WHO Joint Work Programme
Complementing the work of the international community
The Association, following the merger of 1999, is an NGO in official relations with WHO, as were the predecessor organizations of IAWPRC and IWSA. During the past two years, and as part of the ongoing development of this relationship, IWA and WHO have reviewed their joint activities and identified the potential to contribute far more extensively to advancing health, water and sanitation internationally. During this time, staff from both organizations have met to develop through consultation a plan of work that builds on the complementarities of the Association as the premier membership association for those working in water management and WHO as the specialised agency of the UN system with responsibility for health. The scope of this cooperation focuses on cross cutting aspects including knowledge development and networking, publications, and issue specific cooperation on high priority global issues.
For several decades the emphasis of WHO-IWA cooperation focused on the activities of the IWA specialist group on Health Related Water Microbiology, where the major area of interest was on drinking water related issues. A significant success story emerging as a result was the development of the Journal of Water and Health, representing a joint commitment to promote high quality research and practice across the full range of challenges to harness water for health in developing and developed countries alike. In just 3 years, the JW&H has grown from publishing 232 pages (23 papers over 4 issues) in volume 1 to publishing a projected 640 pages (52 papers over 4 issues) in volume 5 (2007). Journal subscriptions have reflected this trend: in three years total subscriptions have increased twelve fold.
Yet, in practice, the extent of cooperation has not been limited to these examples alone. Several others forms of joint engagement have gained momentum, and these can be reviewed in the attachment below.