WHO Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy 2018-2025

This strategy sets out the direction and role of WHO within the context of the SDGs and WHO’s 13th Programme of Work. It reinforces WHO’s traditional role as a source of authoritative guidelines, technical assistance, and evidence for policy-making. It describes how WHO will increase its impact through introduction of transformational approaches, and tackling new results areas like WASH in health care facilities.

The strategy has as its major principles the following:

  • Prioritize actions with the highest public health benefit in areas where WHO has or can build comparative advantages
  • Strengthen health sector capacities in promoting safe WASH and taking up its public health oversight role in WASH, including effective outbreak response systems
  • Align with the SDGs, specifically targets relating to WASH, health, climate change and nutrition, as well as human rights principles
  • Employ the highest quality science including through collection, review and use of evidence about WASH impacts on health and a full range of practical experiences when developing norms and good practice procedures
  • Promote a contextual, incremental improvement approach when supporting countries to set national WASH standards and ambitious but achievable national targets
  • Capitalize on existing regional policy frameworks that promote WASH and stipulate national target setting
  • Stimulate sustainable change by strengthening government institutions and systems charged with implementation, oversight and regulation of WASH service delivery
  • Engage with partners and positively influence partnerships to ensure health issues are considered and addressed by the WASH sector and to also ensure that WASH issues, notably in health care facilities, are addressed by the health sector as prerequisites to providing quality care

Last modified: February 4, 2020

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