Making humanitarian and development WASH work better together

Briefing papers
August 2016
Nathaniel Mason and Beatrice Mosello

The policy brief and the synthesis report summarise the findings and recommendations from two studies focussed on examining the barriers that exist between humanitarian and development forms of water supply, sanitation and hygiene WASH, and possible solutions to be overcome for more effective and sustainable services.

We examined the levels at which siloes exist and the underlying reasons why, drawing on extensive consultation with global experts, literature review and two in-depth case studies on South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Given the case studies, the briefing and synthesis are particularly focussed on protracted crises where weak governance and conflict make it harder for governments, utilities and international agencies to deliver adequate WASH services to the population. Findings are nonetheless relevant for other contexts such as rapid-onset disasters.

We also look at positive stories of where and how Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) service providers and donors are overcoming the siloes. From this, we recommend a number of actions that use the strengths and capacities of existing organisations and sector structures to provide a bridge, rather than creating new entities and initiatives to fill a gap.

The research was commissioned by the WASH section in the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) together with the Water Supply and Sanitation Program of the World Bank (WSP), and undertaken by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

For further details please refer to the two country case studies on DRC and South Sudan, on improving WASH service delivery in protracted crises.