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Introduction to WASH for Development

The IWC's nine-week 'Introduction to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for Development' online training course is a highly interactive program designed to equip development practitioners with an understanding of the fundamentals of the WASH sector.

Introduction to WASH for Development online course

Students will be introduced to the core principles involved in planning, designing and implementing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities to improve sustainable and equitable access to domestic water supply and sanitation facilities, and to improve hygiene behaviours.

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Key topics

The key topics include:

  1. Understanding both the health and social impacts arising from improved WASH services and facilities
  2. Key principles and approaches in the improvement of sanitation in both rural and urban areas
  3. Strategies for integration of behaviour change into WASH activities
  4. Methods for ensuring economic, environmental, social and technical sustainability of WASH facilities and services.

Course objectives

Students will understand why WASH programs are significant, what they should comprise, and how they can be conceived in order to achieve the maximum beneficial outcomes.


Who should participate

  • Present or future development practitioners working in civil society or non-government organisations, government institutions, donor organisations and consulting firms.
  • Those working in the water industry in the industrialised world, wanting an understanding of approaches to WASH problems in the developing world.
  • The course caters to those working in, or supporting work in, low- and middle-income countries.

"I really enjoyed the course, particularly the development dimension of it. It helped me understand the role of WASH in development."

2015 course participant

Why choose this course

The International WaterCentre's training team will draw upon its expertise and experience in the WASH sector to deliver a highly practical course. We will share lessons from working with a range of organisations to enable them to improve delivery of sustainable and effective WASH services.

Course active learning format

IWC firmly believes in active learning approaches – our approaches support course participants to actively engage with teachers and their peers to discuss issues and ideas, and to consider the application of new knowledge in real-world situations.

The course format will include interactive classrooms, flipped learning, quizzes, group activities, discussion forums, and facilitated learning. 

"The IWC lecturers are resourceful and demonstrate mastery of the subject."

2015 course participant

Course requirements

This is a professional development course in the fundamentals of the WASH sector in international development.  Students are expected to have either background knowledge of international development through higher education or experience, or a professional background in the water industry in industrialised countries.

Approximately 4 hours per week will be required to study materials and participate in online classes.

You will also need access to a computer with:

  • a minimum internet upload speed of 0.8 Mbps/second (to participate in live classrooms),
  • either Microsoft Windows (version XP or greater: XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or 8) or Apple OSX (version 10.2 or greater)
  • permission to download, install, and run software on your computer as this may be required.


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