Author Archives: WSSCC

AfricaSan Awards is now open for nominations

Are you an outstanding sanitation and hygiene professional working in Africa? The AMCOW AfricaSan Awards is looking for your nomination. Candidates can submit the nominations no later than January 9, 2019, all information available here. The AfricaSan 5 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 18-22.

The AfricaSan Award aims to raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene by drawing attention to successful approaches, promoting excellence in leadership, innovation in sanitation and hygiene improvements in Africa, and providing incentives for action to ensuring that sanitation and hygiene can be accessed by all, everywhere, and every time required.

Individuals, non-governmental organizations, ministries, state corporations, and government departments working in hygiene and sanitation can be nominated. The award focus on the following areas:

  1. Innovative Monitoring Systems Award
  2. Equity and Inclusion Award
  3. Innovative policy and Institutional Reform Award
  4. Trail Blazing Private Sector Award
  5. Research and Technical Innovation Awards
  6. Youthful Actors Award
  7. High Level political leadership Award

The nominations must be submitted to For any questions or concerns, please reach out to with the subject line ‘AfricaSan Awards Inquiries’.

Vacancies at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is pleased to share the following vacancy announcements. Please note the positions, locations, application deadlines and information links below.

Position:              Head of Global Policy, Strategic Engagement & Innovation (P5)
Location:              Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline:             11 November 2018
More info: 

Position:              Safely Managed Sanitation Services Study Consultants (IICA-3)
Location:              Home based
Deadline:             11 November 2018
More info: 

Position:              Partnerships Officer (P3)
Location:              Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline:             14 November 2018
More info: 

Position:              Head of Corporate Communications and Advocacy (P4)
Location:              Geneva, Switzerland
Deadline:             16 November 2018
More info: 

For more information on salary scales, please visit this United Nations International Civil Service Commission page.

Shame of menstruation must be replaced with support for improved menstrual hygiene, says U.N. Human Rights Council

WSSCC welcomes resolution promoting respect for the human rights of women and girls and their greater participation in society

Geneva, 28 September 2018: A Human Rights Council resolution urging countries to take decisive action to ensure women and girls have universal access to information, products and facilities needed for improved menstrual hygiene has been warmly welcomed by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).

The resolution expresses great concern that the lack of access to adequate water and sanitation services, including for menstrual hygiene management – in schools, workplaces, health centres, and public facilities and buildings –negatively affects gender equality and women’s and girls’ enjoyment of human rights, including the rights to education, health, safe and healthy working conditions, and to participate in public affairs.

The resolution encourages states to address the widespread stigma and shame surrounding menstruation and menstrual hygiene by ensuring women and girls have access to factual information, universal access to hygienic products and gender-sensitive facilities, including disposal options for menstrual products. WSSCC welcomes the adoption of this new resolution that makes menstruation explicit and provides guidance on actions to be taken to address this issue.

“The updated wording on MHM is a great step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal target 6.2,” said Virginia Kamowa, WSSCC Technical Expert on Menstrual Hygiene Management. “We look forward to working collaboratively with Member States in the coming months at the global and national level”, she said.

On September 17, WSSCC convened a side event at the 39th Human Rights Council on the theme: Realizing the Human Rights to water and sanitation, from menstruation to people on the move. The event provided an opportunity to inform the deliberations of the Human Rights Council and advocate for women’s and girls’ rights to water and sanitation, especially during menstruation. Hosted by the Permanent Missions of Germany, Niger and Spain, the event brought together 19 Permanent Missions present in Geneva.

Resolution A/HRC/39/L.11 was passed on 27 September at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva in a vote of 44-to-1, with two abstentions.

Link to Resolution:


Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention to Share India’s Sanitation and Hygiene Improvements with the World

India has taken massive strides towards achieving universal safe sanitation. The number of people without access to toilets in rural India has gone down from 550 million in 2014 to less than 150 million today, through an intensive behaviour change campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission, which has become a people’s movement. India is on track to achieve open defecation free status by 2019, significantly contributing to the global achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation and improving health, educational and other outcomes for millions of people.

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, with support from UNICEF, is  organizing the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention, MGISC ( in New Delhi.  The convention will bring together ministers and other leaders from over 50 countries around the world in order to both showcase India’s progress and learn about the best Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) practices across the globe.

The MGISC is a four-day international conference scheduled to be held from 29 September-02 October 2018 in New Delhi and is being organized by the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), or Clean India Mission, the world’s largest sanitation programme.

At a briefing last week, Mr. Parameswaran Iyer (IAS), Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India said “India has taken massive strides towards achieving universal safe sanitation. The Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) was launched on 2 October 2014, with an aim to build a Clean and Open Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, as a befitting tribute to the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”

Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF India Representative, added, “Safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene are critical to the health of every child and every community – and thus are essential to building stronger, healthier, and more equitable societies. SBM is a unique programme, it is the largest such programme in the world and represents a mass movement. Swachh Bharat has captured the attention of the people across the globe. The convention will be a platform to exchange ideas and foster collective effort to ensure that every girl and boy has access to safe drinking water and sanitation.”

Since the inception of the SBM program, the rural sanitation coverage of India has increased significantly, from 39 per cent in October 2014 to over 92 per cent as of end of August 2018. The number of people without access to toilets in rural India has gone down from 550 million in 2014, to less than 150 million today. According to the latest real-time data, over 83.9 million household toilets have been constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission. As a result, 21 States/Union Territories, 450 districts, and approximately 450,000 villages have declared themselves as free from open defecation.

India is on track to achieve open defecation free status by 2019, significantly contributing to the global achievement of SDG 6.

Open defecation can have debilitating impact on the economy. A UNICEF report in 2017 found that if a family invests in a toilet, it will save Rs. 50,000 a year in India. The study conducted across 10,000 households in 12 states, to measure the economic impact of sanitation at a household level, discovered that a single rupee invested in sanitation, allows a family to save Rs. 4.30 by averting medical costs.

Sanitation is not just about building toilets but about changing behaviour. Open defecation means that diseases such as cholera, polio, and hepatitis are spread more easily. It means that children are at a higher risk of diarrhoea, which in turn leads to malnutrition. Women are the worst affected due to lack of sanitation facilities. A huge number of pregnant women or new mothers die annually in India from preventable causes. This includes haemorrhage, eclampsia, sepsis and anaemia. Many deaths occur due to poor nutrition and improper sanitation.

The success of the Clean India Mission will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the global achievement of SDG 6.2. India is the only country which received special recognition in the Joint Monitoring Programme 2017 update by the WHO and UNICF. The MGISC aims to share sanitation success stories and lessons from the participating countries and culminates with the launch of the Mahatma’s150th birth year celebrations in India, as SBM enters its final year of implementation.

About the Event

The MGISC will be attended by over 50 minister-led delegations from high, middle, and low-income countries including Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Japan.

Participants will gain practical knowledge on key challenges, successes, failures and opportunities, share experiences across regions and with other government decision-makers, and accelerate progress towards ending open defecation as part of the broader effort to achieve SDG Target 6.2 by 2030. Participants will go home stimulated, motivated and empowered as part of a broader sanitation and hygiene movement.

A parallel exhibition of sanitation innovations will be held at the meeting venue.

Event Invitation: Realizing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation – 14 September 2018

WSSCC is inviting you to a session: Realizing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: Tackling stigma and discrimination: From menstruation to access to WASH for people on the move that will take place next Friday 14 September 2018 / 13h30 – 15h00 at Palais des Nations, Room XXVII (Geneva, Switzerland).


Welcome and Opening Remarks from the co-chairs
Keynote speech: Mr. Leo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation
Remarks by: Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, WSSCC Executive Director
– Ms. Inga Winker, Human Rights Expert, Columbia University (NY)
– Mr. Labo Madougou, Director of Development and Extension of Sanitation Services from the Water and Sanitation Ministry of Niger
– Ms. Khadi Sonkho, MHM Trainer for West and Central Africa, Louga (Senegal)
Q/A and Moderated Discussion
Closing remarks:
Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, WSSCC Executive Director
Permanent Mission of Niger

This session is an opportunity to:

  • Reinforce evidence-based advocacy for sustainable access to WASH provisions (water, sanitation and hygiene) for all in public policies
  • Share evidence, best practice and innovations in programming and policy at the national level
  • Build a community of stakeholders committed to promoting and fostering menstrual health
  • Discuss how the agenda for menstrual health and other stigmatized topics can be advanced at the global level
  • Emphasize the impact of stigma, psycho-social stress and lack of body literacy as issues that have thus far received less attention
  • Contribute to the dissemination of the recommendations from the most recent report of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitatio
  • Understand important barriers to and solutions for implementing the Human
  • Rights to Water and Sanitation for all for people on the move
  • Explore the roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders

Fore more info, read the Event Program and the Concept Note.

Snacks will be provided at 13h00 at the entrance of the room.

Please RSVP to before 12 September 2018.

WSSCC Webinar: How much evidence do we have on the effectiveness of WASH interventions? – 13 September 2018

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and 3ie would like to invite you to a webinar for WASH practitioners: How much evidence do we have on the effectiveness of WASH interventions?

Hugh Waddington, the Senior Evaluation Specialist at 3ie, will discuss the findings of 3ie’s Evidence Gap Map and implications for policies, programmes and research on this field.

Click here to access the webinar – and tune in on Thursday, September 13, 2pm-3pm (CET).

Read ahead: the 3ie WASH Evidence Gap Map and WASH EGM Brief.

For more info, access our website.


Join WSSCC and Partners at the 2018 World Water Week in Stockholm!

Job Opportunities at WSSCC

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is recruiting  for three Geneva, Switzerland-based positions:

  • Head, Resource Mobilisation (P4) — Application deadline 14 August
  • Resource Mobilisation Officer (P3) – Application deadline 14 August
  • Head of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (P4) – Application deadline 22 August

More information is found here:

Please feel free to share with interested candidates!

Qatar Charity and WSSCC to cooperate on sanitation and hygiene for health, education and livelihoods

From left: Mr. Ali Abdulla Al Dabbagh, Deputy Director General for Planning at the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD); Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, Executive Director, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC); Mr. Yousuf Ahmed Al Hammadi, Executive Director, Qatar Charity. Photo: Ms. Natalia Mroz, IISD.

Qatar Charity (QC), a leading Qatar-based organization with global reach, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), a UN-hosted organization supporting large scale delivery of sanitation and hygiene programmes, signed on 12 July a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New York aimed at enhancing cooperation around sanitation and hygiene for health, education and livelihoods.

Mr. Yousef Ahmed Al-Kuwari, Chief Executive Officer for Qatar Charity, and Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, Executive Director of WSSCC, signed the agreement, which will facilitate exchange of information, allow for coordination, and support sanitation and hygiene programme design and development specifically in the Darfur Region of Sudan. The global programming and experiences of both organizations will inform their collaboration.

“WSSCC has extensive, well-proven experiences and approaches in working to improve access to sanitation and hygiene for the most vulnerable people in the world,” said Mr. Al-Kuwari, noting that nearly 16 million people had gained access through WSSCC work in recent years. “This partnership will support our efforts, and those of WSSCC, to ensure that sanitation and hygiene programmes help guarantee every child’s right to survival, education and protection. It will also be a vital component which supports the objective of enhanced access to basic service under the Reconstruction Pillar of the Darfur Development Strategy 2013 – 2019.”

“Qatar Charity is a leading nongovernmental organization dedicated to carrying out humanitarian and development programmes to fight global poverty and preserve dignity of people worldwide. It is a major humanitarian and development player in many regions and crisis affected countries, and its social care, education, health and WASH programmes reach millions of people annually. QC has a long history of partnership with UN agencies in different development and humanitarian fields, and this partnership will offer great opportunities to drive real progress on access to sanitation and hygiene in Darfur,” said Mr. Luyendijk.

At the global level, as well, the partnership will play a strategic role in promoting sanitation while at the same time advancing a new, integrated approach to human development cutting across education and health in alignment with Qatar’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Learning and knowledge generated will support South-South cooperation and learning on sanitation as an integrator of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Ali Abdulla Al Dabbagh, Deputy Director General for Planning at the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), who attended the MoU signing ceremony, stated that “the partnership between Qatar Charity and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council will have an important impact on the efforts to advance sanitation at the global level, and increase the synergies with the education and health sectors. Sustainable achievements in sanitation require the adoption of strong partnerships between development agencies, NGOs, and international organizations, in line with SDG 17.”

Despite the progress in health outcomes in Sudan, access to sanitation, at 32.9 percent in 2014, has improved little over the last decade. The high prevalence of poor hygiene practices, including open defecation, contribute to the high incidence of diarrheal diseases and malnutrition. Qatar Charity, a long-time development partner of the Qatar Fund for

Development, and WSSCC will collaborate on achieving results at scale with measurable improvements in sanitation, education and health, and economic empowerment approaches that leave no one behind. By demonstrating collective behaviour change approaches to end open defecation across entire administrative areas and schools, the partners aim to ignite a movement to realize everyone’s right to a healthy environment.

To that end, under the MoU the partners aim to:

  • Offer technical, coordination and advisory services in support of their respective programmes, with a focus on Darfur.
  • Advocate nationally, regionally and globally for sanitation and hygiene improvements which lead to a world in which everyone, everywhere is able to practice safe sanitation and hygiene with dignity, especially women, girls and those living in vulnerable situations.
  • Generate opportunities between the two parties for collaboration throughout the process of programme assessment, design, implementation and evaluation. Cooperation can be established at different stages, and in different areas and countries where both parties have interest and agreement.

Qatar Charity is a leading Gulf-origin nongovernmental organization dedicated to carrying out humanitarian and development programs to fight global poverty by working in partnership with vulnerable communities regardless of faith, race, gender or political beliefs Qatar Charity enables people to survive, recover and rebuild their lives while also empowering them to become self-sufficient through practical knowledge, focused expertise and innovative solutions.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global, multi-stakeholder membership and partnership organization that works with poor people, organizations, governments and local entrepreneurs to improve sanitation and hygiene at scale. WSSCC’s mission is to enable all people and especially women, girls and those living in vulnerable situations to practice the right to sanitation and hygiene across the course of their lives with dignity and safety.

HLPF 2018 side events on SDG 6 Accountability, Inequalities, Menstrual Health and Sanitation for Education and Health

The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2018 offers an historic and unprecedented opportunity to accelerate momentum on SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Please join the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and its partners at the following events, which feature expert speakers and interactive discussions:

  • Reducing Inequalities through Urgent Action on WASH: SDG 6 as an Enabler for Achieving the 2030 Agenda for All, 10 July, 1 to 2:30 pm, Japan Society, 333 E 47th St, New York. Bringing together Member States (both implementing and donor, developed and developing) with leaders in WASH action, this event will frame positive examples of rights-based implementation of WASH and highlight its role as an enabler for the 2030 Agenda as a whole. Organized by WaterAid, WSSCC, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Permanent Missions of Bolivia, Canada, Nepal and Mozambique to the United Nations. Click here for programme and registration information.
  • Pushing Menstrual Health on the 2030 Agenda, 11 July, 10 to 11:30 am, Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza, New York. Menstruation is a sign of female health and vitality and should not be shrouded in fear, shame or embarrassment. This event will bring stakeholders together around menstruation as a powerful entry point to empower women and girls, change practices and remove restrictions – all of which helps achieve SDG 6, and more. Organized by MH Alliance, Simavi, WSSCC, World Vision, WASH United. Click here for programme and registration information.
  • Why Robust Multi-Stakeholder National Accountability Mechanisms are Essential for Achieving SDG 6 11 July, 4 to 5:30 pm, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, 820 2nd Ave #2, New York. Launching the findings of a recent global review on the effectiveness of national accountability mechanisms, this side event will bring together diverse perspectives (governments, civil society organisations and development partners) to outline opportunities to strengthen national accountability and CSO engagement in progressing towards SDG 6. Organized by WSSCC, SWA, UNDP, FANSA, FANMEX, ANEW, EWP, Coalition Eau, Watershed Consortium, the Permanent Missions of Kenya, Nigeria, Togo and Sri Lanka. Click here for programme and registration information.
  • Sanitation for Education and Health – An Integrated Approach to Human Development 12 July, 1:15 to 2:30 pm, Conference Room 9, UN Conference Building, New York. Sanitation and hygiene programmes in school are important to ensure safer and more dignifed learning environments for children. This offcial HLPF side-event will foster sharing of concrete and innovative multi-sectoral approaches with a focus on the nexus of sanitation, education and health. Organized by WSSCC, Education Can’t Wait, Global Citizen, Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). Click here for programme and registration information.

WSSCC and its 5,000 members from around the world will be represented by Executive Director Rolf Luyendijk at the official SDG 6 review on Monday, 9 July, which has as a major input the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation prepared by UN-Water and its members, including WSSCC.