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The Global Water Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster, or Global WASH Cluster (GWC) is a partnership grouping 32 partners and aiming at improving the coordination and the humanitarian response in the WASH Sector. It is managed through a governance system designed to facilitate the achievement of the 2016-2020 GWC Strategic Plan in a transparent and efficient manner.  The Global WASH Cluster Strategic Plan that sets out the priorities decided by Partners will be reviewed and monitored to take into consideration the contextual changes associated with the Transformative Agenda of the Humanitarian Reform.

Emphasis is put on the support provided to National WASH Coordination Platforms in the achievement of the 6 core coordination functions as identified in the IASC Cluster Coordination Reference Module. This support is provided through the Field Support Team of the GWC cluster and using a series of tools developed under the coordination of the Cluster Advocacy and Support Team.

As the Cluster Lead Agency for the Global WASH Cluster, UNICEF is responsible for establishing broad partnership bases (i.e. “clusters”) that engage in activities in three main areas, as follows: Setting Standards and Policies The WASH CLA is responsible for consolidating and disseminating standards, as well as identifying ‘best practice’ for areas requiring technical expertise. Where necessary, the CLA will also develop standards and policies where there are none already existing.

The Global WASH Cluster Strategic Plan (GWCSP) sets out the priorities decided by Partners for 2016 to 2020. The Global WASH Cluster (GWC) has the primary mandate of “strengthening system-wide preparedness and coordination of technical capacity to respond predictably to humanitarian emergencies, and provide clear leadership and accountability in the main areas of humanitarian response.” The GWC exists to support the achievement of the 6+1 core coordination functions at the country level as described in the Cluster Coordination Reference Module1, that support the effective and predictable delivery of appropriate WASH for those affected by an emergency.

Overall, the GWC is committed to (1) supporting agencies providing WASH services to those affected by emergencies, (2) ensuring the quality and coherence of the assistance, and (3) ensuring that the assistance is provided in a manner that is equitable, culturally acceptable and protects the dignity of the populations affected by crises.

Learn more about the GWC here.