Wikipedia:Meetup/Sustainable Sanitation Alliance Edit-a-thon for World Water Day March 2017 @ SuSanA Platform Worldwide

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Join members of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance for a 48-hour Wikipedia edit-a-thon on 19-21 March 2017. Help us improve Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) topics just ahead of World Water Day on 22 March 2017.

Around the clock. Around the world. Together. #edit4impact

We counted edits of registered users for the edit-a-thon using the tool Outreach Dashboard see here.

Later events of the WikiProject Sanitation are available here.

Event information[edit]

SuSanA members at a meeting in Chennai, India
SuSanA members at a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda

Please help us promote the event on twitter by using this hashtag: #edit4impact


Wikipedia is what the world reads! Join us in the 48 hours leading up to World Water Day on 22 March. Do your bit to make sure readers get the right information on WASH. Imagine how many people will be going to Wikipedia for information when World Water Day events are taking place everywhere. People might be curious about wastewater, reuse of excreta, Dry toilets, Fecal sludge management, World Toilet Day.

Will the WASH pages you care about give readers the right information?

Virtual work room[edit]

  • Our virtual room in Adobe Connect serves as a "watering hole" to give you support while you edited Wikipedia articles. It was also a place to chat about your experiences. You were able to use the chat, webcam, microphone, whatever you prefer.
  • Enter the Adobe Connect virtual workroom by clicking here during the time period mentioned above. You don't need a password, just enter your name and click "enter as guest". - The room is now closed, or at least not staffed anymore.
  • Adobe Connect works best with Internet Explorer. If you use Chrome you may need to install an add-in. You can also enter the room with your mobile phone by downloading the App for Adobe Connect.

Create a Wikipedia account and adjust Preferences[edit]

Create a Wikipedia account without using your real name. If you already have a Wikipedia username, Adjust your Preferences, then Register below.

Adjust your Wikipedia Preferences by clicking on "Preferences" at the top right.
Four tabs are especially important:

  • Click on "Editing" and at the pull-down menu next to "Editing mode" select "show me both editor tabs." This will let you choose between the Source Editor ("Edit source") and the Visual Editor ("Edit"). Click here to learn about advantages of each.
  • Click on "Watchlist" and tick boxes to assure that pages you create, edit, or upload will be on your watchlist.
  • Click on "User profile" and tick the box "Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed"
  • Click on "Notifications" and tick the relevant boxes to select the type of e-mail notifications you want to get from Wikipedia.

Register here[edit]

  • Please register at the "Outreach Dashboard" to enable us to track the impacts of this edit-a-thon: Click here to register for this edit-a-thon at Outreach Dashboard (free of charge).
  • You need to have your Wikipedia user name available when you register, i.e. do create a Wikipedia account first if you don't have one yet.
  • If you have any problems with registering please write on the talk page of the facilitator here. Another option is to send an e-mail with this form: Special:EmailUser/EMsmile
  • We will remind all registered participants of the link for the virtual workroom by by writing on their talk page.

Participant list[edit]

  • You can see who else has registered by clicking on "editors" in Outreach Dashboard here. Editors are shown in alphabetical order.
  • If your Wikipedia user name is not yet in that list but should be then you still need to register here.
  • If you have any problems with the participant list please write on the talk page of the facilitator here. Another option is to send an e-mail with this form: Special:EmailUser/EMsmile

Wikipedia basics[edit]

(If you're a more visual kind of person, take a look at our short introduction videos here.)

Notice the tabs across the top of a Wikipedia page when you scroll all the way up, see for example here: sanitation.

Click on the "Talk" tab. This is where you can:

  • Ask (and answer) questions related to the Wikipedia article.
  • Add your question or answer to the bottom to make reading the running dialogue easy.
  • Insert four tildes (~) and the system automatically "signs" your question (or answer) with your username.

Click on the "Edit source" or "Edit" tab. This is where you can:

  • Make changes to an article. To help you decide whether to use the Source Editor ("edit source") or the Visual Editor ("edit"), click here.
  • Note the editing ribbon. You can, for example, choose a Heading style or add a hyperlink to other Wikipedia articles.
  • Click "Save changes" frequently: every couple of minutes. Why? It helps avoid editing conflicts which may occur if several people are working on the same section at the same time. If you notice another editor is working on the same article at the same time you can get communicate with that person via the Talk page.
  • Fill in the "Edit summary" box. Why? So others will know the reasoning behind your changes.

Create a Watchlist of articles you want to follow:

  • Tick the box "Watch this page" just below the "Save changes" box you use when you save your edits.
  • Ensure you get emails when other make changes by enabling this option in "Preferences": "Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed."

Wikipedia tips specific for SuSanA members or other sanitation experts are available here in this discussion thread.

Where to go for help?[edit]

Contributing to existing articles[edit]

Choose something easy from the list below and see for yourself how easy it is. Pick the low hanging fruit, and just get started.

Improve readability[edit]

Check the readability of a specific Wikipedia page on sanitation by using this tool. Then, see if you can improve the readability score. On Wikipedia's 0-100 scale, higher is better. Aim for at least 70.

  • Replace long words with short words whenever possible.
  • Reduce sentences to 15-20 words. Sometimes it's as simple as turning one long sentence in two short ones.
  • Reduce paragraphs to 5-6 lines. Readers skim over dense, non-stop text. Paragraph breaks offer white space and give readers a chance to breathe.
  • Use one good topic sentence to start each paragraph, and only the necessary supporting information to back that up.

Want to learn more about improving readability? Click here.

Improve the lead section[edit]

Help to improve the lead section of Wikipedia articles. The lead is supposed to summarise the article in four easy-to- understand paragraphs (more information here).

Add images[edit]

There is also a short video about adding images available here.

A picture is worth a 1000 words. Adding images can greatly increase the value of Wikipedia articles. Many "open source" sanitation-related images already exist in Wikimedia Commons which is the image repository for Wikipedia.

  • Adding an image from Wikimedia Commons to an article is very easy: Go to the article where you want to add an image; then click on "edit" at the top of the page; then "insert" (at the top, second row), then select "Media" from the drop down menu. You can now select from images that have been found, or add another keyword into the search field to find more images. Click on the image that you have selected and follow the rest of the prompts.
  • To add your own photo, click on "upload file" to the left of an article, then click on "Commons Wizard" in the left column of the table that appears. Follow the prompts from there.

Everything on Wikipedia comes under the open access licence CC BY SA and Wikipedia is very strict about copyright rules. All images have to be under the CC BY SA licence.

Want more details about adding images? Click here.

Translate articles into other languages[edit]

Plenty of people are working on articles in the English Wikipedia. The sanitation community of practice needs more content in other languages. French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Indonesian, Odia, Russian, Swahili, Urdu, Yoruba, Twi... all welcome here.

  • What sanitation-related pages do you want people in your home country to be able to read in their own language? You can see at the left of the article which other language versions already exist for that article.
  • Be a translator, please. You will make a lasting contribution to sanitation.
  • Check out this video on using the Wikipedia translator tool here
  • Another useful page for new translators, including translation guides for different languages, is here.

Want more details about translating for Wikipedia? Click here.

Add content, with references[edit]

Some topics aren't covered accurately or were written before additional research was available. See what you can do to:

  • Correct and improve existing content. Is the content accurate? complete? out-dated?
  • Are there enough references? Wikipedia suggests one reference after the period at the end of each sentence.
  • Cite reliable references such as journal publications, documents in the SuSanA library, publications by UN bodies, the World Bank or the like. Even newspaper articles may qualify. Open access content is preferable.
  • Add internal links to existing Wikipedia articles (either as wikilinks in the article itself or in the "See also" section, being careful to follow Wikipedia guidelines).

Want to learn more about how to insert references? Click here.

Point out "citation needed"[edit]

The content may be fine in terms of accuracy, brevity and clarity. However, if there aren't enough references to back up assertions being made, the article needs your help.

  • Add citations that will support assertions made.
  • If you can't find a citation yet think the statement is probably correct, you can add a "citation needed" tag to flag this to other editors. To do so, simply add this to the end of the sentence while editing in the source editor: {{citation needed}}. After you save the change, it looks like this in the article: [citation needed]
  • Delete text that cannot be backed up from credible sources -- that's part of the job.

Check existing references for reliability[edit]

  • Learn what Wikipedia means by "reliability" here.
  • Pick an article that you care about and click on any reference to see if it would be considered "reliable". For example, a link to somebody's blog post or to a discussion forum is not reliable in Wikipedia terms.
  • You could search for and insert a better reference, or insert a "citation needed" note (see Point 5 above for explanation).

Want to learn about the especially high standards of reliability for health-related content on Wikipedia? Click Identifying reliable sources of medical content

Apply the "Manual of Style (Sanitation)" to existing articles[edit]

Help us improve all sanitation-related articles by using the Manual of Style (Sanitation) which is explained here. Using standard headlines on all articles as much as possible makes it much easier for readers to access and absorb information quickly.

  • Use the Manual of Style for your work editing pages or creating pages.
  • Select specific articles and gently adapt them to the Manual of Style, particularly in regard to headings used.
  • If you plan to make major changes to an article, do explain your plans on the talk page of the article first. Then ideally wait a couple of days to see if there are any objections from other editors.

Update existing country-specific pages on "Water Supply and Sanitation"[edit]

Previous Wikipedians have created an amazing List of Wikipedia pages on Water Supply and Sanitation You'll find one article for each of 86 countries, but some articles are incomplete or outdated.

  • Find a country that you care about in this list.
  • Edit the content in the article to make the information more complete or more current, and add references.
  • You can also use the SuSanA discussion forum to invite others to help update information.

Go to country articles and create a link to "Water Supply and Sanitation" article for that country[edit]

Wouldn't it be great if the average user could find information about water supply and sanitation when they look up a country article in Wikipedia?

  • Add a subsection in "infrastructure" to a country article, where you mention some key fact about water supply and sanitation in that country (with references) and then create a link to the water supply and sanitation country article.
  • For inspiration check out the examples for Philippines here and China here.

Want to learn more about creating links in country articles? Click here

Options for people with slow or intermittent internet access[edit]

  • Make a list of wording changes, citations to add, typos to fix, open sources images to add, etc.
  • Ask someone you know who has more reliable internet to make the changes on your list.
  • If you can't find someone to make those changes for you, email your list to and make the same request.

Articles to work on[edit]

Which articles would like people to work on and improve? You can add to the list below by clicking on "edit source" just above this sentence.

Most popular articles and general WASH Topics[edit]

Are you curious to know which sanitation-related articles in Wikipedia have the highest view rates? Then click here.

How do these view rates compare to Wikipedia in general? Click here.

Top-10 articles on general WASH topics for laypersons:

  1. Sanitation
  2. Sustainable Development Goals
  3. WASH
  4. World Water Day
  5. World Toilet Day
  6. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
  7. Toilet
  8. Wastewater
  9. Public toilet
  10. Open defecation

Articles grouped by thematic working groups[edit]

Article lists grouped by topics of SuSanA Working Groups are available here.

Location specific Water and Sanitation Pages[edit]

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England and Wales, Ethiopia, European Union, France, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latin America, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Panama, Paraguay, Pernambuco, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sub-Saharan Africa, Syria, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

New articles you could create[edit]

Please add ideas for new articles you would like to see on Wikipedia. Click on "edit source" just above this sentence.


Outputs as recorded via Outreach Dashboard include:

Time period 4 to 21 March 2017:

  • Articles created: 3
  • Articles edited: 47
  • Total edits: 795
  • Editors: 57
  • Words added: 16500
  • Article views: 81,500
  • Wikimedia Commons uploads: 2

Time period 4 to 31 March 2017:

  • Articles created: 13
  • Articles edited: 127
  • Total edits: 1260
  • Editors: 58
  • Words added: 43,600
  • Article views: 845,000
  • Wikimedia Commons uploads: 16

New articles created[edit]

Articles much improved[edit]

For more details see here on the Outreach Dashboard.

French Wikipedia work[edit]

Articles whose leads (only) were translated from English to French[edit]

Articles translated from English to French[edit]

French articles partly edited and translated English content added[edit]


The following is taken from WikiProject Medicine which is serving as inspiration for editing sanitation articles:

Guidelines and Policies

An introductory video about how to edit Wikipedia and medicine.
  • Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and has a distinct style that may take some time getting used to.
  • It is important that we use the best sources and that we give them due weight. Setting us apart from scientific papers we prefer secondary sources over primary sources. We'd rather cite a review article than an original trial.
  • To get you started and to explain why this is important we have a number of guides and guidelines:
Reliable Sources      Manual of Style
Conflicts of Interest      How to edit
Our guides complement Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines and take great care to explain why they are relevant.
More resources

See also[edit]