Short-Term WASH Interventions in Emergency Response

February 2017

… some WASH interventions are successful at increasing access to water and sanitation services and reducing the risk of disease via outcomes and impacts. However, programme design, implementation characteristics and community psychosocial aspects are critical to programme success…

This systematic review synthesised evidence on sanitation and hygiene (S&H) interventions implemented in the first 12 months of an emergency response. Evidence that S&H interventions reduce disease risk was limited, although reduced transmission risk through the use of chlorine in water was documented most often. There was clear evidence against pumping wells flooded with seawater.

The review assessed how community perceptions and preferences affected the success of these interventions. Key factors included the taste and smell of water treatments, a preference for radio and face-to-face communication, and ease of use. Five programme design and implementation characteristics were identified as being associated with more effective programmes: timing; experienced staff; communication; community-driven engagement; and linking development programmes to emergency responses.

Additional details

ThemesChallenging contexts, Fragile contexts, Health, Sanitation and health impacts

Yates, T.; Allen, J.; Joseph, M.L. and Lantagne, D. (2017) Short-Term WASH Interventions in Emergency Response: A Systematic Review, 3ie Systematic Review 33, London: International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)


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