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Sanitation, hygiene and water for all, always and everywhere

Contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development from the Sanitation and Water for All Global Partnership Sanitation, hygiene and water for all, always and everywhere (Extract*)

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is a global, multi-stakeholder partnership that brings together almost 150 partners from a variety of constituencies (national governments, civil society, academia, bilateral and multilateral support agencies – including UN agencies, private foundations and development banks – and the private sector) working together, on an equal footing, to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and ensure that scarce resources are used more effectively.

SWA regularly brings Sector Ministers (ministers of water, health, education, rural development and other ministries engaged with water, sanitation and hygiene issues) and Ministers of Finance together – along with its other partners, including civil society and the private sector – to identify and discuss challenges, good practices and solutions for reaching sanitation and water for all, always and everywhere. As such, SWA provides a forum for knowledge exchange and mutual learning, and for building partnerships for implementation and cooperation. Over the past six years, SWA has established and refined this mutual accountability mechanism through these unique multistakeholder meetings. This proven mechanism is now being aligned with the SDGs, so that it will be fit for the purpose of follow-up and review of the water, sanitation and hygiene related targets of the SDGs, under Goal 6 and other goals.

The vision of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership has, since it was first established, encompassed the concept of eliminating inequalities and ensuring no-one is left behind. This is articulated in the SWA Strategy which states:

The vision of the SWA partners is: Sanitation, hygiene and water for all, always and everywhere

All – focuses on the importance of universal access, of eliminating inequalities in access and in focusing on the most marginalized and vulnerable people;

Always – invokes the human right to safe water and sanitation in times of natural and man-made emergencies, and the requirement for sustained services;

Everywhere – reinforces “all”, as well as the need to ensure access to sanitation, water and hygiene at the household level and beyond.

The Partnership’s target outcomes are intended to inspire partners to take actions that are “focussed on the progressive elimination of inequalities by addressing the challenges affecting the most marginalized and hard to reach”.

Even before the adoption of SWA’s new Strategy, the Partnership integrated the obligation of progressively eliminating inequalities in its work. One example of this was the 2014 High Level Meeting of Finance Ministers, convened by UNICEF and hosted by the World Bank in Washington in April 2014, which had “eliminating inequalities” as a theme. National governments responded by tabling many commitments related to this issue, against which the Partnership tracks progress. The recent meeting of Minister of Water, Health and other ministries responsible for WASH convened by the SWA Partnership in March 2016 put great emphasis on the SDG requirement to leave no-one behind...

*The complete text of this document is available as a PDF on the right side of this column