The Triple Nexus in WASH


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A Global Initiative

In 2019, the German WASH Network together with the GWC, SWA, UNICEF and the IFRC convened the Event “Building Resilient WASH Systems in Fragile States”, which took place at UNHCR in Geneva. For the first time, development and humanitarian WASH actors met with equal participation. As a response to the results of the event, the GWC positioned the humanitarian-development nexus at the core of the humanitarian WASH Sector´s Road Map 2020-2025. Under the umbrella of the Road Map and in line with the SWA’s Strategic Framework 2020-2030, the German WASH Network, SWA, GWC and UNICEF have formed a partner consortium that has developed the initiative “3.5 Triple Nexus”  based on the results of the Geneva event.

Despite adhering to a host of common principles, humanitarian, development, and peace stakeholders in the WASH sector often work in parallel. Their different ways of working put emphasis on different outcomes and timeframes for their interventions.  Increasing evidence demonstrates that the siloed approach to providing services in fragile contexts is not fit for purpose. 1.8 billion people and over three-quarters of the world’s extreme poor live in fragile contexts. In more than 40% of these countries, people are highly or extremely highly water vulnerable, and humanitarian crisis are more frequent, effecting more people and lasting longer.  Just 1 in 10 fragile countries are on track to achieve universal access to basic sanitation, while coverage is decreasing in 9 countries.

In response, the initiative aims to generate global support to upscale the WASH triple nexus approach in water insecure and fragile contexts.  The initiative is developing a joint operating framework that will assist WASH policy makers and practitioners to operationalise the nexus in their own context, based on country evidence on successful collaboration in the achievement of collective WASH outcomes that accelerate sustainable development, foster resilience, and seek opportunities to contribute to peace, where relevant.

Global Event 2021

Event: The Triple Nexus in WASH

The event took place on February 11 and 12 2021 as a two-day discussion and workshop meeting. In addition to Catarina de Albuquerque, CEO of Sanitation and Water for All, Hon. Prof. Danilo Türk, policy advisor at the Geneva Water Hub, and Pit Köhler, Head of Unit for Humanitarian Aid at the German Federal Foreign Office, around 100 other experts, decision-makers and stakeholders discussed various issues around the nexus of humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and peacebuilding in the WASH sector.The main goal of the meeting was to establish a consolidated vision for the Triple Nexus across the humanitarian and development WASH sectors, outline the JOF and its action plan and agree on next steps.

The event was held on the meeting platform Zoom, and included interactive group work (via breakouts rooms) using collaborative online whiteboards and Q&A tools.The meeting attempted to strike a balance between political dialogue, working time on process objectives and sufficient exchange for mutual learning.

Read the full report of the event here.

Watch the opening panel on the “Triple Nexus in WASH”, held during a learning & working event on 11-12 February 2021.


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