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Organisational development 2019-2020

Please find updates on the process and post suggestions or questions in the Discussion Forum here.

SuSanA is at the start of a major period of change that should take it from SuSanA 1.0 to a new SuSanA 2.0 in the near future. SuSanA 1.0 has been a great success and has today 353 partner organisations and over 11,000 members. As concluded by the Core Group of SuSanA, it is now time to revisit its informal structures and to analyse where more formalization and a change in governance contributes to reaching its vision and objectives and to put respective steps into practice.

Understanding this need has led to several activities and initiatives over the last years (one of them funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) 2016-2018). A number of surveys, strategy documents, and external consultant reports are available now and they can be used for a concrete design of a SuSanA 2.0.

The Core Group has decided in its meeting in Stockholm 2018, that a Change Management Task Force (CMTF) should steer this change process. The CMTF will be coached by an Organisational Development expert, have support from consultants as well as from the SuSanA Secretariat and will be responsible for the change management process of SuSanA through a participatory and iterative process. The Core Group further mandated a small group of Core Group representatives, referred to as Group of Five, to prepare the ground for this task force. The final decision on the composition of the CMTF was taken by the Core Group based on the suggestions by this group end of June 2019. The members of the CMTF have been presented to and endorsed by the SuSanA Core Group in the beginning of August.

The Change Management Task Force

The selected Task Force consists of 8 members who represent the various constituencies and geographies served by SuSanA. The individuals on the task force were appointed / selected ad personam and not as representatives of their organisations. There are two empty seats supplementary to the eight that are reserved for interested parties who may take a temporary and no-voting observational status at differing steps of the process. These people may be invited or express an interest (e.g. out of the SuSanA membership, donor community or an international organisation). They participate as observers and may debate with the permanent members but may not vote. The permanent members are individuals but also have a mandate of their respective organisations to carry out this work. The selected individuals should remain on the task force for the duration of its work (approximately one year). 

The Task Force are carried out in workshop format and Skype sessions with some preparation work. The first meeting of the CMTF members took place in August 2019, prior to World Water Week in Stockholm. Following this two-day workshop, the Task Force was then introduced to the Core group within a Core Group meeting. 

Criteria for the members of the CMTF were as follows:


  1. Candidates should be existing or potential members of SuSanA
  2. Candidates must be available (from the organisation as well as personally committed) for the duration of the process (approximately one year)

Primary Criteria (necessary):

  1. Candidates should be geographically diverse among the following regions (geographical constituency): Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, South-East Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Western Asia and North Africa (WANA), Northern (Europe, North America, Australia/NZ, Japan)
  2. Candidates should be drawn as far as possible equally from all genders
  3. Candidates should represent a range of ages
  4. Candidates should represent at least one of the following partner constituencies: government, utilities, local NGO/CBO, international NGO, donor/funder organisation, private enterprise, academic institution
  5. Candidates should also represent at least one of the following membership constituencies: Working Group Lead, Regional Chapter Rep, mid-level practitioner, local entrepreneur, private advisor/consultant

Secondary Criteria (bonus):

  1. The CMTF as a whole should possess a strong mix of relevant skills: knowledge of SuSanA (history and latest developments); sanitation, management, communications, funding
  2. Exceptional candidates from outside of SuSanA (or even the sanitation area) with a proven track record in leadership and/or change management in similar areas (member-based knowledge networks) should also be considered
  3. Candidates should represent a good mix of languages and cultures (although the working language of CMTF as well as SuSanA is English)

Not all candidates can fulfil all the criteria and not all criteria can be represented within such a small group. Hence, preferenceto to a mix of candidates that can, as a team, cover all the areas was given. More information on the selection process can be found in the Discussion Forum here

The process

The SuSanA change management process was composed by 4 Phases; starting with the establishment of the CMTF. The estimated duration of phases 1 to 4 is one year and these are described below in detail:

Phase 0 – Setting up the CMTF

Phase 1 -  Initialisation

Phase 2 – Concept Development

Phase 3 – Decision-making

Phase 4 - Implementation

Phase 0 Setting up the CMTF

In a first step, nominations for members of a Change Management Task Force (CMTF) that will steer this change process were collected and composed a Long List of candidates. SuSanA members and partners were welcomed to nominate candidates that fullfill some of the criteria mentioned above. Likewise, interested candidates were also invited to submit their own nomination. Please find the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the CMTF here.

In a second step, all persons on the long were be contacted and asked to submit an Expression of Interest to be part of the CMTF. 

Interviews and the final selection of the CMTF followed the criteria defined above and took place in June 2019. Afterwards, the CMTF was be introduced to the Core Group.

Result of this phase: The CMTF established itself and began work with Phase 1.  

Phase 1. Initialisation


  • Defining on the task force internal working structures (one chair, two vice-chairs, deputies, meeting frequency, quoracy and record-keeping)
  • Refining of the design of the process phases and activities, especially the decision-making process to be undertaken in phase 3 (Who votes about what and when), as well as criteria for the decision
  • Elaborating a strategy for the necessary funding for the CM process
  • Securing funding for the CM process
  • Familiarising with the existing strategy documents of SuSanA
  • Summarising and consolidating the strategy documents into a SWOT analysis
  • Elaborating the purpose statement of SuSanA 2.0

Products: Funding is secured, the basic structures, activities and decision-making processes of the task force have been established, and a purpose statement for the future SuSanA has been agreed.

Phase 2. Concept


  • Working closely with organisational development consultants towards the elaboration, on the basis of the results of phase one, of two to three alternative organisational models for the SuSanA 2.0 covering its purpose, values and missionas well as organisational model and legal form, management, governance and financing. 

Products: Two to three alternative organisational models for the SuSanA 2.0. These models should include as a minimum:

  1. The organisational and legal form for each alternative proposed; including the considerations about jurisdiction (Guiding questions: Which legal form should the organisation have and in which jurisdiction?)
  2. The governance structure, including operational and strategic supervision of the organisation. Governance functions should include public & legal accountability, strategy, operations, finance, coordination, audit, risk management, monitoring & evaluation, public relations & communication, compliance & ethics, personnel, member & stakeholder management, conflict management. & resolution
  3. The funding and financing model (sources of income vs. significant categories of expenditure)

Phase 3. Decision-Making


  • Disseminating of alternative organisational models in a suitable digital format
  • Communicating with members and stakeholders about the implications and expected outcomes of implementing a new organisational model via open webinars
  • Fine-tuning of alternatives on the basis of consultations
  • Final decision taking by the CMTF on the proposed model on the basis of consultation. This should take place in a face-to-face workshop
  • Communicating the results digitally through the SuSanA network

Products: a decision for one of the proposed alternatives backed by the Core Group as well as the members.

Phase 4. Implementation


  • Fine-tuning of concepts, breaking them down into component aspects
  • Developing an implementation plan, containing the required capacities and steps for potential legal registration, timeline, activities and responsibilities)
  • Backstopping the implementation process
  • Monitoring and evaluations of the ongoing process as well as the process as a whole

Product: SuSanA 2.0 is installed (legally and physically) and has taken up operations (though not necessarily fully functional).

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