BabyWASH Integrates Nutrition, MNCH, WASH and ECD

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BabyWASH?

BabyWASH is an integrated approach for maternal and young child health.  It is the targeted integration of water sanitation and hygiene (WASH), maternal newborn and child health (MNCH), early childhood development (ECD), and nutrition programmes across the first 1,000 days of life to improve the health of children and their caretakers.

Why BabyWASH?

There is much emerging evidence on the links between WASH and nutrition. However, evidence of the links between WASH, ECD and MNCH is less developed, especially for children under 2. BabyWASH harnesses the energy for integration created by the link between WASH and Nutrition and broadens it to include a more holistic view of health for children in the first 1,000 days of life.

We can’t operate in siloes any more. Emerging evidence around the links between WASH and nutrition -- and the need for stronger evidence of links between WASH, ECD and MNCH – emphasises a critical need for integration between these four sectors.

What is the Potential Impact of BabyWASH?

BabyWASH will help to improve health outcomes for mothers and children more than any individual sector could by itself. A child’s healthy start in life will lead to overall higher lifetime productivity and will aid the Sustainable Development Goals in eliminating poverty in all its forms. 

What is the BabyWASH Coalition?

The BabyWASH Coalition is a partnership between civil society, multi-lateral organisations, academics, the private sector, governments and donors to support active and successful integration between WASH, nutrition, ECD and MNCH, in support of the strategic objectives set forth by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) in the Global Strategy. 

Why is a Coalition Necessary?

There are a lot of organisations interested in integration and some partnerships have already sprung up – but a larger coalition is needed to bring all this information together in a clearinghouse of knowledge in order to minimize duplication of work. A coalition allows multiple organisations to lend their unique strengths to the overall goal of integration.

The BabyWASH Coalition is necessary to leverage complementary strengths across oraganisations in order to minimise duplication of work and effectively address evidence gaps, improve support for programme integration, share and learn from existing knowledge, and influence policy at multiple levels.

What is the Coalition Doing?

The coalition will be an informational hub that brings together research on the benefits of integration and examples of successful program integration. The coalition will use this knowledge management for the following three objectives: to advocate for a larger focus on integration in the first 1,000 days, to create integration metrics, and to create programme guidance for successful sector integration.