SuSanA 5th anniversary, January 2012
Dear SuSanA members and partners,
The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) celebrates this week its 5th anniversary since its formation at the kick-off meeting in Eschborn, Germany on 29 January 2007. Looking back we can all be proud of what we have achieved together. Therefore the SuSanA secretariat wants to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their cooperation, dedication, support and interest to work as a network on a common vision of sustainable sanitation.
A brief overview of the achievements in the past five years: SuSanA has grown to be a diverse network with 172 international partner organisations and more than 1100 individual members working together in 11 working groups. So far 14 SuSanA meetings have been held in nine different countries around the globe to provide a platform to discuss, exchange experiences and work together. The SuSanA website (www.susana.org) has become a vibrant tool for knowledge exchange, capacity development and communication within and outside the network, with typically 7500 hits per month. Many excellent publications from the working groups, partners and members have emerged from a joint effort to show viable avenues to solve the sanitation crisis in the world. The SuSanA Library contains already over 1100 publications and it continues to grow.
SuSanA activities have instigated dialogue in many developing countries and countries in transition amongst the governing authorities and local and international sanitation experts. The concept of sustainable sanitation promoted by SuSanA is today well known to most decision makers. In 2008 for instance, the Indian Prime Minister mentioned in his inaugural speech at the Third SACOSAN conference: “New technologies have to be affordable and sustainable” while speaking about the reuse and recycling options in sanitation and wastewater management. The NGO CAPS (Center for Advanced Philippine Studies) in the Philippines developed the "Sustainable Sanitation Framework" based on SuSanA’s definition of sustainable sanitation which was adopted by the Philippines' government to formulate the “Sustainable Sanitation Roadmap”. For more information please refer to Dan Lapid’s presentation at the Stockholm World Water Week last year.
Another achievement of SuSanA was expressed by the Head of Division - Water, Energy, Urban Development, Geosciences - Franz Marré from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development who emphasised that SuSanA enabled the involvement of a large variety of stakeholders from all relevant groups in the field of sanitation to make things happen (see Interview in the context of the Stockholm World Water Week and the SuSanA meeting, 2010).
Since early 2010, a continuous process of optimisation and the integration of social media like Facebook, Youtube, Flickr or Twitter into the SuSanA network has allowed us to reach new audiences and to grow the circle of SuSanA friends and supporters. The SuSanA secretariat continues to strive to stay in regular contact with all of you, and the SuSanA Newsmail (subscribe here) has proven to be an excellent tool in this regard. Moreover the lively discussions and debates on the open SuSanA discussion forum which was launched in July 2011 have been great for stimulating learning and debates in the sanitation sector (one of the most popular topics on mobile sanitation has already attracted over 6600 views for example; you can use the e-mail alert function to stay up to date).
We look forward to working together towards the Millennium Development Goal on sanitation and to meeting you online on the SuSanA Forum or in person at one of the next SuSanA meetings or side events!
If you wish to tell us your own thoughts about SuSanA's achievements in the past five years, please feel free to post them here on the discussion forum.
Enno Schröder, Elisabeth von Münch, Rahul Ingle, Christian Rieck, Philipp Feiereisen
On behalf of the SuSanA secretariat hosted by GIZ in Eschborn, Germany