Sharing insights from the WSSCC Membership Survey

Date: 31st August 2018

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In May 2018, WSSCC conducted a survey on its members to gain input on how we are doing, and how we could better engage this important group of stakeholders. The survey was sent to both English-speaking and French-speaking members online. Overall, 440 members participated in the survey. The responses we received are summarized below:

  1. What feature(s) of the Members’ Newsletter do you value the most?

In the English-language survey, the top three features members most enjoyed in the Newsletter were the stories related to policy and practice in WASH, WASH facts and stories about the Global Sanitation Fund. The responses from the French-language survey differed slightly. The respondents preferred the sector news, stories related to policy and practice in WASH and stories about the Global Sanitation Fund in that order. The second part of this question showed that members were keen on reading more stories related to the WASH sector, especially within countries, member success stories and innovations and good professional practices. We hope that your preferences will be reflected in forthcoming issues of the newsletter.

  1. On what social media platforms are you active, if any?

Based on the responses, WSSCC members are most active on Facebook and LinkedIn. This was followed closely by Twitter and Instagram. We are working on a social media strategy, and this useful information will help to ensure that our members, who are active on social media, will be engaged in future activities.

In the past year, have you been active on the WSSCC Community of Practice on LinkedIn?

Most members have not used the Community of Practice (CoP) in the past year. A total of 76% of Anglophone respondents admitted that they had not used the CoP, while 24% of them had done so. Similarly, 89% of Francophone respondents had not used the CoP within the past year, while 11% of them had. For those who do use the CoP, the time spent on the platform was mostly to share and discuss ideas on different topics related to WASH, including Community-Led Total Sanitation, academic papers and community programmes and activities. We are exploring ways to revive the CoP so watch this space!

  1. Do you use the WSSCC Members’ Community?

Overall, most members do not use the Members’ Community. In total, 56% of English-speaking respondents do not use it, while 44% of them do. This slightly differed for French-speaking survey respondents, where the percentage of users and non-users of the Members’ Community was evenly split. Those who are active on the Members’ Community platform use it mostly to interact with other professionals who are members through the discussion forum. Another recurring usage of the platform is to share information about the projects members are currently undertaking. Those who do not use it however, reported that they either found it difficult to use, or have not had time to log in. We are dedicated to improving the user experience on our online platform in order to better cultivate our community of members. If you have issues logging in to the Members’ Community page, please see the instructions by following this link.

  1. As a member, do you think the Secretariat succeeds in engaging its membership when it celebrates WSSCC milestones through such events as World Toilet Day or Menstrual Hygiene Day?

The consensus was that members feel engaged by the Secretariat during milestone events, such as World Toilet Day.  Notably, 71% of English-speaking respondents answered in the affirmative, while 29% did not. Likewise, 65% of French-speaking respondents said they felt engaged, while 35% felt disengaged. It was clear from the responses that most members would like the Council to more effectively coordinate these global campaigns with similar programmes or events at the national level. There was also a consensus that WSSCC needs to organize more events at the national level to allow members to meet, so that they can advance these global campaigns together. Watch this space for news on Global Handwashing Day and World Toilet Day 2018.

  1. Are you involved in any membership activities in the country you live in?

Over half of English respondents (55%) do not participate in membership activities in their country, while 45% are active participants in these activities. Conversely, more French-speaking respondents pointed to their involvement in membership activities in their country (53%), while 47% said they were not. Some activities members participate in include:

  • National Task Group on Sanitation
  • Advocacy on sanitation governance and sustainability (with National Coordinators)
  • Participation in the National Consultations for the WSSCC Strategic Plan 2016-2020
  • Menstrual Hygiene Management workshops in parliament
  • Occasional meetings at WSSCC’s national offices

We understand that this is an area of real interest for members.  Where there is a national coordinator, please reach out to him/her to find out more about activities in your country and how you can become more involved.

  1. How would you rate the WSSCC membership value proposition that follows? “WSSCC offers its members platforms to increase the visibility of their work around sanitation and hygiene, and the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals by providing exclusive access to an exclusive Members’ Community and the Community of Practice group on LinkedIn. Additionally, members are informed about opportunities to engage, WSSCC news, features and publications, relevant stories from the membership base and sector highlights through the quarterly newsletter. Members can get involved in WSSCC governance by voting or standing for election on the WSSCC Steering Committee.”

We were very pleased to see that the majority of respondents agreed that WSSCC’s membership proposition was “Excellent” (43% for English-speaking and 48% for French-speaking), followed by “Above Average” (32% for English and 28% for French), “Average” (22% for English 21% for French), “Below average” (2% for English and 4% for French) and “Poor” (1% English, 0% French). It was also interesting to note that the most frequently used words in the comments section were “Activities,” “Country” and “Engagement’” for the English survey, and “Members,” “Communication” and “WSSCC” for the French survey. The responses that accompany these most frequently used words indicate that our members want to be given more opportunities to interact with each other at the country level.

  1. Which of the following aspects of membership development should WSSCC prioritize over the next four years to revitalize its membership? (Please select at least four options)

The three top responses were consistent in both surveys: a. Increasing the involvement of members in WSSCC activities at the national level (84% for English-speaking respondents and 79% for French-speaking respondents);  b. Creating opportunities for members to meet face to face (81% for English-speaking respondents and 81% for French-speaking respondents); and c. Developing incentives for members to share experiences and best practices (73% for English-speaking respondents and 74% for French-speaking respondents). This information will be used to inform our vision for future membership.

  1. Please provide any suggestions for how WSSCC can improve the role of its members and the services it offers them.

Although most members were generally satisfied with the role the Council plays in its interaction with members, they put forward ideas and identified improvements that could be incorporated into the Council’s efforts. These include:

  • Identifying “champions” among members who can serve as ambassadors of sanitation and hygiene.
  • Making our platforms bilingual (English/French) to increase member participation. French speakers voiced concerns that the CoP, for example, only conducted webinars in English, which makes it difficult for them to participate.
  • Having subcommittees on governance within regions, chaired by the Regional Steering Committee representative, to improve the feedback loop between members and the Steering Committee.
  • Peer-to-peer sponsorships, in which WSSCC’s larger organization members sponsor programme and operational costs for smaller organization members at the national level.
  • A global Whatsapp and country Whatsapp group for members.
  • WSSCC slogans for member activities at community and national levels.

WSSCC would like to thank all the members who participated in the survey. We are working to improve membership engagement at all levels, and we will use the information provided by you to inform our future strategy.  Please do continue to engage with us and send your news, updates and ideas to

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