“Operationalizing the Triple Nexus ensures the sustainability of WASH investments, contributing to strengthening the WASH Sector Resilience, thus paving the road for advancing the sustainable development goals, while enabling a more timely, predictable, high quality and cost-effective humanitarian response in times of crisis.” (‘Roadmap 2020-25’: Initiative 3.5 – Objective)

About a year ago, the Global WASH Cluster, Sanitation and Water for all, UNICEF, the IFRC and the German WASH Network convened the Event “Building Resilient WASH Systems in Fragile States”, which took place at UNHCR in Geneva. For the first time, development and humanitarian actors met with equal participation. At the meeting, the Global WASH Cluster (GWC) and the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership (SWA) began discussing possible future collaboration. This process fed into the development of the global humanitarian WASH Roadmap 2020-25 and also into SWA's new Strategic Framework 2020-30 “All, Always and Everywhere”, which today both contain a clear mandate to continue on this path for better alignment. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Amongst all the setbacks that came with it, the pandemic accelerated progress with regard to the triple nexus. International development actors participated in a global response, coordinating with humanitarian actors. Awareness of the importance of the Nexus increased as a result.

Under the umbrella of the Roadmap 2020-25, SWA, GWC, UNICEF and the German WASH Network collaborated to outline a dedicated roadmap initiative ‘3.5 Triple Nexus’ based on the results of the Geneva event. An implementation plan has been validated, with input from the broader sector. The initiative aims to create an enabling ecosystem which uses synergies and strengthens coordination, collaboration and learning across the development and humanitarian WASH sectors. This includes the creation of a shared vision, the formalisation of cross-partnership collaboration, high-level advocacy for WASH sector reform and the development of a ‘Joint Operational Framework’ (JOF), useful to practitioners at all levels. Globally, the JOF should outline a harmonized way of working for the humanitarian-development WASH sectors. At the national level they seek to formalise sector-wide systematic coordination and facilitate institutionalisation and leadership.

As a co-lead of these efforts the German WASH Network (GWN) invites the humanitarian and developments sectors to take stock and launch the Triple Nexus Initiative. The GWN is consciously committed to the nexus topic since 2011. This has been proven by the 2014 publication “Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development in the WASH sector” and several dialogue events that were convened at different World Water Weeks with the aim of bringing together humanitarian and development actors and strengthening their complementarity.


The main goal of the event is to establish a consolidated vision for the Triple Nexus across the humanitarian and development WASH sectors, outline the Joint Operation Framework and its action plan and agree on next steps. The meeting strikes a balance between political dialogue, working time on process objectives and sufficient exchange for mutual learning. Learning Objectives
  1. Building a common understanding for the importance and the concept of the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus (Triple Nexus)
  2. Aligning definitions, terminology and perspectives between humanitarian and development partners
  3. Sharing experiences and case studies from different contexts based on COVID 19 experience
Process Objectives
  1. To bring together key SWA and GWC partners to launch Triple Nexus Initiative / partnership note
  2. To outline the JOF and develop a plan of action
  3. One year after Geneva: to take stock on the current initiatives and their progress
  4. To identify current challenges and bottlenecks as well as opportunities and solutions to overcome them


Please note: Spots for participation are limited, in order to allow for interaction. Registration is open until 1 Feb, 2021 here.

Date & Duration

Day 1: 11 February 2021 | 13:00 – 16:30 pm CET Day 2: 12 February 2021 | 13:00 – 16:30 pm CET


German WASH Network, GWC CAST, SWA Secretariat, UNICEF

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