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The May 2021 WASH Severity Classification (WSC) exercise found water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions to be most severe in the Nile Basin states of Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, Warrap, and Lakes, as well as Eastern Equatoria, and Northern Bahr el Ghazal. Three counties were classified as likely to be Phase 5 (Catastrophic)*: Maiwut (Upper Nile state), Pibor (Jonglei state), and Tonj East (Warrap state).


The WSC is a new interagency global initiative led by the Global WASH Cluster, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and REACH Initiative. Developed at the global level through a participatory process, the WSC project aims to build a standardized approach to classifying the severity of WASH needs and vulnerabilities across contexts.

The findings presented in this report are the product of the first nationwide WSC exercise, a training and joint analysis workshop held in South Sudan in May 2021, where 78 of the 78 counties were analysed, excluding the Abyei Region. The workshop was attended by 37 participants, representing 15 humanitarian and development WASH actors, including government agencies, United Nations (UN) agencies, international and national non-governmental organisations (NGOs), nearly all of whom were based in South Sudan. The 37 participants 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 preprocessed for analysis. The analysis considered relevant data collected from various sources six months prior to the workshop. Data was collated from a range of sources, including government databases and UN agency and NGO assessments. The full list of data sources used is provided at the end of the document (Annex 3).

In accordance with the WSC Analysis Protocols, analysts collectively and iteratively analysed this information at county level (Admin 2), with each county team drawing on their own technical and contextual expertise to question, validate, or supplement the data. Through this process, analysts reached consensus on the severity classifications for the 78 analysed counties and the key factors driving the situation.


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