September 29, 2016

The BabyWASH Coalition

Written by Julia Rosenbaum and Renuka Bery, FHI 360


Mother holding baby

FHI 360 is pleased to participate in a new five-year global health initiative BabyWASH, which is harnessing the collective power of over 25 organizations to promote and implement program integration to improve child health and well-being in the first 1000 days. BabyWASH aims to integrate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) with nutrition, early childhood development (ECD), and maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). Multiple interventions during the first 1,000 day period can contribute to improved well-being.

The coalition is a direct response to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals  and the call for increased partnerships and inter-sectoral collaborations. BabyWASH will do this through an increased focus on advocacy, developing integration metrics, and offering preferred practices for programmatic implementers.

 We are excited that the BabyWASH Coalition directly supports the Every Woman Every Children (EWEC) movement and the United Nations Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030). To advance the initiative even further, FHI 360 along with World Vision International, WaterAid United Kingdom, and Action Against Hunger made a 2016 commitment to the United Nations to advance the Global Strategy. This commitment will help us stay focused and truly save lives.

Why is FHI 360 involved?

FHI 360 is a founding member of the Clean, Fed and Nurtured community of practice that links WASH, nutrition and early childhood development. Through the WASHplus project, USAID’s global flagship activity for environmental health from 2010-2016, and its predecessor Hygiene Improvement Project (HIP), FHI 360 broke new ground demonstrating effective integrated programming across both health and non-health sector programs, notably including WASH and HIV, WASH in schools, WASH and nutrition, WASH and NTDs, and supporting important innovations in both the WASH and clean cooking sectors. Key successes we bring to the coalition is our history of:

  • Advocating to keep the H of hygiene as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target
  • Introducing habit theory to WASH, with specific applications to handwashing in Zambia and Bangladesh
  • Applying a behavior-centered lens to clean cooking interventions
  • Moving the WASH integration agenda forward through conceptual contributions to advocacy, policy and program guidance, and field activities in WASHplus countries
  • Focusing on options to work more effectively within local systems and strengthen governance capacity of local government and other partners to enhance sustainability

FHI 360 continues to be committed in this space and our work in the BabyWASH Coalition and our commitment to EWEC’s strategy to address the health of women, children and adolescents remains steadfast.

To learn more about #BabyWASH visit

Photo courtesy of BabyWASH Coalition