The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future?

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Re: Fwd: [SuSanA Forum] The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future? (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

Good news: I am now able to share with you the final report about this grant that we had submitted to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in January 2019. You see here a slightly edited version (for example I had to make all the internal links - which were going to documents on Google Drive - public facing).

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The file is also here as the last one in a long list of downloads (scroll to the bottom of the page):
www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/2042

For those who want to see all the details of the work we did in the grant, I have uploaded a pile of documents that we (the grant consortium) produced to a new SuSanA library entry here:
www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/3622

Documents available for download there include:

- Stakeholder market study inception report by CAWST (May 2017)

- SuSanA World Water Day March 2017 Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Report: Looking Back by Elisabeth von Muench and Diane Kellogg (May 2017)

- SuSanA Forum Update - work progress log by Steffen Eisser (May 2017)

- Establishing Indicators for Sanitation Wikipedia by Elisabeth von Muench and Diane Kellogg (Sept 2017)

- Project Overview: Objectives and deliverables after Year 1 of Phase 3, Oxfam activities, market survey communications plan, presentation by Simon Okoth, Esther Shaylor, Arno Rosemarin for PAB meeting in Seattle (Oct 2017); PAB stands for Project advisory Board

- SuSanA introduction, persona concept and SWOT - presentation by Arne Panesar for PAB meeting in Seattle (Oct 2017)

- SuSanA Platform Revamp based on User Experience Study - presentation by Elisabeth von Muench (Oct 2017)

- Wikipedia Key Articles - indicators monitoring spreadsheet by Elisabeth von Muench (Dec 2017)

- Analysis of achievements of Nov 2017 event of Sanitation Wikipedia project (comparison with indicators) by Elisabeth von Muench and Diane Kellogg (Jan 2018)

- Terms of Reference for SuSanA Organization Study by Consortium (Feb 2018)

- Survey amongst SuSanA members by Sphaera (July 2018)

- Results from survey responses from Sphaera with graphs (Sept 2018)

- WaterAid activities - Final report (Sept 2018)

- SuSanA Monitoring and Evaluation Framework by Simon Okoth (Nov 2018)

- Oxfam activities - Final report by Esther Shaylor and Tanya Glanville-Wallis (Nov 2018)

- Results of Sanitation Wikipedia Survey by Elisabeth von Muench (Dec 2018)

This is in addition to the documents that I had already uploaded to the library earlier here :

- Paper about this grant in SSP Journal: "Sustainable Sanitation Alliance members take a closer look at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s sanitation grants", Issue 17, EcoSan Club, Austria - Authors: Elisabeth von Muench, Dorothee Spuhler, Trevor Surridge, Nelson Ekane, Kim Andersson, Emine Goekce Fidan, Arno Rosemarin, (Oct. 2013).

- Report about survey results: Questionnaire to Grantees funded by BMGF-WSH (17 March 2014)

- Appendix II of final report: Analytics Report covering time period July 2011 until 3 March 2014 (19 March 2014)

- Explanation about the presence of sanitation grants by BMGF on the SuSanA platform (8 Dec 2014)

- Statistics report to monitor SuSanA Discussion Forum and library up to 30 April 2015
Authors: Elisabeth von Muench and Danijela Milosevic (Ostella), reviewed by Arno Rosemarin (SEI) and Lasse Roeder (GIZ), (29 May 2015)

- Presentation about the grant made at 23rd SuSanA Meeting in Chennai, India by Doreen Mbalo, GIZ (18 Feb 2017)

- SuSanA Platform Usability Study Report by Bentley University (March 2017)

- User Experience (UX) Study Moderator’s Guide by Bentley University (March 2017)

- UX Study Screener for recruiting panel of participants (March 2017)

- Presentation about the grant made at 24th SuSanA Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden by Simon Okoth (26 August 2017)

- Results of SuSanA Sanitation Sector Knowledge Management Study (by CAWST and seecon) (Sept. 2017)

- SuSanA personas (by CAWST and seecon) (Sept. 2017)

- Revitalizing the SuSanA Working Groups by Kim Andersson (Sept. 2017)

- SuSanA Communications Plan by SuSanA based on CAWST Sector Knowledge Management Study with 9 Appendices (2 Nov 2017) - the appendices are in a separate library entry, see external link below

- SuSanA Strategy and Work Plan - Towards Sustainable Sanitation for All by SuSanA secretariat and core group (13 Feb 2018)

- Poster about this grant: Embedding “best practice” into hearts and minds by Esther Shaylor, Oxfam (April 2018)

- Conference paper: Understanding the knowledge management needs of SuSanA’s stakeholders by Esther Shaylor, Shobana Srinivasan, Doreen Mbalo (July 2018)

- Presentation: Understanding the Knowledge Management and Capacity Development needs of SuSanA’s stakeholders by Shobana Srinivasan, GIZ (August 2018)

- SuSanA 2.0 Final Organisational & Operational Recommendations by Sphaera (Sept 2018) - NB: not endorsed by the SuSanA Core Group

- Final Report to BMGF about this project by Arno Rosemarin and Simon Okoth, submitted to BMGF in January 2019, and slightly edited in May 2019 by Elisabeth von Muench to make it into a public-facing report

Each of those documents can be accessed via the SuSanA library links that I provided above. There is one link for the main documents, and one link for the secondary documents.

Happy reading! Please don't hesitate to ask if anything is unclear or any of the links are broken. We got a lot of work done in those six years of BMGF co-funding for SuSanA (2012-2018). I hope a lot of these materials will continue to be useful into the future of SuSanA! (see more about the future of SuSanA in this thread: forum.susana.org/10-announcements-regard...he-way-to-susana-2-0).

Elisabeth
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Re: Fwd: [SuSanA Forum] The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future? (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

For your information, the SuSanA secretariat has now published more information about the organisational development process that SuSanA will undergo during 2019 and 2020. There is a dedicated sub-page on the SuSanA website here:
www.susana.org/en/about/governance-struc...sational-development

It outlines the five phases with further details:
Phase 0 – Setting up the CMTF (Change Management Task Force)
Phase 1 - Initialisation
Phase 2 – Concept Development
Phase 3 – Decision-making
Phase 4 - Implementation

There is also now a dedicated discussion thread which you can use to ask questions or make comments - it would be interesting to hear from you all about this process in this thread:
forum.susana.org/10-announcements-regard...he-way-to-susana-2-0

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Re: Fwd: [SuSanA Forum] The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future? (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

I hope we'll learn more about the Task Force process for organisational change that Arno mentioned above soon. I know it was discussed at the recent SuSanA core group meeting in Cape Town in February, so it'll be interesting to find out what the status is (I am not part of the process).

Today I wanted to share with you a one page summary about what parameters make organisational change succeed (see attachment and also copied below).

All these parameters need to be in place: Vision, skills, incentives, resources, action plan.

MANAGING ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE:

Vision + Skills + Incentives + Resources + Action Plan = Change

The following can go wrong:
No vision + Skills + Incentives + Resources + Action Plan = Confusion
Vision + No skills + Incentives + Resources + Action Plan = Anxiety
Vision + Skills + No Incentives + Resources + Action Plan = Resistance
Vision + Skills + Incentives + No Resources + Action Plan = Frustration
Vision + Skills + Incentives + Resources + No Action Plan = Treadmill

One thing that worries me about SuSanA at the moment that there might be insufficient incentives to change, leading to resistance. What do you think?

Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: Fwd: [SuSanA Forum] The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future? (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

Hi Neil
Yes the key issues are listed in the the three bullets touching on organization and operations. The BMGF support to SuSanA through SEI goes back to 2012 just after the Forum got started. We have seen significant strides in growth and content over those years. With the intensive two years of work since 2016, SuSanA now has the tools and strategies in order to move forward. This will require dynamic leadership and new shared partnerships in order to create a new governance, funding and ownership structure. Creating a non-partisan Task Force to hammer out these details is the next step. Yes more resources will be needed but first the current advisory body, the SuSanA Core Group, needs to initiate the reorganization process.

Regarding your question surrounding consensus - there is agreement within the Core Group that organizational and operational improvements are necessary. But exactly what sort of organization and governance structure has not been agreed to. This is where the Task Force work will need to come in. Funding the Task Force is the current task at hand.
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Arno Rosemarin PhD
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Re: Fwd: [SuSanA Forum] The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future? (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

Many thanks Elisabeth,

From this communication, if I understand correctly, the key issue is to do with SuSanA's organisational structure and governance?

Is there now a consensus among all parties on how SuSanA's organisational structure and governance should be? If so, what is the consensus view?

Any transition needs more resources, not fewer, for the organisation to evolve into a new steady state. Given that the Gates Foundation has initiated this 'radical restructuring', are they not ethically obliged to support the transition? (Indeed, the huge potential role of communities of practice in international development is well recognised, and SuSanA's evolution is a valuable case study.)

One thing is very clear to me. SuSanA is a dynamic, successful community of practice in global sanitation and health. Such CoPs are rare. They should be treasured and nurtured.

Best wishes, Neil
Coordinator, Healthcare Information For All (www.hifa.org)
Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Re: Fwd: [SuSanA Forum] The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future? (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

Hi Neil and all,

Arno reminded me that we do have an official e-mail about the reasons for the end of the grant one year earlier than originally planned, which we received in May. It was written jointly by Jan Willem Rosenboom (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and Arno Rosemarin (SEI). I have permission to share it here (copied below and the same text attached as a pdf file):

+++++++++++

From: Jan Willem Rosenboom
Sent: 6 May 2018 10:27
To: Jan Willem Rosenboom; Arno Rosemarin
Subject: Changes in the SuSanA support grant (OPP1152884)

Colleagues,

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation would like to share this joint message about changes to the project aimed at supporting and strengthening SuSanA.

This project got underway in October of 2016 and was aimed at helping the network position itself as a strategic and high-quality knowledge hub. As SuSanA is not a legal entity that can accept funding, the project grant was issued to SEI. In the first 18 months of the project, important diagnostic and analytical work was completed (among other things consisting of a market study and web platform user experience study) providing data and insights for a communications strategy and work plan.

A progress review meeting in October of 2017 confirmed the urgency of the challenge to SuSanA to effectively respond to demands from the sector as well as the enthusiasm and motivation of all involved to do so. However, at the same time it became clear that progress on change had been slower than planned, and that communication, clarity and accountability needed to be improved if the potential of the project were to be realized.

The partners (including SEI staff and consultants, SuSanA core group members, WaterAid and Oxfam) worked on addressing the issues identified in the October workshop, and a number of realizations emerged from that work:

  • Effectively engaging with the SuSanA network around questions of its focus, priorities and structure required a more effective way to directly engage, with clear lines of responsibility and accountability for decisions. This realization led to an organizational study receiving high priority;
  • Translating insights from the market study into website improvements, effectively targeting specific user groups required the engagement of a technology consultant able to move concepts into practice;
  • Adding additional priorities and activities to the work plan without improving organizational and operational clarity first would be counterproductive and did not have a high likelihood of success.

These insights resulted in the decision to drastically restructure the project. This restructuring took place in two dimensions:
First, going forward, the primary focus will be on completing the organizational study and technology recommendations while suspending other activities. Second, the new project end date was brought forward to September 30 of this year. In September, there will be a number of recommendations before SuSanA, in terms of its organization and operation. It is too early to predict what these will be -or to speculate which ones will be adopted and how fast. However, we all hope that the required clarity will result from the work to be completed in the next five months, enabling growing support for the network from a variety of sources from within the sector.

SEI and the Gates foundation both realize that this decision is a disappointment for many. Staff and consultants employed on the project are directly affected, and so are members and users of SuSanA who have invested their time and energy in contributing to the vision laid out by the project. The decision to implement this change was not made lightly or hastily. At the same time, we would like to stress that changing the project priorities and timeline is not a sign of failure or giving up; the next five months will create opportunities to think deeply and propose ways forward informed by past experience. We are hopeful that SuSanA will embrace those opportunities and emerges with an optimized governance structure and sustainable business model and funding strategy.

Sincerely,

Jan Willem Rosenboom
Arno Rosemarin

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: Fwd: [SuSanA Forum] The completion of the SuSanA Phase 3 BMGF Grant - building on the results in future? (Announcements regarding SuSanA)

You said:

"Luckily, the "real" discussions do still take place, so I think we still have a good balance."


Indeed, the discussion we are having now is testament to the value of communities of practice where everyone can contribute their views and perspectives around shared objectives.

Best wishes,
Neil
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Re: The completion of the SuSanA Phase III BMGF Grant - building on the results in future?

Hi Kris,

Thanks for your brutally honest feedback. I see your point; I also don't like it when people use the forum just as a one-way announcement board instead of a discussion (sometimes I intervene in the background and a post gets modified or deleted). Luckily, the "real" discussions do still take place, so I think we still have a good balance.

In your response you only referred to the discussion forum. What about the rest of SuSanA? What do you think of that? Or would you say the forum is the only thing that counts for you.


Hi Arno,

You said:

I don't think we are at all back to where we were in 2012.


In my statement earlier where I had said:

Now we are back to where we were before 2012, i.e. there is the funding by GIZ/BMZ which is also awesome.

I was referring purely to the funding situation not to how much we know about all the different aspects surrounding SuSanA. We do know a heap more and are much better equipped to go forward. But we currently don't have another co-funding partner . That's what I meant with "back to the situation of before 2012 where there is "only" GIZ/BMZ funding and the rest is in-kind (in-kind is also good of course but has its limits in terms of level of ambition that can be achieved)."

Hope that clarifies things.

By the way, I have recently updated two SuSanA library entries so that we now have all the outputs from this BMGF grant in two convenient locations. Do check out what we have here:

Various authors (2018). Documents from the SuSanA BMGF Grant led by SEI (Phases 1 to 3, 2012 to 2018) - Various documents on results from research grant. Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/2042

And:
SuSanA (2017). Communications Plan of SuSanA. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, Eschborn, Germany
www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/3492

We'll also add more next month, i.e. some of the appendices accompanying the final report for this project.

Regards,
Elisabeth
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Re: The completion of the SuSanA Phase III BMGF Grant - building on the results in future?

Neil/Elisabeth and others
Just to add a few further points of clarification.
The Seattle meeting at BMGF in Oct 2017 actually did not at all decide to reduce the SuSanA support project to 2 years. It led to a six month action to revise SuSanA's overall strategy and provide a business model - which we did very well I thought. It was after the production of the strategy document and workplan at the onset of tackling SuSanA's organisation and governance that the decision was made by BMGF to stop after two years of funding. Part of the reason for stopping the project was the lack of positive signals from the SuSanA Core Group and even the Secretariat to want to see organisational change quickly. But there may have been other internal pressures within BMGF that funding of external KM platforms was no longer a priority. The Sphaera work I believe created impetus for change and resulted in the resolution among the Core Group in August 2018 that organizational and governance change is a necessity. It is now a question of leadership to see that this happens.

I don't think we are at all back to where we were in 2012. There is now* a comprehensive strategy, business model, communications plan, market study, a 10 times increase in membership (now over 10000) forum.susana.org/forum/statistics - ie a whole host of positive things have happened thanks to the BMGF support. The last yard is the most difficult and that requires time to improve the organization/governance and ownership/financing of SuSanA.
____________
*These documents are on the Forum:
forum.susana.org/10-announcements-regard...ults-in-future#25415

Regards
Arno Rosemarin PhD
Stockholm Environment Institute
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Re: The completion of the SuSanA Phase III BMGF Grant - building on the results in future?

Thanks for providing some further background. As the consultants wrote in their report, there is a risk of the donors appearing to be "bullies" and I think the BMGF is quite proud to be not a typical slow-moving institutional donor... so yeah let's not take it personal. Mostly just a mismatch of institutional style and expectations.

muench wrote: Kris, I am curious about your statement:

I also feel that SuSanA (despite maybe basic numerical indicators telling a different story) is in the last 2-3 years not really improving but rather on what feels like a slow decline.


Could you please explain this a bit more? Please be brutally honest! :ohmy:


Yeah, quite a few people are posting much less, but there are a few others that post more. And in the past this forum was certainly more "older white male" dominated, and those people (and me) were certainly a strong part of that.

Ok so to the brutally honest part: My impression is that SuSanA is more and more becoming an "announcement board" and not a "discussion board". Rarely are there any practical questions being asked anymore and many posts look a lot like cut&paste drive-by texts taken from some institutional announcement (which usually gather none of few replies). The authors of those also seem to be not actually interested in talking about what they posted and even when you make a maybe somewhat provocative response, you usually get at most a polite but evasive reply. Others topics are often so broad and non-committal, that I am often left wondering what exactly the purpose was of posting it in the first place (this even applies recent Thematic Discussions).

It might be part of a larger trend that forums have gone a bit out of style and have been replaced for many people by short text message forms such a Twitter or WhatsApp groups, but it is also a cultural change of this community that took place in the last few years.
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Re: The completion of the SuSanA Phase III BMGF Grant - building on the results in future?

Many thanks for the clarification, Elisabeth.

This helps us to understand the situation and how we got here.

Best wishes, Neil
Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Re: The completion of the SuSanA Phase III BMGF Grant - building on the results in future?

I copy here the project's planned outcomes for Phase 3 from the project documents:

The “Supporting SuSanA and broader Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Community of Practice through on-line platform” project aimed at improving SuSanA’s ability to improve the access to sanitation by improving the platform and increasing SuSanA’s reach to different sector practitioners through quality and targeted information by the right channels. The original project as outlined in the project document and the contract had three key outcomes including:

  1. Improved use of SuSanA Platform by identified target groups, through a clear communications plan and platform improvements.
  2. Demonstrable improvements in the impact that use of the SuSanA platform has on members' work in sanitation.
  3. Strengthened governance and institutional sustainability of SuSanA as reflected in an operational plan that includes a plan for funding the budget needed to assure the future of SuSanA.

The third outcome was only partially completed as some of it was meant to take place in Year 3.
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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