Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

  • Cameron Burgess
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - foreign language surveys

While we appreciate that many SuSanA members are proficient in both written and spoken English, and we further appreciate that the Google Translate function does a reasonable job of making the website, forum and library readable in other languages, we believe that it is always better, whenever possible, to support people in communicating in their native tongue.

Especially if in so doing it will increase how we connect, collaborate and share resources more effectively, and will permit SuSanA members to provide feedback on issues that may affect how SuSanA can best support their work.

To that end, we have had our member survey translate into French, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic, and welcome responses in each of these languages.

We may need to translate this forum post into each of those languages in order to make our intent clear, but for now, if you are a member, and would like to support other members who may not be as comfortable as you are in responding to the survey in English, please direct them to the the appropriate survey:
SuSanA Member Survey - French
SuSanA Member Survey - Spanish
SuSanA Member Survey - Hindi
SuSanA Member Survey - Arabic

Thanks,
Cameron

Managing Partner @ Sphaera
sphaera.world
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  • kunene47
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

My name is Lucas Kunene and I wish to express my views on the topic. The forum is an interesting platform where sharing of information and discussions take place based on the issue at hand. But sometimes it lacks the lustre and vigour to keep it alive. I feel the leads and co-leads, partners etc. could play a positive role by actively stimulating members as the gentleman from India alluded. They should come up with a means of engaging with relevant group members on a weekly or two fortnightly basis circulating unanswered questions or topics posted previously and having timelines for questions to be discussed or answered and after which they should be removed from circulation and replaced by new and fresh ones. The leads could also come up with topics for discussion or debate and invite members to take part. These should not only be academic information but also sharing current but relevant day to day news on a regional basis (where possible) for instance, news about children falling into pit latrines, children on protest due to lack of or unsanitary toilet facilities, or any topic that affects us as members on a daily basis etc. This could usher in a new dimension on the forum.
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  • MichaelCarr
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  • From Liverpool, UK. Background in military, engineering, education & sales. Published author. Write novels, illustrated children's books, film, TV script. Interest in eco living, have a created a four-part off-the-grid living system and a UDDT.
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Re: SHAPING SUSANA'S FUTURE

Hi Elisabeth and members: I have not taken part in this discussion for such a long time because i have been busy a developing a biogas digester (s) for farming communities in Cambodia, which i am now doing field trials on with SNV support. My input is in the form of a question. Is SuSaNa going to remain as purely a sanitation programme - or do you have plans to be part of a greater self-sustainable community development system - of which sanitation is a vital part. I recently entered a competition through EuroCham for affordable, self-sustainable, ecological housing - and my greater goal is to develop off-grid, ecological, organic communities. SuSaNa's experience and knowledge could be of vital importance to any sure venture globally.

Best wishes Michael

-- Best regards

G.A. Carmichael (Mike) Consultant / CEO Eco1Solutions & Creative Eco Designs [image: eco1solutions.com/ ] < eco1solutions.com/ > A HAND FOR HUMANITY
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  • Cameron Burgess
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

Hi Lucas,
Thanks for your feedback.
I'd like to hear more about your thoughts on this:

... not only be academic information but also sharing current but relevant day to day news on a regional basis (where possible) for instance, news about children falling into pit latrines, children on protest due to lack of or unsanitary toilet facilities, or any topic that affects us as members on a daily basis etc. This could usher in a new dimension on the forum.


I'm curious about the distinction between academic content and community content, and how to provide more impetus towards sharing of the latter.

Managing Partner @ Sphaera
sphaera.world
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  • kunene47
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

Dear Mr Burgess thank you for the opportunity to express my views regarding the subject.
What I meant by community content as against academic content is explained as follows:

I am a retired environmental health practitioner with over thirty years of experience gained through employment in the City of Johannesburg. I worked as senior manager in the health department as well as in waste management. I worked in the Central Business District, inner city areas, townships in Soweto, informal settlements and squatter camps and have gained enormous experience of what is going on on the ground - unsanitary conditions (waste water, garbage, open defecation, overcrowding,, squalor, lack of sanitation at schools etc.).We still have people in the rural or semi-rural areas who are getting their water supply 500 + meters away from where they live - the water which is unwholesome and unfit for consumption. The list is endless.We have stories of children falling into pit latrines at school, people attacked by big rats that hide and feast on faeces from unsanitary and latrines at squatter camps.
All these issues are either ignored or not given adequate attention because nobody cares and follows them up.These are the issues I was referring to as being of practical content as they affect communities on the ground.

We need a voice to highlight these issues and SanSun could play a meaningful and positive role in this regard. How? A Sun San representative or a regional chapter could act as a "watch dog" highlighting these issues through structures on the ground through which information could be collated. The representative could engage with authorities at municipal or Provincial level bringing up and discussing these issues; influencing policy through advocacy, outreach events or campaigns making people aware of their basic rights concerning basic services and their duty in accounting to those services.

SanSun would be on the ground communicating on face to face with the grass root masses. This what is lacking especially in Africa. I think this could be the best contribution to communities at large and the Forum would be more people orientated and gaining credibility as a transformed Forum.

The suggested program could run for two or three years in a region and this would have made a dent and positive contribution to humanity

THIS IS WHAT I REFER TO AS PRACTICAL CONTENT!!
Thank you
Lucas Kunene
Public Health PhD student - University of Cape town
Talking about a toilet in South Africa is taboo. People only react when there is an article or bulletin in the news (TV or local newspaper),
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  • depinder
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  • Depinder Kapur is a senior development professional with experience in WASH, Livelihoods and NRM.
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Re: Reply: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

Yes I agree Cameron, technology of networking cannot be the purpose of networking. Even in development work, sometimes fancy technology can dis empower people from being involved in an issue, relying too much on a technology to understand its implications.

Therefore it is important to have deeper discussions on thematic topics, not just sharing information on events, on new publications, new tools, etc.

Depinder Kapur is a senior Development and WASH expert and is currently leading the Sanitation Capacity Building Platform of National Institute of Urban Affairs in New Delhi. He has worked with AKRSP, SPWD, CARE(Director NRM), Oxfam(Program & Advocacy Director), WaterAid India(Country Head) and WSSCC(National Coordinator). Also has 5 years of work experience as a consultant with UNICEF, FAO, WSSCC, FES and World Bank. Principal Trustee of India WASH Forum and part of a Citizens Initiative on Right to Water and Sanitation. Also worked with Ministry of Urban Development for the Clean India...
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  • Decentral
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

Dear participants in this discussion,

I find the survey not very useful, it is not clear what options for "shaping the future" are to be discussed. In addition, my replies regarding the financing and administration might not be very correct, because I do not have information and I am not interested. Regarding the "regional chapters", I would support this idea, because sanitation solutions are very site specific and depend on the locality (climate, geography, etc) and the level of urban/rural environment.

Regarding the content of the discussion topics and information provided, I strongly feel that the stress is on developing societies. Please note that I do not mean countries, because a country may have many different levels of urban/rural development. In fact, sustainable sanitation solutions are valid for developed, as well for areas with medium or no development at all. English is not my mother tongue, but I am on the impression that the term "sustainable sanitation for all" is applied to denominate solutions for the poor communities, which have limited or no access to water.

Considering the above mentioned, may be, some restructuring might be necessary, in order to streamline the discussion topics addressing the whole spectre of the sanitation systems including the functioning ones in developed areas. May be then the regional or national context might not be so important. Considering my experience as water and environmental engineer, I would like to underline the strong link between urban/rural development status and the sanitation system or the sanitation solutions to be implemented. So this could be a good background to make differentiation between the different local conditions and the corresponding solutions, or discussions to be held, and the visualization of problems to be solved.

Another important aspect of the SuSanA's platform is its role as a place for education and bringing together people from different backgrounds and specializations. It is important that we all speak the same "language" irrespective of our professional background as engineers, social workers, administrators, etc.

Best regards,
Roumiana Hranova
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  • ajscholz
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

Dear Roumiana -- thank you for your feedback on the survey, and for sharing your thoughts on regional chapters and the need to differentiate perhaps less by development status, and more by considerations of rural / urban divides and other factors that impact the sustainability of sanitation solutions.

Regarding your comment that

it is not clear what options for "shaping the future" are to be discussed. In addition, my replies regarding the financing and administration might not be very correct, because I do not have information and I am not interested.

, it might be helpful to point out that the survey is part of a larger data gathering effort by the Sphaera team. The answers will help us test a number of ideas and hypotheses that we have formed, and that we are bringing to the Core Group meeting in Stockholm on August 26.

Part of what we will be bringing to the Core Group is a recommendation for how to involve the SuSanA membership in any decisions about possible changes to the structure and operations.

Kind regards,
Astrid
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  • pjbury
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

Given that I havn't participated since a long long time, please excuse me if my topic has already extensively been discussed in the past!
Without immediately having an answer to 'how to go about it', I recommend that also susana discusses and develops its role in the wider development context in full coherence and complementarity with all other resilient development processes.
Does that make sense?
What implications could this have for how susana operates? ~ thanks, Peter

Peter J. Bury
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  • ajscholz
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Re: Shaping SuSanA's Future - an invitation for feedback from all members

Hi Peter -- the Sphaera team will be sharing some recommendations on 'how to go about it' with the Core Team at its upcoming meeting on the 26th.

Your recommendations about strategic coordination with other processes and networks in international development has been echoed by others throughout our work, and you are correct to imagine this would have operational implications for SuSanA.

Kind regards,
Astrid
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