Certificate of Advanced Studies in Water Sanitation and Hygiene for humanitarian and developing contexts

SUPSI, Centre for Development and Cooperation; UNINE, The Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics; Eawag-Sandec Department of Sanitation, Water and Solid Waste for Development WASH

Target Audience

The course caters to those working in, or supporting professionals from low- and middle-income countries and is ideal for professionals from international development and humanitarian agencies, civil society or non-government organizations, government agencies and consultants and sector professionals

Professionals in WASH and development-related disciplines wishing to deepen their knowledge in water, sanitation and hygiene in both humanitarian and development contexts. Admission is reserved for holders of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Candidates who do not meet the requirements but prove significant experience in the sector can be admitted. Participation in individual teaching modules does not require special requirements. All courses are taught in English.


This course is designed to empower practitioners with an understanding of the fundamentals of the WASH sector, both in the humanitarian and development context. It introduces students to the core principles for planning, designing and implementing activities to improve sustainable and equitable access to domestic water supply and sanitation services and to improve hygiene behaviours.

The CAS is organized as a blended course consisting in 3 theoretical modules (March-June 2022) delivered in distance learning and a practical module (30 September – 8 October 2022) delivered in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Programme and Dates

1. Theoretical modules (ca 120 hours of lectures and exercises)

The three theoretical modules will be held online from March to June 2022.

  • Module1: Drinking water and public health
  • Module 2: Environmental Sanitation
  • Module 3: Sustainable water supply

Distance lectures will take place every Thursday starting at 1 pm (Central European Summer Time = UTC+1h). This issue is flexible and will be discussed with participants and lecturers at the beginning of the course.

2. Practical module

The practical module will take place from 30 September to 8 October 2022 in Mendrisio, Switzerland at SUPSI, Centre for Development and Cooperation.

Certificate and Exams

The Certificate of Advanced Studies will be granted after having completed 3 written exams of the theoretical modules, to be done at the end of each module. In case of failure, the exam can be repeated orally during the practical module. The CAS WASH grants 12 ECTS points.

Learning Objectives

The course is designed to provide professionals with a thorough understanding of the increasing complexities of the WASH sector. It provides students with the latest contextual and technical skills to plan, design and implement sustainable activities and programmes within the framework of the fundamental principles of the WASH sector, namely public health and equitable access to water supply and sanitation services. Designed to contribute to Agenda 2030(SDG 6) by focusing on all aspects of sustainable WASH interventions, this course is strongly practice-oriented, allowing a direct link between theory and reality/complexity on the ground.

Aftercompletingthiscourse, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse context-specific challenges and plan tailor-madeWASHinterventions to improve sustainable access to WASH services and facilities in complex institutional environments, both in the field of cooperation and humanitarian aid.
  • Conduct a context-specific public health risk analysis of inadequate WASH services and design appropriate prevention strategies.
  • Conduct a systematic analysis of environmental, social and technical problems, both in urban and rural contexts, and design appropriate intervention strategies.
  • Confidently implement the wide range of advanced WASH intervention tools: from specific technical approaches in water supply and sanitation to current approaches developed in the field of hygiene promotion, as well as sectoral assessment tools.