The project database on the SuSanA website - discussion on filter options and world map

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The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Dear SuSanA community,

The project database on the SuSanA website is growing steadily.

Check it out on this page on our website (filterable by many criteria):
www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

The aim of this project database is to raise awareness in the SuSanA community about the sanitation projects being done by SuSanA partner organisations. So when you visit the project database on the SuSanA website, you can quickly get an overview of the projects that are being conducted or have been conducted in the past. When you see something that really interests you, then you follow the links to the forum threads, SuSanA library or project website where more detailed information and contact details can be found.

If you want your projects to appear in the SuSanA project database, then please contact us at the secretariat so that we can make it happen.

All the best.
Trevor

P.S. feedback and comments as always welcome, just reply to this post! :)

Trevor Surridge
Sanitation Advisor
GIZ Water and Sanitation Program
German Development Cooperation

GIZ Water Programme office
Chaholi Rd. No 5, Rhodes Park
Private Bag RW 37x
Lusaka, Zambia
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Re: Research section is growing on the SuSanA website (now called projects database)

Please try the new filter function here for the project data base quickly find what you are looking for!

You can now use one or more of the following filter categories:
  • kind of project
  • technology
  • region and country
  • setting
  • reuse
  • audience
  • field of activity
  • working group
  • funding
The filter button, you find here:
Define your filter categories. You can use various filters at the same time.
With the regional filter, you can select a country (click on "Select country") or a region (click on the region and then "Apply filter").
After having set all the desired filters, you click on "Apply filter" at the botton OR the top of the filter section.
If you have any problems, don't hesitate to contact us!

For your information: the same type of filter panel has also been set up for the SuSanA library ( www.susana.org/library ), for the case studies ( www.susana.org/case-studies ) and for the partners ( www.susana.org/en/partner ).

Regards,
Jona

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  • SDickin
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Re: Research section is growing on the SuSanA website (now called projects database)

This a really useful compilation of information on what's being done across a range of projects that would be hard to find elsewhere.
Some potential opportunities to improve the project database:
  • It might be helpful to have the short description Trevor mentions about the project database at the top of the webpage to provide some context, for example:

"The aim of this project database is to raise awareness in the SuSanA community about the sanitation projects being done by SuSanA partner organisations. So when you visit the project database on the SuSanA website, you can quickly get an overview of the projects that are being conducted or have been conducted in the past. When you see something that really interests you, then you follow the links to the forum threads, SuSanA library or project website where more detailed information and contact details can be found."

  • Linking the title of the project and the logo to the discussion thread may help people find the project information
  • Some of the project titles are so short it is hard to get even a brief idea. Maybe a one sentence description of the main objective could be added to future projects descriptions
  • [/ul]

    Dr. Sarah Dickin,
    Research Fellow
    Stockholm Environment Institute
    Stockholm, Sweden
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    • milli
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    Re: Research section is growing on the SuSanA website (now called projects database)

    Dear Sarah,
    thank you for your helpful suggestions which we have in the meantime worked on.

    About your Point 1 we have now added a green hyperlink to the top of the page which links to the page called "introduction" ( www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/introduction ). It explains clearly the purpose of the project database. If any of it is not clear, please let us know.

    About your Point 2, we could not take that on board: We did not link the organisation's logo or the project title to the correct page on their website because this would be too much work for us to find the correct page for each project on the organization's website. If there is a project website, it can be found in the green hyperlinks below the project title. If not - for those few projects where we don't have more information yet - then they can easily be found with a search engine. However, quite often, for those particular projects no project details are given on the organization's website either which is a pity.

    About your Point 3, I have spent many hours in the last weeks to give each project a short descrption (one or two sentences) which you can see directly under the project title of the project:
    www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

    The aim here was - as you had suggested - to provide people with a quick orientation of what the project is all about. I hope all my short project descriptions are good and clear (if not, let me know, particularly if it's your own project)

    If anyone has further suggestions for improving the project database, please let us know.

    And please also make sure that your own projects are included in the project database! To get your project inluded, just send a short e-mail to the SuSanA secretariat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or to me (you can use the contact button on the left side of this post for that).

    Regards,
    milli (and Elisabeth)

    Danijela Milosevic
    M.Sc. Environmental and Resource Management
    Gießen, Germany
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    • muench
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    We are currently in the process of reviewing and improving the filter categories for the project database on the SuSanA website (a place where information about ALL sanitation projects of SuSanA partners and others can be filed and found).

    We invite you today to give us your feedback about these filter categories by posting in this thread.

    As a reminder: we started the project database in September 2013 and it is growing slowly but steadily. There are currently 266 projects listed there and we plan to double this figure in the coming year or so:

    www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

    This is how the filters currently look (sorry the second image is a bit small - you can see it bigger here when you click on the green filter button at the top right: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects ):






    One suggestion that came from Esther and Diane is to have a separate category for "vermi-composting / vermi-filters" (currently it is part of the category on composting systems. This could be an option worth considering.

    What are your suggestions for improvements of these filters? Or suggestions about the project database in general?


    As a reminder about the project database:

    If you work for an organization that has been registered as a SuSanA partner you can add your own projects to this database. The amount of detail you want to add is up to you - it can be a lot or not so much and rather include a link to your own website. The database just helps people to find out which sanitation projects are taking place and where.

    If you'd like to add a project but don't know how to go about it, please contact me or the SuSanA secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post in this thread.

    Currently, as part of the BMGF grant to support SuSanA, Ruth and Esther are busy adding projects for WaterAid and Oxfam to this database.

    Regards,
    Elisabeth

    Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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    • Doreen
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    Thank you for this Elisabeth.

    A few comments I have

    I dont see the need of having vermicomposting as a seperate category. Yes it is a different skill set but still falls under the category of composting therefore I would not make a different filter for it.

    How about the following filters that provide more holistic perspectives? Particularly in the filter by kind of project?

    • WASH in Schools
    • Scaling-up
    • What don’t we have a filter just on FS emptying too since we have one on FS transport?
    • Would enabling environment also encompass institutional strengthening?

    Many thanks and best regards,

    Doreen

    Doreen Mbalo

    Sustainable Sanitation Programme and Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) Secretariat
    Advisor
    Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    Thanks a lot for your feedback, Doreen. Would anyone else like to comment on these filter options?

    My reply to Doreen's suggestions is as follows:

    We could change it as follows (changes to the current filter setup shown in red):

    Filter by kind of project
    • Resource recovery
    • Processing technologies
    • User interface
    • Faecal sludge transport
    • Enabling environment, institutional strengthening and others
    Or if needed, we make "institutional strengthening" and "others" into their own bullet points?

    Here I suggest we add the part in red, as emptying and transport of faecal sludge are usually combined:

    Filter by kind of project
    • Resource recovery
    • Processing technologies
    • User interface
    • Faecal sludge emptying and transport
    • Enabling environment and others
    If you prefer we could make this change:

    Filter by setting
    • Rural
    • Urban
    • Peri-Urban
    • School Sanitation, WASH in schools
    • Informal Settlement
    And this could be a potential new filter option to address your suggestion about ubscaling projects:

    Filter by size
    • Desktop work only
    • Lab scale
    • Pilot scale
    • Full scale
    [/color]
    Regarding splitting off vermicomposting or vermifilter from composting, I would tend to agree with you that it's not necessary but would like to hear more opinion on this? Currently it looks like this (should we add the part in red?):

    Filter by technology
    • Biogas and DEWATS
    • Constructed wetlands
    • Composting systems, vermicomposting and vermifilters
    • Faecal sludge management
    • Flush toilets (with/without urine diversion)
    • Innovative science and technology
    • Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)
    • Other technologies
    Note that all this is not a scientifically correct categorisation scheme. The aim is for people to easily find those kinds of projects in the project database that they are looking for...

    Regards,
    Elisabeth

    Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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    • sterennphilippe
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    Hi everyone,

    I want to start by saying that I really appreciate this database of projects. Its a great contribution to the sector.

    I recently uploaded a project, and here is my feedback on the filters:

    • Overall, very easy to select filters.
    • I really like that the projects can be connected to Working Groups. I feel like there might be a lot of overlap with the "field of activity" and "working group" which could get confusing?
    • I found the tab “Resource projects” a bit confusing. Is it asking what part of the sanitation system you are working on, and also includes the enabling environment? I think it would help to have it in the order of the sanitation system (on-site sanitation, transport, treatment, etc.)
    • I like that there is the general option of “FSM” under technology. I feel like the technology options could be more categorized. I would find it easier if they were sorted by on-site sanitation technologies, emptying and transportation technologies, treatment technologies and reuse options ? For example, you could select that you are generally working on treatment technologies and below that category there are more specific options of treatment technologies that you could select (e.g., drying beds, sedimentation tank, etc.). I would then remove "Filter by reuse" which seemed very specific compared to other categories.
    • Filter by audience was a bit unclear to me. Is it the target audience of the project or who you are uploading the project for?

    Thanks for the great work! I will be adding more projects.

    Sterenn
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    Dear Sterenn,

    Thanks a lot for your helpful comments about the filter options in the SuSanA project database. I will respond to them below.

    Dear all!

    By the way, we now have over 300 projects in the database, check it out here: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

    If you work for an organisation which is a SuSanA partner, how about adding your favorite projects into the project database? It is fast and easy for anyone who is part of a SuSanA partner organisation. If you don't know if your organisation is a partner or not, just check here: www.susana.org/en/partner

    This welcome package explains to you what you can do when you're a SuSanA partner:
    www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/2576

    Coming back to Sterenn's suggestions: she was referring to the project entry mask which looks like this when you are entering projects to the database (sorry, I have tried but I can't seem to get a clearer screenshot to insert here):



    She said:

    • I really like that the projects can be connected to Working Groups. I feel like there might be a lot of overlap with the "field of activity" and "working group" which could get confusing?

    Yes, indeed, I am also not satisfied with that. How could we resolve this? Our problem was that some of the "fields of activity" don't exist as a working group.

    • I found the tab “Resource projects” a bit confusing. Is it asking what part of the sanitation system you are working on, and also includes the enabling environment? I think it would help to have it in the order of the sanitation system (on-site sanitation, transport, treatment, etc.)

    Yes, the title in the filter is a bit odd. Later for the user we have called it "Filter by kind of project" and we give the following choices:

    - Resource recovery
    - Processing technologies
    - User interface
    - Faecal sludge transport
    - Enabling environment and others

    It was meant to indicate in which area the project has its focus. These areas were set up with the Gates Foundation projects in mind (it was their projects which started the database), but this could be changed. A starting point could be to rename it to "Project focus area".

    • I like that there is the general option of “FSM” under technology. I feel like the technology options could be more categorized. I would find it easier if they were sorted by on-site sanitation technologies, emptying and transportation technologies, treatment technologies and reuse options ? For example, you could select that you are generally working on treatment technologies and below that category there are more specific options of treatment technologies that you could select (e.g., drying beds, sedimentation tank, etc.).

    We don't have the capability of doing double-filtering like you suggested. Also I wouldn't want to drill too deeply with the filters. Keep in mind that people can also use keyword searched for e.g. "sedimentation tank". Are there any broad technology options that are currently sorely missing?

    • I would then remove "Filter by reuse" which seemed very specific compared to other categories.

    It's true it's a bit specific but on the other hand, SuSanA has traditionally had a focus on reuse and some people some to us particularly for that reason. So it's handy for them to be able to filter by different reuse options.

    • Filter by audience was a bit unclear to me. Is it the target audience of the project or who you are uploading the project for?

    It is meant to be the audience of the project. How can we make it clearer? In the project entry mask we called it "Materials for".

    I hope that more and more SuSanA partners will start to enter their projects, and then provide us feedback what is not clear during the data entering process. So please continue to provide your feedback and we'll consider it and try to improve it.

    Regards,
    Elisabeth

    Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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    • shobana
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    Hello All,

    I have some comments regarding the Option 'Filter by Setting'

    Currently, we have
    •Rural
    •Urban
    •Peri-Urban
    •School Sanitation, WASH in schools
    •Informal Settlement

    I was wondering where I could place a Refugee camp/settlement .
    An emergency settlement can either be rural /urban/ peri-urban but can differ from a normal setting due to high population density or floating population. Similarly , an informal settlement can come under rural ( Government land occupied by villagers for settlements and farming) and urban setting.


    Urban, rural and peri-urban filters are classified based on infrastructure and population whereas a school is based on the end-user.

    Do we need more filter options here or is it better to keep it simple?
    Regards,
    Shobana

    Shobana Srinivasan
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    • DianeKellogg
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    Given my interest in doing research on public-private partnerships, it would be helpful for me to be able to do a search to identify private sector sanitation companies that have been involved as partners (or as vendors). Might this be possible?

    Diane M. Kellogg
    Bentley University Management Department
    Partner, Kellogg Consultants
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    Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

    Dear Shobana and Diane,

    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:
    www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

    For your info, the project also has a zoomable and clickable world map, which can be accessed here:
    www.susana.org/en/resources/projects?map=show

    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.

    Regards,
    Elisabeth

    Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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    (see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
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