Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
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In emergency situations, the need for simple-to-use, easy-to-transport and effective mechanisms for ensuring access to clean water is paramount.

Based on our Gap Analysis, our Problem Exploration Report on Water Treatment, and on consultations with WASH practitioners, the following priorities stood out:

  • the lack of an evidence base for the effectiveness of commonly used treatment technologies such as household water filters in humanitarian settings;
  • the lack of low tech, simple solutions which are acceptable, maintainable and sustainable by the local population;
  • and the limited evidence and guidance on safe water provision, especially when it comes to water chlorination and other disinfection protocols.

We have also produced a Challenge Candidate List, which provides a summary of the key challenges presented in the Problem Exploration Report on Water Treatment.

We have prioritised innovations looking to address these particular safe water challenges.

We have prioritised innovations looking to:

  1. Build evidence of the effectiveness of existing household water filters in a humanitarian setting;
  2. Develop innovative emergency household and community water treatment technologies or adapt existing technologies;
  3. Develop rapid and effective tools and methods to monitor and test water quality in emergencies;
  4. Develop research and guidance for safe water provision.

WASH in Emergencies Problem Exploration Report: Water Treatment

Despite the advances that have been made in coordination and professionalisation of water treatment in emergencies, there remain considerable knowledge gaps in field practice. These gaps range from operational concerns, to the lack of evidence-base for commonly applied interventions, to technological limitations. The present report puts forward three key areas which would benefit from innovations and research to improve the provision of safe water in emergency contexts.

Read our report

Our Safe Water Projects

Our Safe Water Tools & Research

Tool COVID-19, Water, sanitation & hygiene

WASH Innovation Catalogue

Report Water, sanitation & hygiene

WASH in Emergencies Problem Exploration Report: Water Treatment

Report Water, sanitation & hygiene

Gap Analysis in Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion

Safe Water Tools & Research from our projects

Report Water, sanitation & hygiene

Final Report: Developing an improved test for bacterial water contamination

Report Water, sanitation & hygiene

Final Report: Development of an affordable point-of-use test for detection of enteric viruses and viral fecal indicators in water

Report Refugees and IDPs, Water, sanitation & hygiene

Final report – outcomes and impact

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