Re: Introducing energypedia: A new partner organisation of SuSanA


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Introducing energypedia: A new partner organisation of SuSanA

We would like to welcome energypedia from Germany as a new SuSanA partner organisation!

The following text is taken from the application form which was written by energypedia.

Energypedia is a renewable energy wiki platform in the context of development cooperation. It offers free access to expert information on renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries. On anyone can create and revise articles on renewable energy technologies, approaches and projects as well as energy efficiency. Energypedia's goal is to promote knowledge and experience exchange in order to achieve universal access to sustainable energy for all people. For this reason energypedia is free and accessible for everyone.

Activities in Sustainable Sanitation:
Energypedia hosts a wiki-platform offering free access to expert information on renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries through four main portals: solar, hydro, wind and bioenergy. Within the bioenergy portal, a vast compilation of articles on biogas sanitation systems and programmes can be easily accesible.

Expectations in the partnership:
A mutual promotion of international knowledge exchange between a growing community of practitioners, experts and other interested stakeholders.

Contribution to SuSanA:
By facilitating and expanding the diffusion of sustainable energy technologies that include biogas sanitation systems, through practical knowledge sharing.

Contact person:
Robert Heine


[Posted by Lasse]
Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ sustainable sanitation sector program
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Eschborn, Germany
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  • Elisabeth
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  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: Introducing energypedia: A new partner organisation of SuSanA

Dear Robert and dear energypedia team!

I am very happy that energypedia has joined as a SuSanA partner organisation! I still remember during my time at GIZ how energypedia first started as a GIZ project in 2007, how it introduced Wiki technology to us all and continued to grow; and now it's great to see how you have matured into an independent organisation! (nice history page: )

I think we from SuSanA can potentially learn a lot from you, e.g. how you have gone through institutional changes to become a German non-profit company (although GIZ still seems to be your main funding source according to: ).

Now coming more to the content - where do we have overlap? I would say mainly (or only) in the area of biogas, perhaps a little bit on biofuels (e.g. ethanol from faecal sludge, although I don't think this will "fly") and perhaps some of the cross-cutting issues e.g. on microfinance (you are lucky though because you don't have that "taboo" issue with energy that we have for sanitation).

I.e. your pages here:

As I am an active Wikipedian (I created the WikiProject Sanitation together with others: ), I noticed that your setup is very similar to Wikipedia for the content pages. You have a discussion page (called "talk" in Wikipedia) and you have a history page. However, if I observed correctly, the contenta of the discussion page and the names on the history page are only accessible once I have obtained a login (which I haven't done yet).

The number of people with logins to Energypedia is currently 4390 uses (slightly less than SuSanA members).

I noticed that your content is put up under an open licence, thank you for that:
You use:

Which means:

You are free to:

Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Now let me ask you a very specific question:

Your page on biogas basics is here:

At the bottom you provide the link to the Wikipedia page on biogas.

Now if I was an editor, should I rather work on the Energypedia page about biogas or on the Wikipedia page on biogas? I would say the latter. Why? More people are likely to find it via Google.
Or would it make sense to "mirror" the two pages?
Could/should I take content from "your" biogas page and copy it to the Wikipedia biogas page if your content is better (or vice versa)?

This is the general problem I have with separate Wikis (like the IWA WaterWiki, Akvopedia, Appropedia,... as well), as it sometimes seems like one is doubling up the work. It is something we discussed here before:

Another page which I see on both, Energypedia and Wikipedia is biochar. Here, the Wikipedia page seems more detailed to me than your page:
Wikipedia page on biochar:
Energypedia page on biochar:

This is no wonder as Wikipedia has millions of editors and you have "only" 4400 .

So I am sure the purpose is not to compare such pages. I can see that Energypedia is about much than just its Wiki content only (i.e. you have a whole community there, you also provide consultancy services etc.).

Maybe for the general topic articles Wikipedia is more detailed than yours; but for specific technical topics your pages are more detailed than the Wikipedia pages (in which case one could think about copying materials across in both directions, but I don't know if this would be frowned upon or not; from the licence side of things it would be no problem).

Anyway, I am sure you have been asked these sorts of questions before. So I look forward to hearing from you.

Please also tell us more what you hope to get out of your organisation's partnership with SuSanA.
E.g. are your members likely to use our discussion forum on biogas sanitation issues (see here: )?
Would you hope that SuSanA members who are knowledgeable in biogas sanitation systems contribute to content and discussions on your pages?

Kind regards,
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(with financial support from WSSCC, now SHF)

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
Founder of WikiProject Sanitation:
My Wikipedia user profile:
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  • Energypedia
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Re: Introducing energypedia: A new partner organisation of SuSanA

Dear Elisabeth,
Thank you for the message on our board. We are more than happy to address all your queries and also welcome all future queries and suggestions from you.
Regarding the overlap between Wikipedia’s and ours content, we try to compliment the work of Wikipedia rather than compete with them. Additionally most of our content are the direct results of projects in developing countries and would not fit within the Wikipedia criteria. Therefore, in this respect, we try to host unique contents which are not easily available elsewhere.
Our goal at energypedia is to serve as a textbook to energy practitioners and help easy sharing of on field experiences among the energy practitioners and other interested audiences.
The "doubling of work" could also be approached with the idea of "Linked Open Data" right now as a part of the Climate Knowledge Broker (CKB) network we are intending to use the "Climate Tagger" to tag our content and share it with other platforms. But you are right, there are many platforms out there somtetimes competing or doubling content.

Through this partnership, we hope to learn more about the SuSanA community, share useful information about biogas sanitation system with the SuSaNa community as well as encourage the community to contribute their invaluable knowledge to energypedia.

Best Regards,
Robert Heine
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  • WikiDocJames
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Re: Introducing energypedia: A new partner organisation of SuSanA

That we are under compatible licenses helps with collaboration.
James Heilman
MD, CCFP-EM, Wikipedian

The Wikipedia Open Textbook of Medicine
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  • Energypedia
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Re: Introducing energypedia: A new partner organisation of SuSanA

It has been a while that energypedia joined SUSANA in 2015 so with this post we want to give you a short update.
Since then, our community has steadily grown up to more than 10,500 registered experts, the number of articles contributed rose up to more than 4,770 as of August 2020. On average, 70,000 visitors use every month. In June 2020, we had  164,951 pageviews / 135,707 unique pageviews.
So far to the stats.

Content wise a number of new knowledge portals and products have been developed in the last couple of years with different partner organizations. Just to name a few new portals: energy access , water and energy for food , mini-grids , climate change . Portals group relevant articles about a certain topic and help the user to access the content easily. Regarding new tools maybe the Toolbox on Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) is the most famous one at the moment, it is available in English, Spanish and French. An Arabic version is on the way.
Relevant WASH related categories are: WASH (with little content so far we have to admit) Solar Water Heater and Water Heater , and of course our biogas portal .

Together with ICRC and UNITAR we currently run a webinar series on sustainable energy in humanitarian settings. Within this framework we had one webinar focusing on WASH, see recordings here:

All in all, these developments are all very positive. However, our main funding has run out and we are currently looking for new grants and sponsorships. Here, we face the problem that knowledge sharing and management is everywhere seen as very important but when it comes to funding a well running platform, we have the impression that donors don't find joint collaboration and knowledge management "sexy" enough or rather have their own new websites or platforms developed. This way, creating knowledge again in silos and starting from scratch instead of building upon already existing and well-established communities and platforms.

So if you come across any funding options or partnership ideas, don' t hesitate to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ! :-)
Lisa Feldmann

Edit by moderator (EvM): the post that followed here has now been moved to here .
Regarding funding, Elisabeth had replied: "Thanks for this very interesting update about Energypedia and the linkages with WASH!
Sorry to hear about your funding woes. I share your assessment "that donors don't find joint collaboration and knowledge management "sexy" enough or rather have their own new websites or platforms developed". This year, we are facing similar problems with the funding of the SuSanA discussion forum moderation. We're currently looking for more funders, after the financial support by WSSCC that we had last year came to an end. It's not easy."
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