The 2019 user survey was created using lime-survey. It was launched in June 27th, 2019 and closed in August 15th, 2019 (Full 49 days open for participants). During this period, the survey had a total of 95 full responses.
The survey was shared via the homepage www.energypedia.info, via both June & July newsletters, and 2-3 times a week (along the opening period) via all energypedia’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn).
The survey structure consisted of 6 different sections, with each section consisting of 3-5 questions. The sections were: Personal Information – Usage and Knowledge – Content – Participation – Newsletter – Satisfaction. The results of each question in each section are shown and discussed in the following chapters.
This section was to have an impression of how far the users are satisfied with our content and services. Consequently, we want to get an idea of how much should be improved, what needs to be improved or if we can keep on our pace at the same level.
The majority seems to like energypedia: About 55 of the 95 respondents found the platform ‘satisfying’, 23 found it ‘very satisfying’. Only 11 found it ‘slightly satisfying’, and 6 could not estimate to which degree are they satisfied with it.
The aim of this section was to get a better understanding of the survey participants backgrounds, which help us better comprehend to which degree our content and our users are related or if our services/products are introduced to the proper audience.
Regions and Professions
From the indicated figure above, the majority of the participants were located in Africa, a total 58 participants out of the 95. North America comes second with 12 participants, then Asia with 8 participants, followed by both Europe & Latin America and the Caribbean, each with 7 participants. And finally, 3 participants chose regions other than these.
As shown in the right chart, the ‘non-profit sector’ came on top for sectors people work in, with a total of 34 respondents. In second place was the ‘private sector/business’, with 26 participants, followed by ‘research institute/university’ with 19 participants. The ‘government sector’ and ‘other’ were selected by 8 respondents each.
Usage & Knowledge
This section was created to evaluate to which extend our users are familiar with the platform; how did they know about it, how often do they use it, what impacts the platform had on their work lives, and why do they use it in the first place.
As shown in the figure above, out of 95 respondents, the majority were already registered users of the platform (64), while one third were non-registered participants (31).
How did you know about energypedia?
As illustrated in the following figure, most of the participants (30) knew about energypedia through ‘search engines’, followed by ‘links from other websites’ (23), ‘recommendation from colleagues/friends’ (14), ‘Media’ (8), ‘Social media’ (7), ‘conferences/workshops’ (6), ‘other’ (4), and finally (3) participants who did gave ‘no answer’.
How often do you visit energypedia?
A large share of the participants uses energypedia on a regular basis (up to monthly visits). Out of the 95 participants, 28 visit the platform every month, 27 do it weekly, and another 27 visit it few times per year. Only 8 stated that they visit the platform on a daily basis, and 5 almost never do it.
Why do you use energypedia?
The survey participants' reasons for using energypedia varied, and the following shows what are the major reasons and how many participant chose each one:
- To keep themselves informed about the latest development in renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy access topics (75 votes)
- To draw on lessons learnt/experiences of other projects (46 votes)
- To assist/aid their research (35 votes)
- To update or edit articles either written by them or others (13 votes)
- To advertise their projects/work (10 votes)
- To check out other people's profiles (8 votes)
- Other reasons: To understand their E-learning course well - To use the knowledge for their work - To research for students reports - For resources such as the SPIS toolbox - To look for bio-gas toilet systems that can be use in the US
This section was designed to evaluate either the ease or the difficulty of finding required information on energypedia, which parts of the platform are more valuable to each participant, and if there needs more to be done to improve the existing content.
The information you are looking for is mostly ...
As shown in the figure above, 68 participants (~72%) stated that it was easy to find, 8 participants (~8%) stated that it was difficult, while 19 ones (20%) chose neither, and stated no answer.
Which of the following content do you value most for your work? Please select 3.
Upon asking the participants on which particular content of the platform was of the most value for their work, the answers were as shown in the following table.
| 2019 most valued content in descending order
| 1. Solar (44)
| 2. Energy Access (32)
| 3. Climate Change (23)
| 4. Mini-grids (20)
| 5. Productive Use & Cooking Energy (19)
| 6. Powering Agriculture & Bioenergy (16)
| 7. Country Energy Situation & Financing and Funding (15)
| 8. Hydro (10)
| 9. Impacts & Opportunity Database (9)
| 10. Grid & Wind (6)
| 11. Job Database (5)
| 12. Events (3)
| 13. Other (2)
As can be concluded from the table, the 3 most vital sources of information for the users were: Solar, Energy Access, Climate Change, while both jobs and events databases were among the least important 3.
Most respondents indicated that we should focus on facilitating collaboration among all users (board-messaging, groups, discussions) and facilitate information about the energy sector (Newsletter, Group Mails, monthly notification alerts). We will continue to provide you with that!
When the respondents were asked about their contribution to the platform, out of the 95, 17 answered that they have written one or more articles, hence they are considered active users, while 78 answered that they have not yet, therefore, are considered passive users.
Active users contribute to the platform for the following reasons:
- Share their experiences (11 votes)
- Get feedback from others in the field (8 votes)
- Start discussions with others on relevant topics (8 votes)
- Improve existing articles (7 votes)
- Get recognition (6 votes)
- Other reasons: Promote an energy model (1 vote)
Passive users claimed that they would contribute to the platform for these reasons:
- Start discussions with others on relevant topics (46 votes)
- Share their experiences (41 votes)
- Get feedback from others in the field (35 votes)
- Improve existing articles (22 votes)
- Get recognition (13 votes)
- Other reasons: Read articles (1 vote) - SPIS e-Learning Course (1 vote) - Teaching students (1 vote) - Interest in energy and environment (1 vote) - Inclusion of women in the energy sector (1 vote)
Finally, when passive users where asked about the reasons why they do not contribute to the platform, the reasons were:
- No idea how to do it (32 votes)
- No expertise (22 votes)
- No time (21 votes)
- They do not want others to edit their articles (2 votes)
- Other reasons: First time to use it (1 vote) - Time to write has been a challenge (2 votes) - No desire or necessity (1 vote) - Still planning to start (1 vote) - Still on the stage of collecting knowledge about energy (1 vote) - Just joined the platform (1 vote) - Uncertainty about data protection policy (1 vote)
Out of 95 respondents, 58 were already subscribers, while 39 were non-subscribers.
Out of the 56 respondents who are subscribers of our newsletter, 37 regularly check the monthly issue, 16 occasionally do so, while only 3 never do it.
The subscribing respondents were divided into 43 who found the newsletter interesting, 11 who found it just partially interesting, while only 2 who chose ‘No answer’.
Out of the 95 participants, 56% chose to give no answer, while 44% gave different answers. Four participants indicated that they use energypedia to stay informed; 12 indicated that they increase their knowledge via energypedia; some gain experiences while reading through lessons learnt on energypedia; others use energypedia to support their academic work, while one indicated specifically that his/her company is now involved in renewable energy projects due to energypedia.
Thanks to energypedia, me or my organization had the following positive impacts:
- "I got different new knowledges from energypedia and of course updated my little knowledge on energy. I hope one day I will get a potential donor which will help our vision (eliminating household energy poverty in Ethiopia through clean and safe alternatives) on this site."
- "Though I'm new, have now a deep understanding of Biogas system."
- "It’s been highly educative and informative. Areas where I had little understanding before, clarity is now on the increase."
- "The information posted in the energypedia has been used as knowledge base for preparing our renewable energy projects."
- "Edification on current topics in Renewable Energy Technology. You are just amazing at Energypedia."
- "More understanding of renewable energy sources and opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa."
- "We are implementing the first independent power production project in Malawi licensed by the government for both generation and distribution under the banner "MEGA Ltd" which is a social enterprise established for the Bondo Micro Hydro Scheme. Energypedia helps me to keep updated on what other similar projects are doing and the information is vital for our new establishment."
- "The fact that we have updated literature on the subject of renewable energies, which helps to prepare proposals with technical and scientific support."
- "Informing my students of the progresses in energy made in various countries around the world."
- "Completed my PhD thesis on CSPT adoption in Kenya."
- "My business is now involve in renewable energy projects."
Thank you very much that you have participated in our survey! This survey has provided us with some valuable insights about the energypedia community as well as their usage of energypedia.
According to the survey, most of our respondents are (very) satisfied with energypedia and regularly use energypedia to keep themselves updated about renewable energy topics. However, we will coordinate our priorities according to what you told us. We will continue to promote how to work on energypedia to let everyone (registered or not) know how to create articles, promote their story and contribute to the lessons learnt that all visitors value so much on energypedia!
We are very happy that many of our subscribers read the newsletter quite frequently, and find the information provided useful. We will continue to provide you with a monthly update.
In addition, we also received some constructive feedback on further improving our platform. We will take into consideration all the suggestions mentioned in this survey and will incorporate them whenever possible in our future strategies.