Inclusive WASH Workplaces

ISF-UTS in partnership with their global research partners and expert advisors have developed guidance for the WASH sector to make WASH workplaces more inclusive. The guidance was built upon three years of research in Cambodia, Indonesia and beyond, and provides evidence of key gaps and needs, actionable ideas and available tools to promote gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI) in WASH organisations and programs. Building on the ground-breaking work of the Equal Aqua Initiative from the World Bank, the guidance comprehensively identifies ways that WASH sector organisations can “walk the talk” of GEDSI.

The guidance is accompanied by an interactive database of over 180 GEDSI initiatives from organisations across the world, including water and sanitation utilities, government departments, civil society organisations and the private sector.

This research supports the marginalised voices of women (in all their diversity) in WASH, pushing for institutional change that sees diverse representation in leadership and decision-making positions. It not only seeks to achieve a socially inclusive workplace, but also aims to assist in providing a framework that encourages the development of much-needed role models who inspire women and minority groups. Particularly, inspiring them to join organisations through the normalisation of diversity in the WASH sector.

An inclusive workforce supports the interlinked Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for example by promoting SDG 5 (gender quality) and SDG 6 (water and sanitation for all) in an integrated manner. Moreover, leaving no one behind (LNOB) in WASH is impossible to achieve without an inclusive WASH workforce to represent the diverse and marginalised voices and challenge the inherent biases of those in power. This research addresses a broad range of issues and provides practical examples of initiatives relevant to key organisations working on WASH programs, policies and projects.

As diversity, equality and inclusion remain important conversations in WASH, the guidance and database pave the way forward to a future of inclusive WASH workplaces.


Explore the outputs here.