WASH baselines for the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, world leaders unanimously adopted Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets and constitutes "a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity". It is also intended to be a "universal agenda" to be implemented by "all countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership".

The Inter Agency and Experts Group on SDG indicators (IAEG-SDGs), a 28 Member State group created by the 46th Statistical Commission in March 2015 and endorsed by the UN General Assembly, has been tasked with developing the global indicator framework. The IAEG-SDGs report to the 47th Statistical Commission included an official list of 230 global indicators which the Commission endorsed as a practical starting point for SDG monitoring. The IAEG-SDGs subsequently identified international agencies to serve as 'custodians' for the SDG global indicators based on their existing mandates and global monitoring expertise.

The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) has produced estimates of global, regional and national progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) since 1990 and was responsible for monitoring progress towards MDG target 7c. WHO and UNICEF convened a series of international consultations on global monitoring of WASH post-2015 and actively supported the development of SDG global targets and indicators for WASH. The JMP will be responsible for global monitoring of the SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 which relate to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene.

6.1 By 2030, achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water for all

6.2 By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations

The new SDG targets are highly ambitious. They call for universal access, which goes beyond the household and includes institutional settings such as schools and healthcare facilities, and call for the reduction of inequalities in service levels. The indicators selected by the IAEG-SDGs for monitoring targets 6.1 and 6.2 establish ambitious new global service norms which represent new rungs on the 'service ladders' used by JMP for global reporting:

6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services

6.2.1 Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a hand washing facility with soap and water

The JMP will publish baseline estimates for SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2 in June 2017 and is in the process of compiling currently available national data. Initial estimates will be calculated at the end of 2016 and these will be shared with national authorities through a formal country consultation process in early 2017.

The JMP will also contribute towards monitoring of target 6.3 on wastewater and contribute to the UN Water initiative on integrated monitoring of water and sanitation related SDG targets - GEMI.

For further information please contact the JMP team at: sdgbaselines(at)wssinfo(dot)org 

Data requested for calculating SDG baseline estimates  

These 2 page data request forms specify the information required by the JMP in order to calculate baseline estimates for each of the SDG indicators.

The following supplementary materials provide further explanation of indicator definitions and data sources, and tools for data analysis and visualization. These materials are for reference only and are not required for completion of the data request forms.