Changes Recommended to SDG 6 Targets and Indicators
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Advisors to the UN Joint Monitoring Programme for Drinking-water, Sanitation and Hygiene have published an independent critique of the means of implementation (MoI) targets for the Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation (SDG 6).

Their review calls for changes to the two MoI targets (SDG 6.a and 6.b), as well as the target (SDG 6.5) on integrated water resource management (IWRM) and their associated indicators.

26 April 2018: Advisors to the UN Joint Monitoring Programme for Drinking-water, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP) have published an independent critique of the means of implementation (MoI) targets for SDG 6 on water and sanitation. Their review, in the open-access journal npj Clean Water, calls for changes to the two MoI targets (SDG 6.a and 6.b), as well as the target (SDG 6.5) on integrated water resource management (IWRM) and their associated indicators. The authors recommend that the SDG 6 targets should: reflect the role of the state in planning and leadership; emphasize people’s rights to information, voice and remedy; separate financial assistance from capacity building aims; and highlight the need for investment from sources other than official development assistance (ODA).

The co-first authors of the paper are unpaid advisors to two UN processes relevant to water: the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme for Drinking-water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and the Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS). Their critique titled, “Policy Review of the Means of Implementation Targets and Indicators for the Sustainable Development Goal for Water and Sanitation,” is published in their own capacity and not on behalf of the UN.

The SDGs have outcome targets indicated by a number (such as SDG 6.1 on achieving universal access to safe drinking water by 2030) and MoI targets indicated by a letter (such as SDG 6.b on supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management). The paper argues that MoI targets in the SDGs have been framed inconsistently, sometimes appearing more like outcomes rather than MoI, whereas SDG 6.5 on IWRM is a management approach rather than an outcome, and reads more like an MoI target.

MoI targets for SDG 6, in their current form, are insufficient for achieving the outcome targets for water and sanitation.

The authors argue that the MoI targets for SDG 6, in their current form, are insufficient for achieving the outcome targets for water and sanitation, and that their associated indicators should be revised to better monitor achievements. Detailed recommendations are provided in this regard.

The policy review has been published ahead of the July 2018 meeting of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which will review progress on SDG 6, among other Goals. [Publication: Policy review of the means of implementation targets and indicators for the sustainable development goal for water and sanitation] [Full Text of SDG 6] [HLPF 2018] [UNC Global News Article]

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