Water, Sanitation and Hygiene


UNICEF publications on water, sanitation and hygiene

A selection of technical, policy and advocacy documents produced by UNICEF on water, sanitation, hygiene and the environment.
(Note that links to partner organizations on this page will open in a new window and will take you to a non-UNICEF web site.)

Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2015 Update
This is the latest publication by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. The report details global progress towards the MDG target for drinking water and sanitation and  provides the latest estimates of progress in water and sanitation coverage at the sub-national, national, regional and global levels.

Accountability in WASH: Explaining the Concept

Accountability in WASH: Explaining the Concept

A Strategic Framework for WASH Climate Resilient Development and Technical Briefs for Implementation


Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation: 2013 Update

This is the latest publication by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. The report details global progress towards the MDG target for drinking water and sanitation, and what these trends suggest for the remainder of the Water for Life Decade 2005-2015. This report also provides the latest estimates of progress in water and sanitation coverage at the sub-national, national, regional and global levels. [PDF]

JMP WHO/UNICEF Fact sheets, 2013

WASH - Human Rights that are crucial to health and development [PDF]

WASH Post-2015: proposed targets and indicators for households, schools and health centres [PDF]

Towards a Post-2015 development agenda [PDF]

Post-2015 WASH targets and indicatos [PDF]

WASH for Schoolchildren in Emergencies, A Guidebook for Teachers, 2011

A teacher's guide, includng numerous pictures and diagrams about the importance of WASH and WASH education / promotion for children in emergencies. [PDF]. There are also sets of associated flashcards / picture cards for different regions that can be adapted for multiple uses and for different contexts. [Africa, Latin America].

WASH in Schools Monitoring Package, 2011

The monitoring package outlines how and why to oversee WASH in Schools programs, not only for the success of the program, but also for tracking trends and progress at various levels of government. [PDF: English, French, Spanish, Russian]

Compendium on Transitional Learning Spaces, 2011

Resources for improving school design and construction in emergency situations.  [Set of links at the bottom of the page]

Manual Drilling Series

Resources include a code of practice for cost-effective boreholes, technical manuals, case studies, videos and maps on the groundwater development page. Materials were completed in 2010 and are available in English and French.

Soap Stories and Toilet Tales: Global Handwashing Day Edition, 2010

These 9 case studies cover a wide range of experiences from the field related to Global Handwashing Day, documenting successes and challenges in various settings [PDF]. 

UNICEF WASH Annual reports

2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

UNICEF is launching a new campaign to raise awareness about WASH in Schools called 'Raising Clean Hands.'

Raising Clean Hands: A Call to Action through WASH in Schools
Communications Strategy 2010
Advocacy Pack 2010

Community Approaches to Total Sanitation Fieldnote

The fieldnote include case studies from India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Zambia documenting their experiences with Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) [PDF].

Diarrhoea: why children are still dying and what can be done (UNICEF, WHO, 2009)

The WHO/UNICEF report focuses attention on the prevention and management of diarrhoeal diseases;  examines the latest available information on the burden and distribution of childhood diarrhoea; looks at how well countries are doing in making available key interventions proven to reduce its toll; lays out a new strategy for diarrhoea control and sets out a 7-point plan that includes a treatment package to reduce childhood diarrhoea deaths, as well as a prevention package to make a lasting reduction in the diarrhoea burden in the medium to long term. [PDF].

Soap, Toilets and Taps: A Foundation for Healthy Children, How UNICEF Supports Water, Sanitation, Hygiene

UNICEF’s long-standing support to improving WASH stems from a firm conviction, based on evidence, that these interventions are central to ensuring the rights of children to  survive, grow and develop into healthy and fulfilled citizens of the world. This publication outlines UNICEF's activities in water supply, sanitation and hygiene, showing their importance to UNICEF's overall mission, against the perspective of the global challenge of achieving the MDGs. [PDF] [condensed version], [Fr condensed version], [Sp condensed version]

10 Sanitation Stories: Case Studies from Around the World

These 10 case studies cover a wide range of experiences from the field in the sanitation sector, documenting successes and challenges in various settings. To access the stories individually, click below. Download all the stories at once [PDF].

1. Egypt: Empowered for good: Children in Upper Egypt change environment and sanitation habits [PDF]

2. India: SWASTHH: India’s ‘clean school and village’ movement [PDF]

3. Senegal: ‘Building for life’—in the midst of civil insurgency [PDF]

4. Bolivia: A new-fangled device arrives in the Bolivian Altiplano: the toilet [PDF]

5. Cambodia: A Cambodian village decides to bring sanitation closer to home [PDF]

6. Zambia: Chief Macha’s toilet revolution [PDF]

7. Nepal: School-led total sanitation seems unstoppable [PDF]

8. Sierra Leone: Singing about the unmentionable [PDF]

9. Nicaragua: ‘Being dirty had to end’ [PDF]

10. Bangladesh: Tackling menstrual hygiene taboos [PDF]

Towards Effective Programming for WASH in Schools: A manual on scaling up programmes for water, sanitation and hygiene in schools

This 2007 UNICEF – IRC joint publication is an update of the 1998 manual on  water, sanitation and hygiene education in schools. It describes many of the elements needed for scaling up programmes in schools while ensuring quality and sustainability. The manual is intended as a resource for government, UNICEF, NGOs and other stakeholders involved in programming for WASH in schools. [PDF]

UNICEF Handbook on Water Quality

Water quality is a growing concern throughout the developing world. Drinking water sources are under increasing threat from contamination, with far-reaching consequences for the health of children and for the economic and social development of communities and nations. This handbook is a comprehensive a new tool to help UNICEF and its partners meet the responsibility of protecting water sources and mitigating quality problems. The handbook provides an introduction to all aspects of water quality, with a particular focus on the areas most relevant to professionals working in developing countries. It covers the effects of poor water quality, quality monitoring, the protection of water supplies, methods for improving water quality, and building awareness and capacity related to water quality. Finally, the handbook provides an extensive set of links to key water quality references and resources. [PDF]

Sanitation and hygiene promotion: programming guidance

This document is about setting in place a process whereby people (women, children and men) effect and sustain a hygienic and healthy environment for themselves. It talks about developing a programme for more effective investment in sanitation and hygiene promotion. It is not about developing projects and it does not give blue-print solutions for project-level interventions. Rather it lays out a process for long-term change which may encompass institutional transformation of the policy and organizational arrangements for provision of goods and services. This publication was produced jointly by WSSCC, WHO, LSHTM, PAHO, UNICEF, USAID, WEDC and WSP. [PDF]

Sanitation Marketing Guidance Notes

Guidance Note 1: Favourable Conditions for SanMark [PDF] | Note d'orientation 1 : Analyse de la situation [PDF]

Guidance Note 2: Consumer Behaviour [PDF]  | Note d'orientation 2 :  Comportment du Consommateur [PDF]

Guidance Note 3: Developing Supply Chains and Business Models [PDF]  | Note d'orientation 3: Les chaines d'approvisionnement [PDF]

Guidance Note 4: Business Development [PDF]  | Note d'orientation 4 : Developpement du secteur prive [PDF]

Guidance Note 5: Getting the Product and Service Right [PDF]  | Note d'orientation 5 : Obtenir le bon produit et le bon service [PDF]

Guidance Note 6: Enabling Environment [PDF]  | Note d'orientation 6 : Environnment favorable [PDF]

Guidance Note 7: Demand Creation  [PDF]  | Note d'orientation 7 : Promotion et marketing de la demande [PDF]

Guidance Note 8: Reaching the Poor [PDF]  | Note d'orientation 8 : L'equite dans le marketing de l'assainissement [PDF]

Guidance Note 9 : Monitoring and Evaluation [PDF] | | Note d'orientation 9 : Suivi et evaluation [PDF]

Guidance Note 10: Sanitation Marketing and CATS [PDF] | Note d'orientation 10 : Le Marketing de l'Assainissement et l'ATPC [PDF]


Progress for Children: A Report Card on Water and Sanitation (No.5)                                                                   

Unsafe water and the lack of basic sanitation and adequate hygiene contribute to the leading killers of children under five, including diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia and undernutrition, and have implications for whether children, especially girls, attend school. This means that achieving Millennium Development Goal 7 and its 2015 targets of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation are of vital relevance for children and for improving nutrition, education and women's status. Progress for Children: A Report Card on Water and Sanitation will report on whether the world is on course to reach MDG 7 - and where efforts are falling short. [PDF]

UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Strategy                                                  

UNICEF Executive Board approved strategies for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programming. [PDF]

Handwashing Promotion - Monitoring and Evaluation Module 

This guide will walk you through planning and implementing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for your handwashing promotion programme. [PDF]

Water for Life - Making it Happen

The 2005 publication from the WHO/UNICF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply analyzes essential investments and strategies to increase accessto water and sanitation between now and the Millennium Development Goal deadline year of 2015.  [PDF]

Framework for Action on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Schools A UNICEF/IRC report of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Schools Roundtable meeting, which took place in Oxford, UK, 24-26 January 2005. With the support of Oxfam, UK, and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), UNICEF and IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) gathered more than 100 people to share experiences and expertise and to examine barriers to education related to water and sanitation issues. 

Water: A Matter of Life and Health
In a new publication about UNICEF's water programme in India, authors Maggie Black and Rupert Talbot examine what has been done and needs to be done to fulfill the promise of ‘drinking water and sanitation for all’ [PDF - publication summary]

Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target: a Mid-Term Assessment of Progress
The 2004 publication from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme on global statistics for water and sanitation. The coverage figures - from 1990 and 2002 - show that the sanitation target of halving the number of unserved people worldwide by 2015 will not be met without a dramatic acceleration in the provision of services.
[PDF or print version]  [Web version] 

Childhood Lead Poisoning: Information for Advocacy and Action
This booklet is part of UNICEF's ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the linkages between environmental factors and the well-being of children. Childhood Lead Poisoning is published in partnership with UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme.

Facts for Life
Lifesaving knowledge about children‘s health for parents, caregivers, health workers, government officials, journalists and teachers. Facts for Life represents the best current understanding of science, policy and practice. Including chapters on hygiene and diarrhoea.
[PDF or print version]

Global Water Supply and Sanitation Assessment 2000
The year 2000 report from the Joint Monitoring Programme.

Motivating Better Hygiene Behaviour: Importance for Public Health, Mechanisms for Change
An examination of why conventional hygiene educational programmes fail, and a presentation of alternative approaches (an older document reissued due to popular demand). Motivating Better Hygiene Behaviour is produced in partnership with IRC, International Water and Sanitation Centre.  

Learning from Experience: Water and Environmental Sanitation in India
Lessons learned from India - UNICEF's longest running programme of support for water, sanitation and hygiene. Report from an evaluation covering 30 years of programming experience.
[PDF or print version]

Sanitation for All: Promoting dignity and human rights
The UNICEF sanitation brochure is a tool for generating new sanitation and hygiene policy and programme actions at country, regional and international levels.

Water and Sanitation Technical Guidelines Series

Communication for Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation Manual
This manual, with a focus on sound principles in programme communication, provides guidance on how to incorporate  communication and behaviour change approaches in water and environmental sanitation programmes.

Hygiene Promotion Manual
This manual presents a methodology for bottom-up programming for hygiene promotion: first finding out what people know about hygiene through formative research in people's knowledge and practices, and then combining this with state-of-the-art expert knowedge and appropriate communication strategies to develop effective and sustainable programming models. This manual was produced in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Ministry of Health of  Burkina Faso.

Sanitation Handbook
The manual—first in the Technical Guidelines series—provides tools to support national and local initiatives for improved sanitation programming. The Sanitation Handbook was produced in partnership with EHP, the Environmental Health Project.

School Sanitation and Hygiene Manual
A comprehensive discussion and guidance document on both hardware and software aspects needed to bring about changes in schools, in the hygiene behaviour of students and, through these students, in the community at large. The Manual On School Sanitation and Hygiene is produced in partnership with IRC, the International Water and Sanitation Centre.

Water Handbook
A comprehensive review and guide on procedures, methodologies and technologies for water programmes.




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