new discussion forum on sustainable sanitation

The Sustainable Sanitation Alliance, of which this blog on sanitation is a member, recently came up with a new forum on their server to drive discussions and open exchange on (sustainable) sanitation and hygiene to an open platform.

All registered users of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (anyone can become a member!) may contribute to the forum, and the reason for posting this here is to focus your attention on this forum. Contrary to a lot of other sites on the internet that are either hidden or locked up from the public, the forum is free and open. Also, there’s no ultimate solution in knowledge management. Discussions take place on Facebook walls, in LinkedIn or Facebook groups, within old-fashioned mailing lists and even at the comment section on YouTube section. You can’t control this. But you can offer attractive alternatives – like this new forum. Yay!

So if you haven’t already, please join this new forum and contribute some content. The internet is all about sharing knowledge – think of The Khan AcademyThe Open Source Ecology group or even the Appropedia wiki. And while I believe in distributed and accessible knowledge, I – at the same time – also prefer to have one single resource for collected knowledge on one specific topic (like sustainable sanitation and appropriate hygiene management). This forum is my preferred choice for the discussion part.

Inform. Engage. Enable. @

The Water Supply & Sanitation Collaboration Council (WSSCC) relaunched their website (today) and I’ve just renewed my membership with them because it’s an active and focussed network of people who understand the need for an improved & sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene in this world.

wsscc screenshot

Site highlights include:

  • Cutting-edge information on 30+ WASH-related topics
  • Details on WSSCC’s in-country work through its coalitions and the Global Sanitation Fund
  • User-contributed sanitation, hygiene and water supply success stories
  • A powerful, contextual search engine and access to our experts
  • Member’s-only area with discussion forums, key documents and networking/search functions
  • Online advocacy resources
  • Publications and other resources in English, French and Spanish

If you’re active in this sector and feel like contributing, I encourage you to register with them and participate on this global platform. Thank you & see you there!

Oh, and more content in Spanish and French will be made available in Q1 of 2011.

Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management Toolbox

The Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management Toolbox (SSWM) is an online resource that helps in finding an answer to the following core question: What kind of processes, measures or tools can I use to optimize my local sanitation and water management system and make it more sustainable?

sswm toolbox website screenshot

This very fine and recently launched website is said to be “the most comprehensive collection of tools and approaches to improve water resources management sanitation at a local level”, because:

  • It follows a holistic and cross-sectoral approach
  • It addresses and integrates different stakeholders
  • It contains understandable and manageable contents
  • It is user and problem specific
  • It has a high standard and pedagogic approach
  • It links planning, software and technology
  • It provides ready-to-use and adjustable material

In addition to this toolbox, there are regular training courses that build on the SSWM Toolbox and aim at linking up sustainable sanitation, water management and agriculture at the local level and in practice. Upcoming training courses will take place in Nagarkot (Kathmandu), Nepal and Pune, India.

Also, I am particularly pleased that material published in the SSWM Toolbox for the first time is attributed with a CC-BY-3.0 licence which shows that online knowledge management is indeed possible with such a (modern) copyleft licence.