05 December 2018

About the STEP Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management in Humanitarian Crises


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This STEP was developed within the framework of the project “cewas Middle East”, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The objective of cewas Middle East is to improve business practices in water and sanitation in the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region and to support humanitarian water and sanitation actors to improve the sustainability of their services. To achieve this mission, cewas Middle East offers professional training, coaching, mentorship and consulting in business development, as well as specialised trainings in sustainable water, sanitation and resource management in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq.

Content of the STEP

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Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management (SSWM) in Humanitarian Crises means mainstreaming ideas of long-term technical feasibility, socio-cultural acceptance, economic appropriateness and ecological viability into humanitarian actions (see A Call for Sustainable Humanitarian Intervention factsheet). The present toolbox compiles approaches and methodologies that can help field practitioners in humanitarian aid to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of their water, sanitation and health interventions. This includes appropriate sanitation options, viable solutions for water supply and distribution, planning tools that support a more long-term perspective, as well as approaches for hygiene promotion.


Different settings of humanitarian intervention require different approaches in terms of implementation time, available resources or human capacity. For this reason, the toolbox for SSWM in Humanitarian Crises is structured in four chapters, reflecting four settings of humanitarian intervention:

Each chapter begins with an introductory factsheet that describes the respective setting (including its particular challenges and characteristics), followed by four thematic sections:

All the descriptions of technologies, tools and approaches are backed by interesting reading material to be consulted for further information.

In the four thematic areas, the toolbox presents a broad range of possible tools, selected for the respective setting by a team of experts. Since the appropriateness is determined by the very specific context, the environmental, technical, financial, social and economic framework conditions of the individual situation must always be assessed together with stakeholders and the affected communities when designing the intervention.

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Partners behind this toolbox

About the SSWM Toolbox

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