CLTS article on wikipedia - let's improve it

  • joeturner
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CLTS article on wikipedia - let's improve it

As a late convert to Elisabeth's call for action on wikipedia, I have been working to overhaul the CLTS page. Hopefully it now has a structure which we can build on - explaining briefly what the thing is, what triggering is, recent developments and criticisms.

It seems to me that there is a lot more which could usefully be said - for example there could maybe be a bigger section (or maybe even a page) with more details about triggering, post-triggering sustainability and so on.

Any thoughts or additions welcome - although please avoid copying text from other CLTS websites or just adding links to factsheets. The idea is to create an encyclopedia, so mentioning an issue from the factsheet and then referencing it is fine (in fact, it is more than fine, it is very good!), but just linking to it in the main section of the text looks a bit rubbish.

I appreciate that paraphrasing and editing is more work than just adding a link.. but it is more likely to be read if written in an interesting and consistent way. Thanks in advance.
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  • joeturner
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

I forgot to add a link to the page: here it is

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-led_total_sanitation
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  • muench
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Ah, I am so please that you took the plunge and have become a Wikipedian, Joe. :-)

And great that you started with the CTLS page. It really was in need of improvements and more details!

It would be great if you (and others) could add some of the key findings, explanations observations, facts and references that came to light in our previous, partly heated, discussions on CLTS here on the forum:
Obvously we have to try and sort the facts from personal opinions or unproven statements. But I am sure there are some pieces of information in these threads which would be very good to capture on the Wikipedia page about CLTS, e.g. in the section on criticism: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-led_total_sanitation#Criticisms

and on recent developments: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-led_tota...#Recent_developments

More photos would also be good. Perhaps some photos from their photo contest could be made avaible by the CLTS Knowledge Hub?
See here:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/5-clts...ition-picturing-clts

So far, the CLTS article has just one photo in it and that's from Kamal Kar giving a presentation at the 12th SuSanA meeting. Not bad but this does not capture well what CLTS is all about. You need a photo of a village committee in heated discussions or during the triggering or during the "transect walk" or digging pits for pit latrines...

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  • JamieMyers
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

I have also added to the wikipedia page.

I have included our (the CLTS Knowledge Hub) Frontiers series under recent developments. I also changed the beginning of the overview adding that its focus is on community-wide behaviour change rather than triggering being at its heart.

Cheers,

Jamie
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  • joeturner
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Hi Jamie, thanks for getting involved in editing the CLTS page.

I have removed your list of publications - not because they are not worthwhile but because they are not encyclopedic. It is acceptable to talk about the contents - and why it is important - and then link to the publication, but not good to just paste the links into the body of the wikipedia page.

In a general way, wikipedia is like any good textbook, if the material does not flow naturally, it should not appear - and anything which is not explained should not be put into the text, nor should it appear that the page is being used to advertise or draw readers to a particular external source.
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  • muench
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Hi Jamie,
I agree with Joe, welcome to Wikipedia! It can be a bit confusing at first but we are here to help you. (the link to the Wikipedia article on CLTS: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-led_total_sanitation )

The way to do it with new publications about CLTS that you think are important: Read the existing article and think about which sentence or statement could be provided with a reference which is one of your new publications. Then you could just add the citation at the end of the sentence (after the full stop), ideally with providing the page number if it's a long document. When you are in the editor mode (i.e. after clicking on "edit"), there is a button called "cite" which you can use for this purpose.
This cite button is probably the most important button in Wikipedia! Well, after the buttons "edit" and "save". :-)

After you have looked at the existing statements you can also think about it this way: Which additional statement, information or numbers could be added to the article by providing your new publication as a source for this?

After you have cited your publication(s) in the right spot, it will automatically appear in the reference list at the bottom of the article.

Make sure you paraphrase the sentence(s) though, don't do a straight copy & paste from the publication (this is only allowed for open access publications and even there, paraphrasing might be necessary to put it in simpler language).

Simple language and quite short sentences are also important because the articles are meant to be translated into different languages in Wikipedia. So think of the poor translators when you write...

Another thing that this article really needs is some good photos. I am already in touch with Petra Bongartz about this and look forward to some photos. If anyone else has good CTLS photos that they can share under an open licence (and also upload to the SuSanA flickr account), please bring them to my attention.

Regards,
Elisabeth

P.S. By the way, putting CLTS into Google brings up this Wikipedia page as the third entry. So it's important, in my opinion, that it's a good and objective article.

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  • Petra
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

I agree with Jamie that it is useful to have a list of key publications on Wikipedia. It strikes me that those visiting Wikipedia are usually 'beginners', those that are unfamiliar with CLTS, so I think it would be useful for them to have a sort of reading list.
I believe Jamie is in touch with you about the management of the CLTS page on Wikipedia. I hope we can find a mutually agreeable way of editing and maintaining this. Otherwise it may make sense to set up a separate page.

Petra

Petra Bongartz
CLTS Knowledge Hub at the
Institute of Development Studies
Brighton
UK
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  • joeturner
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Petra, unfortunately this is not the way that Wikipedia works - this is not something that Elisabeth and I have set as a kind of rule on the sanitation pages, it is a general truth.

If you add your articles to the page in this way, it is very likely they'll be removed by someone (actually quite quickly, the work we have been putting has attracted attention to the topic), the only difference with me doing it is that I've told you here about it.

The pages are supposed to be written from a neutral point of view: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view and one cannot just start another page to put across a different point of view.

And there are many things wikipedia is not: en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikip...hat_Wikipedia_is_not

The best way to keep the links to your publications is to write about them in the text and then reference them, as you might find them spoken of in any encyclopedia.
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  • JamieMyers
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Thanks for the advice. I take on board that it is not a good idea simply to list publications. Saying that I think there is a need to have a list of key publications, perhaps at the end. As we can assume the people visiting the site are relatively new to the subject it will be helpful to have a list of documents for those interested in finding out more. I have visited many Wikipedia pages with this.

I do however object to some of you other comments especially since the page in its current form has a series of inaccuracies which I am currently editing. Elisabeth as you mention when you put CLTS into Google it brings up the Wikipedia page third, the top two are links to the CLTS Knowledge Hub website. Wikipedia is an open access document and no one person or organisation has control over what can and cannot be written or what should or should not be deleted. I am happy to work on the page with others in a participatory way. Due to our position as the global knowledge hub for CLTS our input will lead to a stronger page.

I also agree that it needs to be objective. As a Hub we are objective and much of our work is about reflecting on the process and looking for ways to strengthen the approach. Our recent Frontiers ‘Sustainability and CLTS: Taking Stock’ and our work publicising the Plan ODF Study is testament to that. I'd also argue that the page is currently not objective but written from an EcoSan perspective with criticisms including the strong negative connotations given to shit deterring people from reusing excreta as fertiliser and the only alternative toilet options given being UDDTs and composting toilets.

I hope that we can work together on developing a correct and objective article.
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  • joeturner
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Given that I wrote the majority of the page as it is currently viewed, I can assure you that it is not intentionally advocating EcoSan or any other alternative system.

I can also assure you that I am in no way seeking to control who edits it - nor would I disagree that there are inaccuracies - however that there are advocates and detractors of CLTS is a documented fact and the fact that CLTS Knowledge Hub and the CLTS Foundation are indeed strong advocates does not therefore mean that strong views against the process should not also be covered.
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  • muench
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Dear Jamie and Petra,

I agree with Joe's points. This article is far from perfect and the more people get involved in improving it, providing a balanced view of all aspects, the better.

Joe and I have edited quite a lot of Wikipedia pages by now and I think we know the process quite well. I have currently 250 articles on my "Watchlist" and am busy working on many of them, see the WikiProject Sanitation that I have set up here - for us all to be involved:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation

Believe you me, it is rather painful at times!* As you know, nobody "owns" any Wikipedia page and concensus needs to be reached. Sometimes it can be frustrating arguing with people who are clearly not experts on the topic and who have strange opinions, but this is the nature of Wikipedia. Petra's suggestion of

Otherwise it may make sense to set up a separate page.


is certainly not in the spirit of Wikipedia, and wouldn't work in any case (what would it be called?).

I am sure we can reach consensus on things that you disagree with, and please keep in mind that not only Joe and I are watching this article but many others as well.
Have you read the talk page yet where this article has been discussed?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community-led_total_sanitation

There are also two hatnotes with the article:
  • This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (February 2015)
  • This article relies too much on references to primary sources. Please improve this article by adding secondary or tertiary sources. (March 2015)
About the point on reuse and ecosan, this is something that I have myself added under criticisms:

Reuse of excreta
Feces are given a strong negative connotation in the CLTS approach, which is also obvious by calling it "shit". This can cause confusion for villagers who are already, or could be in future, using treated human excreta as a fertiliser in agriculture - a process known as reuse of excreta in agriculture.[citation needed]


It is a criticism that I think is valid, however, I am still looking for a good citation for it. Which part of it do you think is not valid? How should it be worded differently? We have often talked about this aspect at SuSanA meetings, also with Kamal Kar. But the way I have worded it may not be ideal, I agree with that.

Regarding lists of Further Readings, yes, I have seen this in some articles as well (it is not very common though). But they are meant to lead people to textbooks (with ISBN numbers), not to individual documents of an NGO. See e.g. in this article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sewage
I think we have provided under "External links" some good links where people can easily find your website and from there find the key documents if they are interested.

Besides wouldn't the suggestion that Joe and I made be the easiest thing to do? Take out key statements from your Frontiers documents and then cite the documents. This gets them into the reference list without any problems whatsoever.

About the criticism section: In my opinion it is very important to have a criticism (or similar) section for a page of this kind. For the same reason I have added a criticism section to the page about SuSanA:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Sanitation_Alliance (I actually called it challenges and difficulties here).
Actually I thought this would be more controversial but so far nobody has edited that.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing your inputs to this (and other?) Wikipedia articles. E.g. I think the Wikipedia article on behaviour change needs work as well, and a link should be made to CLTS as one example of behavior change:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavior_change_(public_health)

There is a lot to do on Wikipedia.

Regards,
Elisabeth

* Just to give you an example of how "painful" Wikipedia editing can be. Recently, I came under a lot of criticism from one other Wikipedia user about my work with the UDDT page ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine-diverting_dry_toilet ). This person claimed that because I was using documents as sources that are in the SuSanA library and using photos that are from the SuSanA flickr account and have a Wikipedia user name that contains "susana" (EvM-Susana), I must be having conflicts of interest and could not possibly be objective. You seen see this also here on my talk page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:EvM-Susa...of_your_organisation
So I am not saying editing Wikipedia articles is always a breeze. There can be all sorts of people from all over the world who disagree with what you do. At least Joe and I are trying to be helfpul and only have the best intentions.

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  • JamieMyers
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Re: CLTS on wikipedia

Dear All,

As I said I am happy to collaborate with a range of people on this. What I was saying was that I think there is a strong case for us to be involved.

‘Reuse of Excreta’ – Elisabeth I pointed to this as it was useful to highlight that in its current form it is weighted towards the use of EcoSan. This is not a criticism of CLTS per se but a potential challenge to those attempting to combine EcoSan with CLTS. I actually wrote a paper as a student on the problems of combining EcoSan with CLTS.

I agree with having a criticism section – that was not something I had objected to in my previous comment. Much of the work that we do is focused on reflecting on the CLTS process.

Looking forward to getting stuck in and working together.

All the best,

Jamie
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