Ethiopia: Emergency WASH Response Minimum Standard (Revised on 4 April 2020)

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Community engagement

Engaging with the community creates essential understanding of perceptions, needs, coping mechanisms, capacities, existing norms, leadership structure and priorities, as well as the appropriate actions to take. Monitoring and evaluation, including feedback mechanisms, demonstrate whether WASH responses are appropriate or need to be adjusted.

A combination of approaches and coordination

Market-based assistance can efficiently and effectively meet WASH needs, such as by ensuring access to hygiene items. Cashbased programming should be complemented by other WASH activities.
Close coordination and collaboration with other sectors as well as coordination with local authorities and other responding agencies helps ensure that needs are met, that efforts are not duplicated, and that the quality of WASH responses is optimized. For example, when nutritional standards are not met, the urgency to meet the water and sanitation standards is higher because people’s vulnerability to disease has increased.


Protection in WASH responses is often considered from the perspective of personal protection and safety, recognizing particular vulnerability during water collection, defecation or menstrual hygiene management. Such personal protection elements are essential, but wider protection concerns are fundamental, too. Simple measures, such as locks on toilet doors, adequate lighting and facilities segregation can reduce the risk of abuse or violence.