Define your information needs
The WASH assessment strategy should not be designed in isolation and should consider the multi-sectoral dimension of the crisis, as well as the humanitarian priorities defined by the Humanitarian Coordinator.
The WASH coordination platform should therefore meet with other priority clusters/sectors to finetune the key questions that should be addressed, including “who are the people in need of WASH assistance”; “how many they are”; “what are the priority geographical areas”; “what are the key WASH needs that should be met”; “what implementation modalities are the most relevant”, etc.
In addition, the WASH coordination platform should define:
- The geographic areas for which data is needed
- Which administrative level data is required at
- The breakdown by population groups, gender, etc.
This initial planning should cover all the different emergency phases. To make sure the strategy fits the purpose, outline the strategic decisions you want to inform as well as the key milestones and timelines of relevant HPC outcomes (Situation Analysis/Flash Appeal, HNO, etc.).
In order to protect local markets from potential harms done by the WASH intervention, or with the objective to use or strenghten local market, market assessments should be made prior to the intervention (or as a preparedness actions) on the main WASH related market systems (hygiene kits, latrine construction material, labor market etc..). See the 2021 revised GWC MBP WASH Guidance for more details.
Implement an assessment diagnosis
Describe the assessment landscapes, i.e. who collects what data, when and how. Explain how the different assessment initiatives will contribute to meet your information needs. Outline key gaps, limitations, and challenges, and how they can be addressed. Finally, outline the assessment coordination architecture, such as fora and meetings, including relevant assessment/IM working groups, the coordination platform should attend or set up.
Define data collection modalities and needed resources
Define how the information gap can be filled with primary data collection, and who will do it (partners, coordination platform, specialized agencies). Estimate the resources (financial, human) that will be needed for assessment coordination, data collection and analysis. Evaluate what is currently available and explain how gaps will be addressed through fundraising, recruitment, capacity building, or contracting specialized assessment agencies, such as REACH, ACAPS, etc.
The following practical considerations should be considered:
Most of the budget needed by the coordination platform for assessment will come from UNICEF, and need to be properly included in their proposals to donors (CERF, OFDA, etc.)
The WASH coordination team can include an assessment specialist deployed for a short period to lead an assessment, for training or preparedness purpose;
When no specific resource can be dedicated to assessment, data collection can be done by WASH partners through a harmonized process coordinated by the WASH coordination platform.
REACH assessment support
Created in 2010, REACH is a joint initiative of IMPACT Initiatives, ACTED and the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). REACH has operated at the heart of the Cluster system since its first deployment in 2010. Since then, REACH has supported coordination platforms in grounding their work on evidence in order to ensure effective and efficient humanitarian response. Click here for an exemple of how REACH is supporting WASH clusters assessment process.