The recipe for success: How policy-makers can integrate water, sanitation and hygiene into actions to end malnutrition
This report (PDF) by WaterAid, Action Against Hunger and Share, aims to provide a toolkit to stimulate debate and discussion of the options and opportunities to bring together water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and nutrition policies and programmes. The report analyses the approaches governments and donors are taking to cross-integrate nutrition and WASH within their nutrition and WASH national policies and plans. Multi-sectoral interventions are essential to address each of the underlying determinants of malnutrition, including WASH. Comprehensive integration of different sectors under a multi-sectoral umbrella is not always possible, so ensuring key sectors are nutrition-sensitive is also crucial. Existing guidelines and practical tools are useful for integrating nutrition and WASH at programme and project levels. However, to transform these into large-scale investments and impact, governments must mainstream nutrition considerations into national policy frameworks and institutional structures. Likewise, inclusion of the right nutrition priorities and incentives in WASH policies will foster and support multiplication of nutrition-sensitive initiatives. National governments and donors, and both nutrition and WASH actors need to shift mindsets; develop ambitious policies and plans; create eﬀective coordination mechanisms and flexible funding; and share lessons and experiences globally. A key recommendation for national governments is to ensure policies and financing align with both the nutrition- and WASH-related SDGs and effective cross-ministerial coordination mechanisms should be established at the highest level by heads of state. Nutrition policy-makers and practitioners should prioritise nutrition-sensitive WASH interventions and include objectives to improve WASH within nutrition, while WASH policy-makers and practitioners should increase the nutrition-sensitivity of policies, including by targeting geographical areas where undernutrition is most prevalent. Donor agencies should promote and fund multi-sectoral approaches and prioritise flexible financing, capacity-building and convening power. Technical partners, civil society and global partnerships should support government-led efforts, policy formulation, budget allocation and strengthening of the accountability loop.