• Humanitarian Aid Studies Centre
  • Centre d’Etudes sur I’Aide Humanitaire
  • Centro de Estudios en Ayuda Humanitaria
  • Humanitarians
  • training
  • humanitarians

WASH Specialist in Emergencies and Humanitarian Settings

Course also available in French and Spanish

Duration: 900 hours – 6 months (23 units)
Start date: April 16, 2024
Course language: English
Methodology: Online with tutor 


Introduction and basic concepts in WASH in Emergencies

  • The right to water and sanitation and the situation of WASH access worldwide
  • The basics of epidemiology for humanitarian WASH workers
  • WASH related diseases in humanitarian settings
  • Multisectoral and integrated approaches

WASH project management

  • Communicate and engage with communities and do no harm principle
  • WASH Coordination, the Cluster approach and tools
  • WASH situation and needs assessment
  • WASH response design & planning

Hygiene and behaviour change in emergencies

  • What is hygiene promotion in emergencies?
  • Hand washing, storing water, food handling and excreta and solid waste management
  • Hygiene promotion in emergencies
  • Monitoring hygiene interventions

Sanitation in emergencies

  • Key concepts of Environmental Sanitation in emergencies
  • Techniques for excreta management in emergencies
  • Techniques for wastewater treatment in emergencies
  • Techniques for solid waste and animal excreta management in emergencies
  • Monitoring sanitation interventions

Water in emergencies

  • Water supply in emergencies – key concepts (incl. Water quality and quantity)
  • Water sources options in emergencies
  • Lifting and pumping
  • Basics of water treatment in emergency
  • Water storage and distribution in emergencies
  • Monitoring water supply interventions
Roles & Competencias

Course graduates will be able to perform the following roles within WASH programmes in emergencies:

  • Programme coordinator
  • Programme officer
  • Technical advisor

The humanitarian worker that follows this course:

  • Assess and analyze key WASH-related questions and formulate appropriate technical options to answer them.
  • Demonstrates understanding of WASH coordination mechanisms.
  • Promotes and ensures compliance with the humanitarian principles and standards in WASH.
  • It establishes meaningful processes through which people affected by crises can participate in the response and share concerns.
  • Demonstrates strong technical knowledge of promoting hygiene, sanitation and water supply in emergency and humanitarian contexts.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the continuum and contiguous of the WASH emergency response and longer-term development needs.
Teaching staff

The Teaching staff are:

  • Director of Studies, to deal with learning and administrative issues
  • humanitarian worker in charge of debates within the thematic forums as Guest Experts
  • Technician to give support with the virtual classroom

Meet the tutors


After completing successfully all the tests, the participant will be awarded the title of WASH Specialist in Emergencies and Humanitarian Settings. 


Our courses use an e-learning methodology based on socio-constructivist pedagogy. Proponents of Constructivist Learning believe that knowledge is developed or ‘constructed’ in the mind of the student through collaborative learning processes rather than being merely passed on through traditional text books and teacher-to-student teaching methods.

Selected elements of our methodology are explained below:

  • Learning takes place in a Virtual Classroom, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, accessible by internet from anywhere.
  • Once in the classroom the student will find general information about the course as well as the course subject material with accompanying exercises and support documents.
  • The training process for each of the topics draws on the following tools and materials.
    • Learning objectives
    • Presentations and videos
    • Selection of official documents from the United Nations, NGOs and official cooperation organizations, with study instructions.
    • Summary of key messages.
    • Bibliography
  • The evaluation system consists of online exams
  • The learning process is supported by the set up of debate forums for all topics.

All the students cover the same topics within the same timeframe, but each student works through the course materials at his or her own pace. This enables forums to be interesting and relevant, and often provokes discussion between students of a similar advanced level. The intrinsic flexibility in these courses means that, if necessary, students can interrupt their studies for periods of time, for work or other reasons. When this happens, they are recommended to restart at the same stage as the rest of the group and to gradually cover missed material with the support of the tutor.

More info