What is the Health/WASH Network?
The Health/WASH Network is a consortium of development, health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) organizations. Its goal is to integrate advocacy efforts between the health and WASH sectors to increase resources, awareness, and political will to defeat WASH-related illnesses and death.
Why was it created?
Although WASH issues are inextricably linked with 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 health and WASH advocacy.
How will the Health/WASH Network achieve its goal?
The Health/WASH Network provides a framework for integrated conversations to:
- Build awareness with donor governments about the importance of integrating WASH and health interventions
- Advocate for policies that include WASH targets in health programming and health targets in WASH programming
- Advocate for increased donor funding and ensure effective allocation of investments in health and WASH solutions
- Coordinate with other global health advocacy groups on messaging and advocacy around WASH and global health policy and funding at key moments
- Serve as a resource for the U.S. government and other stakeholders on the integration of WASH and health programming
- Raise awareness of the opportunities provided by improved integration of health and WASH services in global policy debates, events, and conference
- Reach out to global advocacy groups to promote linkages between health and WASH
What are the Health/WASH Network’s accomplishments?
In June 2012, the Network sponsored an NGO reception during USAID's Child Survival Call to Action event to promote continued collaboration among the various stakeholders for child health.
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, with support from more than 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 Laura Kallen at firstname.lastname@example.org.