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Topics in Category: Knowledge management (KM) tools - SuSanA Forum Sat, 24 Jun 2017 19:18:17 +0200 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management /media/kunena/images/icons/rss.png Topics in Category: Knowledge management (KM) tools - SuSanA Forum en-gb The project database on the SuSanA website - discussion on filter options and world map - by: muench
Thanks for your suggestions about the project database and how it can be filtered!

Dear all,
Information to all: we are currently working on a complete overhaul of the way the filtering will be represented. That's because the User Experience study showed that our users often didn't even know filtering was possible. So now is a good time to also decide if the filtering options are too many or too few and if they make complete sense or not.

Shobana, you asked about "Filter by Setting". I see your point. I would normally lump refugee camps in with "informal settlements" and would not tick urban, peri-urban or rural, unless that was important. E.g. if a project was dealing with an informal settlement in a rural area, then I would tick as a filter "informal settlement" but not rural.
But perhaps my internal logic is not so clear.

Similarly if the school was in a rural area, I would only tick "Schools" but not "rural". Do you think we should either make the filter options more precise or break it into two distinct filters? Then again I think it's important to keep things brief so that the user doesn't have to spend ages reading through the different filter options.

About Diane's suggestion: this would require an additional filter which could by called "Filter by type of organization".

This could be done. Currently the user can filter by donor. If we decided to have such a new filter, it could have the same categories as what we use for SuSanA partners, i.e.:

• Local NGO
• International NGO
• Private sector
• Education / Research
• Governmental / State-owned organization
• Multilateral organization
• Network / Association
• Others

If you searched through the project database, would you find such a filter option useful?

Just as a reminder we are talking about the SuSanA project database with its currently 310 projects:

For your info, the project also has a zoomable and clickable world map, which can be accessed here:

I took a screenshot to show you:

Looking at this map, what do you notice? One thing that is very obvious is the huge number of projects in India... That's because the bulk of the projects in the database are still those funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and they fund a lot of work in India. But the project database is open to anybody's project. If you'd like to get your project on the map, just do it! If your organization is a SuSanA partner you can add it yourself. If not, please contact the secretariat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or me and we can see what can be done.

Knowledge management (KM) tools Fri, 09 Jun 2017 15:22:17 +0200
A new sub-category on this Forum for "knowledge management (KM) tools" - as part of capacity development, is that OK? - by: muench
Welcome to this Forum! How did you find out about us? I assume you are not from the WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) sector but are looking at knowledge management (KM) across all sorts of sectors?

Do you have any advice for us at SuSanA how we could do KM better? Which other tools should we provide? And how about the SuSanA partners - organizations working in WASH - do you have any advice for them? Perhaps you have noticed common challenges for people working in the WASH sector that are different to people working in other sectors? Like perhaps the problems of working across language barriers (English-French-Spanish or also English versus native languages) or working across different levels of internet access speed, or an unwillingness to share knowledge amongst oldies and novices or amongst different levels of hierarchies?

I am "all ears" to hear from an expert on knowledge management. You'd probably say "you should have taken our course in Brussels!" ;-)

Knowledge management (KM) tools Wed, 10 May 2017 22:34:11 +0200
If you were to create a new KM tool/portal/database for WASH professionals, what would it be? - by: JKMakowka
Regarding Knowledgepoint: In my experience you can post new questions, but they will not be shown to other users until a moderator approves them. The site also has serious usability issues on mobile devices and seems more or less abandoned in general.]]>
Knowledge management (KM) tools Wed, 19 Apr 2017 05:50:11 +0200
Centres of Excellence in FSM? - by: ChrisBuckley
The answer depends on your needs.
If they relate to
• data
• methods for the analysis of faecal sludge
• research on faecal sludge management processes and systems

A suggestion is to look at

Chris Buckley]]>
Knowledge management (KM) tools Sun, 09 Apr 2017 14:26:45 +0200
A well thought out instruction template on how to document good/best practices - by: nityajacob
This is an interesting structure and thanks for sharing the document. It seems to suggest a hierarchy of practices starting from promising and going up to good. I'm planning a discussion on the India chapter on good practices/case studies on sanitation. Have you come across other resources I can share while initiating the discussion?

Nitya Jacob]]>
Knowledge management (KM) tools Fri, 07 Apr 2017 04:11:16 +0200
Resources on how CSOs learn for Impact in WASH programming - by: janina
Research undertaken by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for the CS WASH Fund explores this question. The research investigated how CSOs involved in WASH learn and improve programming and practice to align with evidence-based approaches, and outlines the most preferred and effective communication materials, formats and mechanisms for CSO learning.

For more download the research report and learning brief:

• Report:

• Learning brief: ]]>
Knowledge management (KM) tools Tue, 08 Nov 2016 06:16:40 +0100
Knowledge Management in a Gates Foundation WSH portfolio - Final blog of 8: reports and plans with Gates Foundation WSH team - by: petecranston Making change happen

It is cheaper and easier to change information flows than it is to change structure.
Donella Meadows

Identifying what causes change in organizations and attempting to identify the impact of specific projects is the kind of conundrum that keeps consultants and academics in profitable and engaging work. To borrow from Outcome Mapping language , it’s a major step to be able to identify whether those people or organizations directly connected to a project, within its’ potential sphere of influence, change their behavior and work differently in ways that could at least be linked to the activities in the project.

Donella Meadows’ seminal work, “Leverage Points – Places to Intervene in a System”, in particular her description of the role of information and feedback loops, was one of the framing ideas for a review workshop of the KM project in the Building Demand for Sanitation (BDS) portfolio. Meadows’ work explores systems, their complexity, and the enormous effort and time required to achieve lasting change . Meadows’ work highlights the importance of power and paradigms, reinforcing the central importance of leadership, a point we’ve made consistently in this series of blogs.

The WSH team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation organized the two-day workshop in September 2015. Its’ purpose was to review 18 months of KM initiatives by the BDS team, as well as Foundation-wide KM experiences, and consider activities for the WSH team as a whole that would lead to stronger networks among foundation and grantees, improve availability and access to specific knowledge, and strengthen the organizational culture, improving the flow of knowledge.

The whole WSH team was involved in the workshop. The BDS KM team shared summary findings from a grantee survey, giving responses on elements of the BDS KM program they valued and whether or how it had affected their work. This graphic below illustrates the relative valued add of program activities, according to grantees.

And although 18 months is a short time in which to achieve the more fundamental changes in behavior that are the basis of sustainable change, there were clear indications that grantees believed the BDS KM activities were helping them integrate more effective KM into their work. For example, from the pre-program survey in 2014 we identified grantee KM priorities and in general, in the concluding survey, grantees rated the project’s impact positively.

Mainstreaming KM into the Rhythm of Business

Everyone in the WSH team had ideas and experiences to share, so much so that when it came to prioritize proposals, a senior member of the team responded that he felt almost promiscuous because there was so much that turned him on. It’s hard to summarize such a free-flowing, well-informed and thoughtful conversation but the remarkable graphic facilitation of Nancy White at least conveys some of the richness.

The main theme that emerged was the necessity of integrating KM in the normal ‘Rhythm of Business’ (RoB). There was a consensus that KM has to be ‘mainstreamed’, not seen as something discrete, made up of specific periodic activities. The most fundamental recommendation was that the WSH Director would ask WSH team members to put KM activities into individual goals on basis of common team goals to be developed by management, based on a menu of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to choose from. This would be supported by including KM in the job description for the then-about-to-be-appointed Deputy Director for Strategy, Planning and Management.

The team agreed also to determine how best to incorporate KM into the grant management cycle, and include it as a standard item on regular ‘Feedback to Action’ meetings. For example, two members of the team planned a pilot of a peer-assist format for part of an upcoming meeting, and they agreed to communicate lessons learned back at the next meeting. Finally, the team planned to institute regular meta-analysis of grant results, one or two times per year, which would feed into the planning process.

Active curation of information and widening access to resources behind paywalls was another theme. The team agreed to put resources towards a service or function that replicated the ‘Curated Updates’ experiment run throughout the BDS KM project . There was also a commitment to exploring how grantees could benefit from Foundation access to publications.

As ever, the longer-term impact of the workshop, and the KM project more generally, will probably be more influenced by the ‘normalization‘ of the concepts through the commitment of so much time to discussion, and the personal engagement of staff in the issue, very much led from the top. The WSH team have committed to reviewing their progress on improving KM, so expect some more blogs in due course.

Meanwhile, what about long-term behavior change in organizations that has demonstrably improved knowledge flows, learning and information management: do you have any examples or ideas?]]>
Knowledge management (KM) tools Tue, 12 Jul 2016 13:00:17 +0200
Sharing 2D or 3D drawings (sketch-up / CAD files) of all the models of latrines / sanitation infrastructures we all developed through the years - by: muench
We have set up a new filter function in the SuSanA library which brings up such drawings: If you have drawings that you'd like to share how about sending them to the secretariat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and asking them to include them in the library (in the original file format and also in pdf format)? That would be great.

You could also tell the other users more about your work with pit latrines here:

Thanks a lot,
Knowledge management (KM) tools Tue, 10 May 2016 06:04:24 +0200
Dissemination of outputs of funded projects on sanitation required for adoption by common people - by: muench
I agree with you that many of the projects have only the bare minimum of information so far, and that that's a real pity! But on a positive side, we have now over 100 projects in the database that have been introduced on the discussion forum (make sure you scrol all the way to page 5). That's pretty good! You can see those that have a green hyperlink called "Discussion on forum" under the project title. I think the forum discussion is the best place to discuss outputs and results. By posting on the forum, the grantees have also indicated a willingness to field questions and comments from the sanitation community which is great.

One of my daily tasks is to help and encourage as many BMGF grantees of the 200 projects as possible to tell us more on the forum. Along the way, I also encourage others of course who are funded by other sources. Please help me by encouraging anyone whom you know to utilise the forum and project database. :-)

So far, we use a standard project introduction sheet which also lists outcomes and results to date, see here:

This attachment is hidden for guests.
Please log in or register to see it.

You will recognise the format from forum posts where grantees introduced their projects, like most recently Kathy Jooss on their odour project:

Do you have specific suggestions on how to make this introduction sheet better (but without making it too much longer)?

About the six grants made under the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge India last year, I am surprised you had a problem finding them in the database? There are several search methods, which one did you use? You can either put the name of the organisation in the search field. E.g. if I put BIRAC it comes up like this:

You could also use the filter function and filter the projects by country "India", then it also comes up easily. Or you could filter by technology. Please try if it works for you?

So far, 3 out of these 6 Indian grantees have introduced their projects on the forum, see here:

It seems that they all started much later than orginally planned, so they are only now getting some results, slowly. You can help though by showing your interest and posting in their threads to ask follow-up questions to what they've said?

And there are three who haven't posted yet. If you know them, please help me to encourage them in the background (I am in touch with them but no replies so far): Kind regards,
Knowledge management (KM) tools Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:46:40 +0200
What do you think of LinkedIn? And the LinkedIn group Community of Practice on Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries? - by: sailas
Thank you for the valued feedback that you provided on the Linkedin group. The LinkedIn Group for "Community of Practice for Sanitation and Hygiene" is part of the Global Community of Practice for Sanitation and Hygiene Initiative that was launched in 2011. The aim is to reinforce the global community of those working in sanitation and hygiene and create a neutral platform to share and learn together. The group is managed by a Coordinator who currently sits within the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). The coordinator works with a global team of 'stewards' who are dedicated and well respected sector professionals.

The question on why it is necessary to have different platforms was extensively discussed on this forum ( ).

We encourage cross-fertilization of ideas between these forums/CoPs and we look forward to receiving new ideas on how this can be accelerated

Knowledge management (KM) tools Mon, 04 May 2015 13:29:15 +0200
Knowledge Point, a question and answer Forum - how does it compare to this forum? - by: sailas Knowledge management (KM) tools Fri, 01 May 2015 12:24:40 +0200 Review of Support Resources in Sanitation and New Decision & Assessment Tools portal on Akvopedia - by: dorothee.spuhler
Thanks for your various posts!

If your are interested in the resources referred to in the CSTEP Sanitaiton Compendium you can find many of them online together with further readings and related weblinks on the SSWM Toolbox.

The new Decision and Assessment Portal are good news too! This complements what there is already on the Toolbox:
Planning and Process Tools

There can not be enough of examples of good resources to support planning in sustainable sanitation!
I hope many additional initiatives are joining the collection of tools already online and that the articles can be completed soon. As they complete and show application on the field, we may also consider integrating some of the resource as a Tool on the SSWM Toolbox. Are there already some case studies available on the portal?

Kind regards
Knowledge management (KM) tools Tue, 10 Jun 2014 08:14:09 +0200
Lack of "reading culture"? And ideas on podcasts, audio books, online courses - by: muench But SuSanA can help you find these courses...

See e.g. some information here in the WG 1 factsheet:

Information on courses is also here on the forum:

Then there is a list of courses that GIZ compiled in 2009:

And you can filter the 217 SuSanA partners by "education/research" by clicking on the selection item on the right hand side on this page:

It is up to the SuSanA partners to use the SuSanA network to advertise their courses (or to investigate demand for further courses), and up to the SuSanbA members to articulate if they still see gaps in courses for certain countries or subjects maybe...

Oh and here on the forum you also find interesting discussions on the topic of "capacity building":

About the podcasts with sanitation themes, I think this is quite interesting; I wonder which SuSanA partner(s) could pick this up or has maybe already done so in the past. Maybe as part of the online course which Chris Zurbrugg mentioned here?:

Knowledge management (KM) tools Sun, 03 Nov 2013 23:51:00 +0100
WIKI-SUSAN? Open Source! - by: joeturner
As far as I can see, the main problem with opensource (and open edit) information is that there is potential for misleading information to be added when there is nobody better able to remove it. In addition, one sometimes wonders what the purpose would be of adding information that can be obtained from better sources elsewhere.

In my view (which I have discussed with Appropedia), it would be best to be a be a combination of alternative tech research, first hand case-studies and signposting to other good sources of information on the web. The problem is that to get a wiki into that kind of format takes a lot of effort and keen people.


Note by moderator: The conversation continued in this thread .]]>
Knowledge management (KM) tools Tue, 08 Oct 2013 19:36:17 +0200
Open Competition on Agriwaterpedia - sustainable use of water resources for food production - by: JKMakowka
Seems a bit like the groups within the giz should work together more closely, as this and SuSanA certainly share a lot of common topics.]]>
Knowledge management (KM) tools Mon, 30 Sep 2013 07:14:01 +0200