Published in: 2021
WSSCC, RWSN, Skat Foundation and SuSanA
Furey, S. G.
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From the executive summary:
• This report summarises the work done under a grant from WSSCC (via UNOPS Geneva) to Skat Foundation to run and develop the SuSanA Forum.
• The SuSanA Forum is a well-established, vibrant online community within the sanitation sector and a major global knowledge exchange hub on topics relating to practical implementation, research and policy. It is an essential part of the global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) knowledge exchange architecture.
• January 2020 experienced the highest number of visits of all time to the SuSanA Forum. For page actions (user clicking on links and buttons in the Forum) three of the top 10 months of all time were recorded in 2020.
• The SuSanA Forum has proved to be a trusted go-to source of information, links and questions and answers in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
• The introduction of moderators from the Global South has enriched and diversified the online discussion and has added significant value to the users of the Forum. They have been mentored very competently by the head moderator.
• The introduction of the “Equity and Inclusion” category has been a positive step in making issues around gender, inclusion, integrity and poverty more visible. While there has been some member engagement, it will take more to increase the amount of activity further.
• A forum user survey and a member analysis were carried out over a 2-month period in the middle of the year to identify improvements to the forum setup and moderation, especially with the overall aim to increase engagement of members from the Global South and making it easier for them to share information.
• For the first time, the gender ratio of SuSanA members and their location (clustered into Global North or Global South) was determined and disaggregated into posts by category. This analysis will serve as a baseline for future targets of gender ratio and North-South balance. It was found that only 36% of SuSanA members are female; correspondingly, 36% of posts are made by females. Furthermore, members from the Global South wrote only 34% of all posts - even though 67% of members are from the Global South. This means there are less posts per person for Global South members compared to Global North members.
• The Forum website improvements were made based on feedback from users, both from a survey and from usage data. Bugs were also fixed as they were identified or reported.
• The SuSanA Forum compared favourably to the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) online communities and was significantly more active than RWSN during 2020.
• WSSCC staff made good use of the Forum to share information and to exchange with SuSanA members, although activity declined in the latter part of the year as the transition to the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund gathered pace and the workload for WSSCC staff members probably increased significantly.
• Forum sign-up data indicates that many WSSCC members, who were not already registered, moved across to SuSanA in late 2019 early 2020.
• The SuSanA Forum can make a significant contribution the SHF Strategy (2021-2025) by establishing the SHF Strategy’s visibility among WASH professionals in SHF’s inception phase.
• The Forum can be used in future to encourage peer-to-peer learning among SHF grantees who can share their experiences and questions to the community.
Project Team and report reviewers F. Volk, E. von Muench, F. Volk, C. M. Sanderse, P. ChhajedPicha, N. C. Mong’ina Maua
Furey, S. G. (2021). SuSanA Discussion Forum Improvements and Innovation in 2020 - End of Project Report to WSSCC. WSSCC, RWSN, Skat Foundation and SuSanA
English Europe, Caucasus & Central Asia Publications by SuSanA Publications by SuSanA
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