Have you considered making SuSanA a community of purpose?

  • neilpw
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Have you considered making SuSanA a community of purpose?

Hi Elisabeth and all,

One thought: Have you considered making SuSanA a community of purpose? By this, I mean a type of community of practice that has a common vision defined by the community. SuSanA would then be not only a knowledge-sharing network but also a global campaign ("towards a world where every person has access to clean water and sanitation" - or however the community defines it).

From here it could be possible to develop a Theory of Change to show how the activities of SuSanA might (indirectly or directly) lead to improved access to water and sanitation. SuSanA and HIFA's ToCs might even be shown to converge towards the progressive realisation of the SDGs!

Best wishes, Neil

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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  • muench
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Re: Have you considered making SuSanA a community of purpose?

Hi Neil,

Hmmm, I am not sure – isn’t SuSanA already a community of purpose (without calling itself that)? We have a vision (see here: www.susana.org/en/about/vision-mission )

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance works for a world in which all people have access to adequate sanitation, regardless of gender, age, income, culture or location. Sanitation systems are important contributors to broader sustainable development.


We also have a document about theory of change. It’s in here: www.susana.org/_resources/documents/defa...42-16-1544196002.pdf

3.2 Theory of Change
Our theory of change is: Through strategic, effective and consistent communications and knowledge management, SuSanA delivers demand-driven, high quality, cutting-edge adaptable policy advice, practical guidance and up-to-date knowledge to sanitation practitioners to help them in accelerating improvement of sanitation access and services towards sustainable sanitation for all. For us to achieve our long term outcome, SuSanA requires strategic partnering, an optimal governance structure, a business model and a sustainable funding strategy.


This document is one of the files within this library entry, as a result from the SEI-BMGF grant: www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/2042 But now that you mention it: It should probably get its own library entry and also be featured more prominently on our website. It was produced in February of last year but didn't receive much attention yet.

Are there any other formal steps which would be required to make SuSanA into a community of purpose?

Regards,
Elisabeth

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Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • neilpw
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Re: Have you considered making SuSanA a community of purpose?

Hi Elisabeth,

You said:

"Hmmm, I am not sure – isn’t SuSanA already a community of purpose (without calling itself that)? We have a vision (see here: www.susana.org/en/about/vision-mission )"

Yes you are right, I was overlooking SuSanA's vision. I did not see the vision in the slide deck and it is barely present in the BMGF report (it is buried in a minor paragraph under 2.2.3). I think I had forgotten about it because it was not mentioned anywhere. I think it would be great for your communication and advocacy if you have your vision statement prominent and indeed at the centre of everything you do.

You said:

"We also have a document about theory of change. It’s in here: www.susana.org/_resources/documents/defa...42-16-1544196002.pdf "


Yes, this theory of change (especially the graphic) is important and I think it would be good to use and publicise it much more.

The SuSanA vision and SuSanA's theory of change (ie how SuSanA will contribute to the realisation of the vision) are fundamental. Any presentation or description about SuSanA would be strengthened by emphasising the Why and How (vision and theory of change) in the first few minutes of talking.

You said:

"Are there any other formal steps which would be required to make SuSanA into a community of purpose?"


No steps are required, other than to clearly define and publicise the purpose (ie vision statement) so that every member of SuSanA knows it, and then simply to start calling SuSanA a 'community of purpose'. A community of purpose is simply a type of community of practice that is mobilised around a shared vision.

HIFA, for example, describes itself as a 'community of purpose' and 'a global campaign' . If SuSanA sees itself as a movement working towards the vision of 'a world in which all people have access to adequate sanitation', then the next question is "How?". This is partly answered by the Theory of Change says nothing about advocacy/campaigning. Similarly the About Us section of the SuSanA www.susana.org/en/about does not mention the terms 'advocacy' or 'campaign'.

There is a case for Advocacy to become a fundamental and more explicit pillar for SuSanA's activities. Once this is agreed at strategic level, the change can be readily achieved (at least partly) through simple change in language and emphasis. For example, instead of saying 'SuSanA is an informal network of people and organisations who share a common vision on sustainable sanitation' (as stated in About Us) one could say 'SuSanA is an informal network of people and organisations working together for a world in which all people have access to adequate sanitation'

Hope the above is helpful.

Best wishes,
Neil

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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