SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

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  • 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 
Madeleine Fogde
Program Director SIANI
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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.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. if you still want to register for any of the SuSanA online meeting webinars, you can do so here:  https://www.susana.org/en/registration-30th-susana-meeting
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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

Finn
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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. 

Regards
paresh 
Paresh Chhajed-Picha
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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'. 

Chaiwe
Co-moderator SuSanA forum
(Under consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Chaiwe Mushauko-Sanderse BSc. NRM, MPH
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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

Finn

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Hi Finn,

Thanks for your excellent analysis of the SuSanA meeting. That calculation about saved CO2 emissions is brilliant! I think it's the first time that I've seen someone do it for an online WASH conference versus a face to face meeting. I haven't checked the figures but your assumptions make sense to me.

If we added up all the CO2 savings that e.g. European professionals and scientists have saved this year by doing online conferences instead of face to face conferences, I wonder how that would compare with total CO2 emissions of that country. Could it be say 0.5% of CO2 emissions of that country? Just a wild guess. Maybe doesn't sound like much but it all adds up! So thanks for doing the calculation and raising awareness about this. 

(another thing that we might have to add for online or face-to-face events is the CO2 emissions that are caused by servers that host Youtube channels where the videos of the presentations are now available; sigh, nothing is "for free" in terms of CO2 emissions)

And would you be able to provide a more detailed breakdown of the participants and presenters for the different sessions? How many people attended each session? How many of the presenters were female? How many from the Global South?

The overall male:female ratio of the presenters was 2:3, you said. That's impressive! I wouldn't want it to shift to even lower figures, i.e. even less male presenters because then we could have the opposite problem: Topics like handwashing, hygiene and behaviour change are sometimes very highly female dominated and then one almost gets the feeling that they're less important compared to the male-dominated topics like hardware and engineering.... I know it's the wrong feeling to have! But it's like so many "female dominated" professions such as childcare educators, primary school teachers, nurses - they automatically end up being seen as less important and the people in the professions get a lower salary... (or they're less attractive for males because of the lower salaries).

So I'd say let's not go any lower for the male proportion than 2:3 for male:female in future. ;-)

Regards,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
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  • madeleine
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

HI all
Quick response to you Elisabeth what is needed for transformation of the sector is knowledge and capacity to transmit knowledge to right audiences in the right context  at the right time  so that  that change can actually happen and  this  process has very little to do with sex, transgender's identity , ethnicity , religion ,  disability  or age.  

.
Cheers 
Madeleine 
Madeleine Fogde
Program Director SIANI
Senior Project Manager at SEI
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Fax + 46 (0)8 6747020
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Hi Madeleine,
I don't understand what you are trying to say with this comment? Your comment sounds to me like you're saying it's OK to have all-male panels at WASH conferences ("manels"), even though we have worked hard to move away from that. I don't think that's what you meant to say though? (because my earlier comment was specifically referring to panels and webinars at SuSanA meetings and similar events)

Regards,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
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  • FinnS
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Re: SuSanA online meeting - your feedback?

Hi Elisabeth,
 
I think especially now in times of Covid19 people are becoming more aware of the benefits of online meetings and as I mentioned before, it was calculated for the WW4D as well. As you were asking: the organizers of the WW4D estimated the CO2 emissions for running the servers to be around 1-2 tons of CO2. However, stating the numbers of avoided CO2 during an online event in comparison to a face to face meeting is also a nice selling point when reporting to politicians and other decision makers.
Maybe, and hopefully, Covid19 will shift the character of international conferences from face to face meetings to online events. I always found it quite sarcastic that most of the big international conferences on ecology, climate change, sustainability etc. were taking place once a year at a place where many people have to travel to and by that emitting huge amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere… (I recently watched the documentary ‘I am Greta’ about Greta Thunberg and she pointed out exactly that point, amongst others).
However, I don’t think that the totalCO2 emissions which were saved due to online events instead of face to face meetings would add up to 0,5% of a countries total CO2 emissions. However, savings of 400t for the SuSanA meeting is 400tons! I am really impressed by that number and agree, it all adds up!

Please find the number of participants and presenters (including moderation) in the image below:

These numbers add up to 1276 session participants, even though we don't know the number of participants for a few sessions. Also, we only took the highest number of participants in each session, which excludes people who joined, but left earlier or people who joined later. 
 
We didn’t evaluate the numbers in regard to a Global North / Global South ratio, but will be a good indicator to be kept in mind for future SuSanA Meetings!

Oh Elisabeth, you are opening up discussions with your statements about the importance of jobs! I totally agree with you as well and can recommend you the article “ A bit rich ”, which is about “Calculating the real value to society of different professions”. Really impressive!
Also, what you are saying about specific female or male dominated areas, I do agree. However, I wouldn’t necessary say that we shouldn’t stick to a specific male/female ratio. It would be nice to have the “unheard voices” from female presenters in topics which are usually dominated by males and vice versa. However, this wouldn’t truly represent the sector in its entirety. We should therefore continue to try to get a good balance between male and female presenters and between the underrepresented people in a sector while still representing the sectors.
After reading this asecond time, I hope it all makes sense to you! :D

Regards,
Finn
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