Setting priorities for humanitarian water, sanitation and hygiene research: a meeting report

Recent systematic reviews have highlighted a paucity of rigorous evidence to guide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions in humanitarian crises. In June 2017, the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme of Elhra, convened a meeting of representatives from international response agencies, research institutions and donor organisations active in the field of humanitarian WASH to identify research priorities, discuss challenges conducting research and to establish next steps. Topics including cholera transmission, menstrual hygiene management, and acute undernutrition were identified as research priorities. Several international response agencies have existing research programmes; however, a more cohesive and coordinated effort in the WASH sector would likely advance this field of research. This report shares the conclusions of that meeting and proposes a research agenda with the aim of strengthening humanitarian WASH policy and practice.