Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Understanding FAN, WSSCC, EWP and WaterAid

This page attempts to briefly map out the differences and areas of collaboration between FAN Global, End Water Poverty (EWP), WaterAid and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).


In early 2012, these four organisations came together for a network mapping exercise to attempt to strategically align and co-ordinate our activities and identify how we can work better at the international and national levels by playing to our strengths.
Find out more about the unique selling points identified for each organisation within that exercise


Quick links to more detail below:

FAN Global

FAN Global is a consortium of five regional networks representing over 1,000 southern civil society member organisations in 89 countries working to improve water and sanitation policy and practice by strengthening local voices in decision-making.

WaterAid conceived of FAN in 2001 but right from the early days FAN was intended to be southern-led. We have always been lead by our members, initially through a governing council while still part of WaterAid and now, following our independence, we are governed by an Executive Committee nominated by the southern-based regional networks constituted as a General Assembly under a Swiss Association.

Our key activities include: influencing at global level; grassroots mobilization; developing members' capacity to influence and exchanging skills. All members have a professional interest in water and sanitation issues but many of them work on broader cross cutting issues.


The added value of FAN Global includes:
•    a grassroots perspective
•    the potential of large scale southern civil  society mobilisation around issues
•    cross sector views including health, rights, education, housing etc

Advocacy focus: The advocacy strategies of FAN Global and regionally centre around three main thematic areas: (1) Climate change - ensuring that climate change adaptation planning and actions at global, national and local levels include community-based adaptation approaches to water resources; (2) Rights to water and sanitation – ensuring governments develop and implement a roadmap for adopting and realising a human right based national action plan on water and sanitation. (3) Governance, accountability and monitoring - ensuring governments and donors are accountable for the fulfilment of high level commitments in the water and sanitation sectors by strengthening civil society capacity to effectively engage in WASH dialogues at every level and to advocate for significant increases in funding and equitable allocation of WASH resources.

End Water Poverty

End Water Poverty (EWP) is FAN Global-supported campaign 185 campaigners in 55 countries. As well as southern civil society organisations, EWP campaigners also include northern-based INGOs who were instrumental in conceiving of the campaign and its early development.  As a supporter of EWP campaigns, FAN and its regional networks represent a large proportion of EWP’s southern supporter base.

Advocacy focus: EWP’s advocacy focus is on the Sanitation and Water for All partnership

  • FAN regional members are members of the EWP coalition. All three are represented on the EWP steering committee.
  • Many FAN members in Africa and Asia are actively supporting EWP campaigns.
  • EWP produces resources and campaigns that many of our members use in their influencing work.

African and Asian civil society is represented by two FAN members on the high level SWA multi-stakeholder steering group. The SWA Steering Committee is the body that oversees and guides the SWA Partnership and is comprised of 21 members with representatives from each of SWA’s constituencies (developing country representatives, donors, multilaterals, development banks, civil society, research & learning and sector partners). Currently there are three civil society organisation representatives (one ‘northern’, one African and one Asian representative) on the committee.



WaterAid is an international non profit organisation working through local partner organisations to implement WASH projects in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and Central America.

  • WaterAid provided invaluable core funding and office support to FAN Global’s secretariat before independence in August 2012 and hosting for its global secretariat until March 2014.
  • Some WaterAid country offices are members of FANSA and ANEW national networks and work together on advocacy issues and some aren’t.
  • WaterAid and FAN have also collaborated at the regional levels, eg SACOSAN, AfricaSan.
  • FAN Global was a partner with WaterAid on the DFID funded Governance and Transparency Fund program. The 2008-2013 supported a number of FAN members.

Advocacy focus: urban, finance (including the SWA), health, governance

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is a global multi-stakeholder partnership and membership organisation working to enhance collaboration among sector agencies and professionals who are working to improve access to water and sanitation. WSSCC has coalitions in 35 countries, members in more than 160 countries, and a Geneva-based Secretariat which is a unit of UNOPS.

  • WSSCC has partnered with FAN’s African and Asian networks to engage in regional conferences including SACOSAN and AfricaSan.
  • WSSCC has supported ANEW and FANSA members to attend their Global Forum on Sanitation as well as supporting the ANEW secretariat through a small bridging loan.
  • Some FAN members represent civil society within the WSSCC coalitions which can also include government, private sector and INGOs.