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Help HIP--Econference feedback requested

Renuka Bery - Friday 19 May 2006

Dear Colleagues—

On behalf of the HIP team I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this discussion. It has been lively and a chance to share new technologies, new ideas, and experiences people are grappling with in the field. While I don’t want to dampen the discussions going on, I would like to leave some room for reflection as this e-conference enters its last few days. Please take a moment to think about the few questions below and share some of your thoughts…both those who have posted messages and those who have been reading on the sidelines. Your contributions will help HIP learn from this experience and plan future learning and sharing opportunities.

1. Share one thing you have learned from this e-conference that will be useful to you in your work.

2. People talk about sharing knowledge, yet when the opportunity presents itself, much knowledge and information is not shared. Why? What can you suggest to stimulate sharing?

3. In your mind did this e-conference get to the heart of the HWTS issues posed?

HIP will synthesize the e-conference threads and post it on the HIP web site in June.

Warm regards,
Renuka Bery

Help HIP--Econference feedback requested

Safe Water International, Larry Siegel - Friday 19 May 2006

Renuka and Colleagues,

I doubt any of us appreciates the extent of preparation and commitment that went into the organization of this e-conference. Safe Water International is enormously grateful for the leadership and effort that brought it about. We have been privileged to participate and to gain a better understanding of the initiatives and thinking around the world regarding household level drinking water treatment.

Our response to your closing questions follows:

1. Share one thing you have learned from this e-conference that will be useful to you in your work.

Given the nature of the work our groups and agencies do, there is always a danger of working in a vacuum. For SWI the forum has confirmed the value of a central information clearing house along the lines the forum itself has provided. It is surely clear to the e-conference organizers that managing such a forum is a large commitment; yet the exchanges that have taken place have transferred information more widely and more immediately than is otherwise possible.

2. People talk about sharing knowledge, yet when the opportunity presents itself, much knowledge and information is not shared. Why? What can you suggest to stimulate sharing?

The most likely explanation, and the experience at SWI, is that time and resources do not provide the opportunity to engage in wider sharing. Each of our groups is wrapped up in its own projects, organizational issues, and financial demands. We all undoubtedly recognize the importance of information sharing in perfecting our own work, yet many probably feel they do not have the energy and time to provide thoughtful and useful comment. There may also be an element in insecurity in presuming to enter into discussions which for the most part have been carried on by government and university professionals.

A certain amount of sharing occurs via e-mail between clusters of groups, sometimes on an ad hoc basis and in other cases over a longer term. In our experience these exercises are most dynamic and productive when they focus on a particular HWTS option, as happened a few months ago when SWI sought feed-back on details of slow sand filtration.

3. In your mind did this e-conference get to the heart of the HWTS issues posed?

Thanks in part to Bruce Gordon’s work on the Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage Network of the World Health Organization and to the initiatives of a number of other groups at work in the field, international focus seems to have turned more intently to solutions at the household level. This e-conference was an affirmation and strengthening of that direction.

The e-conference certainly probed some issues, e.g. education, cost, and range of options, but perhaps more importantly; it drew out the current thinking of groups and individuals at work at the field level.

feedback

Matthias Saladin - Saturday 20 May 2006

Dear Renuka,

Thank you (and the rest of the team) for this e-conference. It definitely has been positive to see the number of people and institutions interested in this topic.
One specific thing I learned is that the institution I work for (SODIS Foundation) is not the only one having made positive experiences with household visits and face-to-face contacts. In the general tend for looking for ways for scaling up, this always seems to get forgotten (or be difficult to implement at large scale), but in our experience, it's key to actually changing behaviour. I considered this type of intervention to be old-fashioned (and it probably is), but now I can tell that there are other people and institutions out there who also like old-fashioned but effective interventions...

Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Matthias

"Help HIP--Econference feedback requested"

Mohammed Kamfut - Sunday 21 May 2006

To Renuka and colleagues,

Help HIP--Econference feedback requested - M Kamfut

Thanks for all the efforts in organizing this conference and actively participating. It has been a great success and a worthwhile experience.

1. The conference has afforded the opportunity for establishing contact with professional colleagues working on different aspects of HWTS. A lot has been learnt from the experiences shared particularly on appropriate, inexpensive options of making household water storage safer.

2. I believe a lot of people are interested but for reasons pointed out by other colleagues, tend to be reluctant when it comes to sharing information in a wider forum like this one. Some are probably tied up with other exigent commitments typical of the usual schedule for most professionals. Extending subsequent conference duration to about two weeks might generally help the situation. It could also allow people who are probably on mission to find time and contribute.

3. The various entries and trend of discussions have been very interesting and lively. They have captured most of the key issues on HWTS especially as they relate to theme 1.

Regards
Mohammed

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