Author Archives: WSSCC

WSSCC Releases New Global Sanitation Fund Equality and Non-Discrimination Study

How can WASH programmes leave no one behind, as called for in the Sustaionable Development Goals? WSSCC’s new study, Scoping and Diagnosis of the Global Sanitation Fund’s Approach to Equality and Non-Discrimination, helps answer this question.

The study reveals that many people who may be considered disadvantaged have benefited positively from WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)-supported programmes, particularly in open defecation free verified areas. In addition, a range of positive outcomes and impacts related to empowerment, safety, convenience, ease of use, self-esteem, health, dignity, an improved environment and income generation were reported by people who may be considered disadvantaged.

Photo Credit: WSSCC

However, the study finds that GSF has not yet systematically integrated EQND throughout the programme cycle. Across all countries, there are people who have either fallen through the net or whose lives have become more difficult after being unduly pressured, or after taking out loans and selling assets to build toilets. More proactive attention is needed throughout the programme cycle to build on current successes and ensure that people are not left behind or harmed through the actions or omissions of supported programmes.

GSF is in the process of putting the study’s recommendations into practice through revised guidelines, minimum standards, practical tools and other mechanisms.

Download the full study, plus a summarized version with GSF reflections, and annexes

Global Sanitation Fund reports improvements in sanitation and hygiene for millions of people

People-centred, nationally-led programmes empower millions to end open defecation, improve sanitation, and increase dignity and safety

Geneva, 28 June 2017 – A new report shows that WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) has supported governments and thousands of partners across 13 countries, stretching from Cambodia to Senegal, to enable over 15 million people to end open defecation.


As the funding arm of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), GSF-supported programmes are contributing to the Council’s vision of universal access to sustainable and equitable sanitation and hygiene across countries throughout south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Focused on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 6.2, GSF focuses on improving sanitation and hygiene in the poorest and most marginalized communities, thereby contributing to associated development goals for education, health, women’s empowerment, climate change and urban development.

The 2016 GSF Progress Report highlights activities and results achieved from the inception of the Fund to the end of the year. Cumulative results to 31 December 2016 include:

  • 15.2 million people have been empowered to live in ODF environments, just over the target of 15 million.
  • 12.8 million people have gained access to improved toilets, 16% more than the target of 11 million.
  • 20 million people have gained access to handwashing facilities, 81% more than the target of 11 million.

Read more or download the report in English or French

Freddy the Fly – an animated video about a community’s journey to ODF status

Meet Freddy, a fly who loves toilet fondue! Find out what happens to him when the village he lives in is triggered into cleaning up their act to become open defecation free (ODF). Please share this video widely and use Freddy to illustrate how behaviour change methods, including Community-Led Total Sanitation, work to help communities become healthier and more productive. And join the ODF movement at!

Unjela Kaleem joins WSSCC as Head of External Affairs, Communications and Coordination

UnjelaThe Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is pleased to announce Ms. Unjela Kaleem as its new Head of External Affairs, Communications and Coordination.

Ms. Kaleem comes to WSSCC with high-level expertise in all aspects of corporate communications, public affairs, corporate sustainability and stakeholder engagement, with associative experience in consumer insights and brand communications planning. She has extensive global experience in successfully leading in senior management roles with key fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies such as Nestle, public sector actors such as the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, and multilateral organizations such as the World Bank.

Ms. Kaleem brings to WSSCC multidimensional outcome-driven management skills in converting actions into results and delivering on time. Her diverse skills set, international experience and leadership abilities make her well-suited to diverse cultural settings, such as in the UN-based WSSCC.

“WSSCC’s work today is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, especially those which aim to improve equal access to sanitation and hygiene and which deliver better health, education and gender equity outcomes,” says Christopher W. Williams, WSSCC’s Executive Director. “Ms. Kaleem will be crucial in our efforts to position the organization as a leading development stakeholder. Our work to support countries to increase access through the Global Sanitation Fund, on policies and action around menstrual hygiene management, and in engaging our members and other stakeholders, will all benefit from her expertise.”

At WSSCC, Ms. Kaleem serves on the Senior Management Team and leads a department of 12 people representing 11 different nationalities. The organization has embarked upon an ambitious new WSSCC Strategy 2017-2020 which, among other goals, aims to empower 12 million people to achieve safe sanitation in the next four years.

WSSCC launches its Strategic Plan for 2017-2020

Please download the strategy here.

WSSCC is pleased to launch the Strategic Plan that will guide the organization over the next four years. The plan is the result of consultations involving more than 1,000 partners, stakeholders and members around the world, and at 16 dedicated national consultation meetings.

With Sustainable Development Goal 6:2 at its heart, the strategy is formed around two Strategic Outcomes and four Intermediate Outcomes. It identifies the results WSSCC would like to achieve, the issues it will work on, the regions where it will work, and the unique mix of tools, instruments, knowledge and human and financial resources WSSCC has to make a meaningful, quantifiable and sustainable impact for people without sanitation and hygiene in the world, especially those in the most vulnerable situations.


In developing the strategy, particular care was taken to look beyond sectors and silos and widen WSSCC’s ability to assist countries to attain not only Target 6.2 within SDG 6 on Water and Sanitation, but also to demonstrate the centrality of safe sanitation and hygiene in reducing poverty and inequalities; improving education, employment, health, and women’s empowerment; and adapting to urbanization and climate change.

Major inputs to the strategy included the recommendations of an independent evaluation of WSSCC’s work from 2012-2016.  WSSCC’s work is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to transform the world by 2030, therefore this strategy is the first in a series which later will guide WSSCC’s work from 2021-25 and 2026-30.

Read the full article on our website:

WSSCC’s Evolution 1990 – 2017

After it was formed in 1990 through a UN General Assembly resolution, WSSCC spent its first 10 years providing much-needed thematic networking and knowledge building around Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). In the 2000s, WSSCC turned its attention to advocacy and supporting a nascent network of WASH coalitions in developing countries, and developed a membership base. Following a strategy shift in 2007, WSSCC turned its focus to sanitation and hygiene – still left behind topics in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) era. In the 2010s, this shift manifested itself through sanitation and hygiene programmes supported by the Global Sanitation Fund that successfully enabled 13.2 million people to end open defecation.

WSSCC was also at the forefront of a growing international movement to leave no one behind by advocating for better policies and practices that benefitted women and girls, the elderly, the disabled, the LGBTQ community, and others. As 2017 unfolds, WSSCC is poised to help countries to achieve universal coverage not only for sanitation and hygiene, but also for education, health and much more. In all of this, WSSCC recognizes the leadership and ownership of national and local governments in planning and implementing an SDG agenda that works for them.


Local governance and sanitation: Eight lessons from Uganda

The magnitude of the sanitation crisis means that sanitation and hygiene solutions must be delivered sustainably, and on a large scale. This requires the close involvement of government at all levels. A new case study outlines eight lessons from the Global Sanitation Fund-supported Uganda Sanitation Fund in coordinating, planning, and implementing Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) at scale through a decentralized government system.

Download the case study or read the feature article on


Local government health workers and latrine owners proudly display an improved latrine in Lira district, Uganda.©WSSCC/USF



Announcing WSSCC’s 2017 Webinar Series #1: Sanitation-related Psychosocial Stress and the Effects on Women and Girls

WSSCC will celebrate Women’s Week for International Women’s Day 2017 from March 6 – 10. Ahead of this, a webinar session will explore the ways in which women experience stress during their sanitation routine: Thursday 2 March 2017 from 2pm – 3pm (CET) (8-9am New York; 1-2pm London; 2-3pm Brussels; 3-4pm Johannesburg; 4-5pm Nairobi; 6:30-7:30pm Mumbai)


Please register here:

Do you know what the main stressors are for women and girls during their daily sanitation routines?  How do they cope with them?

On March 2nd, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council will host the first in a series of four webinars for 2017. This session will discuss the psychological, social, and health impacts of sanitation routines among women of reproductive age in urban slums, rural villages and indigenous villages.

Using the life-course approach, during the hour-long session participants will be guided to understand the influence of age, context and social processes on a woman’s experience and family life, and how those factors collectively impact the experience of sanitation. The conceptual model of sanitation-related psychosocial stress will also be shared.

Available on the Skype for Business platform, the session will be presented by Dr. Kathleen O’Reilly, Associate Professor at Texas A&M University, and Dr. Krushna Chandra Sahoo from the Asian Institute of Public Health. The Moderator is Archana Patkar, Programme Manager, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.

The webinar series is open to governments, experts, practitioners and trainers in sanitation and hygiene; academia and research institutions and civil society partners.

A session will take place every quarter during the year in the form of an hour-long webinar with invited experts, in English. The format is a 15-minute presentation followed by interactive Q&A sessions.

Reading ahead:  If you would like to know more about the topic ahead of the discussion, here are two relevant readings.

  1. Sanitation-related psychosocial stress: A grounded theory study of women across the life-course in Odisha, India
  2. Briefing note on “Social and psychological impact of limited access to sanitation”

To learn more, visit our website