WASH Works: a global conversation about water and the SDGs

A blue graphic featuring a tap with hands washing and the title of the series, WASH Works

WASH Works: water and the SDGs

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the fact that billions of people lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation services — critical to prevent and contain diseases. In this series we explore the many ways in which water, sanitation and hygiene efforts intersect with other development challenges, specifically in low- and middle-income countries. Read on for more on how WASH impacts on sustainability, water security, water resources management, gender, disability, health, education, social inclusion, nutrition, and more.


In 2021, Water for Women delivered the WASH works series with Devex, the aim of which was to drive a global conversation about the critical importance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and water security. The series produced a range of content that highlighted how water and WASH underpins everything we do in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, deepened understanding that Water and WASH is a critical step in building climate resilience and explored how WASH as an important entry point to achieving gender equality, disability and social inclusion.


The WASH Works series was launched on Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021 and ran throughout the year, with the final piece published for World Water Day in 2022. Over this time, the series brought over 150,000 interested readers to its microsite, published 52 pieces, a mix of editorial, visual, video and podcast content with the conversation continuing across social media and partner platforms.


Produced in partnership with Devex, other key partners included Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Water Partnership, World Vision, Simavi and IMA World Health. Many development organisations contributed their expertise to the series, such as World Bank and UNICEF. Several Water for Women partners also contributed their time, experience and insights to some fantastic outputs as part of the series. You can explore these specific pieces below.

Explore the series


Water for Women in #WASHWorks

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21st March, 2022

To ensure positive and sustainable behavior change in WASH practices, we need to address underlying negative social norms. Without this, WASH services are less effective, less climate-resilient, and less sustainable.

Op-Ed by Water for Women's Sue Cavill and Joanna Mott for World Water Day, 2022.

Read the article 


13th December, 2021

Inclusive water, sanitation, and hygiene is the crucial building block of a climate-resilient future. Water for Women’s Alison Baker calls for targeted action to increase inclusion and cross-sectoral collaboration — ensuring no one is left behind in the climate race.

Read the article


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A video still of a lady dressed in pink pumping water from a community tap stand overlaid with text of the title of article at link

3rd December, 2021

A bottom-up approach that involves women and people with disabilities in the design process is key to inclusive and resilient WASH services.

Featuring insights from the University of Technology Sydney, Institute for Sustainable Futures, Plan International, IWMI, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and WaterAid.



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30th November, 2021

Around the world, children play in the same spaces they poop in and can become seriously sick. Researchers in the Solomon Islands are trying to tackle a WASH problem that is more complex than flushing the toilet.

Featuring insights from International WaterCentre in Griffith University, Solomon Islands National University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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18th August, 2021

Ahead of World Water Week 2021, WASH Works partners entered the twittersphere with a Twitter conversation on how #WASHWorks to positively impact the SDGs.

View highlights


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A video still close up of a tap with running water overlaid with the text title of the article at link

5th August, 2021

Working together with communities to design and implement inclusive WASH projects is key to their success — and to ensuring WASH activities actually meet the needs of the people they are aimed at serving.

These photos highlight WASH projects around the world dedicated to putting people at the center, featuring the work of many Water for Women partners across Asia and the Pacific.



Picture of a woman washing a water vessel overlaid with text, the title of the article, 'How partnerships are driving inclusion in the WASH sector'

29th July, 2021

Partnerships between civil service organizations, research institutions, and local governments are helping to elevate the voices of women and other underrepresented groups and create more inclusive solutions in the WASH space.

Featuring insights from the University of Technology, Institute for Sustainable Futures, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Ability Bhutan Society,  International WaterCentre at Griffith University and Solomon Islands University. 



A screenshot of video thumbnails for a series called 'getting the word out on WASH'

28th June, 2021

Peter O'Connor, Director of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene section in Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade discusses the ripple effect of investments in WASH.

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A grab of a Devex article featuring a woman in a wheelchair and the title 'Menstrual Hygiene Day: WASH's role in menstrual hygiene management'

28th May, 2021

Advocates say the WASH sector plays a critical role in ensuring women, girls, and people worldwide can engage in safe and dignified menstruation.

The #WASHWorks series launched with this editorial article by Devex, which coincided with the launch of Water for Women's learning brief on menstrual health and hygiene and WASH, Pivotal not peripheral: Ending period poverty by prioritising menstrual health and hygiene in WASH.

Featuring insights from Centre for Advocacy and Research, Plan International Indonesia, Water for Women and Thrive Networks / East Meets West

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