The project database on the SuSanA website - discussion on filter options and world map

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  • dietvorst
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Hi Elisabeth,

Sorry for the confusion, indeed words were missing. I have made some edits, which hopefully provide some clarity.

Regarding sustainability criteria, you would need to have access to the project monitoring framework. Such frameworks often include mandatory sustainability requirements from the donor, and are more common for implementation projects, rather than for research projects. For technology development/innovation projects, the Technology Applicability Framework (TAF) uses basically the same FIETS sustainability criteria (it has one additional one skills/capacities) and the accompanying Technology Introduction Process (TIP) available at www.washtechnologies.net/

I will ask my sanitation colleagues which IRC projects we could add to the SuSanA project database.
Cor Dietvorst
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Dear Cor,

Good point. - I didn't fully understand these two sentences though, I think they got a bit scrambled up:

Which projects focus one or building blocks for sustainable service delivery? IRC is currently the building blocks developed for rural water supply


Could you please clarify?

Arno recently made a similar suggestion to me but my reply to him was how can we or anyone judge where to put the filter ticks? Isn't it very subjective with the result being that everyone project owner would "claim" that his or her project fulfilled all the sustainability criteria?

Another suggestion by Arno was to have filters along the line of the functional sanitation ladder:



Again, I said it would be very hard to make that judgement call. In the past, most of the projects were actually added by the SEI team and they were mostly BMGF grant projects. Sometimes we had very little information to go by when setting up the ticks for the filters. So it would have been impossible to judge the projects on those parameters.

Maybe this will change now when more SuSanA partners add their own projects. Perhaps we could test it out a little bit: maybe we could take 10 or 20 projects by IRC and add to them to the database and try out the new filters that you propose? It gets interesting when the filters help to narrow down the search but not if each project ticks all the filters anyhow.

I am keen to hear your thoughts on this.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • dietvorst
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Dear Elisabeth,

I understand that the filters/topics reflect those of the projects in the database, but there is a heavy bias on a technology/infrastructure classification. I miss the S of SuSanA - which projects focus on financial, institutional, environmental, technological and/or social sustainability, the FIETS approach wash-alliance.org/our-approach/sustainability/. Which projects focus on one or more building blocks for sustainable service delivery? IRC is currently developing building blocks for sanitation, similar to those we already have for rural water supply (www.ircwash.org/resources/reimagining-ru...rvices-future-agenda). Examples of building blocks are: asset management, post construction support, capacity support to local government, regulation - in short all elements that are needed to keep a sanitation service up and running for everyone, everywhere.

Cor
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

OK, so after further discussions within the team (e.g. inputs from Diane, Shobana, Ruth, Esther, Arno) we have now come up with the following filter options for the project database. Good filter options are paramount for people to find exactly what they are looking for in the project database; note that filters can also be combined in "and" and "or" fashion.

Here is the project database: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects . Right now we have 322 projects in there.

I should stress that this is not meant to be a scientifically correct classification system of sanitation projects. Rather it is meant to reflect what we currently have in this project database and make it easier to find what you're interested in.

So here are the proposed new or modified filters and their new or modified filter options:

Filter by project focus
- Toilets or urinals (user interface)
- Emptying and transport (non sewered)
- Treatment
- Resource recovery
- Faecal sludge management (FSM)
- Enabling environment and institutional strengthening * (would anyone prefer to see this split in two?)
- Others

Filter by treatment technology or system
- Biogas systems
- Composting, vermicomposting (solid waste)
- Constructed wetlands
- Container based systems (CBS)
- Decentralised wastewater treatment (e.g. DEWATS)
- Faecal sludge treatment
- Fundamental research and engineering
- Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)
- Vermifilters (liquid waste)
- Others

Filter by setting or users
- Camps (emergency or longer term)
- Peri-urban
- Rural
- Schools
- Urban (entire city)
- Urban informal settlements (slums)
- Others

Filter by beneficial product
- Energy: biogas
- Energy: electricity
- Energy: fuel
- Fertiliser
- Protein for animal food
- Other

Filter by materials to be reused
- Faeces
- Greywater or wastewater
- Urine
- Other

Filter by audience of project’s publications
- Educators
- Practitioners
- Journalists
- Others

Filter by sanitation topic * (this one follows mostly the titles of the SuSanA Working Groups, with WG 4 and WG 7 split into two)
- Capacity development
- Market development
- Renewable energies and climate change
- Technology comparisons
- Health and hygiene
- Food security and productive sanitation
- Cities
- Rural
- Community sanitation
- Emergency and reconstruction
- Public awareness, advocacy and civil society engagement
- Operation, maintenance and sustainable services
- Groundwater protection
- WASH and nutrition
- Behaviour change
- Product design and engineering
- Political processes and institutional aspects
- Others

Filter by funding source
Same as before but we added this one:
- Multi-lateral and International Monetary Fund

Filter by grant recipient
- Government-owned entity
- International NGO
- Local NGO / not for profit entity
- Multilateral organisation
- Profit making entity / private sector
- University or research institution
- Others

Filter by geographical reach
- Global
- Specific to one or several countries


Keep in mind that we've generall set up the filter options so each will yield one or several results in our project database. When the category "other" gets too big then that can be split it up further. For this reason, we don't have a filter option for e.g. "deworming" as there are no deworming projects in our database yet. If we got some projects on that topic, we could add that as a further filter option in future.

Any comments?

Oh, and I just wanted to re-iterate that in the re-launched website (coming this month), the project database and the filter options will be more prominent and more intuitive. So stay tuned.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Dear Shobana and all,

Yes, true. But in my post I didn't say that refugee camps are "informal". The reason why I said I would "lump together" an informal settlement and a refugee camp for the purposes of filtering the project database is because the technologies and sanitation systems used are often similar, e.g. they are usually communal/shared facilities, rather than individual toilets in the houses/huts/tents. Also, they usually have to be low cost and may be of a temporary nature. They might also be mobile, in the case of container-based sanitation (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container-based_sanitation).

But if you prefer we can also add a separate filter option called "Refugee camps" (under "setting").
The filter options could then look like this:

Filter by setting or users
- Rural
- Peri-Urban
- Urban (entire city)
- Schools
- Urban informal settlements
- Refugee camps
- Others

Would people find that helpful?

If you want to check which of the 300 projects currently deal with emergency sanitation / refugee camps you can filter it by Working Group 8 (Emergency Sanitation) which gives these 5 projects only:
www.susana.org/en/resources/projects?vbl...5D=&vbl_8%5B45%5D=45

I am sure there are many more interesting projects that SuSanA partners are carrying out in emergency sanitation settings, so it would be nice if people included them in the project database. If you work for an organisation that is a SuSanA partner, you can add your own projects to the database; just tell the secretariat that your SuSanA login needs additional editing rights).
If your organisation is not a SuSanA partner, you can still have your project added by the secretariat if you tell them to add it.

Note that in the new website which will be re-launched middle of July, the project database and its filtering and sorting functions will be given a much more prominent and easier to understand spot. (see here: forum.susana.org/10-announcements-regard...ce-study-into-action)

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • shobana
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Dear Elisabeth,

According to OECD, Informal settlements are:
1. areas where groups of housing units have been constructed on land that the occupants have no legal claim to, or occupy illegally;
2. unplanned settlements and areas where housing is not in compliance with current planning and building regulations (unauthorized housing).
Refugee camps or settlements would not come under this category because a camp is a authorized unit set up the host government to receive refugees . How can it be called 'informal'?

Regards,
Shobana
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UN Habitat/ GWOPA

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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Dear Shobana and Diane,

Thanks for your suggestions about the project database and how it can be filtered!

Dear all,
Information to all: we are currently working on a complete overhaul of the way the filtering will be represented. That's because the User Experience study showed that our users often didn't even know filtering was possible. So now is a good time to also decide if the filtering options are too many or too few and if they make complete sense or not.

Shobana, you asked about "Filter by Setting". I see your point. I would normally lump refugee camps in with "informal settlements" and would not tick urban, peri-urban or rural, unless that was important. E.g. if a project was dealing with an informal settlement in a rural area, then I would tick as a filter "informal settlement" but not rural.
But perhaps my internal logic is not so clear.

Similarly if the school was in a rural area, I would only tick "Schools" but not "rural". Do you think we should either make the filter options more precise or break it into two distinct filters? Then again I think it's important to keep things brief so that the user doesn't have to spend ages reading through the different filter options.

About Diane's suggestion: this would require an additional filter which could by called "Filter by type of organization".

This could be done. Currently the user can filter by donor. If we decided to have such a new filter, it could have the same categories as what we use for SuSanA partners, i.e.:

• Local NGO
• International NGO
• Private sector
• Education / Research
• Governmental / State-owned organization
• Multilateral organization
• Network / Association
• Others

If you searched through the project database, would you find such a filter option useful?

Just as a reminder we are talking about the SuSanA project database with its currently 310 projects:
www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

For your info, the project also has a zoomable and clickable world map, which can be accessed here:
www.susana.org/en/resources/projects?map=show

I took a screenshot to show you:



Looking at this map, what do you notice? One thing that is very obvious is the huge number of projects in India... That's because the bulk of the projects in the database are still those funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and they fund a lot of work in India. But the project database is open to anybody's project. If you'd like to get your project on the map, just do it! If your organization is a SuSanA partner you can add it yourself. If not, please contact the secretariat (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or me and we can see what can be done.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • DianeKellogg
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Given my interest in doing research on public-private partnerships, it would be helpful for me to be able to do a search to identify private sector sanitation companies that have been involved as partners (or as vendors). Might this be possible?
Diane M. Kellogg
Partner, Kellogg Consultants
Private Sector Specialist, BMGF grant to SuSanA
Marketing Consultant, PRISTO (RVO-funded grant)

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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Hello All,

I have some comments regarding the Option 'Filter by Setting'

Currently, we have
•Rural
•Urban
•Peri-Urban
•School Sanitation, WASH in schools
•Informal Settlement

I was wondering where I could place a Refugee camp/settlement .
An emergency settlement can either be rural /urban/ peri-urban but can differ from a normal setting due to high population density or floating population. Similarly , an informal settlement can come under rural ( Government land occupied by villagers for settlements and farming) and urban setting.


Urban, rural and peri-urban filters are classified based on infrastructure and population whereas a school is based on the end-user.

Do we need more filter options here or is it better to keep it simple?
Regards,
Shobana
Shobana Srinivasan
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UN Habitat/ GWOPA

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  • Elisabeth
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Dear Sterenn,

Thanks a lot for your helpful comments about the filter options in the SuSanA project database. I will respond to them below.

Dear all!

By the way, we now have over 300 projects in the database, check it out here: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects

If you work for an organisation which is a SuSanA partner, how about adding your favorite projects into the project database? It is fast and easy for anyone who is part of a SuSanA partner organisation. If you don't know if your organisation is a partner or not, just check here: www.susana.org/en/partner

This welcome package explains to you what you can do when you're a SuSanA partner:
www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/2576

Coming back to Sterenn's suggestions: she was referring to the project entry mask which looks like this when you are entering projects to the database (sorry, I have tried but I can't seem to get a clearer screenshot to insert here):



She said:

• I really like that the projects can be connected to Working Groups. I feel like there might be a lot of overlap with the "field of activity" and "working group" which could get confusing?

Yes, indeed, I am also not satisfied with that. How could we resolve this? Our problem was that some of the "fields of activity" don't exist as a working group.

• I found the tab “Resource projects” a bit confusing. Is it asking what part of the sanitation system you are working on, and also includes the enabling environment? I think it would help to have it in the order of the sanitation system (on-site sanitation, transport, treatment, etc.)

Yes, the title in the filter is a bit odd. Later for the user we have called it "Filter by kind of project" and we give the following choices:

- Resource recovery
- Processing technologies
- User interface
- Faecal sludge transport
- Enabling environment and others

It was meant to indicate in which area the project has its focus. These areas were set up with the Gates Foundation projects in mind (it was their projects which started the database), but this could be changed. A starting point could be to rename it to "Project focus area".

• I like that there is the general option of “FSM” under technology. I feel like the technology options could be more categorized. I would find it easier if they were sorted by on-site sanitation technologies, emptying and transportation technologies, treatment technologies and reuse options ? For example, you could select that you are generally working on treatment technologies and below that category there are more specific options of treatment technologies that you could select (e.g., drying beds, sedimentation tank, etc.).

We don't have the capability of doing double-filtering like you suggested. Also I wouldn't want to drill too deeply with the filters. Keep in mind that people can also use keyword searched for e.g. "sedimentation tank". Are there any broad technology options that are currently sorely missing?

• I would then remove "Filter by reuse" which seemed very specific compared to other categories.

It's true it's a bit specific but on the other hand, SuSanA has traditionally had a focus on reuse and some people some to us particularly for that reason. So it's handy for them to be able to filter by different reuse options.

• Filter by audience was a bit unclear to me. Is it the target audience of the project or who you are uploading the project for?

It is meant to be the audience of the project. How can we make it clearer? In the project entry mask we called it "Materials for".

I hope that more and more SuSanA partners will start to enter their projects, and then provide us feedback what is not clear during the data entering process. So please continue to provide your feedback and we'll consider it and try to improve it.

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
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  • sterennphilippe
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Hi everyone,

I want to start by saying that I really appreciate this database of projects. Its a great contribution to the sector.

I recently uploaded a project, and here is my feedback on the filters:

• Overall, very easy to select filters.
• I really like that the projects can be connected to Working Groups. I feel like there might be a lot of overlap with the "field of activity" and "working group" which could get confusing?
• I found the tab “Resource projects” a bit confusing. Is it asking what part of the sanitation system you are working on, and also includes the enabling environment? I think it would help to have it in the order of the sanitation system (on-site sanitation, transport, treatment, etc.)
• I like that there is the general option of “FSM” under technology. I feel like the technology options could be more categorized. I would find it easier if they were sorted by on-site sanitation technologies, emptying and transportation technologies, treatment technologies and reuse options ? For example, you could select that you are generally working on treatment technologies and below that category there are more specific options of treatment technologies that you could select (e.g., drying beds, sedimentation tank, etc.). I would then remove "Filter by reuse" which seemed very specific compared to other categories.
• Filter by audience was a bit unclear to me. Is it the target audience of the project or who you are uploading the project for?

Thanks for the great work! I will be adding more projects.

Sterenn
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  • Elisabeth
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Re: The project database on the SuSanA website - please help us to review and update the filter options

Thanks a lot for your feedback, Doreen. Would anyone else like to comment on these filter options?

My reply to Doreen's suggestions is as follows:

We could change it as follows (changes to the current filter setup shown in red):

Filter by kind of project
  • Resource recovery
  • Processing technologies
  • User interface
  • Faecal sludge transport
  • Enabling environment, institutional strengthening and others
Or if needed, we make "institutional strengthening" and "others" into their own bullet points?

Here I suggest we add the part in red, as emptying and transport of faecal sludge are usually combined:

Filter by kind of project
  • Resource recovery
  • Processing technologies
  • User interface
  • Faecal sludge emptying and transport
  • Enabling environment and others
If you prefer we could make this change:

Filter by setting
  • Rural
  • Urban
  • Peri-Urban
  • School Sanitation, WASH in schools
  • Informal Settlement
And this could be a potential new filter option to address your suggestion about ubscaling projects:

Filter by size
  • Desktop work only
  • Lab scale
  • Pilot scale
  • Full scale

Regarding splitting off vermicomposting or vermifilter from composting, I would tend to agree with you that it's not necessary but would like to hear more opinion on this? Currently it looks like this (should we add the part in red?):

Filter by technology
  • Biogas and DEWATS
  • Constructed wetlands
  • Composting systems, vermicomposting and vermifilters
  • Faecal sludge management
  • Flush toilets (with/without urine diversion)
  • Innovative science and technology
  • Urine diversion dehydration toilets (UDDTs)
  • Other technologies
Note that all this is not a scientifically correct categorisation scheme. The aim is for people to easily find those kinds of projects in the project database that they are looking for...

Regards,
Elisabeth
Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Freelance consultant on environmental and climate projects
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