Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)

The area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is part of the core humanitarian interventions of immediate concern for mental health and psychosocial wellbeing. The way basic services such as water provision, sanitation and hygiene promotion are provided may either cause harm or contribute to both individual and communal wellbeing. As such WASH are dealt with as a main thematic area in the IASC main guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (2007 Action sheet 11:1) and the accompanying IASC field guide. CBPS should be mainstreamed by a WASH actor using the six MHPSS Core Principles (p. 9-13 in the main guidelines) to avoid causing harm and contribute to wellbeing. WASH has always been a core area of the Sphere Handbook and the 2018 edition brings the WASH chapter into the larger framework of the humanitarian charter, protection principles and the core humanitarian standard (CHS) all of which fits neatly into a CBPS approach of working with WASH. Particular attention is needed for access for people with various vulnerabilities and to involve representatives from various groups in the community in the planning, implementing, monitoring and reporting of WASH activities.

A Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings

IASC, 2016.

For mainstreaming CBPS in a WASH program, the new IASC Common M&E framework for MHPSS in emergencies is also helpful as it will help to name outcomes and indicators relevant for mainstreaming. See IASC The Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. Look at "OUTCOME 1. Emergency responses do not cause harm and are dignified, participatory, community-owned, and socially and culturally acceptable”. This outcome comes with several valid indicators. Two examples:OUTCOME 1 INDICATORS:

O1.1: Percentage of affected people who report that emergency responses (i) fit with local values, (ii) are appropriate and (iii) are provided respectfully

O1.2: Percentage of affected people who report being actively involved in different phases of emergency response (for example, participation in needs assessment, programme design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation activities)