Giving Compass’ Take:
• This report from IssueLab studies how governments, policy-makers, and donors across the globe are building nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) into their food sourcing strategies, with the hope of creating a roadmap for higher impact.
• As a donor, are you doing enough to support WASH programs in areas that need them most? There is an action item list that many will benefit from, and the main takeaway is to be flexible and fund multi-sectoral approaches.
• Water scarcity is becoming a bigger issue in the wake of the Cape Town crisis, but WASH remains a key component of future humanitarian efforts. Read more about how nature-based solutions can help.
In this report we analyze the approaches governments and donors are taking to cross-integrate nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) within their nutrition and WASH national policies and plans. The report aims to provide a “recipe,” or toolkit, to stimulate debate and discussion of the options and opportunities to bring together WASH and nutrition policies and programs.
By analyzing the approaches governments and donors are taking, we highlight ways in which progress is being made, and we call on decision-makers to shift mindsets, change ways of working, and invest now in effective integration to improve child health.
Building on last year’s The Missing Ingredients report, this report highlights why WASH is essential for nutrition, and how this integration could be strengthened. Through an analysis of nutrition and WASH plans and policies in ten countries, we identify gaps and ways of working. The report highlights where there has been effective integration at the policy level and how improvements can be made. It also includes an analysis of donor initiatives and to what extent WASH has been incorporated in nutrition investments.
- Promote and fund multi-sectoral approaches, and incentivize more effective WASH and nutrition integration in humanitarian and development contexts.
- Prioritize flexible financing, capacity-building and convening power to support national governments to bring ministries and stakeholders together to develop joint nutrition and WASH programs.
- Make financial commitments to nutrition-sensitive WASH a key priority of global and regional nutrition initiatives, including the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition, the Nutrition for Growth commitment-making process, and the forthcoming African Development Bank multi-sectoral nutrition action plan.
- Work with countries and institutions, and other sectoral teams internally, to document and share experiences to strengthen the evidence base to enable the scaling up of successful approaches.
Although some countries and donors are making important progress towards more effective collaboration between WASH and nutrition actors, more action is urgently needed if the World Health Assembly (WHA) global nutrition targets and SDGs are to be met.