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Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands

Bridging gaps in the sand crisis discussion

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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.

November 8, 2018 at 2:40 PM
Created by maria.o
Comments (1)
Hi! First of all, I really want to congratulate you! From the first day onward you seem to have hit the ground running! Your pitch for the ITU last Friday was amazing.
Concerning your project on this webpage, really like the catchy intro: making sand sexy.
8 days ago

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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.

November 10, 2018 at 5:16 PM
Created by marcelo.gomes
Comments (3)
I love the survey you did guys! The results are more or less as expected (except for the "do you think you could live without sand?", I didn't think 75% say no here). Your effort is awesome! I also believe if you show the results to the "broad public" they will be surprised by how big of a problem sand is (even though, it still is not taken seriously)...
8 days ago
I find this project essential for the overall communication of the up-coming sand crisis. The choice of an online platform is smart and extremely relevant in modern communication systems to explain the complexity and raise awareness about what's coming!

The design of the website is esthetic and intuitive, congratulations! I am curious on your stratgey to augment trafic on the platform? Maybe start by using existing plateforms (UNEP or sand stories?) or even a hashtag on Twitter? I would also make sure to have a mobile version.

Finally, i'm curious about how you will monitor the impact? Would love to hear more about it!

Nice project, I hope we can collaborate with you on creating some kind of online game for your plateform?

Best of luck for the next steps!

Juliana
8 days ago
It is great that you managed to do this survey during the WIF, congratulations on this!
I believe that it is a first crucial step, not only to your entire -raising awareness- goal, but also an initial landmark, very useful for the ongoing sand discourse that is being developed and for the other projects as well.
You could also take samples from other high-importance events taking place in the region, where important decision-makers are involved, in order to have a larger research sample and better results that could be published in your platform.
8 days ago

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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 

 

November 10, 2018 at 6:25 PM
Created by maria.o
Comments (3)
I really like the ideas you have. Integrating all your ideas into the platform seems a little too much though considering the time-scale. I believe that this works as an upscaling option, but I suggest you focus merely on one thing for the pilot. Also, keep in mind that our platform (SandX) and MineTheGap already collect data. On the long run, our websites could merge and develop into a holistic platform regarding sand-issues, but I guess for the prototype not ;P
8 days ago
Your idea is really good and could completely integrate and forecast all the other projects. This is smart!
Have you thought how, where, when you would launch the platform? What would be your strategy be to have the reach many people at once?
8 days ago
I like how you explain your project here and that you include your hypothesis that information and interaction will facilitate and encourage policy action. I think it is vital to raise awareness among as many people as possible and a online platform is a good way to disseminate information. Did you think about how to make your website known? It might be a good idea to have a communication strategy in place for that. In my experience people get information online but do not interact online all that much. Thus, I think it is good that you combine the platform with conferences/events. It will give people the chance to meet and talk in person and can also serve as tool to promote your website.
8 days ago

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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

November 11, 2018 at 4:50 AM
Created by maria.o
Comments (2)
<3 no comment
8 days ago
Amazing how fast you had that website up and running (great work alex (?)). Love the website and that you always link your project back to the SDGs. This grounds it.
8 days ago

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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.

November 11, 2018 at 5:03 AM
Created by maria.o
Comments (2)
Love the idea but totally understand why u can't do it!
8 days ago
At the round table, I discussed with Jennifer Rietbergen, Head of Research at Responsible Mining Foundation (jennifer.rietbergen@responsibleminingindex.org). They have created a mining index that can totally be applied to sand. Have a look: https://responsibleminingindex.org/en. I hope it can help.
8 days ago

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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.

November 11, 2018 at 5:23 AM
Created by maria.o
Comments (1)
This also is a huge improvement you made from your first to your second pitch! Esp. the illustration is *lit*! I'd love to see the complete excel sheet, if you dare! This is innovation <3
8 days ago

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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.

November 11, 2018 at 5:31 AM
Created by maria.o
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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.

November 11, 2018 at 6:05 AM
Created by maria.o
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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).

November 11, 2018 at 6:11 AM
Created by maria.o
Comments (2)
I think, in the long run, you could do a lot with google analytics, by simply measuring the traffic. For now, you could maybe add an evaluation page to the site?
8 days ago
This is tricky, apart from tracking traffic on the website and talk to people at events it will be hard to monitor the platforms impact. For your pilot project you could maybe just do another survey among the people you already contacted about their opinion, if they learned something, etc.?
8 days ago

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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.

November 11, 2018 at 6:15 AM
Created by maria.o
Comments (1)
In general, your platform looks great, you have really put a big effort on this, congratulations!

The main page is very communicative and attractive to the reader. One can for sure realise immediately what the page communicates about the sand crisis and the problems ahead.

Indeed, some well-known international partners collaborating with you in the development of the website is a brilliant idea, as this, when published, will also increase the visibility of the platform. By then, you will have figured out how to also measure its impact.

Keep up the good work and all the best for your extremely important and promising project you have created!
8 days ago

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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.

November 11, 2018 at 7:07 AM
Created by rjanjwadia
Comments (2)
Guys,
I think the idea of creating partnership among stakeholders is amazing, since you try to steer the efforts of all the stakeholders to find the most efficient solutions. In line with this concept of catalysing the energies of the actors I suggest you to provide more linkages with already existent websites, such as Sand Story, since you already show it’s video.
Moreover, I really like the section of your site “What is sand crisis?” since it gives clear information and easy accessible to anyone. My advise would be to try to integrate the written part with the long picture, in order to avoid to be redundant repeating some information, like what is it used for and biodiversity.
Great work 😊
8 days ago
Love your platform!
I was thinking that it might be interesting for you to build bridges with all of the other available platforms. For example, you can advertise each other through blog posts and complement each other in all the information you're providing. It's important that people fighting for a common purpose are united (:
3 days ago

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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.

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November 11, 2018 at 9:07 AM
Created by stephanie_nicol
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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)

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November 11, 2018 at 9:17 AM
Created by stephanie_nicol
Comments (1)
I really like that part of your platform. This also was a major plus in your pitch with ICT!
8 days ago

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

November 19, 2018 at 10:56 AM
Created by alexmackey9
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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

November 19, 2018 at 10:58 AM
Created by alexmackey9
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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.

November 19, 2018 at 11:02 AM
Created by alexmackey9
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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).

November 19, 2018 at 11:05 AM
Created by alexmackey9
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