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Support robust Humanitarian WASH advocacy

Having no direct authority on the WASH partners and more generally on the response actors, advocacy is the main tool of the WASH Sector Coordinator when it comes to addressing issues identified through the monitoring and gap analysis.

Set up an advocacy strategy

The WASH coordination platform must elaborate an advocacy strategy endorsed by the SAG, in which priority advocacy themes are defined, based on local context and WASH strategic objectives. It is important to foster a sense of collective responsibility with partners for advocacy. Once the advocacy strategy and messages have been agreed, partners can play an important role in relaying advocacy messages at country, regional or global level. The advocacy strategy can be a separate chapter in the WASH Cluster Strategic Operational Framework.

Undertake operational advocacy actions 

Once operational gaps have been analysed and identified (slow response, lack of access etc.), they must be addressed. The WASH coordination platform is usually not in a position to directly address them, having no operational capacity, few staff or budget available. It should rather inform adequate decision making persons of the identified issues through operational advocacy actions (raise issues in cluster meeting, one-to-one meeting with partners, email communication, etc.), and follow up on their resolution. If advocacy at sub-national level is not successful, WASH sector coordinator can also engage with partner's capital office, HQ, or donors.

WASH sector coordinator should also seek to build strong partnership with WASH-relevant ministries and other public institution, and with donors, to be in a position to address advocacy actions directly to them when relevant. 

Identify concerns, and contribute to high level messaging and actions

Some response issues can be caused by factors external to WASH partners: low availability of skilled national personnel or locally available quality material, security issues preventing access or monitoring, non-respect of humanitarian principles by some actors etc. While WASH partners can overcome some of them by adapting their implementation strategies, many others can be solved only by high level actors such as OCHA's Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), who are in direct contact with high level governmental officials, military authorities, UN peacekeepers and donors. The WASH sector coordinator is usually not in direct contact with HC and HCT, but can report pressing issues to the inter-cluster coordinator and/or the UNICEF country representative, who can group concerns from various clusters and forward them to higher level. The Global WASH Cluster is also a platform where important issues can be reported by both WASH sector coordinators and partners, and discussed and address by partners' HQ WASH Advisors.