Stockholm World Water Week & SuSanA meeting: Suggestions for online participation during and after the events
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Stockholm World Water Week & SuSanA meeting: Suggestions for online participation during and after the events 15 Jul 2014 10:31 #9354

  • Sowmya
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Dear All,

Regarding the Stockholm World Water Week Event and the SuSanA meeting, our Forum has 3800 members and not all of us can participate in person. In any case, this is an online forum and I was wondering how we can give our inputs / follow the events. The Agenda for this year's Meeting can be accessed at:

One aspect is the videos (of the meeting) that are posted on the website (last year’s meeting videos can be accessed here: ). Please find below some suggestions:

Linkages with SuSanA Forum discussion threads:

(1) Post the relevant discussion threads from SuSanA forum under the videos: For each video, post the relevant discussion threads from SuSanA forum and post the links to the video page on the different forum posts. Because (a) it connects the videos of events with the discussion threads and (b) help forum members get the information they would be particularly interested in. Need to think of a suitable webpage design, though.

(2) Connect actual events with the different discussion threads: If it cannot be linked directly to the program schedule (I don't know all the major discussion threads in the forum ), allocate some time to discuss the major threads. This will help take the major issues and members’ inputs to the next level.

(3) Post interviews / inputs of major & expert contributors: Some members contribute a lot of technical & practical expertise on the forum. I was totally amazed when I saw the level of expert knowledge (was actually quite taken aback when I first joined the forum, it was absolutely wow!). Post some of it - at least those relating to the Agenda topics. And perhaps, a URL to the videos webpage when you send the ‘thank you’ email to all the people who participated in person – this will help infrequent visitors get the gist of important discussions at one place.

(4) Maintain continuity: Both the Stockholm Event and SuSanA meetings are annual events. Can we find some way of maintaining continuity throughout the year?
  • Messages during the past one year get posted (and links to this page cross posted on the forum messages).
  • Keep the discussion going on the overarching topics throughout the year - cross-posting links to other discussion threads (which is already being done exceedingly well) and keep linking to the SuSanA meeting (immediately past and forthcoming).
  • While forum members would start posts based on their topics of interest, maintain an underlying continuum with the SuSanA meetings and the Stockholm event.
  • Let the discussion threads also feed into the agenda for the next year's meeting. This could be one way of ensuring we get adequate expert inputs for SuSanA’s mandate of policy advocacy and dissemination of information and knowledge.

I just learn so much from this forum and so, I keep thinking of how all this knowledge can reach more people. Hope this is alright.

Thanks and regards,

Sowmya Rajasekaran
Verity SmartLife Solutions
Last Edit: 27 Aug 2014 18:14 by muench.
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Re: Stockholm World Water Week & SuSanA meeting: Suggestions for online participation during and after the events 27 Aug 2014 18:53 #9906

  • muench
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Dear Sowmya (and all),

I have read your post with your suggestions for online participation during and after the Stockholm World Water Week and SuSanA meeting several times, in order to figure out which of your suggestions could be implemented and how.

However, I have not really succeeded because some of them I didn't fully understand and others I couldn't get my head around how to do it practically.

Perhaps you or others could help me by picking out those that are most easily doable at first and by developing a priority list of things we could do?

I do totally agree with your intention, because whilst these face-to-face meetings are wonderful if you are one of the lucky few who has the resources to attend, they are also a bit "old fashioned" now that we have so many possibilities at hand for virtual participation. (and also if we are serious about trying to reduce climate change causing emissions from air planes, can we really justify to fly thousands of kilometres just to attend a meeting of a few days somewhere in the world?)

In this context, I am thrilled to learn that at least the second day of the SuSanA meeting will be live streamed over the internet, see the announcement by the secretariat here today:

So if you can, do try to block out the specified times (be sure to convert the Swedish time to your local time; there are useful time converter pages on the internet) and follow the event live. It is more fun live than to watch the recording afterwards!

Date is Saturday 6 September.

Now as per your other suggestions, e.g. you said we should pick up the major discussion from the forum and integrate them into the meeting agenda, and vice versa: take what was discussed at the meeting back to the forum.

This sounds good in theory but I see a few practical obstacles:
  1. The level of technical depth that some of the forum discussions go into are not really appropriate/interesting/relevant for the bulk of people attending a SuSanA meeting (which may be 60-100 people with various backgrounds, could be novices, students, experts with a range of different interests).
  2. Some (or even many) of the people usually attending the SuSanA meetings have not been engaging much on the forum, I am not totally sure why, but it seems to be a fact. There are horses for courses, some people like online forums, others don't. So I am not sure that it would be feasible to get the attendees of the SuSanA meeting to write on the forum before/during/after the event?
  3. The topics that are being discussed at the SuSanA meetings are sometimes quite specific to the way SuSanA is structured (e.g. last year there was a long discussion about how the SuSanA working groups are organised). Perhaps that is less interesting for the forum readers?

By the way, last year the SuSanA meeting (second day) was also live streamed and the video footage from that 17th meeting is available here online which I think is very nice:

What disturbes me a little is that when I look on the click rates for these 4 videos on Youtube, they are rather low, between 30-50 views only. I guess the main reason* is that each video is too long (1.5 hours or so) and that it would be better to break down the videos into smaller, more manageable chunks of say 15 minutes duration. But I also do understand that this takes more time to do and the resources from the SuSanA secretariat are limited.

Here it might be nice if one of the SuSanA partners (or even members?) put up their hand and say: "I could do the video editing and uploading of the separate clips as a voluntary contribution" - thereby making it more of a team effort and not putting all the burden on the secretariat?

I look forward to reading everyone's feedback on the points that I have made in this post.


* Another reason for low click rates of these Youtube videos from the 17th meeting could be that many of our members are on low internet connections and cannot view such videos well, or that Youtube is even banned in their country.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Last Edit: 27 Aug 2014 18:57 by muench.
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Re: Stockholm World Water Week & SuSanA meeting: Suggestions for online participation during and after the events 28 Aug 2014 19:17 #9920

  • Sowmya
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Dear Elisabeth and Everyone,

I am looking forward to the live streaming, thanks a ton! And, my apologies, I have not been regular in participation as I would have liked.

(1) Video editing: We could perhaps split the activity into a few parts: (a) Split the 1.5 hour videos into 3-4 parts and upload on a discussion thread, (b) 3-4 volunteers could take up a part-session each and make a list of which parts of the video to keep ie., list from which second to which second to keep, (c) SuSanA Secretariat checks if the list is okay, (d) another 3-4 volunteers use Microsoft MovieMaker to split the videos as per the list and join them to create the edited version. This will ensure that (i) the edit list is checked by three persons before the work is actually done, (ii) people who may be good at stating which content is good may not be comfortable using a video editing software and (iii) reduce total work per individual on the activities. We will need to do this for each 1.5 hour video. I can help with 2 part sessions - listing or editing.

(2) Sample videos: It would be great to make a "profile list" of people to whom the video links would be sent. Is it possible to put together a list of academic institutions that have some sanitation-related course? SuSanA members as well as those involved in publications could help with putting this list together. So, students taking up sanitation courses and students from other courses (such as, community development, entrepreneurship, etc) could be two profiles. Similarly, environment / energy conservation related grassroots organizations could be other profiles. Then, decide content of the 2-minute messages (for each profile) and edit videos accordingly.

(3) Online discussion: Having a "profile list" will also help find 1-2 topics that would be of common interest to most of the profiles. Develop a set of questions on the topic (1 question for each profile) and ensure those are answered. This could be a topic discussed previously at an expert level on the online forum - for example, what a particular technology means to each of these profiles. Maybe, the members could help choose a topic and develop the set of questions / key 2 minute messages (based on what action we want - awareness, discussion, collaboration, etc). It could be anything from carbon footprint of sustainable sanitation technologies to comparison of different materials used in producing sanitation equipment. Or, research areas where having standardized protocols could be of help (for instance, sanitation equivalent of WHO Quality of Life questionnaires that can be integrated into sanitation impact assessment).

(4) Connecting forum agenda with discussion topics: Given the time constraint, for the present meeting, it might be good to simply take the most active discussions and the working groups they belong to and create a word cloud to present at the meeting and post on the forum. (There are online generators, such as, Wordle.) This could give an instant view of focus of most discussions (and, therefore, other areas where it might be good to have discussion on). And, that can be a link for continuing discussions on the forum after the event. A word cloud also helps having a discussion between students, novices and experts. Probably, take 1-2 topics out of the word cloud and build the question list / group discussion pointers so that participants with different expertise levels can participate and we can also have our 2-minute videos capture different perspectives on a topic leading to the key messages.

(5) YouTube click rates: I am not sure why there are only few views but an interim step could be to provide transcripts of atleast 3-4 sample videos and see if people are viewing the transcript (probably post it on a separate page so that page views gives total number of persons interested in reading the transcript). That will help understand impact of incremental user action required, internet connectivity etc on the YouTube views.

Looking forward to the event,

Thanks and regards,

Sowmya Rajasekaran
Verity SmartLife Solutions
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