Assessment TWiG

The Assessment Technical Working Group which is composed of NGOs, UN agencies, and IOs, initiated its activities in October 2015 and has the following objectives:

  • Provide strategic guidance and forward thinking on the development of new and innovative assessment methodology and tools;
  • Support the development of agreed assessment methodology which could be use during emergency;
  • Proactively work to improve coordination and the technical standard of WASH assessments and analysis– including sharing outcomes widely, both within the WASH sector and with the wider humanitarian community;
  • Strengthen inter-cluster assessments, specifically with shelter/nutrition/health clusters;
  • Promote partnership at global and country level to improve WASH Clusters’ capacity to conduct joint assessments, and improve response analysis;
  • Support in-country initiatives related to WASH assessment by providing guidance, sharing tools, and the collection, review and sharing of good practices from field level.

More information on the group’s terms of reference is available here below.


  • The TWiG should comprise approximately ten individuals representing a variety of agencies and skill sets in relation to assessments. The Assessment Field Support Team (FST) member will be responsible for chairing the TWiG. Members should come at a minimum from NGOs, UN agencies, and IOs, but relevant academic or research representatives will also be encouraged. The final composition of this TWiG will be reviewed and agreed by the Strategic Advisory Group (SAG).
  • Beyond the TWiG membership, it is expected that relevant individuals or institutions will be invited to contribute on specific aspects of the TWiG workplan as and when needed.

As of July 2016, current Partner organisations include: WEDEC (Water, Engineering and Development Centre), WHO, CDC, ACAPs, MSF, Samaritan’s Purse, UNHCR, REACH, NCA.

Initial members included: WEDEC (Water, Engineering and Development Centre), WHO, CDC, ACAPs, Oxfam GB, MSF, Samaritan’s Purse, UNHCR, CARE, REACH.

Members field of expertise:

  • Managing large-scale integrated assessments and impact evaluation at the field level; data collection (mobile technology), analysis and reporting; M&E
  • Infrastructures in emergencies; academic research on water resources and sanitation; provide WASH guidance to org; trainer for emergency WASH courses
  • Design of WASH component in disaster response; integrated needs assessments; expertise in health component of WASH;
  • Public health technical expertise; geochemistry; hydrogeology; KAP surveys; statistics; GIS; implementation of large-scale emergency WASH-related projects
  • WASH Technical Advisor with technical expertise in hydrogeology and geophysics, disaster response, project design and management, conduct research and build capacities of WASH teams for emergency response and development context.
  • Managing WASH assessments
  • WASH emergency support missions including rapid needs assessment in peri-urban/rural settings and in refugee/non-refugee contexts; development of ad-hoc WASH rapid needs assessments forms & analysis.


The TwiG will initially commit to a 1 year work plan and duration for activities and participation. By then, agreed outputs, according to the work plan validated by the SAG, will be reviewed for progress to measure achievements and review need for continuation.

Work Modalities

  • TWiG meetings will ideally occur on a monthly basis or ad hoc in case of specific issues. Meetings will be held virtually and minuted by members on a rotating basis
  • Commit up to 10 days of work a year to meet the TWiG responsibilities and outputs
  • Feedback on documents and emails exchanges as and when required
  • Actively and consistently participate in meetings/teleconferences and provide timely contributions to TWiG work plan / outputs. Demonstrate a commitment to the TWiG by contributing to activities


  • Identify priority gaps in current assessment practices - Possible topics include: Statistical validity of assessments/Understanding of strength of evidence base for different methodologies; Urban assessments; WASH in Markets; Health and School facilities; Mobile data collection applications and centralized databases; Linkage between emergency assessments and M&E; Analysis of Data including secondary data analysis and qualitative data; Inclusion of improved sex and gender disaggregated data and information; anthropological and epidemiological analysis in public health emergencies; etc.
  • Identify bottlenecks in joint and harmonized assessments and development of approaches to address these
  • Identify potential partnership and modalities to improve assessment capacity and facilitate joint / harmonized assessments at field level
  • Design a work plan based on agreed prioritized needs
  • Review, advise and oversee the implementation of activities related to assessment within the Global WASH Cluster (GWC) and FST work plans
  • Review and approve new guidance and tools developed as part of the TWiG work plan
  • Ensure internal sharing and ease of access of WASH assessment reports and related tools
  • Ensure promotion and utilization of participatory and community-based approaches in sectoral needs assessments and analysis
  • Ensure that cross cutting issues (gender, age, HIV…) are mainstreamed in the WASH assessment tools (ex: sex and age disaggregated data) but not limited to quantitative data
  • Develop key practices and approaches to ensure that assessment findings are provided in formats able to effectively inform strategic planning
  • Work closely with Information Management to identify adequate indicators to better capture the impact of response, methods guidance, as well as with regards tools and software to ensure that periodic needs monitoring and reporting can be done easily, and ensure synergy and complementarity
  • Actively participating in the implementation of activities, including:
  • Field-testing and piloting of developed tools for further verification and refinement
  • Information Sharing and Capacity building;
  • Linkages with other clusters, in particular health/shelter/education, and other joint/harmonized assessment initiatives and/or TWiGs such as Hygiene Promotion;
  • Support the GWC in promoting standards and tools within member agencies; disseminate, promote and explain the use of strategic tools produced by the WASH cluster;
  • Identify and recommend capacity development needs for the cluster members at global and field level;
  • Create training and identify capacity building options relevant to WASH actors in assessment;
  • Develop technical briefing, case studies and lessons learnt on WASH assessment to support good practices.

Guiding Principles

  • Ensure relevant technical standards are formulated and agreed within the terms of reference and deadline set by SAG.
  • Update the Cluster on status of work-in-progress and present final outputs/recommendations of the TWIG to Cluster stakeholders in oral and written form for feedback and comment
  • Ensure a TWIG membership that is representative of the wider Cluster stakeholder groups, and ensure that relevant technical skill-sets are appropriate and available (advise the Cluster Coordinator if this is not the case)
  • Ensure that in-country experiences and feedback are captured and iteratively addressed in developing the outputs of the TWiG

Ensure all Cluster stakeholders have the opportunity to feedback into the work of the TWIG prior to presentation to the Cluster in plenary for validation, and following the SAG’s ratification.


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