements, ask questions and more. Hint: Your discussion forum login is the same as your SuSanA login. More about the forum's philosophy »

Integrated content

We are hosting content from some other communities of practice and information-sharing portals. This section also provides a link to SuSanA's Sanitation Wikipedia initiative.

Suggest content to add »

SuSanA partners

Learn more about current SuSanA partners, and sign up to become a partner organisation (if your organisation is eligible). This way you can show your support for SuSanA's vision and fully utilise the platform's functionalities. See FAQs for more details.

Apply to become a partner »

Individual membership

Register as an individual member of SuSanA free of charge. As a member you can interact with thousands of sanitation enthusiasts on the discussion forum.  You can also get engaged in one of our 13 working groups and our regional chapters. Our FAQs explain the benefits further.

By getting a SuSanA login you can fully participate in the SuSanA community!

Register as a member


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