Center for International Water and Sustainability

WASH Capacity Building Program

In developing countries, insufficient human-resource capacity related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) remains one of the most signifi cant barriers to effective and sustainable service provision. In most developing countries there are large, experienced international NGOs that operate in the WASH sector, but the local field staff often lack the necessary technical human-resource capacity to effectively design, implement and sustainably manage WASH interventions. To help NGOs and governments address these human-resource capacity needs, DRI, Drexel University, and the University of Nevada, Reno(UNR), collaborated to develop and are now delivering  a WASH Capacity Building Program that provides technical capacity training and action research to field staff across Africa through a series of competency-based training modules.

DRI and Drexel courses are being offered for credit and taught in the field as well as on-line. There are two tracks for the program – Certificate in International WASH at DRI/University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and Public Health (Global WASH) at Drexel University. Initially, DRI/UNR is offering a certificate program, but the credits earned can be applied toward a bachelors, masters or PhD degree in International WASH should the students want to pursue one of these programs. DRI/UNR courses include:

  • International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (I-WASH)
  • Project Development and Management for WASH Managers and Leaders (WASH-PDM)
  • WASH Field Methods (WASH-FM)
  • Crosscutting Issues in WASH (CCI-WASH)
  • Water Supplies and Environmental Management inDeveloping Countries (WSEM)
  • WASH Policy, Communications and Advocacy(WASH-PCA)
  • WASH Action Research in Developing Countries(WASH-AR) Action Research

Other courses that are planned for the future include:

  • Market-based approaches in WASH
  • Long-term sustainability of WASH Services
  • Sustainable Development Goals and WASH
  • Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)in Developing Countries
  • Water Safety Planning


Group photo of cohort 4 spring semester.

Figure 1. Cohort 4 Spring Semester

Students around a table conducting water tests.

Figure 2. Cohort 7 students conducting water quality tests

Map of students in Cohort 1.

Figure 3. Geographical distribution of DRI Cohort 1 – 7 students


Braimah Apambire, Ph.D.
Program Director


Desert Research Institute
2215 Raggio Parkway
Reno, NV 89512


Hydrologic Sciences