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ACF-INTERNATIONAL MANUAL : 1 + 1 = 3 : HOW TO INTEGRATE WASH AND MHCP ACTIVITIES FOR BETTER HUMANITARIAN PROJECTS

As part of its work to promote its integration to other sectors and in line with the technical axis developed in 2012, the WASH department, highly supported by the SMPS sector, produced this simple and attractive manual to stimulate integration strategies between those two sectors in the ACF missions. The author is a world recognised WASH professional, with a strong anthropologic approach, John Adams.

Integration in humanitarian projects is about combining the work of different sectors in ways that produce synergies, which means greater impact, effects and results than when they work separately. The integrated approach has been successfully applied in ACF programmes in many different contexts and has demonstrated benefits to affected populations and programme staff. In integrated programmes there is a stronger focus on fighting undernutrition; interventions are more coherent, more comprehensive and more sensitive to the needs and priorities of people at risk of undernutrition and disasters. Programme staff has more meaningful and satisfying jobs and ACF country missions have a stronger sense of direction and purpose. This book is about how to integrate the work of two of ACF’s technical sectors of intervention – WASH2 and MHCP.3 These two sectors have evident links in two broad areas: support for care practices through improved access to water, sanitation and hygiene at household and community levels; and psychosocial aspects of WASH interventions, including aspects such as culturally sensitive design of interventions, protection and security of care givers, and channels for feedback from affected populations.

This document does not provide a standard approach or strict recommendations. Integrating WASH and MHCP interventions will always require imagination and creativity to adapt the approach to specific conditions, opportunities and constraints in each context. The book is designed to stimulate reflection and encourage initiatives to seek opportunities for closer integration of these two sectors. It provides examples and tools for integration, highlights possible obstacles and proposes strategies for overcoming them. It provides ideas, examples and resources that can be used at all stages of the project cycle. It is intended for readers at strategic and operational levels, in ACF country missions and at headquarters.

The contents of the book are organised as follows:

  1. Integration – what’s it all about? – Integration is defined and different modes of integration are presented. ACF’s commitment to the integrated approach, plus its benefits is explained.
  2. How to integrate in practice – contains advice for integration, with examples, that can be used at different stages of the project cycle, with links to tools and other resources.
  3. Where to next? – Future possibilities are considered, including recommendations from a WASH-MHCP integration workshop and questions for monitoring integration at country level.

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