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Task Force on Indicators, Monitoring and Reporting (2008-2010)

Governments and donors are increasingly called upon to put in place a uniform and consistent system to monitor the impacts of water-related initiatives. UN-Water endeavours to provide coherent and reliable information on key water-related trends and management issues, based on a sound and reliable set of key indicators and proper monitoring and reporting systems.

In 2008, UN-Water combined the Task Force on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and the Task Force on Monitoring to establish the Task Force on Indicators, Monitoring and Reporting. The new Task Force builds on the work carried out by the previous Task Forces. In 2006, the Task Force on Monitoring finished its study 'Water Monitoring: Mapping Existing Global Systems and Initiatives'. In May 2008, the Task Force on IWRM completed its mandate when it presented the 'Status Report on Integrated Water Resources Management and Water Efficiency Plans' at the sixteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.


The Task Force's overarching objective is to contribute to public information and informed decision-making in the water and related sectors, including the sanitation sector, at global and national levels through improved monitoring and reporting. It aims to support international and national decision-makers and advance the implementation of internationally agreed goals and targets on water and sanitation.

This involves:

  • Developing a methodology for monitoring water sector progress and performance at regular intervals, including a set of measurable indicators that support both national decision-makers and the international community;
  • Harmonizing water sector monitoring efforts at the global level to improve the reporting of progress and performance;
  • Identifying priority actions in support of country-level monitoring.


The 2008-2009 work of the Task Force is focused on the definition of a common framework for monitoring and reporting and the identification of 'key indicators to report on major water domains'.

The Task Force carried out a participatory process involving UN-Water members and partners and other stakeholders for selecting 'policy domains' and 'key indicators'. Soon after its establishment, the Task Force participated in the organisation of a seminar on 'Indicators for Action' at World Water Week 2008 in Stockholm, and drafted a list of relevant water indicators for discussion.

As part of its mandate, the Task Force makes recommendations as to how data collection, monitoring and reporting for the selected indicators can be streamlined and made more coherent and identify areas in which there is a critical lack of data and a need for new approaches.

At the end of the consultative process, the Task Force prepared a working paper on a common framework for global monitoring and reporting on water and sanitation through a defined set of policy domains and key indicators. The final outputs of the Task Force was presented at the UN-Water meeting in Stockholm in August 2009, resulting in the final report Monitoring progress in the water sector: A selected set of indicators.

A 'short-list' of key water sector indicators with detailed metadata, including computation methods, responsible agencies and details of updating procedures, is now also available.

Coordinating organization and contacts

World Water Assessment Programme
Olcay Ünver, Coordinator (2007-2013)


Secretariat, Convention on Biological Diversity · International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) · Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) · Global Water Partnership (GWP) · International Water Association (IWA) · International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) · United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) · Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) · UN-HABITAT · United Nations University (UNU) · United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) · United Nations Office to Support the International Decade for Action "Water for Life" 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) · United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO -IHP) · United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) · United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) · United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) · United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) · United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) · United Nations Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) · World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) · World Health Organization (WHO) · United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) · World Water Council (WWC) · World Bank

Last update:07 Oct 2014