Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

PAY ATTENTION THIS ARTICLE IS NOT USED ANYMORE. NOW EVERY QUESTION HAS AN OWN ARTICLE UNDER CATEGORY FAQ and asigned nested subcategory

About the SuSanA network

What is SuSanA?

Is SuSanA an organisation?

What are the goals of SuSanA?

What is the structure of SuSanA?

How does SuSanA work?

When did SuSanA start?

Who is managing the secretariat of SuSanA?

What are the roles and functions of the SuSanA secretariat?

How is SuSanA financed?

Are any sponsorships available from SuSanA?

We need funding. Can SuSanA provide us with funding?

Tools that the SuSanA platform is offering

Does SuSanA offer or have job vacancies?

What can I find on the SuSanA website?

What are the communication channels of SuSanA?

What is the SuSanA discussion forum?

What is SuSanA's relationship with Wikipedia?

Technical questions

I want to construct toilets. Where can I find information?

Is sustainable sanitation the same as ecosan?

Questions about joining SuSana (individual member or partner organization)

Which ways do I have to join SuSanA?

How does my organisation benefit from being a partner?

What are the criteria to apply as a SuSanA partner?

Is there a registration fee to become a partner or member of SuSanA?

Who are the partners of SuSanA and how many are there?

Questions for existing members 

What is the SuSanA Core Group, and can I also join it?

I am new to a working group, what can I do?

I forgot my login or password, how can I retrieve it?

How can I change my registered e-mail address in the login area?

About the SuSanA network

What is SuSanA?

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.

Is SuSanA an organisation?

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

What are the goals of SuSanA?

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.

What is the structure of SuSanA?

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.

How does SuSanA work?

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.

When did SuSanA start?

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.

Who is managing the secretariat of SuSanA?

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.

What are the roles and functions of 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. 

How is SuSanA financed?

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.

Are any sponsorships available from SuSanA?

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.

We need funding. Can you provide us with funding?

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

Does SuSanA offer or have job vacancies?

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.

What can I find on the SuSanA website?

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.

What are the communication channels of SuSanA?

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.

What is the SuSanA discussion forum?

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.

What is SuSanA's relationship with Wikipedia?

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or read here on our Discussion Forum.

Technical questions

I want to construct toilets. Where can I find information?

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.

Is sustainable sanitation the same as ecosan?

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 SuSnA (individual member or partner organisation)

Which ways do I have to join SuSanA?

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.

How does my organisation benefit from being a partner?

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.

What are the criteria to join as a SuSanA partner?

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

Is there a registration fee to become a partner or member of SuSanA?

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

Who are the partners of SuSanA and how many are there?

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 

What is the SuSanA Core Group and can I also join it?

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. 

I am new to a SuSanA Working Group, what can I do?

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.

I forgot my login or password, how can I retrieve it?

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.

How can I change my registered e-mail address in the login area?

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.

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

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SuSanA Partners currently 319 partners

Sanitation events

SuSanA newsmail

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

SuSanA partners are welcome to send us news items for inclusion in the SuSanA news mails.

Archived news »

Latest tweets mentioning SuSanA

Tweets mentioning SuSanA »

What's new? We have a Wikipedia Drive for World Toilet Day!

Wikipedia is one of the key global channels for disseminating information about sanitation – so SuSanA is now organizing a major upgrade of the relevant pages. Are you a creative writer, journalist, editor or sanitation expert? Join this important crowd-sourcing event ahead of World Toilet Day (19 November).

More information in press release by SEI »

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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:

Projects

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.

 


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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 »


SuSanA meetings

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!

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