This past spring, we conducted a survey among Akvopedia users to better understand who is using the site, how they use it and why. Akvopedia is a free-to-use online resource for finding and sharing knowledge about water, sanitation and hygiene projects. This survey provided a sample to complement site metrics gathered by our web analytics system. You can read more about the thinking behind the survey here.

The survey was available on Akvopedia for roughly six weeks and, during that time, we had a total of 544 responses.
akvopedia_Survey-Outcomes_Graphic_v1.1-5Of the respondents, about 25% visit the site regularly (every 30 days or less) and the top three most popular portals are Water, followed by Sustainability, followed by Sanitation.

According to the results, Akvopedia users primarily work for NGOs, knowledge institutes, and organisations in the private sector, while very few work for funding organisations and governments.

While 25% of respondents use the site for building and monitoring water and sanitation systems and 25% use it to design better international aid programmes, half of the respondents use Akvopedia for academic research or teaching purposes. This, combined with what we know about the types of organisations our users work for, suggests that even users who do not work for knowledge institutes are using the site for teaching or training purposes, possibly in the field.

Geographically, the vast majority of respondents are based in India and the US, followed by the Netherlands, however the projects they work on are located in Africa (30%), Latin America (25%) and India (25%).


In terms of the user experience, users rated Akvopedia 4.3 out of 5 for overall satisfaction (giving us 4.1 specifically for ease-of-use). Having said that, there’s always room for improvement. When asked what we can do to improve Akvopedia, respondent suggestions included: adding multilingual support, more drawings for self-construction, more funding news, more guides for the design process, more about nutrition, greater web visibility for Akvopedia, more definitions of terms, more technical information, more agricultural information, and more up-to-date information.

While we are always open to ad hoc feedback and suggestions, this has been a useful exercise that will help shape Akvopedia moving forward.

Emily Armanetti is communications manager at Akvo, based in New York City. Graphics by Linda Leunissen. Thanks to Winona Azure, editor of Akvopedia, for providing survey results.