Field Support Team

The support provided to National WASH Coordination Platforms aims at increasing national capacity to coordinate humanitarian preparedness and response, with the long term goal of decreasing the frequency and scale of global surge support.

It is done either remotely or directly through the deployment of members of the GWC Field Support Team (FST), who operates on the basis of demand, primarily identified by national WASH coordination platforms themselves. Capacity building and preparedness actions are focused on high risk countries, particularly those identified by the IASC Early Warning Early Action system. Support is provided to help National WASH Coordination Platforms to to deliver a range of functional specialties.


Functional AreasType or Support
  • Scanning high risk counties, mapping the status of Minimum Preparedness Actions
  • Supporting national platforms in contingency planning and implementing preparedness actions
  • Engaging with the inter-agency Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) processes; informing the inter-agency task team of WASH preparedness in target countries and implementing recommended preparedness actions in countries subject to EWEA
Capacity Building
  • Supporting partner agencies at national level to assume coordination roles during response
  • Strengthening of national coordination platforms’ ability to develop, implement, monitor and adapt Strategic Operating Frameworks (SOFs)
  • Supporting national platforms with regular cluster performance assessments
  • Functioning as the principal link between global inter-agency and multi-sector processes
  • Identification of funds at national level to support country based shared projects
  • Surge support to national platforms to establish WASH Coordination during emergencies
  • Assessment of  the capacity of pre-existing WASH coordination mechanisms and determine the appropriate approach for support, making maximum use of pre-existing decision making structures (including government) and national capacities
  • Propose revisions to WASH Cluster Coordinator Terms of Reference to ensure alignment between documented responsibilities and actual needs in the context
  • Ensure the implementation of an enhanced coordination structure, mobilising partner willingness and capacity to participate in and deliver coordination functions in accordance with the IASC defined cluster functions
Information Management
  • Connection with inter-agency and multi cluster processes
  • On-site and remote support to national platforms in high risk countries to put in place appropriate context-relevant information management tools
  • Surge support to national platforms to establish IM systems during emergencies
  • Data analysis and consolidation
  • Application and use of technology
  • Identification of data gaps and the use of data for evidence-based decision making
  • Providing support with GIS, mapping and database tools
  • Capture and documentation of lessons learned, best practices and standards at global level
  • Connection with inter-agency and multi-cluster processes
  • Elaboration and refinement of WASH Cluster assessment systems that support inter-agency and multi-sector assessments while ensuring that WASH assessment needs are met
  • The development and application of methodologies to ensure that WASH assessment processes are statistically valid and accurate within known confidence limits
  • Identification and quantification of public health risks
  • On-site and remote support to national clusters to develop assessment frameworks that underpin strategic and operational decision making as well as provide partners with data that they require for effective preparedness and response
  • Surge support to national platforms to support WASH assessments during emergencies
  • Support to national platforms in emergency response to plan for continuity of assessment, information management and coordination after FST surge is withdrawn
  • Consolidation of development of cluster Strategic Operating Frameworks (SOFs), supporting partners to align agency response plans with the cluster SOF
  • Provide a post-surge aftercare support to the national coordination platform and alert global level if additional support or advocacy is required
  • Identification of exit and transition strategies establishing links with early recovery and development actors
Quality Assurance
  • Ensure that WASH Cluster operations, from data processes to response monitoring, are effective and meet established standards
  • Definition of quality standards for basic WASH services, incorporating cross-cutting issues of significance to affected populations
  • Estimation of the cost-effectiveness and impact of emergency WASH interventions
  • Establishment of systems to ensure accountability to affected populations


In late 2013, the FST was conceptually established, maintaining the principles of the previously separate support teams, yet merging the teams’ functions to capitalize on clear synergies within their work. The Field Support Team provides support to National WASH Coordination Platforms across a broad range of coordination themes, and with a focus on high-risk countries or those already facing complex emergencies:

  • The FST members provide direct support through in-country missions to provide specific tailored support, or to cover essential functions during the initial stages of an emergency response. FST members are deployable for up to 12 weeks and can be hosted within any of the partner organisations ready to support WASH Coordination at the national or subnational levels.
  • The FST members also provide support to preparedness and capacity-building initiatives, the development of region-specific tools, resources and best-practices, and provide ongoing remote support in identified high risk countries operating in a complementary manner through regionally based hubs. As such they are able to maintain a pool of region-specific expertise, and can help to facilitate regional level linkages.

For further information, please download the FST Flyer.



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Briefing Kit