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.

Donors should:

  • 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.