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This topic provides an overview of the main tools for monitoring the environment that enables large-scale sanitation programmes to be developed and sustained. There is growing attention to monitoring the enabling environment.


What is the enabling environment for sanitation?

The enabling environment for sanitation is the policy, capacity and institutional and financial framework necessary for sustaining and replicating large-scale sanitation programmes. A positive enabling environment builds the attitudes, capacity and practices for effective and efficient functioning of organizations and individuals.

UNICEF’s WASH strategy emphasizes improving the enabling environment for sanitation. UNICEF country offices (see CATS Country Profiles, 2010) have identified the following six institutional issues as most challenging:

  1. sanitation policy;
  2. leadership and institutional arrangements;
  3. budgets and financing for sanitation;
  4. human resource capacity for implementation, including the quality of facilitation in CATS;
  5. the development of a sanitation market;
  6. pro-poor financial arrangements.

Six tools have been developed which help monitor the enabling environment for sanitation.

  1. Country Status Overviews (CSOs).
  2. WASH bottleneck analysis tool (WASH-BAT).
  3. Monitoring Regional Sanitation Conference (SAN) commitments.
  4. UN-water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS).
  5. Monitoring of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) high-level commitments.
  6. Regional monitoring mechanisms.

A final section addresses aligning these different approaches.


Table: A short description of tools for monitoring the enabling environment

Category of tool
What are you looking for?
Which tool is most appropriate?
Coverage monitoring
Country coverage data of sanitation or open defecation?
Country analysis
An analysis of sanitation bottlenecks that also generates a costed, prioritized action plan that has the consensus of all major sector players
A detailed WASH country analysis where participatory tools are not appropriate or where an external consultant is more appropriate
Standardized data on sector inputs (finance, institutions, human resources etc.)
Regional monitoring
Progress against regional commitments
SANseThekwini commitments
Global commitment monitoring
Progress against global political commitments
SWAHigh-Level Commitment Dialogue (HLCD)

Source: Author’s compilation




Tool 1


Level: Country and regional


What are CSOs, SDAs and MAPAS?

Country Status Overviews (CSOs) are a national level tool to provide oversight of the achievements of the WASH sector, benchmark service delivery pathways and identify issues that might be inhibiting progress. Applied to each subsector of WASH in a country, including urban and rural sanitation, CSOs score progress in three areas (or pillars) of service delivery: enabling service delivery, developing services and sustaining services.


Figure: Three pillars of service delivery are used to score CSO progress

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Source: www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/CSO-Synthesis-Report.pdf, p. 11


The methodology (known as CSO1) was first created by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) Africa in 2006 as a tool to gain an overview of what countries needed to do to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). CSO2 methodology has developed into a more rigorous and replicable approach with three distinct tools (i.e. scorecard, costing tool and questionnaires; see CSO2 methodology below). Rolling out this standard methodology enabled a comparative analysis across countries and revealed sector trends. The methodology has also been designed so that, if repeated in the same country, the enabling environment for service delivery can be analysed over time.

A synthesis report of 32 CSO2s in African countries was undertaken in 2011 by the WSP in collaboration with African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and other partners. The comparative analysis of the results has been published by WSP (see www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/CSO-Synthesis-Report.pdf). The methodology has also been extended by WSP to Latin America – where they are called Monitoring Country Progress in Water Supply and Sanitation (MAPAS) – and South Asia and South East Asia – where they are called Sector Development Analyses (SDAs). CSOs have evolved in response to different regional priorities.

  • In Latin America, the infrastructure built in the 1970s and 1980s is reaching the end of its lifespan, so sector investment requirements for replacement of capital stock are more than 50 per cent of the total requirements in all countries. A key issue emerging from MAPAS is that countries have no reserve mechanisms in place, putting at risk the progress in coverage achieved during the past two decades. The costing model has been adapted to show the relative effects of new service development versus replacement of existing capital stock. The concept of the ’medium-term scenario’ has been introduced, which compares the current situation with a second scorecard showing the expected results and recognizing existing efforts to improve sector performance.
  • SDAs in South East Asia have been adapted to focus on the shift in service delivery options and problem solving in this transition. There has been considerable focus in SDAs in South Asia on the core challenge of addressing open defecation. Indicators have been added to address: equity, city-wide faecal sludge management and key water resource issues.


What is CSO2 methodology?

The CSO2 methodology involves contracting an experienced regional or country consultant to work with the government applying three data gathering methodologies.

1. CSO2 scorecard

This is an assessment framework allowing identification of drivers and barriers in the ‘service delivery pathway’ between inputs (finance) and outcomes (coverage) in each of the four subsectors: urban water supply, rural water supply, urban sanitation and rural sanitation. The scorecard assesses each building block of a functioning subsector, from enabling policies to the quality of user experience. Scores are generated with reference to a range of specific questions and a simple visual key (green, yellow, red) allows problem building blocks (barriers) to be easily identified. The detailed questions in the scorecard for each pillar of service development and sub-sector are presented in Appendix A of the CSO synthesis report (see www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/CSO-Synthesis-Report.pdf).

2. CSO2 costing tool

The CSO2 costing tool is an Excel-based model combining population, coverage, and technological data to estimate both the annual investment required for new and replacement infrastructure in each subsector and the proportion that will be met from public finance based on subsidy policy. Requirements are then compared with anticipated public investment from national, donor and NGO sources to identify any investment gaps.

3. Questionnaire to line ministries

This questionnaire elicits formal inputs to the costing model as well as supplementary qualitative information regarding progress, for example, on donor coordination.

A strength of CSOs is that, in using external agents for verification and by incorporating a multi-stakeholder analysis, they can deliver an accurate and comprehensive sector analysis. In some instances, external agents have not delivered the quality needed. In others, the government has been slow to verify the final output. In general, CSOs take around three months to complete (including kick off meetings, consultation with key country sector stakeholders, presentation of draft findings, and finalization and sign off by the Government). UNICEF country staff members have supported this process in many countries.



Tool 2


Level: Country and subnational

What is a WASH-BAT? 

The water, sanitation and hygiene bottleneck analysis tool (WASH-BAT) is another response to the needs of the sector to better diagnose and solve the key challenges it faces. Developed by UNICEF, the WASH-BAT has its roots in another UNICEF and World Bank tool, the Marginal Budgeting for Bottlenecks (MBB) tool, which was developed for the health sector more than 10 years ago. (Source: The MBB tool was developed by UNICEF, the World Bank and the Ministries of Health in several countries. The tool can be downloaded from www.devinfolive.info/mbb/mbbsupport)

The WASH-BAT has drawn on a variety of other tools and approaches, including CSOs, and is a user-friendly, Excel-based tool that defines a comprehensive set of enabling factors operating at different levels of the service delivery system. The principal users of the tool are expected to be line ministries responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene. The tool stimulates users to apply a root-cause analysis of the major constraints on sector progress in their own setting and determine the requirements and consequences of removing them. The quality of the process is dependent on being able to bring the sector leaders and key stakeholders together to complete the WASH-BAT. Undertaking a WASH-BAT ideally requires the full engagement of sector leadership, including government officials, to participate in a five-day workshop.

Like CSOs, WASH-BATs provide a rational, evidence-based approach for analysing the WASH sector. However, in addition to identifying priority problems in the WASH sector, the WASH-BAT is used to formulate a sector (or sub-sector) investment plan comprising a costed set of activities designed to remove bottlenecks in the enabling environment that constrain efficient, sustainable and equitable service delivery.

The WASH-BAT uses a modular approach, such that lead agencies can choose which modules to apply in each context. The modules cover a range of levels and sub-sectors: national, subnational, service provider, community/household and/or urban water, rural water, urban sanitation and rural sanitation.

For each sub-sector, the user scores the enabling factors, identifies bottlenecks (as well as their causes and how to remove them), estimates the costs and funding available to implement the activities and prioritizes them on the basis of their relative importance to increasing sector efficiency.

WASH-BATs do not benchmark service performance or estimate the funding gap to reach targets. Neither do they advise on technology choice or business strategy. But through the use of easy-to-operate software, WASH-BATs can generate results quickly and can empower country decision-makers to run ‘what-if’ scenarios.

WASH-BATs are flexible, adaptable and can be completed in a short time frame. (The initial workshop takes five days and some reports have been generated in as little as three weeks.) A challenge with using the WASH-BAT is getting all the senior stakeholders to commit the time to participating in a five-day workshop. Alternative approaches to applying the WASH-BAT are being evaluated to overcome the demands on time from senior stakeholders.

Having gone through pilot implementation, starting in Ghana in 2012 and Sierra Leone in 2013, based on country demand and UNICEF and partner capacity, the WASH-BAT is now poised for an extensive roll-out to national agencies to analyse and indicate solutions to sanitation problems, including improving the overall sector framework. In 2013, UNICEF supported 10 countries to implement the WASH-BAT. In 2014, an additional 23 countries have requested similar support (March 2014 estimate).

The tool’s evaluation of the enabling factors that determine sector efficiency, equity and sustainability helps to bring greater focus to aspects that have received inadequate attention in the past, such as equity, hardware maintenance, programme delivery mechanisms, ‘software’ spending and underlying determinants of programme performance, such as social norms.


When to use a WASH-BAT and when to use a CSO? 

Both the WASH-BAT and CSOs are useful for deepening country-level sector analysis. In general, use a WASH-BAT when there are identifiable sector leaders who are concerned to improve sector impact and who can be brought together to work through an analysis of the sector. CSOs may be more useful where an independent assessment could provide clarity on key issues and give the opportunity for an extended period of data collection and analysis.

WASH-BATs can be completed in a shorter time-frame and are cheaper to implement than CSOs, but do require a high level of participation from key sector leaders at one time. WASH-BAT outcomes reflect scoring by participants in a workshop setting while CSOs, in the first instance, reflect the opinions of a consultant after interviewing relevant stakeholders. The WASH-BAT analysis is led mostly by government stakeholders through a participatory process that aims to reach consensus on problems in the enabling environment and what to do about them. The WASH-BAT produces an action-oriented, costed work plan. CSOs provide recommended actions that governments can then develop into action plans.


What is the WASH-BAT methodology?

The application of the WASH-BAT requires a collaborative effort, involving a range of WASH sector stakeholders and external partners. The tool is also designed to cater to different user types and hence provides flexibility in scope, focus and informational outputs. The detailed WASH-BAT methodology is described in UNICEF’s ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Bottleneck Analysis Tool (WASH-BAT): Methodology Description’ (UNICEF, September 2013).

In a step-by-step approach, the WASH-BAT methodology tool assists the user to:

Figure: The WASH-BAT methodology

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Source: Author’s compilation


The methodology takes a key group of country sector leaders through a nine-step process.

Figure 4: The nine-step process of the WASH-BAT methodology

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Source:UNICEF, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Bottleneck Analysis Tool (WASH-BAT), Methodology Description. Accompaniment to the WASH-BAT in Excel and to be used in conjunction with the Software User Manual, September 2013


The bottleneck analysis, the core of WASH-BATs, covers two different worksheets. The ‘enabling factors’ worksheet first scores each criterion and then the ‘bottleneck analysis’ worksheet identifies the bottlenecks. A ‘score summary report’ worksheet provides an overview of the scores of each enabling factor across the four implementation levels of each sub-sector. The table below gives the enabling factors for rural sanitation at a national level.


Table: Enabling factors and indicators at national level for rural sanitation

Enabling Factor
Legal framework
A legal framework exists that includes the human right to (rural) sanitation, and pro-poor and socially inclusive policies
Rural sanitation and hygiene policy, containing national service norms, equity aspects and future adaptation requirements, is approved by cabinet and used by stakeholders
Rural sanitation targets in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) or national development plan are realistic and specifically mention poor and vulnerable groups
Social norms
Social norms and national leaders (e.g. government leaders, ministry staff, religious leaders, personalities) provide enabling environment for improved sanitation and hygiene practices
Institutional leadership
Institutional roles for rural sanitation and hygiene are clearly defined and put into operation, with leadership provided by a government agency with the appropriate capacity
Stakeholder coordination
Government has a programmatic sector-wide approach to rural sanitation and hygiene, with donors harmonized and supporting implementation of the rural national sanitation plan
Investment plan
National investment programme for rural sanitation and hygiene is operational, realistic, pro-poor and based on a needs assessment; it considers a range of options and has been validated by range of stakeholders
Annual (or multi-year) work plans for rural sanitation and hygiene are developed, reviewed, implemented, and evaluated based on the available budget
Annual review
An annual review monitors rural sanitation and hygiene performance and activities completed, with participation from stakeholders, to enable setting of new targets and undertakings
Sector and service monitoring
Monitoring systems regularly measure service levels, use and functionality, reflecting international (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme) as well as national coverage definitions
Analysis of equity
Periodic analysis by government or civil society organizations assesses equitable service outcomes of rural sanitation and hygiene programmes, and whether equity criteria set by government have been applied in funding decisions
Budget and expenditure adequacy
Financial flows to rural sanitation and hygiene are sufficient to meet national targets, and include software costs, maintenance funds, disaster risk management and climate change
National budgeting and accounting structure and coverage
Budget and expenditure data show separate values for rural sanitation and hygiene, poor/vulnerable groups, domestic spending and official donor investment
Budget utilization
High percentage of domestic budget and official donor commitments earmarked for rural sanitation and hygiene is utilized
Decentralized authorities are guided and supported in playing their roles
Promotion and scaling up sanitation services
Tools for promoting rural sanitation and hygiene have been specifically adapted before being used at scale through a national programme
Private sector development
A private sector development and partnership programme for rural sanitation is led by a capacitated government programme
Supply-chain and services
A national supply-chain for sanitation equipment, pit emptying and hygiene services meets rural households needs in terms of both availability and price

Source:UNICEF, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Bottleneck Analysis Tool (WASH-BAT), Methodology Description. Accompaniment to the WASH-BAT in Excel and to be used in conjunction with the Software User Manual, September 2013

The early roll-out of WASH-BATs to developing countries has shown that these can bring together country leadership and assist them to reflect on the big picture and discuss challenges and solutions in an open atmosphere. The use of a standardized set of enabling factors, indicators and scoring criteria provide a consistent guiding framework to the dialogue. Issues in using WASH-BATs in future country dialogue include: the regularity of usage (Could WASH-BATs be used annually?) and timing (WASH-BATs are to feed into official sector processes, such as Joint Sector Reviews).


Examples of WASH-BATs

WASH-BATs are being implemented in more and more countries, providing new lessons on their application. WASH-BATs were applied to several levels of analysis (the national level, subnational level, project/community level and the service providers’ level) in the institutionally complex situation in Madagascar (see: UNICEF, ‘Madagascar WASH Sector Service Provision: Bottleneck Assessment, final report, January 2014’). In Kenya, the WASH‑BAT was powerfully applied at the county level.

Bottleneck analysis (a variation of WASH-BAT) has also been successfully applied in schools. The analysis in Tanzania, for example, helped Tanzanian stakeholders to understand the serious neglect of school sanitation and to prioritize actions. The figure below, for example, is the outcome of the enabling environment analysis for WASH in Schools in Tanzania. For further information on monitoring WASH in Schools, click here.


Figure: Results from WASH-BAT in Tanzanian schools, 2013

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Source: UNICEF, Tanzania WASH in Schools WASH-BAT, Wash Programme presentation, 2013


Further country resources


Summary Report from the WASH Sector Bottleneck Analysis Workshop, held in Khartoum, 3-7 November 2013. Government of Sudan/UNICEF WASH Joint Programme initiative.


Burundi WASH BAT Report, 25-28th March 2014, Support to National Planning for Results Initiative (NPRI) and WASH BAT Workshop in Burundi.

Outil d'analyse des goulots d'étranglement dans le secteur WASH à l'aide de l'outil WASH–BAT. Atelier de Gitega, Burundi – du 25 au 28 mars 2014.

Participants evaluation of WASH BAT Workshop, Burundi, March 2014.

Press release, Burundi, April 2014



Tool 3


Level: Regional and country


From 2002, Regional Sanitation Conferences (SAN) have been held in Africa, East Asia, Latin America and South Asia to build political momentum for the neglected sanitation sector.


Table: Regional Sanitation Conferences (SAN)

African Conference On Sanitation And Hygiene (AfricaSan)
South Asia
South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN)
East Asia
East Asia Ministerial Conference On Sanitation And Hygiene (EASAN)
Latin America
Latin American Conference on Sanitation (LATINOSAN)
AfricaSan 1, Johannesburg
AfricaSan-South, Gaborone
AfricaSan-East, Addis Ababa AfricaSan-West, Ouagadougou
SACOSAN II, Islamabad
EASAN-1, Beppu
AfricaSan 2 (or called + 5), Durban
AfricaSan-East, Kampala
EASAN-2, Manila
LATINOSAN 2, Foz de Igaucu
AfricaSan 3, Kigali
AfricaSan-East, Addis Ababa
EASAN-3, Bali
AfricaSan-West and Central, Dakar
AfricaSan-Southern Africa, Lusaka
SACOSAN V, Kathmandu

Source: Updated from Regional SAN meetings held from 2002 to 2013. See Cross, Piers, and Yolande Coombes, eds., ‘Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa: Where Do We Stand? Analysis from the AfricaSan Conference, Kigali, Rwanda’, IWA Publishing, London, 2014

From the outset, SAN recognized that a blend of political support, technical advance and knowledge exchange was needed to develop momentum for sanitation. The vision of the SAN dialogue was that governments should lead sanitation improvement, while engaging civil society, the private sector and external support agencies.


SAN commitments and commitment tracking

Key SAN products have been regional and country political commitments: the eThekwini commitments (AfricaSan+ 5), Cali declarations (LATINOSAN 1), the Colombo statement (SACOSAN IV) and the Beppu statement (EASAN-1) are the most commonly quoted statements.

The latest commitment statements are summarised below.


The Government of Rwanda and the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) hosted the third African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan 3) in July 2011, in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting produced the Kigali Ministerial Statement on Sanitation and Hygiene (see www.amcow-online.org/images/initiatives/africasan3_conference _report.pdf).


The government of Indonesia hosted the third East Asian Ministerial Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (EASAN-3) in September 2012, in Bali. The meeting produced the Bali statement (see www.unicef.org/indonesia/Bali_Declaration_EASAN-3.pdf).


The Republic of Panama hosted the third Latin American Sanitation Conference (LATIONSAN 3) from 29 to 31 May 2013, in Panama. The meeting produced the Declaration of Panama. The theme was ‘Universal Sanitation: New Challenges, New Opportunities’.


The Government of Nepal hosted the fifth South Asian Ministerial Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (SACOSAN V) in October 2013, in Kathmandu. The meeting produced the Kathmandu Declaration (see www.wsscc.org/sites/default/files/publications/kathmandu_declaration_sacosan-v_2013_signed.pdf).

SAN meetings have sought to achieve binding resolutions among regional governments, which are followed up by post-meeting actions. The focus on the political meeting itself has been complemented by better tracking of progress made against these ministerial commitments to avoid empty promises being made at SAN conferences. The process of tracking has in turn helped sharpen the commitments to make progress more easily measurable.

Each SAN has established different regional mechanisms for tracking these commitments. The website www.WASHwatch.org is an online platform for monitoring government policy commitments and budgets for water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Presently, (March 2014) only African and South Asia are tracked, but the platform has been set up to track all countries.

The intention is for SAN meetings to be integral to an on-going regional dialogue on how to reach targets and improve sanitation sector performance. The figure below shows this integration in the planning for AfricaSan 3.


Figure: Integration in the planning for AfricaSan 3

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Source: Cross, Piers, and Yolande Coombes, eds., ‘Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa: Where Do We Stand? Analysis from the AfricaSan Conference, Kigali, Rwanda’, IWA Publishing, London, 2014, p. 154, available here


Monitoring the eThekwini commitments

Level: Regional and country

In 2008, the AfricaSan+ 5 conference, which coincided with the International Year of Sanitation, brought together over 600 participants, including ministers from 32 African countries. The conference culminated in the eThekwini Declaration – a strong statement of commitments by African governments to prioritize sanitation. In many ways, the eThekwini declaration has been the political launch pad for concerted efforts to improve the sanitation situation across Africa.

Based on the eThekwini Declaration in 2008 (see www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/eThekwiniAfricaSan.pdf), nine key indicators have been selected to track the progress countries make on the eThekwini commitments on sanitation. The indicators have three standard answers (good progress, sufficient/some progress, insufficient progress) which allows for tracking changes in the enabling environment over time. These nine indicators have been presented in traffic light form, first in 2009, and again in 2011 in preparation for AfricaSan 3.


Progress towards the eThekwini commitments

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View larger image
Source: AMCOW, WSP, UNICEF, WaterAid, CREPA, ‘Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa at a Glance: eThekwini Traffic Lights Report’, 2011, www.wsp.org/sites/wsp.org/files/publications/WSP-2011-eThekwini-Traffic-Lights-Report.pdf

The high degree of variation in the sanitation environment across Africa limits the utility of eThekwini monitoring as a country benchmarking tool. Comparisons cannot be made between an upper middle-income country, such as South Africa, and one that has had no functioning government for 20 years, such as Somalia. However, reviewing results across the commitments provides useful insights into commonalities in commitment achievements. The traffic light report shows that there has been progress across most countries in developing national sanitation policies and action plans, but that securing adequate budgets and rolling out monitoring and evaluation systems has remained a challenge.


Refining and improving eThekwini indicators

The eThekwini commitments are based on self-assessment. Progress reviews showed that reported data in the tracking reports did not reflect the continuing serious sanitation situation on the ground. This has led to a process of sharpening the definitions of indicators. On closer examination, it became apparent that the original indicators and criteria do not adequately measure the implementation of the eThekwini commitments. For example, previous monitoring indicators and criteria captured the existence of national sanitation plans, but not the second half of the commitment, which calls for steps to be taken to ensure national sanitation programmes are on track. Other commitments were not included in the all-Africa eThekwini monitoring – for example, the commitment to use effective and sustainable approaches to build and strengthen capacity for sanitation and hygiene implementation. As a result, AMCOW tasked the AfricaSan task force (which includes UNICEF) to refine indicators to properly reflect progress and propose indicators for those targets for which no indicators exist. A new and more detailed set of indicators has been developed and discussed with countries at a series of sub-regional AfricaSan meeting in 2012 and 2013. The revised indicators can be found here.


Aligning global and regional monitoring processes in African countries

Preparation for AfricaSan 4 (planned for late 2014) has involved country reviews of progress against the revised set of eThekwini indicators and aligning the measurement of these indicators with existing and on-going processes at country level, as well as other regional and global monitoring processes. The 2012–2013 sub-regional AfricaSan meetings sought to align the revised eThekwini commitments with AMCOW Country Status Overview (CSO) scorecards, the UN-water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLAAS) report as well as monitoring of the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) high-level commitments.



Tool 4


Level: Global and country


What is GLAAS?

The UN-water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) is a UN-water initiative implemented by the World Health Organization (WHO). The objective of GLAAS is to provide policy makers at all levels with a reliable, easily accessible, comprehensive and global analysis of the evidence to make informed decisions about sanitation and drinking water. GLAAS has evolved since its first pilot report in 2008 and now places emphasis on monitoring the inputs required to extend and sustain WASH systems and services through a country-led process. A secondary goal is to analyse the factors associated with progress, or lack thereof, to identify drivers, bottlenecks and knowledge gaps and to assess strengths and challenges across countries.

The global GLAAS report is published biennially and includes an assessment of government policies and institutions; the investments, in terms of financial and human resources; the volume and targeting of foreign assistance; and the relative influence of all these factors on performance.

GLAAS is also a principal source of evidence for member states and other major stakeholders for the High-Level Commitment Dialogue (HLCD) and to outline their commitments at the biennial Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High-Level Meetings (HLMs) hosted by UNICEF at the World Bank Spring Meetings (including the most recent HLM held in April 2014). The 2013/2014 GLAAS report plans to gather survey data from over 90 countries and nearly 30 external support agencies as well as collect information from other sources, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) and civil society organizations.

For more information see www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/glaas/en.


What is GLAAS methodology?

GLAAS – unlike the JMP, which relies on data from existing survey instruments – gathers its own primary data through questionnaires distributed to countries and financing agencies. In the current round of data gathering, WHO are further strengthening the support given to countries to assist them in completing the form by appointing external facilitation staff to assist some countries. A guidance note on completing the questionnaire is also available. The process of completing country questionnaires encourages multi-stakeholder dialogue across ministries and with donors and civil society organizations. The final report that is submitted is essentially based on self-assessed data and governments have to sign off on the submission.

The questionnaire solicits information on the delivery of drinking water supply and/or sanitation services and/or the status of hygiene promotion activities. Information gathered in this survey will be presented in the 2014 UN-water GLAAS report. The 2013 country questionnaire contains four sections that cover selected aspects of the enabling environment that impact the provision of water and sanitation services.

Section A on governance, which is an extensive section, including national laws, incorporation of human rights in WASH, institutional responsibilities and coordination, sustainability and citizens engagement.

Section B on monitoring, which examines the effectiveness of monitoring, including attention given to exclusion and performance monitoring.

Section C on human resources, which includes the causes of human resource gaps and the impact of shortages.

Section D on finance, which is an extensive section on financial planning and implementation and measurement of financial flows.

A copy of the 2013/2014 country questionnaire is available here. The 2013 Guidance note country questionnaire can be found here.

External agencies also submit their data by questionnaire. The 2013/2014 questionnaire for external agency is available here.

In prior years, the main product of GLAAS has been a global report analysing the data and highlighting lessons learnt (see, for example, www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/glaas/2013/14063_SWA_GLAAS_Highlights.pdf). In 2014, in addition to a global report, emphasis was given to specific country reports so that information could be fed back to support country dialogue and decision making. In 2014, GLAAS staggered the production of data to enable some first-cut findings to be presented at the 2014 HLM with the full report expected when all the country data is fully assembled.



Tool 5


Level: Global and country


What is SWA?

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is a global partnership of 95 partners (June 2014) including developing country governments, donors, civil society organizations and other development partners working together to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively. Partners work towards a common vision of universal access to safe water and adequate sanitation. SWA aims to create a virtuous cycle of robust planning, institutional strengthening, better resource utilization and higher investment.

SWA is a platform:

  • for coordinated action;
  • for global high-level dialogue;
  • to implement the aid effectiveness agenda in the WASH;
  • to strengthen mutual accountability.

For more information on SWA visit the SWA website at http://sanitationandwaterforall.org/about. To find out how the SWA monitors commitments, see http://sanitationandwaterforall.org/?wpdmact=process&did=MTc3LmhvdGxpbms=.


What are the HLM and HLCD?

Every two years, SWA convenes a High-Level Meeting (HLM) of national and global decision makers to discuss the state of sanitation and water development and highlight the sector on a global platform. The meeting is significant as it engages ministers of finance to address the fundamental bottlenecks holding back progress and encourages all parties to act on international aid effectiveness principles. This includes ministerial commitments (from countries and donors) and aligning and harmonizing efforts. The 2012, SWA HLM was unprecedented in attracting over 50 ministers and high-level dignitaries. Itdemonstrated the increase in political prioritization of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) that SWA seeks to achieve. The meeting resulted in attendees committing to over 400 tangible actions. In 2014, SWA HLM was attended by leaders from more than 50 countries, both major donors and programme countries, who set serious, measurable commitments for tackling the problem of water and sanitation for the people who are among the poorest and most marginalized in the world. Among the commitments, 17 countries pledged to end open defecation by or before 2030 and more than 20 countries pledged to have universal access to water and sanitation – that is, access for every one of their citizens – by 2030 or earlier. For more information on the 2014 SWA HLM commitments, see http://sanitationandwaterforall.org/commitments.

The SWA secretariat works with country and donor focal points to track progress made against these commitments. Recognizing that the process of implementing and tracking progress is as important as the process of preparing commitments and the meeting itself, SWA has shifted to focus on a High-Level Commitment Dialogue (HLCD).

The SWA HLCD is a global process fostering an on-going political dialogue on WASH at national and global levels. It is focused on achieving results at country level. The HLCD provides a platform for mutual accountability among stakeholders and also further strengthens the sector dialogue at country level. The aims of the HLCD mirror those of the SWA partnership, namely: i) increasing political prioritization, ii) improving evidence-based decision making, and iii) strengthening country processes.


Figure: The SWA HLCD process

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Source: SWA Secretariat, ‘Developing SMART Commitments for the 2014 High-Level Meeting’, 2014


The HLCD is the dialogue between SWA partners, the secretariat and countries covering the following activities:

1. Preparation:
the preparatory process that countries and donors/banks carry out in advance of the SWA HLM to develop specific commitments.

2. Meeting:
the biennial HLMs, where ministers table specific commitments to be implemented over a two-year period.

3. Monitoring:
the annual monitoring of commitments tabled at the HLMs.

Further information on the HLM and HLCD can be found here.


How does SWA monitor commitments?

SWA is a partner-led and partner-governed initiative and partners self-report on progress against commitments. The SWA Secretariat, hosted by UNICEF, facilitates the reporting process. Guidelines for reporting on progress and a common reporting format have been developed. The reporting format was based primarily on a five-point colour-coded scale as follows: ‘complete’, ‘almost complete’, ‘good progress’, ‘slow progress’ and ‘no progress/major barriers’. Commitments are also coded according to the three SWA Priority Areas (political prioritization, evidence-based decision making and national planning processes). Country partners are encouraged to consult with other stakeholders in their tracking processes to increase the accuracy of the information through triangulation and to increase credibility by reducing the subjectivity of the report.

The 2013 progress report against HLM commitments provides a detailed description of the methodology for tracking commitments (see Annexe 1, http://sanitationandwaterforall.org/?wpdmact=process&did=MTc3LmhvdGxpbms=).

The preparation for the 2014 HLM has seen a significant shift towards selection of a smaller number of country commitments (just over 250 commitments were made) in strategic areas. Commitments for 2014 were intended to be:

  • ‘communicable in 90 seconds’: few, but focused;
  • ‘game changing’: carefully ambitious;
  • ‘balancing’: existing plans with new priorities;
  • ‘sequencing’: short term and structural;
  • ‘smart’: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound.

The process puts a strong emphasis on alignment, so that HLM commitments derive from and are linked to national priorities which are, in turn, informed by other analytical and bottleneck analysis tools (including CSOs, WASH-BATs and GLAAS reports). HLM commitments were, for example, integrated into the recent AfricaSan regional meetings.

Five sets of guidance notes have been prepared for the development of commitments for the following sets of partners:

  1. guidance on national advocacy campaigns.
  2. guidance on preparation of commitments.
  3. guidance on reporting on commitments.
  4. guidance on engaging ministries of finance.
  5. guidance to donors and development banks.

For information on the preparation documents for HLCD, see http://sanitationandwaterforall.org/partner-workspace/high-level-commitments-dialogue.

For information on the preparation documents for HLM, see http://sanitationandwaterforall.org/partner-workspace/2014-high-level-meeting-planning.

Other SWA activities of interest to sanitation monitoring include:

  • the development of country economic analyses of the impact of sanitation
  • donor profiles, which summarize donors financing to the sector.



Tool 6


Level: Regional and country


Regional monitoring

Some regions are developing monitoring systems to track progress against regional political commitments in water and sanitation. Regions and countries in those areas can differ widely and have different priorities. This means that neither all regions, nor necessarily all countries within regions, are interested in analysing or monitoring the same range of issues and that much of the data is not really suited to regional or global aggregation. But some significant regional monitoring efforts that include sanitation are underway.

In Africa the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) is developing a pan-African monitoring process to report on progress against the Sharm el-Sheik commitments in the water sector made by African heads of state. An ambitious monitoring system has been planned, addressing seven areas of commitment to water development on the continent. The system plans to aggregate national government and regional water data. For more information on the pan-African sector monitoring of AMCOW, click here.

South Asian countries attending the Ministerial Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene for South Asia (SACOSAN) committed in 2006 that an Inter-Country Working Group (ICWG) would be responsible for harmonized monitoring of country progress towards agreed targets in sanitation and hygiene. SACOSAN monitoring has focused not only on access, but also on functionality, equity, health, education and financial allocations. In April 2012, health ministers in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) agreed that a common monitoring framework should include access to safe sanitation and drinking water.


The pan-African sector monitoring mechanism of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)

The Assembly Decision (Assembly/AU/ Decl.1 (XI)) of the African Union (AU) in Sharm el-Sheik in July 2008 affirmed the eThekwini Declaration and requested the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to report to the AU assembly annually on the progress made.

In 2012, AMCOW undertook a process of partner consultation that led to the establishment of a pan-African water and sanitation monitoring mechanism. The selected process was to align with and support the country monitoring mechanisms. The system is built on country self-reporting. The AU is conscious of alignment issues and has created a strong multi-stakeholder task force (including UNICEF) to support development of this regional monitoring system.

Data is collected in seven themes.

Theme 1: water infrastructure for economic growth.
Theme 2: managing and protecting water resources.
Theme 3: achieving water supply and sanitation MDGs.
Theme 4: global changes and risks management in Africa.
Theme 5: water governance and management.
Theme 6: financing the water and sanitation sector.
Theme 7
: education, knowledge, capacity development and water information.

The AU issued its first continental African Water report in 2012 summarizing this monitoring information. The data in the first report are limited and reflect only a 41 per cent response rate, but plans are in place to develop a monitoring process as a source of evidence for sector advocacy. The sanitation data submitted are those utilized by national governments. For the full outline of the methodology for data collection, click here and here.