Global Water Challenge Announces the Development of WHdx - an Open Data Exchange to Improve Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare Facilities

New platform to be a critical resource for governments, NGOs, and companies to close the gap of 1 in 4 healthcare facilities without basic water services
Nov 8, 2021 6:00 PM ET

WASHINGTON, November 8, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Today, Global Water Challenge (GWC), in partnership with Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) and funding partner the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, announced the development of the WASH Health Facility Data Exchange (WHdx) to support governments, NGOs, donors, and the private sector to improve health services through optimized water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) investments.

According to WHO/UNICEF 2020, globally, 1 in 4 healthcare facilities lack basic water services, impacting more than 1.8 billion people – worsened by large gaps in sanitation, hygiene, and waste management services. As a result, healthcare providers are unable to provide quality patient healthcare and put themselves at risk of infection, a reality further intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the often-limited resources available, health and WASH leaders must prioritize which facilities receive improvements even when they lack a clear understanding of the gaps.

“Critical decisions about water services at all levels are being made without enough information, which impedes the achievement of SDG 6 – clean water and sanitation for all,” said Monica Ellis, CEO of Global Water Challenge. “The development of WHdx is part of GWC’s ambition to build a portfolio of open data WASH platforms that better inform multi-sector investment, policy, and program decisions to strengthen water systems at scale.”

WHdx will harmonize healthcare facility WASH data into a singular, publicly available dataset through the establishment of a data standard, providing unique data analysis and decision-making tools for both the water and health sectors. Furthermore, WHdx will be able to provide WASH service records from individual health facilities over time and compare health facilities across geographies from village to country-levels, showing locations of greatest need, problematic issues, and recommendations for highest impact interventions.

Building on the Water Point Data Exchange (WPdx), the world’s largest rural water open data platform with 600,000 water point records from over 80 organizations across more than 50 countries, development of the WHdx platform is a collaboration between WASH and health sector experts to ensure that consistent, user-friendly data is readily available for evidence-based decisions.

The WHdx platform will be guided by a working group including Catholic Relief Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emory University, Helvetas, the Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP), Millennium Water Alliance, and Global Water Challenge. The process of selecting standard parameters for the platform is currently underway.

“This is about insight for impact,” said Ellis. “With WHdx we will unleash the power of open data to make transformational improvements to WASH in Health Care Facilities – improving standards of care and saving lives,” said Ellis.

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For more information please contact:

Global Water Challenge:
Katy Sill, Program Director (

About Global Water Challenge (GWC)
Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations deploying expertise and networks to achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in communities around the world. Since 2006, GWC has positively impacted more than 2 million people across Africa, the Americas and Asia with clean water access and its campaigns, tools, data, and best practices reach millions more. In collaboration with multi-sector partners, GWC engages for action – catalyzing financial resources and driving innovative programming for sustainable, local solutions. For more information, please visit

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
International hotelier Conrad N. Hilton established the grantmaking foundation that bears his name in 1944 to help people living in poverty and experiencing disadvantage worldwide. Today, the work continues, concentrating on efforts to ensure healthy early childhood development and sustainable livelihoods for youth, support young people transitioning out of foster care, improve access to housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness, identify solutions to safe water access, and lift the work of Catholic sisters. Additionally, following selection by an independent, international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to an organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. The Foundation is one of the world’s largest, with $7.5 billion in assets. It has awarded grants to date totaling more than $2 billion, $207 million worldwide in 2020. Please visit for more information.