Charting a course to climate-resilient and inclusive WASH

Womens group in Liquiçá, Timor-Leste, sit together in an outdoor undercover area gathered around four women who are crouching by and writing on a large piece of poster paper. Another woman stands by them in mid-speech. The women are participating in an impact diagram activity to identify interlinkages between climate, WASH, and livelihoods, facilitated by UTS-ISF and WaterAid in Timor-Leste.

A women’s group in Liquiçá, Timor-Leste, participate in an impact diagram activity to identify interlinkages between climate, WASH, and livelihoods (UTS-ISF / Jeremy Kohlitz) 


Climate change is leading to water stress and insecurity and threatening the sustainability of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services across Asia and the Pacific. This stark reality calls for new and innovative approaches to address the challenges confronting communities and contribute to building climate resilience. A new, free, massive online open course (MOOC) offers a way forward for those in the global WASH sector to rise to these challenges.

The MOOC on climate change, gender, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) and WASH was developed by the University of Technology Sydney – Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS-ISF) and partners with support from the Australian Government through a Water for Women Innovation & Impact (I&I) project grant for Climate Change Response for Inclusive WASH: Transferring Knowledge for Greater Impact. The I&I project built on UTS-ISF’s earlier Water for Women work under the Climate Change Response for Inclusive WASH project, which explored different approaches for assessing and addressing the multiple intersecting impacts of climate change on WASH services, gender equality and the well-being of communities.

The self-paced and interactive MOOC is highly accessible and shares key learnings from the CCRIW project, as well as UTS-ISF’s broader Water for Women work over the past six years. The course was launched during CoP 27 in Egypt in November 2022, followed by a campaign that has actively promoted the course to the global WASH sector and seen more than 620 participants register so far.  


A blue tile featuring an illustration of a computer to the right and in the top left the title: A climate change and inclusive WASH online course.

"It was a pleasure, and a very interesting and informative six-ish hours well spent!"

David Clatworthy, International Rescue Committee Pakistan

The MOOC disseminates the learnings and materials produced in CCRIW, and also provides a foundational understanding of key thinking on climate change, GEDSI and WASH. It has been independently audited to improve accessibility for people with sensory impairments and has received positive peer reviews.

The course covers:

  • the problem of climate change for WASH
  • how to assess climate impacts on inclusive WASH
  • how to respond to impacts
  • building institutional capacity to support climate resilient and inclusive WASH.


"It is very interesting course! Very appropriate. This is what we, and I, believe the local government, national level government officials are looking for."

Ratan Budhathoki, SNV Nepal


The online course was designed specifically to strengthen the capacity of WASH sector professionals on the climate change, GEDSI, and WASH nexus. The course makes several important contributions in this regard:

  1. It translates often bewildering climate change concepts and theories into understandable terms for WASH professionals using practical WASH examples. This builds capacity to engage with other sectors in climate discussions and consider the relevance of climate change and GEDSI to their work.
  2. It repeatedly explains the relevance of GEDSI through case study examples, quotes, interactive activities, and more. This contributes to sector understanding of climate resilience and vulnerability in social terms as well as biophysical terms.
  3. It provides guidance on practical tools and activities that implementers and researchers can use in their projects and programs.
  4. It provides a library of resources that sector professionals can come back to at any time to deepen their learning on specific topics of interest.
  5. It provides an interactive platform for participants to share their own thoughts and experiences, read those of others, and communicate with one another on the topic of climate change and inclusive WASH.


"Thanks for including me in the training, it was a great training for the people who want to know more about the interconnection between climate change and WASH, very informative, and good job from the team to develop this training.”

Stevie Nappoe, Plan International Indonesia

Broader WASH sector contributions

As part of this I&I project, the UTS-ISF project team also engaged with UNICEF to tailor some of the learnings from CCRIW for training webinars for UNICEF offices throughout the East Asia and Pacific region, and the Central and West Africa region. These connections have led to a stronger partnership between UTS-ISF and UNICEF from which to build further collaboration in the critical area of climate change, GEDSI and WASH.


Learning and knowledge from the project:


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