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Launch of the 2020 Humanitarian WASH Gap Analysis

Largest Humanitarian WASH Gap Analysis

Largest Humanitarian WASH Gap Analysis - Have Your Say!

Elrha, the Global WASH Cluster (GWC), and Oxfam are starting a study to provide the humanitarian WASH sector with an updated global analysis of WASH gaps in 2020.

What is a ‘gap’?

A WASH gap is any perceived deficiency in the effectiveness and/or efficiency of WASH systems and responses, that limit the humanitarian sector's potential to meet essential needs, minimise WASH-related diseases, restore life with dignity to people experiencing emergencies and strengthen resilience.

Why are we doing a follow-on gap analysis?

Significant change has happened in the seven years since the first WASH gap analysis in 2013.  Humanitarian needs have evolved, research and innovation has moved ahead, and new gaps have likely emerged.

The Global WASH Cluster will analyse the results to see how the WASH sector can best respond to those priority gaps identified. Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) will use the results of the study to identify which gaps can be best supported through innovation and potentially be included in its WASH innovation priorities, and we hope the results may influence other innovation funders in choosing which areas in the sector require investment.

How is the 2020 Humanitarian WASH Gap Analysis Different?

What makes this different to other gap analyses, is that we want to consult with people at all levels to make sure we hear from everyone connected with the humanitarian WASH sector to understand what they perceive as gaps.  In particular, we are making efforts to make sure that people affected by crisis have the opportunity to identify gaps in a safe, accountable and ethical way, directly influencing which gaps are prioritised globally.

Where will we collect data on WASH Gaps?

All countries where there are ongoing humanitarian responses – refugee responses coordinated by UNHCR and internal crises coordinated through sectors or clusters – are the target of this study for data collection at field level.  In addition, we welcome participants from around the world to take part.

Who will be involved in the gap analysis?

The study is especially interested in understanding and comparing the priority gaps identified by different groups involved in emergency WASH responses and systems. This includes people affected by crisis, country, regional and global WASH practitioners, government, development WASH practitioners, academics, trainers, and sectors with whom we work closely (Health, Nutrition, Education, Food Security, Protection, Logistics).

How will we collect data on the WASH Gaps?

Data will be collected in 4 main ways for which we need your support:

1.           Humanitarian grey literature that identify WASH gaps and secondary data of gaps identified by people affected by crisis

2.           Facilitated discussions with people affected by crisis

3.           Facilitated discussions with WASH practitioners at field level

4.           A global online survey for anyone connected with humanitarian WASH responses

When will the gap analysis take place?

A preliminary study has already been undertaken to inform the design of the gap analysis.  Data collection will take place from September to October, analysis of the data in November/December, with results disseminated in early 2021 and at the Global WASH Cluster Meeting in April 2021.

Become a WASH Gap Analysis Champion

A project of this ambitious scale can only be successful with the support of the humanitarian community.  This will be a chance to inform the priorities for the humanitarian WASH sector for the years to come.  If you would like to be a part of this exciting effort, we need your support.  In particular, we are looking for facilitators to carry out discussions with people affected by crisis and WASH practitioners – if your organisation or perhaps you yourself may be able to support to facilitate these field-level discussions, please indicate your interest here

There are other ways you can participate and stay involved:

  • In July, we will compile humanitarian grey literature and documents containing feedback on WASH issues identified by people affected by crisis which may mention WASH eg agency feedback systems, perception surveys, needs assessments.  You can support the gap analysis by sharing documents from your organization.
  • In September, a global online survey will launched and we welcome you to take part in it to express your views based on your experience, and to share with colleagues to do the same.
  • In September – October, facilitated field discussions will take place, both with people affected by crises and WASH practitioners .
  • If you would be like to be kept up to date on the project generally, then please sign up here


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