April 2021 was a critical time to share lessons and challenges about WASH & COVID-19, being one year after the declaration of the pandemic. At this time, countries will have had many different experiences to be shared with others, some yet to go through similar experiences, and to reflect upon readiness for future pandemics.

WASH & The COVID-19 Pandemic Virtual Symposium: Response & recovery for a resilient future

Held in April 2021, this online forum reviewed and reflected on the response and recovery efforts administered around the world, with the vision of creating a resilient WASH future.

Theme: Response & recovery for a resilient future.

Theme: Response & recovery for a resilient future.

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, countries will have had many different experiences – they have tried many different responses and observed different levels of resilience across their WASH, health and economic systems. Some countries will have been through situations yet to be faced by other countries.

The forum program is designed to encourage WASH practitioners to reflect, share and learn from our COVID-19 responses, to improve future responses to COVID-19, and to reflect upon readiness and ways to improve resilience to future pandemics and major disruptions, including climate change

Read our Symposium Reflections

Read our Symposium Reflections

Miss out on the WASH & the COVID-19 pandemic virtual symposium? Read our reflections from both days of the event.

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Program & Format

Program & Format

The forum ran over two days; each day has one panel followed by a choice of workshops.

We used an exciting specialised virtual event platform that will allow you to participate in small group activities as part of the facilitated workshops.

Click here for information on our panel sessions

Click here for information on our workshop sessions

View the Virtual Symposium Program here


Recordings and Resources from the WASH & the COVID-19 Virtual Symposium are now available.

Click here to access recordings

The International WaterCentre and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are pleased to have partnered with the following organisations to deliver this forum.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to the Government. We work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively.

The International WaterCentre seeks to develop the skills and knowledge in individuals, communities and organisations to drive systemic and lasting change.
IWC does this by employing a diverse range of strategies that have integrated approaches to water management at their core to strengthen the capabilities of individuals, communities and organisations.

Water for Women is the Australian Government’s flagship water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program supporting improved health, gender equality and wellbeing in Asian and Pacific communities through socially inclusive and sustainable WASH projects and research.

Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. Funded by the Government of Canada and other partners, Grand Challenges Canada funds innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas Grand Challenges Canada supports integrate science and technology, social and business innovation—known as Integrated Innovation®.



A committee of highly experienced and passionate WASH actors have convened to guide the design and delivery of the WASH & The COVID-19 Pandemic, and we are appreciate of their commitment.

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Register your interest

To register your interest for the WASH and COVID-19 Pandemic Virtual Symposium, please click the link below and you will be taken to the official event registration page.