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Global WASH Cluster
GWC Monthly Newsletter #1
01 / 02 / 2021
Dear colleagues,
Welcome to the first GWC 2021 Monthly Newsletter edition! We are pleased to share in this issue the launch of the WASH Severity Classification, new updates to the Coordination Toolkit as well as GWC capacity building initiatives, and other news from other partner organizations' (REACH, ACF, IJERPH, BioForce, USAID and ECHO). 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, response plans, and infographics from national humanitarian WASH coordination platforms are also featured in the operational update section. Highlights this week from countries feature the Burkina Faso Capacity Mapping 2020 Report and the Yemen WASH Needs Tracking System Situation Overview.

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, 18th February 2021 to

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

On behalf of CAST, we would like to again wish you the best of hope for this year, and we look forward to our continued collaboration and engagement in 2021!

Best regards,

CAST (Cluster Advocacy and Support Team)
photo credits: © UNICEF/UN0376829/Esiebo
GWC Collaborations and News
WASH Severity Classification

UNICEF and the Global WASH Cluster, in partnership with REACH, are spearheading an effort to launch the WASH Severity Classification.

Currently in early development, the WSC approach has been piloted in Afghanistan and Burkina Faso, where successive joint analysis workshops were held to test the concept and showcase its early potential. This process was supported by the feedback gained from 20+ organizations present during the pilots. The WSC also benefits from the presence of flagship actors in its Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Group to support its development, such as the Global WASH Cluster, UNICEF, ECHO, Save the Children, Action contre la Faim, International Rescue Committee, UNHCR, Centre for Humanitarian Change, BHA, Oxfam, Tufts University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and IMPACT Initiatives. Read more here.

GWC Annual Meeting - REMINDER
We remind you of the dates for the  25th Global WASH Cluster Annual Meeting which will be an interactive event, held online from 19th to 30th of April 2021. See more information here

We have issued a call for abstracts to National Coordination Platforms and Global WASH Cluster Partners - if you are working as the latter and wish to send abstracts for the GWC Satellite Events, please send us your information by 15th February here.
Global WASH Cluster Main Event: 19th – 23rd April 2021
Global WASH Cluster Satellite Events: 26th – 30th April 2021
Environmental Health Forum (EEHF): 24th – 28th May 2021
Graduate Professional Diploma in Humanitarian WASH
We remind all that IHE-Delft and UNICEF, as the lead of the Global WASH Cluster, in cooperation with the humanitarian sector, launched a Graduate Professional Diploma Programme (GPDP) for Humanitarian WASH at IHE Delft. We encourage all partners and colleagues to share this opportunity across their networks, and within their organizations to build the future of humanitarian WASH sector.
See this website​ for the course overview and more information. 
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 to (SWZ-GWC Help Desk). 
Coordination Toolkit - New Resources this Month
The Coordination Toolkit is the GWC live coordination guidance tool.  We plan to keep updating and developing through the year. New resources, examples and guidance this month consolidated by the FST include:
Capacity Building Initiatives for National Humanitarian WASH Coordination Platforms
A kind reminder that the following packages are available on coordination related competencies: On capacity building and development, we will also further communicate key learning and training opportunities for WASH coordination platforms and partners at a later stage. Access the full GWC training offer here.
Resources and Tools from National Humanitarian WASH Coordination Platforms - January 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

REACH WASH Assessments 2020
Throughout the year 2020, REACH launched a wide range of innovative and informative assessments to support the response of WASH-related actors against the negative impacts of COVID-19. REACH also carried out its usual portfolio of data collection activities designed to support aid actors respond to critical WASH contexts. The stakes for collecting reliable information on the needs and vulnerabilities of populations in relation to WASH services and infrastructure were unprecedented in 2020 and as such REACH teams around the world remained committed to informing a more effective response within the sector.

On behalf of the WASH Cluster in Yemen, REACH conducted a COVID-19 incidence risk mapping based of six indicators: 1) Population density; 2) Proportion of IDPs over total population; 3) WASH Severity Score; 4) Health Severity Score; 5) GAM Severity Score; 6) Cholera Severity Score. Find the methodology note for the incidence risk mapping here.

In Iraq, REACH has worked closely with the Cluster on a variety of WASH assessments. Building on the work from the nation-wide household-level survey (in-camp and out-of-camp) in 2019, REACH conducted a water treatment plant mapping in 2020 as well as a long-term precipitation pattern analysis of the Euphrates-Tigris Basin, and an analysis on surface water change between 1984-2018. Follow this link to access all the WASH information products for Iraq. As part of the Multi-Cluster Needs Assessment (MCNA) in Somalia, REACH compiled a mapping of the access to WASH services across Somalia which will be used as a baseline for aid actors to plan response according to needs and lack of access to WASH services.

In 2020, REACH, in coordination with the GWC and UNICEF, launched the WASH Severity Classification (WSC), with the aim to develop a standardized approach to classifying the severity of WASH needs and vulnerabilities over time and across contexts. Two pilots were conducted in 2020 in Afghanistan and Burkina Faso to test and fine tune the analytical approach. The development process will include 5 full and 15 light implementations in 2021 as part ongoing efforts to further pilot the approach. You can read more about the new WASH Severity Classification in our recently published article.

See REACH Resource Centre for all WASH related information products and the COVID-19 page for updates on ongoing research on the impact of COVID-19 in crisis-affected countries.

REH Réseau Environnement Humanitaire - Statement of Commitment on Climate by Humanitarian Organisations

The climate and environmental emergency is a global emergency. It already affects all the world's people and ecosystems, but the most vulnerable people, who have contributed the least to these disruptions, are the hardest hit. Without a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and without ambitious measures to preserve and restore biodiversity, these crises will continue to have a major impact on humanitarian needs and the chances of vulnerable populations to sustainably improve their living conditions. Solidarity organizations must therefore adapt their mode of action in order to respond to these crises and support populations to be more resilient, prepare for and adapt to this new reality as well as preserve and conserve their environment. 

10 other INGOs decided last December to commit on :

This is reflected by the letter of commitment (FR & EN).

IJERPH - Accelerating Progress Towards Safely Managed Drinking Water and Sanitation for All: Achieving Impact at Scale

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is looking for papers that present innovative management solutions in both rural and urban contexts, discuss the role of new water and sanitation technologies and Information, Communication and Technologies (ICTs) in water and sanitation services monitoring and governance, and/or explores the enabling environment for scaling-up innovation in WASH services. The focus is on gaining a better understanding of the role and contribution of innovation to better management infrastructure, strategies, and governance processes that can lead to improved and sustainable services, achieve universal coverage specifically paying special attention to low income and vulnerable customers. Read more here.

Bioforce - Humanitarian Online Training Catalog for 2021
The new humanitarian training catalog is out there - including several options around WASH including the Masters in Humanitarian Water, Sanitation and Hygiene  - 18 months, from February 2021 to June 2022, Amman in English and further key WASH trainings in French

See the calendar for 2021 trainings in English here, and for training in French here.
USAID Water and Development Technical Series and Briefs
USAID Water and Development Technical Series: WASH for Women and Girls, December 2020. USAID elevates the status of women and girls to empower them as decision-makers and professionals in the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector so they can lead the transformation of water and sanitation services in their own communities and countries.

USAID Water and Development Technical Series: WASH Governance, December 2020. The purpose of this brief is to provide a common definition of governance for USAID’s engagement in the WASH and WRM sectors and to describe the process of analysis, strengthening, measuring, and reporting on improvements in WASH and WRM governance.

Additional USAID technical briefs

USAID Grant Opportunity - Rural Water Research & Learning

Assessing the Effects of COVID-19 on Access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene in USAID High Priority and Strategy-Aligned Countries Synthesis Report - USAID -  December 2020

Water and Beyond: EU transformative approaches for international partnerships
This high-level event was hosted 18-21st January 2021 and hosted by the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships and the Government of Slovenia, with the support of the Government of Portugal as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. It is addressed to policy-makers, decision-makers and stakeholders who can contribute to ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. All presentations and content can be found here.
WASH and Covid-19

Covid-19 Hygiene Hub Updates
We remind partners and WASH colleagues that the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub remains the go-to technical helpdesk for WASH & Covid-19. Find the latest news from the hub below. Welcome to the sixteenth issue of the COVID-19 Hygiene Hub News Bulletin.

Updates have now moved to a monthly schedule, so you can expect the next issue in the last week of February or in the next GWC newsletter. All previous news bulletins are available here.

This month, we wanted to highlight a new resource on the economics of hygiene programmes and our guidance on sustainability and advocacy for longer-term programming. We share with you a new case study from the Kyrgyz Republic about a national communication and community engagement project for a coordinated OVID-19 response.
Find the latest bulletin and 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
Talking SH*T in Times of Covid-19 - Sani Tweaks

Research has shown that humanitarian agencies are failing to properly consult the users of the latrines they build, leading many people – especially women and girls – to stop using those latrines as they find them inaccessible, unsuitable and/or unsafe.

To address this, the Oxfam WASH team has developed a series of communications tools that seek to promote best practices in sanitation, and ultimately to provide universal guidance for the benefit of the sector. See

Ready Initiative Integrated Covid-19 Framework and Update
Recognizing the complex, multi-faceted nature of this pandemic, READY has developed an integrated framework that aims to minimize transmission in vulnerable communities by supporting the implementation of 1) household quarantine and household isolation, and 2) voluntary quarantine facilities and community isolation centers, with holistic, wrap-around humanitarian services. Read more here

A reminder that READY’s Communities in Humanitarian Settings: COVID-19 Micro-Trainings are still available! The goal of the training package is to improve the capacity of NGOs to implement community-centered COVID-19 pandemic response approaches in humanitarian settings and increase awareness of how such approaches impact the overall response. Read more here.

Key WASH & Covid-19 Updates From Partners

Inter-Cluster Updates
Integrated Famine Risk Reduction: An Inter-Cluster Strategy To Prevent Famine In Yemen
The political crisis in Yemen, following the 2011 revolution and the civil war that started in March 2015, has caused one of the world’s most devastating humanitarian emergencies. Yemen is affected by widespread undernutrition and a protracted cholera outbreak, which erupted in 2016. Yemen Food Security and Agriculture Cluster, the Water and Sanitation Cluster, the Nutrition Cluster and the Health Clusters launched in October 2017 the Yemen Integrated Famine Risk Reduction (IFRR) strategy. 

Read more here.
Webinar/Event link Date & time (GMT+1) Organisation

Specific Considerations and Limitations of Solar
Powered Water Systems

February 2021 - TBD GLOSWI
10 steps to community readiness for vaccines,
treatments and tests
2 February 2021 - 2PM CET WHO
Mapping and Monitoring Lakes and Reservoirs with
Satellite Observations
February 9, 16, & 23, 2021 WASH Futures
8th Africa Water Week  8-12 February 2021 AMCOW
High Level Launch - With Us and For Us: IASC Guidelines on
Working with and for Young People in Humanitarian and
Protracted Crises
 - Passcode: 292396
16 February 2021 - 9AM EST IASC/UNICEF
Water Security and Climate Change conference 
Hanoi, Viet Nam,
1-4 March 2021 2021 WSCCC
Call for Contributions 42nd WEDC Conference 15th March (deadline) WEDC
World Water Day. Valuing Water #Water2me  22 March 2021 World
Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks (HNPW) 2021  19 April to 7 May 2021 HNPW
Global WASH Cluster Annual Meeting and Satellite Events  19-30th April 2021 GWC
Emergency Environmental Health Forum (EEHF)  24-28 May 2021 LSHTM
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