Partnerships for Transformation: Guidance for WASH and Rights Holder Organisations

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What is this guidance for?

This guidance offers insights into effective partnerships between water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector organisations and rights holder organisations (RHOs). It provides practical recommendations for
effective collaboration in all types of partnerships and is designed to support organisations looking to begin, build or strengthen partnerships to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Who should use this guidance?

This guidance is designed as a resource for WASH practitioners and researchers and for RHO representatives, in particular those from women’s organisations, organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and sexual and gender minority (SGM) organisations.

What does it include?

  • Effective partnership themes

  • Effective partnership recommendations

  • WASH and RHO partnership frameworks and experience

  • Partnerships with women’s organisations

  • Partnerships with organisations of persons with disabilities

  • Partnerships with sexual and gender minority organisations



Citation: Water for Women. (2022). Partnerships for Transformation: Guidance for WASH and Rights Holder Organisations.


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Water for Women acknowledges Isobel Davis and Melita Grant (University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures (UTS-ISF)) for their leadership of this collaborative Learning Agenda initiative and the development and collation of this guidance.

The following Water for Women staff and partners made extensive contributions to this initiative: Aleisha Carroll (CBM Australia), Lana Woolf (Edge Effect), Joanna Mott and Kate Orr (Water for Women Fund Coordinator), Chelsea Huggett, Navara Kiene and Sharon Pondros (WaterAid), Tshering Choden (SNV Bhutan), and Jo Crawford and Bronwyn Tilbury (International Women’s Development Agency). We also recognise their leadership in and support for fostering partnerships between WASH organisations and RHOs across Asia and the Pacific, and that of all our partners.

This guidance was built from a range of Water for Women projects, which are described in the resources section of the document as well as in the reference list. This guidance draws particularly on two Water for Women-funded studies of partnerships between WASH and gender equality organisations, led by UTS-ISF. 

Particular thanks go to the organisations of persons with disabilities who were interviewed for this guidance and to Joaozito dos Santos from Ra’es Hadomi Timor Oan in Timor-Leste for his peer review. Finally, special thanks to Bianca Nelson Vatnsdal and Mia Cusack (Water for Women), who led the design of this guidance.

This work was supported by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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