Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Humanitarian Action
CCC Commitments and Benchmarks
Effective leadership is established for WASH cluster/inter-agency coordination, with links to other cluster/ sector coordination mechanisms on critical inter-sectoral issues.
oordination mechanism provides guidance to all partners on common approaches and standards; ensures that all critical WASH gaps and vulnerabilities are identified; and provides information on who is doing what, where, when and how, to ensure that all gaps are addressed without duplication.
Children and women access sufficient water of appropriate quality and quantity for drinking, cooking and maintaining personal hygiene.
Children and women have access to at least 7.5-15 litres each of clean water per day.
Children and women access toilets and washing facilities that are culturally appropriate, secure, sanitary, user-friendly and gender-appropriate.
A maximum ratio of 20 people per hygeienic toilet or latrine squat hole; users should have a means to wash their hands after defecation with soap or an alternative (such as ash).
Children and women receive critical WASH-related information to prevent child illness, especially diarrhoea.
Hygiene education and information pertaining to safe and hygienic child-care and feeding practices are provided to 70% of women and child caregivers.
Children access safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in their learning environment and in child-friendly spaces.
In learning facilities and child-friendly spaces, 1–2 litres of drinking water per child per day (depending on climate and individual physiology); 50 children per hygienic toilet or latrine squat hole at school; users have a means to wash their hands after defecation with soap or an alternative; appropriate hygiene education and information are provided to children, guardians and teachers.
- Early Recovery
- Clarify the responsibilities of UNICEF and its partners regarding WASH in humanitarian situations.
- Strengthen existing coordination mechanisms or, if not available, create mechanisms in collaboration with national authorities to ensure that the humanitarian response is timely and coordinated and conforms to humanitarian principles and agreed-upon standards and benchmarks.
- Establish a multi-sectoral rapid assessment mechanism and format, including priority WASH information.
- Develop a contingency plan with budget and supply needs and, where possible, pre-position essential gender-sensitive sanitation and hygiene supplies, water supplies, purification technologies and chemicals, and tools.
- Establish long-term agreements for procurement of specified WASH supplies, assess local market for potential water-trucking capacity, and ensure the availability of water delivery partners and agreement on methods and standards.
- Identify key resource people and/or institutions with specific knowledge and skills in sanitation and hygiene education and behaviour change for deployment in emergency planning and response; and collect pertinent information on sanitation and hygiene education.
- Ensure that contingency planning is undertaken for children in their learning environments (e.g., schools); pre-position essential WASH supplies and tools for enhancing children's learning environments; and raise awareness of the WASH CCCs in humanitarian action among local and national government officials, civil society, traditional and religious leaders, etc.
- Strengthen and/or establish WASH cluster/inter-agency coordination mechanisms; prepare a WASH cluster/inter-agency WASH plan of action and coordinate its implementation.
- Ensure that the rights and needs of children and women to a safe water supply, sanitation and hygiene are included in the WASH response plan, budget and appeal documents, and ensure that children and women are provided priority access to safe water of appropriate quality and quantity.
- Ensure that children's WASH needs in their learning environments and child-friendly spaces are included in the WASH sector response plan.
- Ensure that the WASH humanitarian response contributes to the rights and needs of children and that water, toilets, washing facilities and soap are available at all times to children and women.
- Ensure that the WASH humanitarian response fulfils the rights and needs of children as related to toilets in their learning environments, that soap is available at all times for hand washing, and that such facilities are child- and disabled-friendly, private, secure, culturally appropriate and appropriately segregated by gender.
- Ensure that children, women and caregivers receive essential and culturally appropriate information on hygiene education and key hygiene practices, and that an appropriate number of hygiene education promoters are in place, trained and equipped with hygiene education materials.
- Ensure that WASH coordination and action are linked to recovery and long-term development phases and the early recovery cluster/network, and that they address risk reduction.
- Ensure that water technologies and approaches are compatible with national standards and longer-term sustainable development - thus addressing risk reduction - and that a capacity development plan is put in place for local-level operation and maintenance of water services.
- Ensure that sanitation and hygiene approaches and technologies are appropriate, conform to national standards and are coordinated with longer-term sustainable development, addressing risk reduction.
- Ensure that a periodic surveillance mechanism is put in place to keep track of trends regarding access to and use and maintenance of hygiene facilities as well as related disease trends.
- Ensure that hygiene promotion strategies are compatible with national approaches and longer-term sustainable development, addressing risk reduction; that a capacity development plan is put in place to sustain hygiene promotion efforts; and that a surveillance mechanism is established.
- Ensure that WASH strategies and technologies for children's learning environments are compatible with national strategies and longterm development, addressing risk reduction, and that a capacity development plan is put in place for local-level operation and maintenance of children's WASH facilities in learning environments.
- Ensure that WASH interventions are based on a robust assessment and analysis of disaster risk.
- Initiate a gap analysis of local and national capacities in water and sanitation, and ensure integration of capacity strengthening in early recovery and transition plans, with a focus on risk reduction.
Policy and Standards
Guidelines and Tools
- Cluster Approach
- HR in Humanitarian Action E-Resource Site
- Generic Job Profiles by Title (requires Intranet access)
- Operational Staffing Matrix (requires Intranet access)
Generic or Multi-Area
- WASH Top Tips UNICEF, 2010
- IASC Handbook for RCs and HCs on Emergency Preparedness and Response IASC, 2010
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Population at Risks ACF, 2008
- A Guidance for UNHCR Field Operations on Water and Sanitation Services UNHCR, 2008
- Special Considerations for Programming in Unstable Situations UNICEF, 2006
- Out in the Cold - Emergency Water Supply and Sanitation for Cold Regions WEDC, 2004
- Environmental Health in Emergencies and Disasters WHO, ISDR, IFRC, UNHCR, 2003
- WHO Drinking Water Guidelines, p.100 WHO, 2011
- WASH Cluster, Technical Briefing Water Supply in Urban Floods UNICEF
- WASH Cluster, Technical Briefing - Water Supply Rural Floods UNICEF
- Emergency Sanitation: Assessment and Programme Design WEDC, 2002
- Technical Briefing Sanitation in Urban Floods UNICEF
- WASH Cluster, Technical Briefing - Water Supply Rural Floods UNICEF
WASH in Schools and Other CFS
Key Risk Reduction & Recovery Resources
- Technical Note on Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding, UNICEF, 2012
- Conflict-Sensitive Education Reference Tool, INEE, 2012
- Peacebuilding Brief, UNICEF, 2010
- Sphere Standards, "Do No Harm", p33
- Conflict-Sensitive Education Pack, INEE
- FAQ UN Integration, UNICEF, 2015
- Technical Guidance Note on Working with UN Integrated Presences, UNICEF, 2014
- Emergency Risk Informed Programming Section of Sit-An Guidance, UNICEF, 2012
- Programme Guidance on DRR, UNICEF, 2011
- Emergency Risk Informed Programming Process, UNICEF, 2010
- Guidance on Integrating DRR in CCA/UNDAF, UNDG, 2009