SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?


  • madeleine
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SuSanA online meeting

Dear all 
It would be nice to get some feedback throughout the week with reflection from the SuSanA online meeting.
Are you enjoying this way of networking?
What do you miss in the sessions?
Is it difficult to access the sessions?
Looking forward to reflections from the meeting
With kind regards 
Madeleine Fogde
Program Director SIANI
Senior Project Manager at SEI
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Hi Madeleine and all,
thank you for inviting feedback already now, not only at the very end after two weeks.
I am glad this SuSanA meeting is taking place online and I am sure we can fine-tune all the different aspects, so that we can do it online again in future even without Covid (or have a mixture of face-to-face and online).

I have attended 3 sessions so far (plenary, handwashing and FSM). The plenary session had a distinct SuSanA feeling about it (well, I guess lots of familiar faces at least). The mentimeter thing was new to me and fun - but it's hard to get the balance right because I guess it's an ice breaker but if it's too long then it can waste time. It might have been faster if people had just entered their answers into the chat rather than the mentimeter. The way you juggled the different screens and videos was superb! Who was responsible for that in the background? Very well done.

The Handwashing and FSM sessions were good, I guess, but they felt to me like just another webinar of ANYONE, not of SuSanA. It felt like it had nothing to do with SuSanA, nobody even mentioned what SuSanA could contribute to those two topics and looked at possible overlaps and repetitions between different resource centres (I noticed that in particular with the handwashing webinar; it felt like about 5 of the organisers talked about their resource centres, libraries and discussion forums - that's a lot of potential overlap). 

I think more effort should be made to get the participants interested in actively joining SuSanA, continuing the discussion on the discussion forum, provide them the links to the relevant threads, maybe explaining what SuSanA's working groups are doing in those topic areas and so forth. Otherwise what is SuSanA's role/contribution here? Just a vehicle to advertise someone else's webinar?

Looking forward to hearing what everyone else thinks.


P.S. if you still want to register for any of the SuSanA online meeting webinars, you can do so here:
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  • FinnS
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Dear Madeleine and Elisabeth,

even though the SuSanA Meeting had ended almost three weeks ago, there was not too much of feedback and evaluation posted yet... Therefore, I will post a small wrap up of some of our experiences from these two weeks of sessions.

First things first, I think that the online format of the meeting enabled many people to join the meeting, who might not have had the opportunity to join in Stockholm or any other location in the world. This was reflected through the results from the mentimeter "survey" during the Opening Plenary, almost half of the respondends attended a SuSanA meeting for the first time!

As we used a variety of platforms such as youtube and facebook live streams, zoom, MS Teams, Adobe Connect, ... it was sometimes a bit confusing to find the respective link for the sessions. Due to security reasons we decided not to post the links to the sessions public. However, we tried to handle this confusion by sending reminders about 1 day, and again about 1 hour before the start of the session to the registered participants.

Another thing we - and probably many of you - encountered in other webinars was the mute/turn off the video by the viewers, which not always worked a 100%. However, for MS Teams there is the option to mute everyone, which is a good help. 

Despite the overall organisation of the meeting, one of our biggest tasks was the preparation of the opening plenary, which took quite a while, including some test-runs, the preparation of banners and overlays, figuring out the different options for the screen/display. Nevertheless, during the Opening Plenary it was great to have Franziska supporting on the technical part as well, sharing the tasks to change the screens, the overlays, the banners etc.

In order to ease the follow up discussions, one idea was to prepare the forum posts with follow up questions before the sessions and to share the link during the sessions.

A summary of the meeting is under progress, including links to the session recordings, presentations and overviews of the sessions and will be soon accessible here .

Looking forward to your feedback!

Best regards

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  • paresh
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Thank you Finn for posting a summary of lessons for the organisers.

This was the first time I I attended SuSanA meeting and I could do it only because it was online. I hope going ahead, all sessions/meetings have an option to join online. I know for certain that academics in India do not have funding to attend conferences every year and such a model can remove a big barrier. I assume it will also benefit the sector to hear from voices on the ground. 

I really liked the visual  presentation during the plenary and the way questions, etc were displayed on the screen. They looked very professional.  I agree with Elisabeth that a few sessions felt like any other webinar and the connect with SuSanA was missing. I particularly remember feeling this way during a session by Eawag (all excellent presentations though).  Probably an introduction by someone directly associated with SuSanA can bring that connect. Off course there can be many other ways.

Finally an observation probably relevant to all webinars - have some more time for QnA and discussion especially since F2F networking is not happening.  Having 4 panellists for a 1-1.5 hr long session leaves little time for the panellists themselves and very little time for interaction. 

Paresh Chhajed-Picha
Researcher at Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, India
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  • Chaiwe
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Hello All,

Looking back, the biggest plus for me personally about this experience was that every SuSanA Member had an equal opportunity to attend and be a part of the discussions. Even though the physical meetings in the past have tried to get online viewers to participate, this has not been on an equal playing field with the attendants at the actual physical meeting, especially when it comes to presentations. The physical meetings usually require that presenters are physically present to share their topics, a huge disadvantage if you do not have the resources for travel and lodging.

I think this has been a great opportunity to allow SuSanA to consider different meeting options for the future, 'beyond the COVID pandemic'. 

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(Under consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
Independent consultant located in Lusaka, Zambia
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  • FinnS
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Dear all,
we have had another feedback round, presenting the outcomes and an overview of this online meeting to our colleagues. We agreed that it should also be shared in the Forum, what I am about to do now: 

The organisation of the Meeting had a decentral character and was divided between the SuSanA Secretariat and the SuSanA Partners, Working Groups and Regional Chapters:
- SuSanA Secretariat:
  • Announcement and promotion
  • Communication
  • Set up of the registration page
  • Coordination of the sessions
- SuSanA Partners, Working Groups and Regional Chapters:
  • Organizationof the lectures - content, presentation, speakers
  • Also, the Sessions "Towards inclusive, green city sanitation for Lusaka - achievements and way forward" as well as "Menstrual Hygiene Management - Relevant, Inter-sectoral and on the Rise" were held in cooperation with the WW4D.

During the 30th SuSanA Meeting...
  • a total number of 21 sessions were hosted over the course of 9 days
  • all together, we have seen 59 presentations during all sessions
  • we had 26 male and 42 female presenters, which equals a male / femal ratio of 2:3
  • a total number of 763 SuSanA members and others registered for the sessions
  • we had >1200 participants in the sessions (highest number per session added together for all sessions), with >400 during the Opening Session
  • the accumulated time equals more than 25 hours of presentations, discussions and Q&A
  • we had a high number of people, who attended a SuSanA Meeting for the first time due to the online format

The Opening Plenary was streamed live on YouTube and Facebook and viewers were able to interact with the presenters and moderators through the comment function. Speakers were:
  • Keynotes by
    - Ylva Schwinn (SIDA) and
    - Hind Khatib-Othman (WSSCC)
  • Thematic inputs:
    - “Initiating De-colonisation of WASH Sector Knowledge” by Euphresia Luseka and
    - “Sustainable sanitation and gaps in global climate policy and financing” by Chibesa Pensulo (GCF)

CO2 Savings
  1. Even though we had 763 registrants for the meeting, we calculated the CO2 Savings with experience values, which is the number of 100 people, who usually would join a SuSanA Meeting in Stockholm.
  2. We looked at the 10 countries with the highest number of SuSanA Members (India, U.S.A., Kenya, Germany, UK, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Bangladesh, South Africa) and their distance to Stockholm
  3. The CO2 Emissions for each of the countries were calculated, using a Calculator by the German Federal Environmental Agency and the number was weighted by the share of members per country
  4. This equals 3.5 tons of CO2 per person (outward + return flight). As a result, 350 tons of CO2 were saved due to the avoidance of travel. For the running of the servers, the organisers of the WW4D estimated an emission of 1-2 tons of CO2.
Follow Up Discussions and Knowledgemanagement:
  • The videos of the playlist of the 30th SuSanA Meeting have in total more than 1.150 clicks
  • There are follow up discussions for some of the sessions, such as for the thematic input by Euphresia Luseka on the De-Colonisation of WASH Sector Knowledge and the WASH in Schools Session
  • A conference page with links to most of the presentations and recordings is now available
Attached, you will find the presentation of the feedback round. 

Best regards


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