Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation, Akvopedia, SuSanA Wiki pages - Why are there several resources and what is the difference between them?

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Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation, Akvopedia, SuSanA Wiki pages - Why are there several resources and what is the difference between them?

I wish to contribute to the wiki information resources on sanitation, but looking around I notice there are two different wiki's. There is Wikiproject Sanitation and there is Akvopedia.

Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

cheers
Dean

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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

Dear Dean,

Thanks for your question. Probably others have the same question as well.

The Wikipedia WikiProject Sanitation is something that I created together with James Heilman (based on his suggestion).
This is the link to it:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation

I've also spoken about it on the forum here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/198-wi...le-bit-of-their-time

As we wrote on that page:

Goal
The WikiProject Sanitation began in December 2014 and seeks to benefit the world by giving the general public and professionals in all areas that touch on sanitation topics (such as public health, infrastructure, water, agriculture, gender, environment, poverty, etc.) information which they can all read, appreciate, and respect, free of charge.

Objectives
The objectives of this WikiProject Sanitation are to:

  • improve sanitation related articles on Wikipedia
  • add links to sanitation issues into articles where such links were so far omitted (for example article on malnutrition)
  • ensure that the lead paragraph of articles are written in basic, clear English such that they are understandable to as wide an audience as possible and can easily be translated into other languages as part of WikiProject Medicine Translation Taskfore
  • promote further engagement by other sectors (medical, humanitarian organisations, public health, environment, agriculture) with sanitation topics
  • raise awareness amongst the general public in developed countries (in particular USA, Europe, Japan, Australia etc.) about the sanitation crisis in developing countries and countries in transition and what could be done about it — partly with their tax money that goes into development cooperation activities


So it's basically about improving the content that is on Wikipedia about sanitation-related topics so that non-experts who are looking things up on Wikipedia get good information. Therefore the target audience is mostly the general public, not people who know a lot about sanitation topics already or are even "experts". The experts we need though to help with editing the pages! :-)

About the other Wiki that you mention, you called it Akvopedia, but you probably mean the cooperation between Akvopedia and SuSanA which is avaialable here:
http://www.susana.org/en/resources/wiki#akvopedia:Sanitation Portal

Akvopedia has been discussed here on the forum in the past (this link should take you to Page 2, a post by Hans Merton on 23 Sept. 2014):
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/198-wi...it=12&start=12#10279

I'll leave it up to the SuSanA secretariat to explain further the collaboration between the "SuSanA Wiki" and Akvo. It's a very interesting initiative, and as far as I understand it, the target group is more the sanitation experts and practitioners (rather than the general public who turns to Wikipedia). Also, one is more "free" when editing the SuSanA Wiki pages as the citation requirements and content restrictions are not like on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a "how to guide", whereas Akvopedia can be a how to guide as well if that's what people want.

The advantage of Wikipedia in my opinion is that there is a potentially larger crowd of editors (e.g. I've seen some very good copy editing work on pages that I've worked on and that I've put on my watchlist - by people whom I've never heard of before) and potentially also receives more hits (in terms of viewers). This is e.g. evident around World Toilet Day when the Wikipedia page on World Toilet Day suddenly gets much more views than normal (see also forum.susana.org/forum/categories/213-wo...un-day-qworkq-for-us )

Cheers,
Elisabeth

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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

Dear Dean,
thanks for asking this question.

SuSanA has partnered with Akvopedia to support SuSanA members in knowledge development and knowledge sharing within & outside SuSanA. Akvopedia is a Web-based, free content, water and sanitation knowledge resource that is written collaboratively by volunteers and specialists, mainly from the water and sanitation sector.

Akvopedia’s sanitation portal has been integrated into the SuSanA platform and offers an overview about sanitation technologies which can be applied from the household level to the village level. A special focus is on low cost technologies and approaches for developing countries. Akvo’s sanitation portal can be accessed here www.susana.org/en/resources/wiki#akvopedia:Sanitation%20Portal and edited by SuSanA members alike anybody else.

Additionally, Akvo has created a Wiki for the SuSanA Working Groups. Each Working Group has an own portal, which contains a summary of the working group factsheet and is now ready to use for the working group leads and members. First pages that were newly created are related to the synthesis documents of SuSanA’s thematic discussion series and a collection of school case studies that are now available in the Wiki and can be added, read and edited at all times.

To visit the Working Group Wiki, go to your SuSanA working group page, e.g. Working Group 1 and click on editing mode under SuSanA working group wiki on the left-hand side of your screen and use your SuSanA credentials to log-in www.susana.org/en/susana-wiki?site=Swg1:Capacity_development





To get started, the SuSanA secretariat created a Wiki quick start guide (attached), summarising the steps and instructions needed to log into the wiki. Complementary, a more interactive guide in the form of a video tutorial (
), has also been uploaded to the SuSanA YouTube channel, which summarises the quick start guide.

Moreover, a new section in the SuSanA forum has been created, compiling useful information and FAQs about the wiki section here: forum.susana.org/forum/categories/221-susana-wiki-help-section . Please feel free to add any questions or comments you may have about the wiki in this forum section.

Hope that answers your question and looking forward to seeing you on the Wiki,

Anne (on behalf of the SuSanA Secretariat)


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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

Thanks Elisabeth and Anne, thats been really helpful.

cheers
Dean

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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

Dear Dean,

I would just like to broaden a little bit to what Elisabeth and Anne correctly pointed out, but mostly from a technical point of view.

Both Wikipedia and Akvopedia are wiki platforms that are powered by the same software: MediaWiki.

However, Wikipedia is a general encyclopaedia that compiles information about pretty much any topic, whereas Akvopedia is basically focused on WASH topics.

In terms of editing and citation, Wikipedia has a more restrictive policy since its the biggest online encyclopedia in the world where any internet user has the potential to either contribute content or vandalise, whereas Akvopedia is focused on WASH topics and therefore most likely to mainly attract WASH practitioners.

As Anne said, the SuSanA wiki is a portal within the Akvopedia platform itself (Sanitation Portal), where every Working Group has also its own portal. The aim is to use the wiki as a collective collaboration tool for knowledge management and broaden sanitation information (mostly contributed by experts on the topic).

Finally, as Elisabeth said, the SuSanA wiki has a personalised “Help Desk” (provided by the SuSanA secretariat), which assist users into anything related to the wiki. From registration to creation of pages to trouble shooting. So, Dean, please feel free to add content to the SuSanA wiki and do not hesitate to contact the SuSanA secretariat should you need assistance with the wiki.

To contact the SuSanA secretariat about any wiki matters, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The SuSanA wiki home page can be found here: www.susana.org/en/susana-wiki

Kind regards

Hector

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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

Hi,

I just wanted to react to something that Anne and Hector said about Akvopedia's Sanitation Portal:

Hector said:

... whereas Akvopedia is focused on WASH topics and therefore most likely to mainly attract WASH practitioners.


Anne said:

Akvo’s sanitation portal can be accessed here www.susana.org/en/resources/wiki#akvopedia:Sanitation Portal and edited by SuSanA members alike anybody else.


(Note the hyperlink above doesn't work, due to the space between "Sanitation" and "Portal". But you can also view the Sanitation Portal here on the Akvopedia page:
akvopedia.org/wiki/Sanitation_Portal )

I think it helps in the understanding of this page to know that it basically is the Eawag-Sandec compendium from 2008 coded up in this Wiki format. It is not a Wiki page that has been edited by lots of WASH experts. You can see here in the history who has edited it: akvopedia.org/s_wiki/index.php?title=San...ortal&action=history
Recently mostly Winona from Akvo.

I think its purpose was not to provide a "living" set of pages where active WASH experts keep updating content but rather to make the Eawag-Sandec Compendium available in this other format.
I am not even sure if it's been updated with the new content of the second edition of the Compendium from 2014?

Note that the said Compendium is also available on the eCompendium page here:
ecompendium.sswm.info/
(I find this page more comprehensive and current than Akvo's Sanitation Portal; but again the question could be about updates and maintenance).

Just to highlight another difference by using the example of UDDTs:
The page in the Akvopedia Sanitation Portal that describes UDDTs is here (the content was taken from the Compendium):
akvopedia.org/wiki/Dehydration_Vaults
I tried to find out how many times it's been viewed (can't find it here: akvopedia.org/s_wiki/index.php?title=Deh...aults&action=history ) but I dare say it has been viewed less often than the Wikipedia page on UDDTs which is more current and more "rich" - having been added to by a variety of people since its creation (it now also comes out as the number 1 hit when you put UDDT into Google):
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine-diverting_dry_toilet

I am not saying the Akvopedia Sanitation Portal is not good and useful but I think it's important to understand its origins and what it's trying to do.

So for me personally, the integration of Akvopedia's Sanitation Portal into the SuSanA website is OK but not that amazing. Very interesting however is the Wiki spaces for the working groups (which Hector explained above). This has real potential to help the working groups work together in an open space. So I am very curious to see how this develops and how it's being taken up by the working group leads and members.

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

Dear all,
the link that I have provided to Akvo's Sanitation Portal is now working: www.susana.org/en/resources/wiki#akvopedia:Sanitation%20Portal


Regards,
Anne

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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

I've had a good look around the Akvo-supplied wiki resources and have to express my disappointment. They are incredibly confusing and complicated in their implementation and in my view need to be completely redesigned and simplified. I don't beleive many users will contribute to them in their current format.

There are three implementations. Anne supplied the link to the SuSanA org page, called the Sanitation Portal . This is not a wiki at all, but a display of the content from the Sanitation Portal from Akvopedia, held on the SuSanA website, without a link to editing mode.

Akvopedia is Akvo's a wiki resource on the WASH topic. This is called Akvopedia and is a user-editable wiki... but not part of theSuSanA website.

Then there is the SuSanA working group wiki . This is another user-editable wiki only linked to from the working group pages. This is supposed to be the wiki that SuSanA members use.

Okay, so regarding navigation the SuSanA website has a main navigation menu, with a "Resources" tab. Under this is a tab called "Wiki" which navigates to the Sanitation Portal, which is not a wiki at all (the Sanitation portal is only a series of content pages). There is no link to Akvopedia (the WASH wiki) from the Sanitation portal (I've asked that this be put there). There is no link to the working group wiki under Resources >> Wiki.

Regarding content, the Akvopedia wiki holds the Sanitation Portal and several other WASH portals. The SuSanA website only holds the content of the Sanitation portal, not the editable wiki. The Working Group wiki (actually a sandbox) holds the portals for each working group, along with another stranded resource called Practitioner's tool. Sub-categories of Practitioner's tool are "Planning", "Technology", "Sustainable operation" and "Promotion". These are not part of the WASH wiki held by Akvopedia.

If you go to a Working Group content page on the SuSanA website, there is a link to "Editing mode" which takes you to the Working Group wiki. "Editing mode" is not available on the SuSanA Sanitation portal "wiki" because that is not a sandbox like the Working Group wiki. I'm getting dizzy enough just writing this...

There only needs to be one WASH wiki. This needs to include the WASH portals, the SuSanA working groups portals and Practitioner's tools:

Portals
Water
Sanitation
Working groups
Sanitation technologies
Sanitation systems
Practitioners tools
Finance
Sustainability
Decision & Assessment Tools
Food & Nutrition Security

The Akvopedia WASH wiki needs to be fully integrated into the SuSanA website with the top SuSanA navigation menu present at all times on wiki pages, with direct links to wiki portals in the SuSanA navigation menu.

I'd also suggest that there is no need for web pages to present wiki content with a link to editing mode, this just complicates navigation. There is nothing wrong with directly navigating to the wiki.

cheers
Dean

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Re: Wikipedia Wikiproject Sanitation and Akvopedia - Why are there two resources and what is the difference between them?

Dear Dean,
thanks for your honest and critical feedback. We have just recently launched the SuSanA Working Group Wiki and are happy to hear about user experiences and suggestions for improvement.

As you point out, there are different ways of how someone can access and use the Wiki: The Sanitation Portal on the SuSanA website ( www.susana.org/en/resources/akvo-sanitat...:Sanitation%20Portal ), the SuSanA Working Group Wiki (or SuSanA Partner Portal), which is a sandbox ( akvopedia.org/SuSanA/Main_Page ), and Akvopedia, Akvo’s wiki resource which is the original source of the Sanitation portal wiki pages that are published on the SuSanA website ( akvopedia.org/wiki/Sanitation_Portal ). The embedded Sanitation Portal on the SuSanA website is a "live" version of the one in Akvopedia, but it cannot be edited directly.

Page editing of the Sanitation Portal must be done in Akvopedia or in the SuSanA Working Group Wiki (but not from the SuSanA website). In the SuSanA Working Wiki, new pages and content can be created. It offers a space for working groups to collaboratively create new pages and further developing the Working Group Factsheets, which will eventually be published on Akvopedia.org.

Let me explain, why this set-up was chosen. The Sanitation Portal is not directly editable via the SuSanA website, to better handle the potential influx of many pages with the more than 6,000 SuSanA members. New pages or content created are allowed a space of their own - the SuSanA Working Group Wiki - , so members can edit and create pages at a comfortable pace, then when the page is finished, the Working Group leaders will let Akvo know so we they check the material over and publish it in the right place in Akvopedia.

Winona from Akvo explains the procedure as follows:
Since Akvopedia has six portals, we want to make sure the SuSanA material ends up in the correct place. Sometimes the Sanitation Portal is not the best place, or sometimes material is already on Akvopedia, so we want to insure duplicates are not made before we publish the material. Once the SuSanA material is published in the right place, members can always re-edit the content directly into Akvopedia, so members never have to worry about making things perfect or including everything the first time. The SuSanA Working Group Wiki also allows users to take the time they need to edit and create new content. This prevents impartial pages (which could confuse users) published prematurely in Akvopedia, keeping the new content separate until its finished.
Since Akvopedia staff and Working Group leaders will handle the organization and placement into Akvopedia, this frees the members up to focus on creating great content that shares their important contributions with Akvopedia and the world.


We are currently working on a new welcome page for the SuSanA Working Group Wiki to improve its user-friendliness which also includes a better explanation of the current workflow and how SuSanA members can contribute to Akvopedia.

You have said: “There is no link to Akvopedia (the WASH wiki) from the Sanitation portal (I've asked that this be put there). There is no link to the working group wiki under Resources >> Wiki.

I agree and we will work on providing better interlinkages and better explanations on how to contribute to them.

A full integration of the Wiki would require additional resources, so I am happy to keep this suggestion in mind as a potential long-term improvement, and invite everybody in the meantime to test and make use of the current version of the SuSanA Working Group Wiki.
We are open for any other feedback, suggestions and ideas for improvement.

Kind regards,
Annkathrin (on behalf of the SuSanA Secretariat)

+++Please find below some more background information about Akvopedia (which Winona from Akvo has sent)+++

Akvopedia is a wiki, which means anyone can contribute and edit its content. However, there are many different kinds of wikis on the web. Ours is more managed than some in order to keep the quality and design consistent. So when others contribute, usually our staff checks and edits the material before publishing it for grammatical errors, spelling, and clearly communicated content. Many of our users speak English as a 2nd language, so we like to insure the material on Akvopedia does not use language that is too academic, so as not to exclude many of our users who are researching information for their own communities in-need.

Most people think of Wikipedia when they think of a wiki, and we use the same software as they do, but our organization of material is very different. We don’t have lots of moderators to constantly check new edits or additions, so we go a different route, which is to preapprove most pages. Although Akvopedia is a nonprofit foundation, we do try to follow a consistent design to properly brand our website, to make it memorable for users. Wikipedia does not have much of a design, there are many colors, sizes of photos, and heading fonts that have no size restrictions. This formatting difference is also why we like to check over pages before they are published to Akvopedia. (Our formatting is explained in the Quick Start Guide www.susana.org/images/newPage/working-gr...uick-Start-guide.pdf ).

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