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
Through the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG6), the United Nations seeks to support countries in monitoring water- and sanitation-related issues within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in compiling country data to report on global progress towards SDG 6.
The overarching goal of IMI-SDG6 is to accelerate the achievement of SDG 6, by increasing the availability of high-quality data for evidence-based policymaking, regulations, planning and investments at all levels. More specifically, IMI-SDG6 aims to:
support countries to collect, analyse and report SDG 6 data
support policy- and decision makers at all levels to use this data.
Engaging countries and enhancing their capacity
Countries are the centre and starting point for all monitoring and oversee national monitoring via their national statistical system. In terms of SDG reporting to the global level, countries are responsible for collecting and sharing indicator data and metadata. Countries will need to decide on a suitable structure for implementing SDG 6 monitoring at the national level, building on existing monitoring efforts.
It is clear that a lot of countries struggle with too little technical capacity and too few human and financial resources, and it is absolutely essential to further enhance national-level capacity for SDG 6 monitoring. To this end, IMI-SDG6 provides a range of technical and institutional capacity-building support to countries. This includes written methodologies and guidelines for monitoring the global indicators as well as virtual support such as help desks, webinars and online tutorials. Depending on the indicator, more intensive support is also available, such as in-country technical assistance and training workshops at the national, regional and global levels. IMI-SDG6 also focuses on the development of communities of practice and collaboration between countries to encourage cross-country learning and the identification of good practices.
Providing support to countries in their monitoring efforts is key when moving towards sustainably managing the whole water cycle in an equitable manner. Photo: Georgina Smith, Creative Commons Attributions
Data on water and sanitation are collected by a wide variety of stakeholders, across sectors and levels of government. Thanks to their involvement in the national monitoring process, countries may see a large increase in the available data. However, with multiple stakeholders, a clear institutional set-up for the monitoring process is needed, with roles and responsibilities clearly defined. To this end, the IMI-SDG6 is supporting the identification and maintenance of overall and indicator-specific focal points, and encourages communication and coordination among these.
SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation
UN-Water produced 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 was 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”.
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, Sanitation and Hygiene (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.
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,IMI-SDG6 and GLAAS will produce other reports than the ones mentioned in this space.