SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication

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  • christoph
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  • Sanitary engineer with base in Brazil and Peru, doing consultancy in other countries of LA
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SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication

Thinking about the SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication possibilities of professsional exchange.
As you might have noticed the professional discussions have diminished over the years. Yes, one could say the same subjects are popping up every 2-3 years but I do see development and I highly appreciate the knowledge I´m gaining from that point. For myself in the last months there have been some discussions which were interesting and helpful for me and gave new informationto me.

I would like to mention as examples:
• the Ascaris discussion …the input from others helped me to get access to new information …even so the ascaris point has been discussed various times in ecosanres.
• the information about the pelletizer in Durban and the pit letrines …it opened my mind for other ways of thinking and I got new ideas
• the discussion about thermofilic aerobic stabilization
• the mobile loo discussion

My motivation to contribute to Susana or Ecosanres is that I really appreciate when somebody puts in information which might be useful for my on going as a professional…therefore I really appreciate sanitation updates as well and I would like to motivate my friends who are out there reading a lot of the posts but never (or very sporadically) participating to drop a bit of their knowledge to give food for the others. I appreciate the way Arno does it, just putting the link…if you don´t have time…that is sufficient and helps.
I really (still) do believe in the “swarm intelligence” …would say I believe that an exchange over all continents on a regular base by professionals who know each other somehow (as in Ecosanres)..there is potential to accelerate development, especially if there are ideas which need validation.

I do not think that repeating the same subject 10 – 20 times is really helpful (Richard) (one could relate to former posts if thought that mentioning again is necessary) but I prefer a double post to no post. I do not think that everything HAS to be mentioned publicly (Elisabeth) but I would really appreciate if more people could come out of there reading situation to a bit of writing. In reality what I´m looking for is a professional circle who exchanges ideas (as it is EcosanRes although the e mail style is hindering a bit sometimes).

I would like to ask all those who wrote some time ago and nowadays never participate to give a thought about their reasons:
• Do you think that exchange of knowledge has overcome it´s time because everyone is competing for founds?
• Do you think that it is just a bunch of selfliking people who are writing now and if they need their names published (somewhere).. let them play, I do not need that?
• Do you think there is no development, so there is no need to write things which has been written some years ago..as you already know all those things?
• Do you just not need this source of information as you are so well introduced now… in the santiation world that the information reaches you naturally and you don´t realize that others might not have that access?
The questions are formulated somewhat provocative but they are ment to motivate to think not to accuse.

My dream is that there could be just one point in the Internet where I could be almost sure that interesting information which is out there will be mentioned. And interesting thoughts are discussed. I don´t think that a totally public place as the Susana Forum is good for that.
For instance the discussion about the factsheets for me is totally out of control when put on a public place, that should always be a group discussion. I don´t know any organization who puts out their factsheets for anybody to comment.

On the other hand the Susana Forum could be an excellent place just to mention new information available ….as it is Sanitation updates as well.
And Ecosanres could continue to exchange ideas on a more private way or linked to a forum entry as well…I don´t care what kind of limited group entry.
Well these are some thoughts. I would appreciate some critical or general coments.
I really always enjoyed this ecosanres group and I started to like the Forum as well therefore my intent to activate one of both or both…a bit.

Yours
Christoph
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  • jkeichholz
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Re: SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication

christoph wrote: For instance the discussion about the factsheets for me is totally out of control when put on a public place, that should always be a group discussion. I don´t know any organization who puts out their factsheets for anybody to comment.


I agree with this part. How about if we close the WG activities to the public and only publish the output (like what's already done on the SuSanA website)?
Juergen Eichholz
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  • tmsinnovation
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  • I manage the Decentralized Wastewater Management for Adaptation to Climate Change in Jordan (ACC Project) and previously coordinated the Climate-friendly sanitation services in peri-urban areas of Lusaka project in Zambia. My background is in Management, Economics and Information Systems.
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Re: SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication

If you want crowd sourcing, then you need a crowd!
If you want to disseminate knowledge, then knowledge needs to be shared and searchable!
If you want to have a private group discussion, which only shares knowledge among those that already have knowledge then use a mailing list approach.
Trevor Surridge
Decentralized Wastewater Management for Adaptation to Climate Change in Jordan (ACC Project)
Project Manager

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Shmeisani,
Amman
Jordan
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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: SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication

I agree with Trevor. Where is the "out of control" with the SuSanA factsheets?

Yes, no other organisation lets others join into commenting their factsheets. That’s exactly what makes SuSanA different. SuSanA is no ordinary organisation, it is a network.

The comments that come in about the factsheets are important and useful and it is the WG leads that keep control by coordinating this process (helped by the secretariat). One limiting factor is also the 8-page limitation.

What we are doing right now with the factsheet compilation is special – normally we would not edit all 13 factsheets at once. But I like the energy that we currently have going in the SuSanA working groups, via the WG e-mail mailing lists and via the forum. Once the compilation is completed - hopefully still before Christmas! - then the conversations about the factsheets will naturally disappear for a while.

Myself I even would not mind a Wikipedia-style approach to factsheets, although then one would probably need lots more contributors to get the real "wisdom of crowds". Let's face it: we all use Wikipedia a lot, don't we? These are living documents.

I am not saying the factsheets should go down that route, but I am just saying it would not scare me.
I am right now involved with the factsheet on emergency sanitation of WG 8 and it is absolutely fascinating (see separate posting in the WG section of this forum). If you have experience on emergency sanitation, get involved, let us know of good examples for susustainable sanitation in emergencies.

Cheers,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
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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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  • jkeichholz
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Re: SUSANA Forum, the ecosanres group and about other world wide communication

I think the point with the factsheets wasn't the discussions as such, but that they are public - and that some contributors may feel intimidated by that (or?).
Juergen Eichholz
watsan eng.
water, sanitation, IT & knowledge management
www.saniblog.org

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