What is the Health/WASH Network?
The Health/WASH Network is a consortium of development, child health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) organizations. Its goal is to reduce child deaths around the world by bridging advocacy efforts to increase resources, awareness, and political will to defeat WASH-related illnesses such as diarrheal disease.
Why was it created?
Although WASH issues are inextricably linked with child health, the advocacy efforts of these two sectors have historically been conducted in isolation. With the formation of groups like the Health/WASH Network, and with the increasing focus on integration across the global health and development landscape, that landscape is changing. The network seeks to coordinate and streamline advocacy strategies, create a broader constituency for child survival and the importance of water, sanitation and hygiene, solutions, and learn from one another's efforts in order to help close the gap that still exists between child health and WASH advocacy.
How will the Health/WASH Network achieve its goal?
The network's advocacy currently focuses on US government and policymakers with the goal of increasing US funding and ensuring effective allocation of US investments in child health and WASH solutions. The policy staff members of participating organizations advise on upcoming legislation and courses of action. The network also looks for special opportunities to promote general awareness of the synergies between the child health and WASH sectors.
What are the Health/WASH Network’s accomplishments?
On World Water Day 2011, the network convened a successful working group entitled, "Integrating Advocacy to Improve Access to Nutrition, Safe Water, and Health." In this brief video taken after the meeting, Janie Hayes summarizes some of the cross-cutting themes that arose from the discussion. The network continues to serve as a forum to discuss ways to implement the ideas proposed during the working group.
On World Water Day 2010, the network worked together to form a common set of child health and WASH messaging. The messages were used by advocates during World Water Day Congressional meetings. The network also worked with the World Water Day coalition, a group of over 30 organizations from a variety of sectors, to generate significant media coverage about the day’s events and the broader global water crisis.
In 2009, the network issued a Call to Action on diarrheal disease, which currently has over 100 co-signing organizations. The group also conducted media outreach around the release of the UNICEF/WHO report on diarrheal disease.
Is your organization interested in joining the Health/WASH Network?
To join the Health/WASH Network listserv, email Hope Randall at firstname.lastname@example.org.