Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

  • neilpw
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Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

Hi,

Something we have been unable to demonstrate with HIFA is actual impact (at scale) on health outcomes. Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

(By way of introduction, HIFA (Healthcare Information For All) is a global health discussion forum, similar in approach to SuSanA. Our focus is on promoting the availability and use of reliable healthcare information to inform health policy and practice. We work in collaboration with the World Health Organization and are supported by more than 300 health and development organisations worldwide. HIFA has more than 19,000 members (medical students, health professionals, librarians, publishers, researchers, policymakers, human rights activists, and others) in 180 countries. www.hifa.org Join here: www.hifa.org/joinhifa )

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite all SuSanA members to join us for our upcoming WHO-sponsored thematic discussion on Community Health Workers.: www.hifa.org/news/who-hsg-hifa-collabora...ate-progress-towards

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: Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

Hi Neil,

Your question from a month ago hasn't yet received an answer, so I would like to change that and bring it back to the attention of everyone.

My answer to your question would be: "no, we are unable to quantify this although it "feels" like it is the case and we have anecdotal evidence". I think it is really hard to demonstrate and prove the impact that knowledge management and networking activities have. Same with something like Wikipedia for example: how could we prove that the existence of Wikipedia has led to a more informed and better equipped public? Very hard to prove. We can investigate the click rates though for the Wikipedia articles. So whilst we as SuSanA are unable to prove the "end result" (better sanitation services at scale) we might be able to monitor and prove results along the intermediate steps, like "number of documents downloaded from the SuSanA library" as one possible indicator.

In November 2018, Simon Okoth created a document called "SuSanA Monitoring and Evaluation
Framework"
as part of the SEI-led consortium of SuSanA partners funded by BMGF. You find it here: www.susana.org/_resources/documents/defa...22-16-1558502531.pdf
(if the link is ever broken, find it here as the third last file in the list of downloads: www.susana.org/en/knowledge-hub/resource...library/details/3622 )

For each of SuSanA's four strategic objectives it lists:
- Expected Result
- Indicator
- Frequency
- Data Source
- Responsibility

What are SuSanA's four strategic objectives? SuSanA’s four strategic objectives are:

1. Ensure SuSanA products and services are curated and targeted and that they are a clear response to sanitation development
challenges facing sector stakeholders
2. Strengthen collaboration with customers in the “middle segment capacity gap” using the persona user profile model
3. Strengthen collaboration with other partners and networks including stakeholders at the in-country “grassroots” level (within
the sanitation sector and beyond)
4. Strengthen SuSanA’s organizational framework and impact in the sector


However, the table provided in the document is rather large, theoretical and unwieldy. One would have to employ several people to monitor all those indicators... so I think further work would be required to convert it into something that is workable. I think for the moment the document has been shelved and not yet put into action due to limited staff capacity at the secretariat.

We should probably learn from other similar networks which indicators and targets they use to show their constituents and funders that they are having an impact and are worthy of continuing?

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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  • neilpw
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Re: Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

Dear Elisabeth,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. There is a paradox that is common to all communities of practice, whereby M&E is especially challenging and complex, and yet CoPs almost never have the capacity/resources to continue it comprehensively.

Exceptionally, back in 2011 the Rockefeller Foundation funded an external evaluation of HIFA which concluded: "HIFA achieves an extraordinary level of activity on minimal resources from which many people around the world benefit. It has significantly punched above its weight. However its ultimate success will depend on external funders providing additional funding, and of course continued effective use of these, if it is to achieve its ambitious plans."
www.hifa.org/sites/default/files/other_p...ion-Report-Final.pdf

This one-off evaluation cost twice as much as the operational budget for the whole year! The evaluation was widely acclaimed and gave lots of useful pointers for future M&E but - as ever - we have been constrained by lack of capacity/resources. Meanwhile, the Rockefeller Foundation decided that healthcare information (the raison d'etre of HIFA) was no longer a top priotrity, so we did not receive any operational funding from then despite the glowing evaluation report.

"We should probably learn from other similar networks which indicators and targets they use to show their constituents and funders that they are having an impact and are worthy of continuing?"

Yes, indeed, HIFA would be delighted to work with SuSanA on this. There is an excellent CoP called KM4Dev (Knowledge Management for Development) which we could connect with to assist us. Their remit includes M&E of knowledge management activities, including CoPs.

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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  • fppirco
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Re: Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

Dear Elisabeth

In response to your question of Mara van Welie (marajohanna)I have just posted about Susan role and impaction, I hope you remember me we had many correspondents in Susan forum about various sanitation issues from wetland construction to Earthworm in wastewater sanitation( thanks to your feedback) ,So if you think it was useful I will post it again in this page or you yourself kindly redirect to this page .

regards
Mohammad

Researcher and consultant
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  • FranziskaVolk
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Re: Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

Hi Neil,

thank you for bringing up this discussion. We actually did some SuSanA impact studies last year, they will be published one per week in the coming weeks here: forum.susana.org/10-announcements-regard...-susana-case-studies

And, as I also stated in this post, I agree with Elisabeth, that, whatever the impact may be - SuSanA only plays a role in a whole chain of actions that ultimately lead to impact.. With the series of these new case studies we would like to give you a glimpse on how we and others experienced this impact.

Best regards,
Franziska

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
Secretariat
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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  • neilpw
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Re: Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

This is great, thanks Franziska.

Two thoughts:

1. Re: "whatever the impact may be - SuSanA only plays a role in a whole chain of actions that ultimately lead to impact"

Does SuSanA have a theory of change around which its possible inputs could be represented graphically?

2. The case study 1 'Sanitation Technologies in Emergencies' is excellent. I especially like the Compendium being described as a multi-actor-publication, and how SuSanA's members were harnessed in contributing, feedback, input from working group 8 and engagement of SuSanA's regional chapters.

The case study emphasises the systems approach of the Compendium and how such an approach is increasingly recognised as essential. Systems approaches are needed for many if not all of the world's global health and development challenges. It strikes me that communities of practice such as SuSanA will play an increasingly important role, because they are indispensable for collective inputs.

Meanwhile, we on HIFA (Healthcare Information For All www.hifa.org ) are eager to learn and collaborate from our perspective as a related community of practice with a focus on improving the availability and use of reliable healthcare information

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: 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.

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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  • FranziskaVolk
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Re: Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

Dear Neil,

there is indeed a visualisation of SuSanA's Theory of Change. It was developed within the broader SuSanA Strategy document in 2017/18 under the BMGF grant to SEI and included not only a theory of change, but also a value proposition, priority areas and a range of key directions that SuSanA, as a network can align to for increased and sustainable impact in the sanitation sector.
SuSanA Strategy and Work Plan - Towards Sustainable Sanitation for All by SuSanA secretariat and core group (13 Feb 2018) https://www.susana.org/_resources/documents/default/3-2042-16-1544196002.pdf


According to this Strategy Document 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.


The process of developing SuSanA’s Theory of Change started with the question, what is our long- term goal? Through a process of outcome mapping, the necessary preconditions and building blocks were identified. Partner collaborations, governance and funding structure and a business model have been identified as key overarching aspects for the sustainability of SuSanA’s existence. These are illustrated in the outcome pathway diagram below:



Our Theory of Change focusses on identifying and understanding our users’ needs based on the fundamental logic that if our users are better equipped with practical knowledge, this will lead to improved implementation. Figure 1 therefore shows the pre-conditions that will lead to the achievement of the long-term outcome, which is to ensure achieving of SDG6 by filling the
knowledge gap between policy and implementation. The earlier pre-conditions i.e. sustainable organization, strategic partnerships and communications, market segment analysis, development of trust, diverse core group, etc., must be in place for the intermediate outcomes to be achieved. Intermediate outcomes such as consensus building within the sector, using an approach that is
inclusive, transparent and diverse, can only be achieved through targeted knowledge curation, convening of stakeholders and adaptation of the KM and Think Tank services according to user needs. This participatory interaction keeps the needs and strengths of both the global network and the target practitioners visible and evolving.


The Strategy document linked above further goes into detail of the underlying assumptions ("If-then" assumptions) of the ToC and SuSanA within a larger system of change (see page 5&6)

Best regards,
Franziska

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)
Secretariat
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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  • muench
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Re: Has SuSanA been able to demonstrate impact on sanitation?

Hi Franziska,

This is good stuff but I think it's important that we make this more visible on the SuSanA website. At the moment it is buried deep down in documents that are in our library.
Rather, the schematic and the theory of change summary should be very visible on our website, and easy to find when someone clicks on the "About" tab on the website:
www.susana.org/en/about
(maybe this is already in the pipeline)

Regards,
Elisabeth

Community manager and chief moderator of this forum
(Funded via GIZ short term consultancy contract)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @EvMuench
Sanitation Wikipedia project leader: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation
My Wikipedia user profile: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:EMsmile
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