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GWC Strategic Plan

Global WASH Cluster’s Strategic Plan

The Global WASH Cluster’s (GWC) Strategic Plan sets out the key priorities based on a broad consultation across key stakeholders. It describes how the GWC intends to meet the commitments associated with the 6+1 core functions. All GWC’s members are expected to contribute to the roll out of the Strategic Plan to achieve the objectives through active participative and engagement and partnership, at global and country levels.

The next GWC’s Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025 is currently under development and is guided by a broad consultation process with key stakeholders from the WASH sector (and beyond).  The strategy will build upon the achievements, learning, and best practices from the 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan, reflecting the important shifts in the operating context, crossing cutting, and transversal thematics. It will also take into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on coordination and the ‘fit-for-purpose of the current humanitarian architecture and cluster approach. It will also draw upon and align to other relevant strategic documents and will build upon recommendations from relevant evaluations and reviews of UNICEF as a Cluster Lead Agency (CLA) and cluster system. 

As part of the initial framing of the GWC’s Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025, the 25th GWC Annual Meeting provided an opportunity for dynamic discussions across a broad range of stakeholders on sectoral strategies, coordination, partnerships, and leadership. The outcomes of this event resulted in invaluable insights that will drive the GWC’s Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025 and shape the future of coordination. The GWC looks forward to the opportunities next Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025 to identify areas to work more effectively and collaboratively to ensure that the ambitious targets set out in the strategy and its implementation plan are met.

For a more sectoral strategy, please refer to the WASH Sector Roadmap here.

Role of the Cluster-lead Agency

As the Cluster Lead Agency (CLA) for the Global WASH Cluster, UNICEF is responsible for establishing broad partnership bases (i.e. “clusters”) that engage in activities in three main areas, as follows: 

Setting Standards and Policies

The WASH CLA is responsible for consolidating and disseminating standards, as well as identifying ‘best practice’ for areas requiring technical expertise. Where necessary, the CLA will also develop standards and policies where there are none already existing.

Building Response Capacity

The CLA is responsible for developing systems to build coordination, assessment and information management capacity and maintain standby rosters and surge capacity resources to ensure that unforeseen needs can be met, wherever they are. 

Operational Support

As ensuring there are dedicated coordination and information management support staff, the CLA secures access to appropriate technical expertise for preparedness, response, transition and long term recovery to National WASH Coordination Platforms. The responsibility to pool resources, ensure complementarity of response and to build and enhance partnerships mainly lies with the CLA. 


Advocating for the scale up of responses and for increased resources where necessary also falls under the CLA remit.

More info

More information on the role of CLAs can be found here in the UNICEF CCCs, and the UNICEF Cluster Coordination Guidance for Country Office.

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