AMCOW Takes Stock of Harmonized Monitoring on Water and Sanitation Targets
UN Photo/Victoria Hazou
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The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) introduced a harmonized process for monitoring and reporting on water and sanitation targets across several international agreements.

A web-based reporting system, the ‘Africa Water Sector and Sanitation Monitoring and Reporting’ platform, supports the process.

A workshop introduced UN-Water’s baseline monitoring process, in which selected countries are working with UN-Water and partner agencies to generate robust baselines for each of the SDG 6 indicators.

5 May 2017: The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has introduced a harmonized process for monitoring and reporting on water and sanitation targets across several international agreements, taking into account African Union (AU) commitments expressed in the 2008 Sharm El-Sheikh Commitments, the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the Africa Agenda 2063, as well as Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) on clean water and sanitation. A web-based reporting system, the ‘Africa Water Sector and Sanitation Monitoring and Reporting’ platform, supports the process.

Participants from more than 40 African countries took part in a workshop from 2-5 May convened by AMCOW and the African Union Commission (AUC) along with UN-Water and the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). The event, held in Accra, Ghana, took stock of work done through the platform and considered regional and global processes for reporting on water and sanitation.

The workshop introduced UN-Water’s baseline monitoring process, in which selected countries are working with UN-Water and partner agencies to generate robust baselines for each of the SDG 6 indicators. A synthesis report of their progress will be published in early 2018, in time for the planned in-depth review of SDG 6 at the 2018 session of the High-Level Political Forum. William Reidhead, UN-Water, warmly welcomed the collaboration with AMCOW and countries participating in the baseline process, and expressed interest in learning about communities of practice in Africa that can serve as an example for other regions in the world. Several UN agencies are cooperating on the monitoring of SDG 6, including UN Environment, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN-Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The ‘Africa Water Sector and Sanitation Monitoring and Reporting’ platform was developed through a 2015-2016 project supported by AMCOW, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and UN-Environment (UNEP)-DHI. It aimed for a comprehensive and harmonized approach to building monitoring capacity in the region. The online platform provides for reporting on seven themes: water infrastructure for growth; managing and protecting water resources; water supply, sanitation, hygiene and wastewater; climate change and disaster risk reduction (DRR); governance and institutions; financing; and information management and capacity development. Associated with the seven themes are 28 sub-themes and 43 indicators. In addition, the platform allows for the monitoring of 35 ‘background indicators’ labeled ‘water and sanitation facts’; these do not have associated targets, but provide context on relevant factors, such as population density. Data can be uploaded by country and by indicator, and the platform can generate regional and sub-regional overviews.

The platform was launched during the Stockholm Water Week in 2016, and went live in January 2017, ahead of the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union. The Accra workshop in May 2017 shared lessons learned from the first round of reporting, which took place via the platform, and heard from Senegal and Uganda about their experiences with integrated monitoring of SDG 6. Workshop participants included representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Water Facility (AWF), UN-Water, the WSSCC and a number of UN agencies.

According to the compilation of data uploaded to the online platform, 660 million people in Africa do not use safely managed sanitation services and 263 million do not have access to basic drinking water services.

Canisius Kanangire, Executive Secretary of AMCOW, referred to the online platform as “one of the most ambitious attempts” at tracking progress in the water sector, and several speakers highlighted the importance of water as a barometer of progress on development and well-being. According to the compilation of data uploaded to the online platform from 42 countries, 660 million people in Africa do not use safely managed sanitation services, 422 million do not use safe drinking water services, and 263 million do not have access to basic drinking water services. [AMCOW Press Release on Accra Workshop] [AMCOW Press Release on Online Platform Going Live] [UN-Water Press Release on Accra Workshop] [Africa Water Sector and Sanitation Monitoring and Reporting Platform] [UN Website on SDG 6 Monitoring] [UN ‘Monitoring SDG 6’ Web Page on Baseline Process] [SDG Knowledge Hub Report on Tools and Processes for SDG 6 Reporting]

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