An Introduction to Community Engagement in WASH

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People affected by emergencies can face increased risks to health from inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene and disease outbreaks. Involving communities affected by the crisis in the response, so that the delivery of facilities and services works for them, is a vital part of Oxfam’s WASH response in emergencies.

Listening to different groups and individuals is key to community engagement. Understanding how people view risk and how they cope in a crisis can help to ensure that as far as possible, the WASH response strengthens their existing capacities, enables meaningful participation and focuses on marginalized and less powerful members of a community.

This guide shows how community engagement in WASH should be a planned and dynamic process, bringing together the capacities and perspectives of communities and responders.