If you were to create a new KM tool/portal/database for WASH professionals, what would it be?
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TOPIC: If you were to create a new KM tool/portal/database for WASH professionals, what would it be?

If you were to create a new KM tool/portal/database for WASH professionals, what would it be? 18 Apr 2017 11:47 #21267

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    edbourque
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Hi,

I'm a WASH consultant that has done a mix of field research, writing proposals, writing publications and I've always felt that all of the valuable WASH KM resources are scattered. News, reports, evaluations, etc. often get lost in the face of information overload.

While the answers/perspectives/needs would be different for a business development person, a researcher, or a technical evaluator in the field, what sort of resources do you wish existed? How would you leverage existing resources to make better use of them?

I've been toying with the idea of creating a portal that organizes such resources, so any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks

Ed

Re: If you were to create a new KM tool/portal/database for WASH professionals, what would it be? 18 Apr 2017 17:59 #21271

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    JKMakowka
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Ultimately there is just too much written information to still try an catalogue it in some old fashioned way. The problem is also that too much good information is hidden in documents where maybe 1 out of 50 pages actually has useful information. Curating all that or trying to "condense" it in a wiki or such would be a full time paid job for several people though (but I applaud the recent efforts here to update the Wikipedia).

I think the way forward is a Q&A site with a very active community to crowd-source information. A successful example would be "Stack Overflow" (stackoverflow.com/) where you can find an answer to almost anything IT related. It needs a very active community though (chicken-egg problem) and previous attempts to do something similar for WASH (www.knowledgepoint.org) have more or less failed. However I think that was mainly a maintenance issue and that every post new question needs to be approved by a moderator which can take weeks there sadly.

This could be combined with a more specialized wiki and a federated microblogging service ("Mastodon" for example) to further cater to a community of contributors.

I was actually thinking about setting up something like that later this year as well (right now I don't have time). Feel free to take up this idea though, or alternatively we could discuss about collaborating if you don't have a strong commercial motive behind setting up such a website.
Krischan Makowka
Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
Last Edit: 19 Apr 2017 06:55 by JKMakowka.

Re: If you were to create a new KM tool/portal/database for WASH professionals, what would it be? 18 Apr 2017 22:22 #21275

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    muench
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I am a bit confused what the two of you have in mind... Is it something that the SuSanA platform could offer as well? Would it compete or supplement SuSanA?
(Perhaps one shortcoming of SuSanA is that we are weak on the WA part of WASH, but have - on purpose - focused on the S and H part of WASH)
If anyone wonders what is WASH, see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WASH

Kris: regarding Knowledge Point, you can post instantaneously, there is no delay (you said "every post needs to be approved by a moderator which can take weeks there sadly").

I am actually trying to come up with ways to connect Knowledge Point to this Forum and vice versa as I have seen cases of the same type of discussion in both places which is not ideal. There is willigness from WaterAid but so far we haven't figured out a good concept yet. They do cater for different audiences so that's fine, I just want to harness synergies if possible (we have another thread about it here on the Forum: forum.susana.org/component/kunena/279-kn...ompare-to-this-forum)

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: If you were to create a new KM tool/portal/database for WASH professionals, what would it be? 19 Apr 2017 06:50 #21277

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    JKMakowka
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I don't know what edbourque has in mind exactly, but I think his/my ideas is more to complement SuSanA. As you say there is little Water in SuSanA and it is maybe not so focused on the little technicalities of implementation (for example questions like "how to do water point assessment and mapping"). And while there is some overlap, SuSanA is also not really a networking site for individuals. Last but not least, I feel that at times the institutional setup prevents SuSanA from innovating and running a modern website (see how long it takes to update the forum).

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.
Krischan Makowka
Microbiologist & emergency WASH specialist
Last Edit: 19 Apr 2017 06:52 by JKMakowka.
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