Your opportunity to secure and shape the future of the Discussion Forum

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  • paresh
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  • Budding WASH researcher, especially interested in governance, public policy, finance, politics and social justice. Architect, Urban & Regional planner by training, Ex. C-WAS, India. I am a patient person :)
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Re: Your ideas for securing and shaping the future of the Discussion Forum moderation?

That is an interesting suggestion Neil.

Wondering if project based financing leads to discussion on topics related only to the projects or is there a component that allows other unrelated discussions also to be moderated?

Regards
paresh
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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Co-moderator of this discussion forum
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  • neilpw
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Re: Your ideas for securing and shaping the future of the Discussion Forum moderation?

Hi Paresh,

Wondering if project based financing leads to discussion on topics related only to the projects or is there a component that allows other unrelated discussions also to be moderated?

HIFA supports time-limited sponsored discussions happening in parallel with our usual spontaneous discussions. 

For example, we are currently in the middle of a thematic discussion on Quality health services, sponsored by WHO. But we continue to run our forum as usual, with messages on other relevant topics welcome.
See: www.hifa.org/rss-feeds/17

We find that these thematic discussions help in lots of ways. For example:
  1. they generate income
  2. they bring us into close working relationships with key organisations such as WHO
  3. they provide a time-limited focus for deep dive discussion (of course, the agreed theme of the discussion needs to be within the overall remit of the forum - we would not agree to do sponsored discussions on non-relevant topics)
  4. they can provide an additional purpose to our discussions (for example, our Quality discussion is expected to produce a series of action briefs for the WHO website)
  5. the vision and mission of the sponsor and the forum are aligned and/or complementary (For example 'WHO Global Learning Laboratory (GLL) aims to connect those involved in quality health service delivery by sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas; challenging ideas and approaches; and sparking new thinking for quality UHC'. They see HIFA as a vibrant, diverse community where these issues can be explored) 
  6. the forum and sponsor can leverage each other's publicity and social media to raise awareness of their respective work and collaboration.
HIFA now positions itself not as an empty vessel looking for funding, but a collaborator that works with like-minded organisations for shared objectives. We have been building this model for several years and it is now the main source of our funding.
www.hifa.org/support/collaborate

Our growing collaboration with WHO is described here: www.hifa.org/how-hifa-collaborates-who-i...nformation-worldwide

Best wishes, Neil
Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 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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  • Elisabeth
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  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: Your ideas for securing and shaping the future of the Discussion Forum moderation?

Update: You might have noticed that we now have a "Donate" button (see top right in the menu bar) or the round red button when you scroll down. With this donation option we hope to raise funds to cover the time of forum moderators (currently: myself, Paresh and Chaiwe) in future.

A full explanation of how it all works is here: 
forum.susana.org/donate

Do you find  the SuSanA Forum  useful in your work? If so, please consider making a financial contribution to support our Forum  moderation services.
The SuSanA Forum has been making knowledge, ideas, and debates around sustainable sanitation accessible to everyone since 2011. We facilitate the sharing of knowledge and dissemination of results. 
From October 2021 onwards, the SuSanA Forum will rely primarily on your donations to continue to fund the Forum moderation work - to keep the Forum alive, vibrant, friendly and free of spam. If you find the SuSanA Forum helpful in your work and want to see it continue to exist, please consider contributing to its running costs through the online donation form below, either as a one off or as a monthly/ quarterly/ yearly contribution. Every contribution is appreciated! 
Your contribution will help keep the SuSanA Forum active and running thereby contributing to SuSanA’s vision.

We also have a FAQ page: 
forum.susana.org/donate?t=faq  

Feel free to comment in this thread with any question, suggestions or concerns you might have.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Ulm, Germany
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Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
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  • Elisabeth
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  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: Your ideas for securing and shaping the future of the Discussion Forum moderation?

Hi,
Today I am providing an update about my own situation: I've stopped as a discussion forum moderator in the beginning of January. This is after having completed my contract with Skat Foundation (funding was provided by GIZ). So you could say the money has run out (the donation button has only brought in minimal donations so far). In addition, it was time for me to move on - after 10 years of forum moderation. I plan to focus my energy on my other project now which is Wikipedia editing, for which I sometimes find funded time. See for example this project about three SDGs and Wikipedia , funded by Swedish money.

It's been a really interesting 10 years with the SuSanA discussion forum and I have learned a lot through reading your forum posts, helping new members with their first posts, moving posts to the right sub-categories, improving thread titles, engaging with people who have posted etc. We've had our ups and downs with the forum, some periods of very high activity levels and some with lower levels. We've analysed that previously, see here:  www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/4064 and here:  www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/3630
You can also see trends on this forum statistics page:  forum.susana.org/forum/statistics

One reason for the noticeable downward trend with regards to quantity of posts might be the simple fact that so much information can already be gleaned from simply reading through older posts so that not everyone has to make a new post to find their answer.  Another reason could be the rise of Whatsapp WASH groups or Facebook groups which might "compete" to some extent; perhaps people enjoy the quicker interactions in smaller closed group settings. But even if the quantity of posts seems to be going down a bit, I think the quality of posts is still very high. Also the variety of topics that are being discussed, and the geographic location of the people who are writing are both broader than they used to be which is good to see (see also this statistics page about gender and location).

So, where to from here? The good news is that Chaiwe (based in Zambia) and Paresh (based in India) will both continue as moderators of the discussion forum with funding from GIZ (through Skat Foundation again). They have about 4 hours per week each until June 2023 to do this important forum moderation work. It is less time per week than I would have hoped for. But finding funding for forum moderation work is really hard (see all the previous posts in this thread). So it's good to have this base funding available for them. I am sure they will continue to enrich the forum with their inputs, targeted questions, thoughtful impulses and e-mail communications in the background. It's great to have two forum moderators from the Global South, too (a small step towards further decolonisation of WASH activities?).

The forum is in very good hands with Chaiwe and Paresh. Please continue to support them, like you have supported me, by making use of this forum, writing posts, answering other people's questions, advertising the forum amongst your networks and so forth. How about next time when someone e-mails you with a particular WASH related question you reply back by saying: "I can help you with this question but let's take this discussion to the SuSanA discussion forum so that others can also benefit from our exchanges". That's what I often did in the past.

I'll also continue along those lines myself, now just as a conventional SuSanA member, just like all of you. 

Best wishes,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Ulm, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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  • JKMakowka
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  • Just call me Kris :)
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Re: Your opportunity to secure and shape the future of the Discussion Forum

Another easier way of collecting donations and managing the fiscal hosting for SuSanA 2.0 might be:

opencollective.com/
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  • Carol McCreary
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  • I'm a volunteer at PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) www.phlush.org
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Re: Your opportunity to secure and shape the future of the Discussion Forum

The explainer video is compelling.  Networks and alliances like SuSanA are playing a progressively bigger part in civic life and in the development of management and technology approaches.   And a number of essential admin services are offered here. 

I'll take a more thorough look at this when I have more time.

Thanks for keeping this conversation going, Kris.
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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  • Chaiwe
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  • A capacity development and knowledge management Expert in WASH, Climate Change and Gender. CEO of CaDev_Capacity Development (An African Women-Led Social Enterprise)
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Re: Your opportunity to secure and shape the future of the Discussion Forum

Thank you for the link Julius,  But how does this really work for a knowledge management platform like SuSanA? Any information on sector institutions that have successfully made use of it?

Regards,
Chaiwe
SuSanA Forum Moderator
Skat Foundation (With financial support by GIZ from June 2021 to June 2023)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
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LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaiwe-mushauko-sanderse-21709129/
Twitter: @ChaiweSanderse

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  • JKMakowka
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  • Just call me Kris :)
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Re: Your opportunity to secure and shape the future of the Discussion Forum

I have not seen it being used in the NGO sector, but it is a quite popular platform for organizing community driven open-source software projects. 

The main advantage is really that the receiving organization does not have to be a legal entity, with the so called "fiscal host" taking over that responsibility. This way you can also benefit from tax deductions for donations, which the fiscal host might qualify for. Of course you don't really need to use the platform for this, but it makes it more convenient and transparent.

In addition they include a convenient system for recurring small online donations from private persons, but that is just an added bonus and I think you already have covered with that donation platform you integrated already.
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