Coordinating the UN's work on water and sanitation

Monitor and Report

One of UN-Water’s key objectives is to provide coherent and reliable data and information on key water trends and management issues. During past decades, several initiatives, mechanisms and programmes, both within and outside the United Nations family, have been collecting information on the various components of the water cycle.

Coordinating United Nations data collection and management

To meet the needs of the 2030 Agenda, UN-Water has launched the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6, building on and expanding the experience and lessons learned during the MDG period.

All the custodian agencies of the SDG 6 global indicators have come together under the initiative, which includes the work of WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), the inter-agency initiative GEMI and UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS).

The objectives are to:

  • Develop methodologies and tools to monitor SDG 6 global indicators
  • Raise awareness at national and global levels about SDG 6 monitoring
  • Enhance technical and institutional country capacity for monitoring
  • Compile country data and report on global progress towards SDG 6

Engaging countries and enhancing their capacity

The shift from the MDGs to the SDGs is a game-changer for water and sanitation, where countries need to move from a relatively narrow focus on providing access to improved sources of drinking water and basic sanitation, to a more comprehensive focus on sustainably managing the whole water cycle in an equitable manner. The shift of course has implications also on monitoring: where the MDGs included only three indicators on water and sanitation, the SDGs include 11, and where the MDG indicators were monitored primarily through household surveys, SDG 6 monitoring will necessarily involve a large number of national authorities from across sectors. There is thus a great need to strengthen national capacity and resources for monitoring, and to generate political support to do so.
To this end, the Integrated Monitoring Initiative engages with countries to support the development of long-term institutional capacity for monitoring.

The strong focus on integration – across sectors and stakeholders, and within existing national processes and structures – is key for successful collection, analysis and reporting of data for policy and decision making.

You can learn more about the first phase of global implementation of SDG 6 monitoring here.

Reporting on Global Progress

SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation

UN-Water will produce a synthesis report on SDG 6, communicating to policymakers about the status of and progress towards water- and sanitation-related goals and targets. Building on the baseline data on SDG 6 global indicators, the Synthesis Report will be launched in May 2018 as the consolidated input from the whole UN family to the HLPF and its in-depth review of SDG 6 on the theme “Transformation toward sustainable and resilient societies”.

World Water Development Report

As part of UN-Water’s reporting effort, the World Water Development Report – published by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water – is the reference publication of the United Nations family. The report, released on an annual basis in line with theme of World Water Day, is the result of strong collaboration among UN-Water Members and Partners, and represents the coherent and integrated response of the United Nations family to freshwater-related issues and emerging challenges. The three latest editions have focused on the topics of ‘Water and Sustainable Development’ (2015), ‘Water and Jobs’ (2016) and ‘Wastewater’ (2017).

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS)

The Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) is a UN-Water initiative implemented by WHO. The objective of GLAAS is to provide policy- and decision-makers at all levels with a reliable, easily accessible, comprehensive and global analysis of the investments and enabling environment to make informed decisions for sanitation, drinking-water and hygiene. UN-Water GLAAS is part of the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6.

WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation

At the end of the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation decade (1981-1990), WHO and UNICEF established a Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP). The overall aim of the JMP is to report globally on the status of water supply and sanitation sector, and to support countries in improving their monitoring performance to enable better planning and management at the country level.  The JMP is currently producing baseline estimates for the Sustainable Development Goals related to WASH (targets 6.1 and 6.2) and is part of the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6.

Other reports on SDG 6 Integrated Monitoring

The UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 is a collaboration among United Nations agencies to support countries to monitor water and sanitation across sectors and to compile data to report on global progress. The initiative, that includes the work of JMP, GEMI and GLAAS will produce other reports than the ones mentioned in this space.