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Global WASH Cluster
GWC Monthly Newsletter #3
01 / 04 / 2021
Dear colleagues,
Welcome to the third edition of the GWC 2021 Monthly Newsletter! We are pleased to share in this issue news on the upcoming GWC annual events from 16th-30th April 2021 (online), new members to the GWC, and other news from other partner organizations including Solidarités International, ACF, iMMAP, WHO, IHIP, RWSN and others. A key section on WASH and Covid-19 includes news from the Covid-19 Hygiene Hub, as well as other partners.

In addition, key documents from national humanitarian WASH coordination platforms are also featured in the operational update section. Highlights this month from countries feature the Burkina Faso WASH Cluster Advocacy Note on Humanitarian-Development NEXUS and the Iraq WASH Cluster Health and Hygiene Promotion Guidance for COVID-19.

According to OCHA, COVAX has allocated 73 million doses to 25 HRP countries in its first round. Deliveries are underway with Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Nigeria and Sudan receiving vaccines in the first few days of March. Outside of COVAX, it is estimated that over 5.4 million COVID-19 vaccines were donated or procured in eight countries with a Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) by the end of February (see more information here).

One year since the start of the pandemic, we remain heavily engaged in the 2021 HNO/HRP process and in providing operational support on assessment, coordination, and information management to national WASH humanitarian coordination platforms through the GWC Field Support Team. National coordinators or information managers can send an email or inquiry through the dedicated FST Helpdesk:

We value showcasing the incredible work national humanitarian WASH coordination platforms and partners are doing around the world, so please send us your photos, stories, and other content to highlight the work of your team or draw attention to issues that matter to you. Read our submission guidelines here. All items can be sent directly for inclusion to the next newsletter by Friday, 23rd Arpil 2021 to

We also would like to remind all that the Global WASH Cluster communicates and relays partner information on Twitter and or Linkedin to connect WASH cluster/sector professionals and advertise new vacancies related to WASH coordination / WASH in emergencies.

Best regards,

CAST (Cluster Advocacy and Support Team)
photo credits: © UNICEF/UN0414845/Naftalin
GWC Collaborations and News
GWC Annual Events - April 2021 - Reminder
The Global WASH Cluster’s (GWC) Main Event will be an opportunity to reflect upon sectoral strategies, coordination, partnerships, and leadership by reviewing progress to date, identifying gaps and priorities, and gaining valuable insights to shape the future of the cluster. The event will be held online from 19th-23rd April 2021 and is a collaborative meeting for GWC members, national WASH Coordination teams, and other key GWC stakeholders (by invitation only). If you are one of the above audience and have not yet been contacted, please send an email to

The Global WASH Cluster (GWC) Annual Meeting Satellite Events will be held online and is a public event to be held 26th-30th April 2021 from 13h00-17h00 CEST each day. This will provide a unique opportunity to hear from more than 30 partners, academia, practitioners, and actors involved in humanitarian WASH as well as other sectors. A total of 18 collaborative sessions ranging from a variety of topics such as localization, gender, capacity development, innovations, and many more sessions gravitating around humanitarian WASH and coordination. More information and registration here.
Annual Report
We are pleased to share with you the 2020 Annual Report of the Global WASH Cluster. Feel free to share widely among your networks and colleagues.

This document summarizes the progress made by the GWC for 2020, it includes key results achieved and challenges faced in implementing the GWC Strategic Plan.
It also highlights key recommendations and outlines major on-going initiatives and collaborations.

In addition, the report reflects upon how the new working environment, due to Covid-19 has impacted the GWC and our work this year.

Download here

GWC Membership Update
We would like to wish a warm welcome to Malteser International and Food for the Hungry as new members of the Global WASH Cluster!

The Global WASH Cluster operates on the principles of coordinated partnership, promoting a needs-based rather than capacity-driven response. This refocuses humanitarian response on affected populations, rather than on the organisations themselves. The Global WASH Cluster is open to actors working in emergency WASH from the UN Agencies, international humanitarian organizations, National Civil Agencies, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The membership is categorized with the following levels of involvement (see membership categories here):

1. Full members: envisioned to have voting rights and play an active role in determining the direction and role of the cluster and overseeing cluster responsibilities
2. Associate members (e.g. research institutes)
3. Standing observers (e.g. donors)
4. Adhoc/Special invitees (e.g. Governments, other clusters whether global or country level)

To apply for GWC membership, please fill the application form & membership letter, and share it with the Global WASH Cluster CAST.

Operational Updates
The Global WASH Cluster provides Operational Support for coordination platforms in humanitarian emergencies through deployments and remote support.

The support is provided by the Field Support Team (FST), a consortium of WASH agencies providing 8 staff (4 x coordinators, 3 x information managers, and 1 x assessment specialist) with the support and oversight of the GWC-Cluster Advocacy and Support Team. 

To access these services national coordinators or information managers can send an email or inquiry to (SWZ-GWC Help Desk). 

We also remind all that the GWC Coordination Toolkit is our live resource for guidance in all matters for coordination, information management and assessments. 
Stories from the Field - Humanitarian-Development NEXUS to Meet Urgent Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Needs in Burkina Faso

The security crisis has caused unprecedented humanitarian consequences in Burkina Faso. The number of internally displaced people has increased exponentially from 47,000 at the end of December 2018 to more than 1.1 million at the beginning of 2021. Today, more than 2.5 million people need emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) assistance. The scale of the need is due to the overlap of the crisis with a structural deficit in access to water and sanitation. Humanitarian WASH needs cannot be met by the humanitarian response alone, but require a combination of emergency, resilience and development interventions.

The need to better adapt and link humanitarian and development WASH interventions in crisis areas is understood and accepted among the different actors in the response in Burkina Faso. Examples of adaptation and even NEXUS projects have already emerged. However, many challenges remain in systematizing these approaches and in ensuring strategic and operational coordination between different types of actors.

Read the advocacy note in ENG / FR
*Special thanks to the OXFAM West Africa Regional Office for translations.
Global WASH Cluster Priority Countries for Operational Support
The Cluster Advocacy and Support Team along with the Field Support Team of the Global WASH Cluster have updated their priority country list for 2021. Priorities have been set according to multiple indicators including INFORM risks, WASH data, capacity and performance of national WASH humanitarian coordination platforms. Access here.
Humanitarian Programme Cycle Processes Updates
HPC 2021 Multi Partner Review
In line with the later HNO and HRP publication dates, AARs and survey responses have also been delayed.  We do ask that you remind field and headquarters colleagues within your organizations and clusters, and re-circulate the survey link:
Contact:  Kimberly Lietz (

Costing Study
With the inception report completed, the consultant is now finalizing the data collection tools and the survey/interview schedule, in consultation with the dedicated Costing Focal Points Group. Interviews will be scheduled starting this week, starting at HQ level, to be followed by country consultations in the agreed case study countriesContact: Uta Filz (
Review of DRR in the Humanitarian Programme Cycle
UNDRR is convening a multi-agency body to undertake a review of 2021 HNOs and HRPs against a set of recommendations and Checklist on Scaling up DRR in Humanitarian Action developed in 2020. In consultation with partners, UNDRR aims to finalize and launch the Recommendations and Checklist in early May.
Independent Review of the JIAF
A terms of reference for an independent review to reflect upon at the JIAF methodology and provide recommendations to further strengthen the approach has been developed and is being circulated to academic research institutions. Lessons learned are being captured from all 27 countries implementing the JIAF and will also feed into later revisions of the framework and its supporting guidance. Contact:  Esther Waters-Crane, JIAF Project Management Unit (
Cash and Voucher Assistance - Monitoring and Reporting
In March 2020, OCHA updated the 3W template for inter-cluster reporting to take into account implementation modalities such as cash transfers and vouchers. At a minimum, WASH Clusters are advised to include in their reporting the standard fields included by OCHA in inter-cluster reporting, and where possible and relevant the OCHA optional fields as well. Only interventions that fall under the above CVA definition should be included.

Read more in the GWC one-pager on Cash and Voucher Assistance Essentials for WASH Cluster Information Managers.

Resources and Tools from National Humanitarian WASH Coordination Platforms - March 2021:
We encourage all National Cluster Coordination Platforms to send their examples, guidance, tools on coordination, information management, assessment and technical guidelines/documents directly to:
Partner Updates
UNICEF WASH - Key Updates and New Resources

Reimagining WASH - Water Security for All
On World Water Day, UNICEF has launched Water Security for All, a programmatic and advocacy initiative to address water insecurity and the global water crisis. Read the Advocacy Alert - Read the Press Release.

Accountability to affected populations at UNICEF - Progress Report 2018-2020
This report highlights key achievements since the adoption of the AAP business case and roadmap in May 2018. Read more here

Measuring Gender-Based Violence Risk Mitigation in Humanitarian Settings
UNICEF and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) are working together to improve the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of GBV risk mitigation in humanitarian action. On International Women’s Day, UNICEF and HHI launched an online platform to support humanitarian practitioners  to strengthen GBV risk mitigation. We've developed a number of resources and tools  through a consultative process, including our new podcast series where we reached out to humanitarian practitioners across the globe to understand lessons learned and good practices for GBV risk mitigation M&E.  
Access the website to find out more. 

Inter-Agency - Joining Forces to Combat Protracted Crises - Humanitarian and Development Support for Water and Sanitation Providers in the Middle East and North Africa
In the worst crises, considerable responsibility for financing WSS service provision passes from local state actors to international actors. WSS service providers struggle to stem the rate of service decline without substantial external support—from both humanitarian and development actors. New types of partnerships between humanitarian and development actors are needed to identify approaches to help WSS service providers build greater resilience into services both prior to and during protracted crises. The two groups of actors have no option but to cooperate in urban areas as their support involves the same state actors and overlaps in space and in time, with activities directly influencing one another. Read more here.

ACF - International Strategic Plan 2021-2025
Together with our partners, Action Against Hunger has been fighting hunger with proven success for more than 40 years, supporting affected populations and communities in nearly 50 countries.

This work remains more important than ever as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, alongside increasing stresses from protracted conflicts, the effects of the climate crisis and growing socio-economic inequality. Read more here.

Solidarités International - 2021 WASH Barometer

This edition, devoted to water security, has 4 priorities: access to water and sanitation, cooperation, rural development, and means and tools. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be at the center of discussions, among them Goal 6: access to water and sanitation for all by 2030—and that includes populations of countries in crisis.

The document also includes an article on delivering WASH at scale, anywhere and at any time and the WASH Sector Roadmap 2020-2025 (p.9). Read more here.

WHO Evaluations of HWT / POU technologies
 Since the establishment of the International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies (the Scheme) in 2014, WHO has been independently evaluating the microbial performance of household water treatment (HWT) technologies in order to better inform technology selection, and protect health. To date, 30 products including chemical, solar and ultraviolet (UV) disinfectants, and ceramic and membrane filters have been evaluated under Rounds I-II of the Scheme, and an additional 19 products are being evaluated in Round III. 
Learn more about the results of Round I and Round II, and look out for the Round III report in a few months!

IHIP - De-risking your next WASH construction project with the appropriate contract for construction? Be part of the pilot projects.
The international humanitarian infrastructure platform (IHIP) released in November 2020 the first harmonized particular conditions of contract for construction for the WASH sector: 18 improvements to the standard FIDIC short form of contract broadly used in the humanitarian sector. Each improvement reduces the risk of your WASH project through special additional contract clauses designed for the humanitarian context.
The ICRC Water and Habitat department, as a sponsor of the initiative, organized on 5th March, the first strategic planning committee grouping the heads of both the Global Wash Cluster and Global Shelter Clusters’ coordination team. The agreed next steps are to replicate the approach for the shelter sector and also open the floor for pilot projects. Early adopters of the harmonized particular conditions of contract for construction for the WASH sector will help us to collect feedback to improve the document. In addition, you will benefit from best practices shared by the community via the IHIP online platform.
To register your WASH project and be an early adopter of the harmonized particular conditions for the WASH sector please contact ihip at or register via the IHIP online registration platform
Please find below the relevant links to useful resources:
iMMAP - Support to Humanitarian WASH Coordination

iMMAP delivers a wide range of information management (IM) services to our partners. We support WASH efforts at the global, regional, and country levels, and assist response actors by providing solutions that facilitate their interventions, including the response to COVID-19. 

Globally, through the Global WASH Cluster Field Support Team, iMMAP supports National WASH Coordination Platforms (NWCP's), aiming to assist the delivery of a range of functional specialties by means of coordination, information management, and assessment specialists. As part of this support,  iMMAP developed multiple WASH-related information products on countries such as Sudan, Chad, Northwest Syria, and Mali.

Read more on IMMAP's dedicated support to countries and humanitarian WASH here
Read iMMAP's annual report 2020 here

RWSN - Women’s empowerment through rural water supply activities: A practical guide by and for practitioners of the Rural Water Supply Network and Other Resources
This practical guide is the result of a consultation and co-creation process with members of the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN). Engineers and gender experts have come together to overcome jargon barriers from their respective disciplines. This guide aims to provide water specialists with the language and knowledge on how best to work with gender experts to build more transformative activities. Download here.

New this month is the second edition of Rural Water, the RWSN Directory of rural water supply services, tariffs, management models and lifecycle costs, and the first edition of the RWSN Blue Pages (in English and French). Read more here.

Interested in the RWSN Mentoring programme for young professionals? Read more here
Robert Koch Institut - In Control - A Practical Handbook for Professionals Working In Health Emergencies
The purpose of In Control is two-fold. The first half of the book (chapters 1 to 3) provides an overview of the international architecture and inter-disciplinary environment within which health emergency responses occur – the organizations, principles, frameworks, and themes that every health professional deploying abroad should be aware of. The second half of the book (chapters 4 to 8) provides practical advice to help professionals survive and thrive during their mission – from staying healthy and coping with stress to building trust among your host community or dealing with the press. Read more here.
CAWST - Micro-learning Resources on Drinking Water Quality Testing and Behaviour Change
A collection of short e-learning tools and job aids to help humanitarian and development workers test the quality of drinking water under field conditions and also another collection to demystify behaviour change and gets you started on incorporating effective approaches to behaviour change in WASH interventions.
WASH and Covid-19

Covid-19 Hygiene Hub Updates

In this issue, we bring you a summary report on how to set up effective and sustainable handwashing infrastructure and we introduce a new section of the Hygiene Hub website that showcases the in-depth technical advice we can provide to you. We also share two case studies with you, one from Indonesia about how a national rural water supply and sanitation project was adapted in response to the pandemic, and one from Kenya where a puppetry programme was developed for mass media use to promote COVID-19 preventive behaviours among children.

As always, if you have a question for the Hygiene Hub, need technical support or would like to share your project, we encourage you to contact us at

Technical resources

Through our collection of technical resources, we continue to gather up-to-date evidence and guidance to support you in your COVID-19 response.

In our latest summary report, we bring together learning on how to design, improve and maintain handwashing facilities to foster sustainable changes in hygiene behaviour. We explore the factors that influence this behaviour change; suggest criteria that will help you with the design and selection of appropriate handwashing infrastructure in your context; and provide guidance on how to work with communities to ensure the success of the facilities.

We continue to make all of our technical resources available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. Please email us at if you have requests or ideas for future resources.

Follow‌ ‌the HH‌ ‌on‌ ‌‌TwitterFacebook ‌and‌ ‌keep‌ ‌an‌ ‌eye‌ ‌on‌ ‌our‌ ‌‌website ‌for‌ ‌regular‌ ‌updates‌ ‌from‌ ‌us.‌ ‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌ any‌ ‌technical‌ ‌questions,‌ ‌please‌ ‌email‌ ‌us‌ ‌your‌ ‌question‌ ‌at‌ ‌ or visit
USAID Water and Development Technical Series and Briefs
COVID-19 and WASH: What We Know and What's Next – March 11, 2021
This event presented new findings from USAID’s research on the impacts of COVID-19 on WASH across seven countries and provided additional perspectives and findings from donors, advocates, and experts in the field. 

Lessons Learned: Adapting Wash Activities to Respond to COVID-19
Burkina Faso confirmed its first COVID-19 case on March 9, 2020,1 and (as of February 06, 2021) there have been 11,285 confirmed cases. In response, the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)-funded Victory Against Malnutrition Plus (ViMPlus) activity rapidly adapted programming to accompany the Burkina Faso government to prepare and respond to this new threat. This learning note describes ViMPlus’s adaptations of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities during COVID-19, lessons learned, and challenges in supporting vulnerable households when ensuring health and safety.

Also, the latest Water Currents issue on World Water Day 2021 features USAID studies and resources on WASH and COVID-19 as well as other reports and briefs on the World Water Day theme of Valuing Water.

Read more and explore the comprehensive WASH library here.

Latest WASH & Covid-19 New Updates From Partners

  • COVID-19 new variants: Knowledge gaps and research - WHO - 25 March 2021 - Download here
  • RCCE Collective Service - A new partnership for strengthening risk communication and community engagement in public health and humanitarian emergencies, latest news 23rd March - Access here
  • Evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness - WHO - 17 March 2021 - Download here
  • Monitoring COVID-19 vaccination: Considerations for the collection and use of vaccination data - WHO - 3 March 2021 - Download here
  • COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan - 1 February 2021 to 31 January 2022 WHO - 25 February 2021 - Download here
  • The COVID-19 epidemic and evaluating the corresponding responses to crisis management in refugees: a system dynamic approach. Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management - February 2021 - Download here
  • AMR and Covid-19 on the Frontline: A Call to Rethink War, WASH, and Public Health. Annals of Global Health - February 2021 - Download here
Inter-Cluster Updates
IASC - Linking DRR and MHPSS Technical Note and Other Resources

Technical Note, Linking Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS): Practical Tools, Approaches and Case Studies
The content of this publication was developed by the IASC Reference Group for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. The development of the publication was managed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and overseen by a thematic working group of member agencies of the Reference Group, including CBM International (CBM), International Medical Corps (IMC), IsraAid, M.decins du Monde (MdM),, the MHPSS Collaborative, Save the Children and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Download here.

Other useful resources this month:
Webinar/Event link Date & time Organisation

Operation and Maintenance of WASH Infrastructure
Webinar Series - webinar #3


From data graveyards to data mines

8 April 4:30 CEST IWA

Online ADB Sanitation Dialogue 2021 (ASD 2021)
Taking a Fresh Look at How We Fix Sanitation

12-13 April 6h CET ADB
Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks (HNPW) 2021  19 April to 7 May 2021 HNPW
Operation and Maintenance of WASH Infrastructure
Webinar Series - webinar #4
20 April 2021 9AM CEST PRO-WASH
WASH & The COVID-19 Pandemic Online Forum
21-22 April 2021 WASH Futures
Global WASH Cluster Annual Meeting and Satellite Events 
19-30th April 2021 GWC
Emergency Environmental Health Forum (EEHF) 24-28 May 2021 LSHTM
If you wish to contribute, please submit directly to:
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