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WASH Severity Classification (WSC): Afghanistan Pilot, October 2020

IMPACT Initiatives
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Of the three analysed Afghan provinces, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) severity was highest in Hilmand and Kunduz, both of which were classified as WASH Severity Classification (WSC) Phase 3 (Crisis), while Parwan was classified as Phase 2 (Stressed). The analysis found 28% of the analysed population—around 1.2 million people in total—was in Phase 3 or higher, while 3%, or just over 110,000 people, were determined to be in Phase 5 (Catastrophic). All of the Phase 5 population was located in Kunduz, where households reportedly have insufficient water for drinking purposes following recent escalations in conflict, high levels of displacement, and limited provision of WASH services.


The findings presented in this report are the product of the first WSC pilot exercise, a training and joint analysis workshop held on 7-15 October 2020. The workshop was attended by 34 participants in total, representing 21 humanitarian and development WASH actors, including government agencies, United Nations (UN) agencies, international and national nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). Of the 34 participants, 17 participated in the joint analysis segment of the workshop, and are referred to in this report as ‘analysts’.

Prior to the workshop, data sources pertaining to different areas of the WSC Analytical Framework were identified, reviewed, and pre-processed for analysis. Data was collated from a range of sources, including government databases, UN agency and NGO assessments and situation reports. A full list of sources used in the analysis is provided at the end of the document.

In accordance with the WSC Analysis Protocols, analysts collectively and iteratively analysed this information, drawing on their own technical and contextual expertise where needed to question, validate, or supplement the data. Through this process, analysts reached consensus on the severity classifications for the three analysed provinces (Hilmand, Kunduz, and Parwan) and the key factors driving the situation, all of which are presented in this report. Future WSC exercises are expected to be implemented at a nationwide scale.

About the WSC

The WSC is a new interagency global initiative led by the Global WASH Cluster, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and IMPACT Initiatives. Developed at the global level through a participatory process, the WSC project aims to develop a standardized approach to classifying the severity of WASH needs and vulnerabilities across contexts. For more information, contact wsc@reach-initiative.org.