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Shifting Sands

Bridging gaps in the sand crisis discussion

The 100 Solutions exercise has our cohort scratching their heads - in order to propose solutions, you first need to define the problems. So what is problematic about the sand crisis? The issues we pinpoint seem to fall into a few distinct categories: we're lacking in data, viable alternatives to sand, political action, awareness.

A number of us converge in the belief that raising awareness not just among the general public, but particularly among policy-makers and stakeholders is crucial. Ta-da! Our group (Alex, Ravi, Marcelo, Maria, Stephanie) takes shape, united by a common goal: putting the sand crisis on the international agenda. Or, in Alex's words, MAKING SAND SEXY.

Thursday, November 8 2018
2

We surveyd 35 people during the World Investment Forum in Geneva and the following are the results. The main objective was to find how aware decision-making people were about the sand crisis.

Saturday, November 10 2018
4

Now we set the context.

We pinpoint the root causes of the ignorance or lack of prioritisation of the sand issue among policy-makers: lack of information (and understanding of the urgency of the problem) and no platform for discussion of the topic. These result in a lack of engagement and cooperation, which undermines the potential for action. 

This helps us define our theory of change. Based on the assumption that information and interaction will facilitate and encourage policy action, we formulate our main end product as an online platform hosting data and resources on the sand crisis, policy recommendations and potential solutions. The platform should also allow stakeholders to engage and interact, so we decide to include a timeline of events such as conferences where the stakeholders can put the sand crisis on the agenda. 

Additional ideas include organising a side event, developing an index calculating the ecological footprint for the sand industry, a case study on adapting existing mining standards to sand mining (based on IRMA). We also need to prepare detailed stakeholder research.

We prepare a timeline detailing our course of action.

Our project proposal can be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/127MDKkMAik3sK-fB_7q8pRF9wvWlWrVSyp3NmqmOZn4/edit 

 

We've created an online platform which offers general information on the sand crisis but also caters to stakeholders from different fields by providing targeted resources. 

Having defined our SDG focus as SDG 17, Partnerships for the Goals, we also start integrating our network analysis. We visually present it in a cluster form, which demonstrates existing and potential links between the various stakeholders.

The beta-version of our website can be viewed at sandcrisis.weebly.com

Sunday, November 11 2018
2

Creating a Sand Index would help quantify the sand crisis and would be useful both for awareness raising and research purposes. We realise that it would be unrealistic to create a Sand Index within 1,5 months, but we decide to define indicators and guidelines for further action on it with the support of Global Footprint Network. 

However, after receiving feedback and discussing the idea, we decide that it is too time-consuming and question how useful and effective the Footprint tool really is, leading us to a dead end. For the moment, we decide not to move ahead on the Sand Index.

Sunday, November 11 2018
2

We understand that different actors hold different stakes in the sand crisis, have different interests and values, and different potential for action. There needs to be an individual approach for each stakeholder if we want to secure engagement. We also need to analyse the actor network in order to understand which partnerships can be strengthened or created. 

For this we conduct a stakeholder analysis on the basis of our stakeholder research. For each stakeholder, we define:

- the entry points into the sand issue

- their roles and potential for action

- contact points, strengths, weaknesses, weight (ground presence in terms of number of member countries)

Each actor is assigned tags based on their roles (type of entity) and type of sustainable development engagement (social, economical, environmental or a combination of these). This will be useful for our cluster analysis.

Sunday, November 11 2018
1

We get involved in the organisation of the Sand hackathon (Nov. 22-23). The idea is to frame the sand issue with links to concrete challenges and promote collaboration and discussion in the search for solutions. So far, our proposed challenge is the integration/promotion of a circular economy model in the framework of the sand crisis as a case study.

Sunday, November 11 2018

We start reaching out to our list of stakeholders for interviews. 

Purpose of the interviews:

- conduct qualitative research

- get a sense of the awareness context and inform the stakeholders

- better define stakeholders' entry points and angles

- present the beta-version of our website and get feedback on how to make it more useful and engaging for stakeholders

Upon consulting Louise, we set a structure for the interviews:

- 5 questions in total, 3-4 "tick box" (Likert scale) questions to set the context and 1-2 open-ended ones that promote discussion and allow us to calibrate our approach

- The first questions generally test the awareness of the stakeholder

- The open-ended questions address: 1) what action the stakeholder thinks can be taken in the sand crisis, 2) how useful our platform could be for the stakeholder, and in what way

The interviews will be conducted in person or via Skype/phone call, according to a script, with the open-ended section of the interview adapted to each actor and their role/perspective.

This research will help us consolidate and target our website, strengthen our network analysis but also figure out our areas of focus and which gaps need to be bridged. 

We start by reaching out to the participants of the Round Table, but expand to other organisations and firms we believe to be relevant.

Sunday, November 11 2018

We have yet to figure out how to monitor the impact our platform will make. Ideas include tracking user engagement on the website, introducing an interactive section linking different stakeholders, listing actors who followed up our contact by taking concrete action (eg. speaking about the issue at an event from our timeline).

Sunday, November 11 2018
2

We are scouting actors who could collaborate with us on keeping the website functional and evolving once the course is done. Ideally we would prefer a partnership between 2 or more entities (eg. UNEP, WWF, IUCN,...) with our group still involved in directing the development of the website.

Sunday, November 11 2018
1

Till today we have completed Stakeholder research for around 30 different organizations and so we discussed the next step on how to go ahead with analysis of them. 

Excerpt of discussion on 2nd November: 

As shown in the picture we are trying to come up with the mechanism on how the actors will be categorized and also how we will define the linkages between them.

Criteria based on priority:

1. Primary Role (4 roles)

2. Secondary Roles (4 roles)

3. Sustainable Development Tag (Social, Economical, Environmental)

4. Organization Type (Public, Private, CSO)

We will be categorizing all the actors as per the above criteria and the one who aligns with each other on more criteria will be shown with strong linkages. 

Results which we are expecting:

1. Clusters of organization 
2. Where are the strong linkages
3. Were  are the weak/ no linkages

We will try to provide our recommendations and strategy keeping this as one of the basis.

Sunday, November 11 2018
2

https://sandcrisis.weebly.com/

In this page, one will find the most important regional and international conventions in which we believe the sand issue could be inserted. 

It can be used by law-makers and policy-makers and policy-makers to realize that the frameworks to combat the sand crisis are already in place, they just have to be amended to include the preservation of sand.

Sunday, November 11 2018

We want our website to be actor focused and to deliver targeted content.

For this reason, we have created a section titled "What's your role?", which in two clicks wil bring our user to a page directed and designed to cater to his interests and his role.

Specifically, the page will contain:

a. How does the sand crisis affect you, your area of interest or your organization?

b. What can you do about it?

c. Which conferences could talk about the sand issue?

d. Which organizations should you work with? (Based on the actor mapping)

Sunday, November 11 2018
1

Week 6 was a breakthrough week for us, really nailing down some of our goals and making lots of progress on our different tasks

Monday, November 19 2018

The "What is your role?" page took off this week and is now organized to incorporate: Civil Society, International Organizations, Private Sector, and Governments - then will allow the user to select their more specific realm of interest. 

Can be seen here: https://sandcrisis.weebly.com/what-is-your-role.html

Monday, November 19 2018
3

Our Stakeholder Engagement Plan has now added many steps to map out the relations between actors. We are showing linkages based on: Role (policy-making, awareness, standards, financing), Type (international-level, NGO, private sector), Sustainable Development level (economic, environmental, social), and Scale (International, national, regional).

Soon, the mapping visual will be created and added to the website.

Monday, November 19 2018
1

We have created an interactive timeline that maps out events related to the sand crisis that stakeholders can attend. It is organized by field of interest (Social, Economic, Environmental) and showcases how sand can be added to the agenda of existing events (as opposed to creating a conference specifically on sand). The link to access it: https://time.graphics/line/181038

 

Monday, November 19 2018
2

We decided to target our users specifically with content that would interest them.​

It will show the impacts of the sand crisis related to the scope of the organization, the actor analysis which will highlight the potential partnerships which the organizations should establish and a timeline of possible events where the sand crisis should be discussed.

​https://sandcrisis.weebly.com/what-is-your-role.html

We are working on perfecting the sand crisis general awareness page with specific content based on our research

Monday, November 19 2018
Monday, November 19 2018
2
Monday, November 19 2018

Using our existing database which we have created for stakeholder engagement. We came up with a model for Actor-Network analysis explained below:

Sample data frame:

Id Actor Sustainable Development Organisation Scale Primary Secondary

0 UNEP 3 1 1 1 2

1 WMO 3 1 1 3 1

2 ITU 4 1 1 3 4

3 UNDP 7 1 1 2 3

4 WTO 2 1 1 1 3

 

Range for Below column:

Sustainable Developemnt: {1,2,3,4,5,67}

Organisation: {1,2,3}

Scale: {1,2,3}

Primary: {1,2,3,4}

Secondary: {1,2,3,4}

 

How outpot file needs to be generated:

Priority order:

Primary (5) > Sustainable Developement (4) > Scale (3) > Secondary (2) > Organisation (1)

 

Lets take an example,

source=0

taget=1

Undirected interaction

Weight= (0*5)+ (1*4)+ (1*3)+ (0*2)+ (1*1)= 8

 

Sustainable Development Tag is a tricky one since it is a bit more complicated than other Tags.

What the Tag vaule is:

1 = Social

2 = Economical

3 = Environmental

4 = Social + Ecomomical

5 = Environmental + Economical

6 = Social + Environmental

7 = Social + Economical + Environmental

 

So if let's take some examples:

Example 1

source=0

target=3

Weight calculation for Sustainable Development = 1 (since 7 and 3 has Environmental in common)

 

Example 2 

If Sustainable Development Tag:

For source, value = 4

For target, value = 7

Weight calculation for Sustainable Development = 2 (since 4 and 7 has Social and Economical common)

 

Example 3

If Sustainable Development Tag:

For source, value = 7

For target, value = 7

Weight calculation for Sustainable Development = 3 

 

Example 4 

If Sustainable Development Tag:

For source, value = 1

For target, value = 7

Weight calculation for Sustainable Development = 1 (since 1 and 7 has Social in common)

We tested the above model on a sample database of 10 actors and result is shown in the attached image. The exact data which have used can be found in the attached sheets. We have used R programming to come up with Node-Edge matrix and used Gephi to visualize the network. The next step will be to create the analysis picture for all the 80 actors and analysis the clusters and linkages of the same. 

Wednesday, November 21 2018
3

Our team decided the following indicators in order to measure and monitor our progress throughout the future. We divided the indicators based on time and type of measurement (website performance and fostered partnerships performance). 

 

SHIFTING SAND INDICATORS

Short-term indicators

Website use

  • Number of clicks;

  • Number of used #;

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

  • Measure at events.

 

Mid-term indicators

Website use

  • Number of clicks;

  • Number of used #;

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

  • Measure at events;

  • Number of newsletter´s impact;

Partnerships

  • Follow up after the partnerships and cooperation event;

  • Number of established partnerships.

Long-term indicators

Website use

  • Number of clicks (Google Analytics);

  • Number of used #;

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

  • Measure at events;

  • Conversion from access on the website to partnerships (calculated by the number of partnerships / number of accesses in the same period);

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

Partnerships

  • Survey about partnership quality (length, level of contact, resource sharing, new funds, type of activity, new joint event or publication);

  • Number of established partnerships.

End goals measures

  • Number of legal frameworks (laws or policies);

  • Number of engaged countries.

Friday, November 30 2018

UPDATE: Based on the indicators we created to measure and monitor the project´s progress througout the years, we came up with the basis for a SAND GOVERNANCE INDEX. It is simple, with only three dimensions, which could be expanded in the future, but may provide an overview of how the sand crisis has been dealt in media, among politicians and in international conferences. 

SAND GOVERNANCE INDEX

The developed methodology could also be used as a SAND GOVERNANCE INDEX changing the reference numbers. Maybe using the total number of conferences and adding information such as the number of posts about sand crisis in major newspapers and statements, posts and documents about sand on environmental and political institutions.

Indicators:

Number of conferences which included sand (X1) / total number of relevant conferences (environmental, mining, maritime law) divided by 2 (X2); (0 – 2)

Number of major newspapers posts about sand (Y1) / total number of posts on major newspapers about climate change divided per 2(Y2); (0 - 1)

Number of political statements about sand (Z1) / number of political statements about climate change divided by 2 (Z2); (0 - 2).

Index ranges between 0 – 5

  1. X1 / X2 = 50 / 5*0:2 = 50/25 = 2 – (0 – 2) – 40% of index

  2. Y1 / Y2 = 100 / 100* = 100/100 = 1 – (0 – 1) – 20% of index

  3. Z1 / Z2 = 30 / 30*:2 = 30/15 = 2 – (0 – 2) – 40% of index

*number to be confirmed

Index Formula:

x1 / x2 +y1 / y2 + z1 / z2

Friday, November 30 2018

Ravi is finalising our showstopper - the visual network analysis, which shows the existing interlinkages between stakeholders and the strength of their partnerships. Actors are also grouped in clusters based on their roles in the sustainable development process.

The network analysis is ready to be uploaded to the website. Once embedded, it will be interactive and will allow actors to evaluate their partnerships, existing and potential, as well as their position in the network.

Now if we could only come to a consensus on the colours...

Friday, November 30 2018

Interviews with roundtable and hackathon participants give us some insights:

- our website is well-designed, user-friendly and informative

- strengthening partnerships in order to tackle change is a good strategy, but will be fairly difficult to implement; we may have to take a more active role in physically bringing stakeholders together

- the website needs to be more interactive in order to truly serve as a platform, with the possibility of users engaging in discussion (eg. through a forum section; integrating a Slack or Sparkboard channel)

- we could try banking on the crowdsourcing approach, promoting not only the projects of our colleagues, but also localised solutions from over the world, because the effects of the sand crisis are diverse and fairly geographically-specific

- in general, we should strive to integrate as many platforms as possible, including LinkedIn whose userbase is closer to the demographic we are targeting

- we should strive to increase individuals' understanding of the reach that the sand crisis can have - sensitise them to indirect effects such as higher food prices, increased displacement, quality of life...

Friday, November 30 2018

Our indicators for monitoring our impact are split between 3 strategies (short-, mid- and long-term) and two categories (website use and partnerships), because we need to measure not only the success of our website but also our end goal - the creation and strengthening of fruitful partnerships for the resolution of the sand crisis.

Short-term indicators:

Website use

  • Number of clicks;

  • Number of used #s;

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

  • Measure at events.

Mid-term indicators

 

Website use

  • Number of clicks;

  • Number of used #;

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

  • Measure at events;

  • Number of newsletter´s impact;

 

Partnerships

  • Follow up after the partnerships and cooperation event;

  • Number of established partnerships.
     

Long-term indicators

 

Website use

  • Number of clicks (Google Analytics);

  • Number of used #;

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

  • Measure at events;

  • Conversion from access on the website to partnerships (calculated by the number of partnerships / number of accesses in the same period);

  • Number of subscribers who downloaded the reports;

Partnerships

  • Survey about partnership quality (length, level of contact, resource sharing, new funds, type of activity, new joint event or publication);

  • Number of established partnerships.

Friday, November 30 2018
Friday, December 14 2018
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Friday, December 14 2018