SuSanA Core Group needs members from the South. Please comment on this suggestion.

  • Carol McCreary
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SuSanA Core Group needs members from the South. Please comment on this suggestion.

Some time ago the Secretariat noted that experts from the South were underrepresented in the Core Group. I replied that is a serious problem but one we can fix. In order to get feedback, I'm moving post from WG9 audience to a new topic.

Professionals in the South have their hands full. Many are in the field working with communities and managing technical projects. Others are pursuing academic degrees that may be essential to their effective leadership in sustainable sanitation. They may lack access to libraries and technical support in electronic communications. They may not be surrounded by energetic student interns as some of their colleagues in the North are. But as a group SuSanA can support their involvement in the core group.

Here's my suggestion: Why not pair up SuSanA members in a way that would enhance the communication skills of both partners? How about creating a sub-project within SuSanA to do this?

Anyone who likes to write in the target language and learn new things can be effective in leveraging the knowledge of experts in the South. Pairing professionals across North South would enhance the quality of the research and editing of the fact sheets. And carried further, it would result in more effective conference presentations, power points, video and reports.

I spent most of my career helping professional people in the developing world communicate effectively. If you pair me with someone, we can work together by skype or Google+ and this person's expertise would more quickly see the light of day.

But I mostly see partners co-advising. How many time have we seen a "North" professional fly in for a conference and completely mess up the presentation because he or she didn't understand the audience or have a run through with someone who did. The fly-in gigs where I've been effective are the ones where I've worked at a distance by email and Skype for months beforehand. When I arrive, my South colleagues know me and are able to frankly tell me what to do and say.

Imagine creating lists of people who need communications help or can provide help. Or create a space where anyone can request short term communications help. Why not exchange advise on communication and writing in the same way we do on technical matters. A small communications project within SuSanA could result in a disproportionate increase in productive international collaboration.

What do you think? Would this work? Please send ideas. If there is enough interest, I'll volunteer to get it started. I'd need IT help from the Secretariat but the project would take some of the writing and communication burden off them.

In general, the best way to get good professionals from the South is to simply ask for their commitments and offer to support those commitments.

Carol McCreary
Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH)
1240 W. Sims Way #59, Port Townsend, Washington 98368 USA

Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.
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  • muench
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Re: SuSanA Core Group needs members from the South. Please comment on this suggestion.

Dear Carol,

Thanks for your valuable suggestions.

Perhaps some readers don't know what we mean by SuSanA core group. Here in our FAQ section on our website we have described what the core group is:
www.susana.org/lang-en/about-susana/faqs..._can_I_also_join_it_

The SuSanA core group is made up of individuals who are working group leads, co-leads, members of the secretariat or other professionals who volunteer their time to provide the network with strategic direction and advice. The main functions of the core group are related to planning meetings and events, proposing future strategies and making operational decisions in between the general meeting dates. Membership is limited but possible upon request. You may send an e-mail to the secretariat This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , stating your willingness and motivation to be part of the core group.


You can see the current leads and co-leads of the working groups here (every now and again, they change):
www.susana.org/working-groups

Currently the only people from the South in the SuSanA core group are:

Charles Niwagaba, Analisa Miso, Halidou Koanda, Jack Sim (actually does Singapore still count as the Global South? Probably not).
And I half-count also Belinda Abraham (working for UNICEF in Cambodia) and Andrea Nick (working for BGR in Zambia)

Belinda sent me the following reaction by e-mail to Carol's posting:

++++++++++++++
Dear Elisabeth and all,

A quick note on this! Yes- I agree with Carol's suggestion and this requires a more structured engagement to support south professionals. Creating a communication's project within SuSanA is a good idea- include also support for advocacy for decision makers.

This could be a small seed money, set aside to cover some travel and technical support for practitioners in the South! Interns could provide a lot of the assistance! Explore partnerships with collaborative council ( WSSCC) as communication and advocacy for sanitation and hygiene is their core business. they have a number of initiatives ongoing in the South, including Cambodia!

Thanks and greetings from Phnom Penh!


Belinda Abraham
Chief of Section, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
UNICEF
Cambodia

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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  • Carol McCreary
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  • I'm Program Manager at PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) www.phlush.org
  • Posts: 169
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Re: SuSanA Core Group needs members from the South. Please comment on this suggestion.

Thanks, Belinda. And thanks for bringing so much energy to SuSanA. Would you like to work together to slowly get some ideas down on how this might work? Sustainable decentralized sanitation is one of those areas where we need to look to the developing world.

Here in Portland as we work to establish public policy on post-earthquake emergency sanitation, we're looking to places like Haiti for the science and community response (although northern European countries have good lessons on code).

I see one goal to be speeding up access to practical research and strong practice. No need to do this too quickly; but we - and others who might join in - might want to come up with a simple concept paper for discussion at an upcoming Core group meeting.

Carol McCreary
Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human (PHLUSH)
1240 W. Sims Way #59, Port Townsend, Washington 98368 USA

Toilet availability is a human right and well-designed sanitation systems restore health to our cities, our waters and our soils.
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