USAID Releases New Standard Indicators for Water and Sanitation. Globalwaters.org, May 2019.
USAID uses standard indicators to aggregate the Agency’s work across all programs and report on outcomes. Previously, the focus was on reporting results for first time access to or improved service quality of water and sanitation services.
During the last strategy period (2013–2018), 22.4 million people gained access to new or improved water services and 15.6 million people gained access to new or improved sanitation services.
While the focus on delivering water and sanitation services remains core to our work, the Plan adds an emphasis on sustainability through the inclusion of DR1 and DR4.
To better capture and report on achievements under these development results, USAID has developed three new standard indicators:
- Number of water and sanitation sector institutions strengthened to manage water resources or improve water supply and sanitation services as a result of U.S. Government (USG) assistance
- Value of new funding mobilized to the water and sanitation sectors as a result of USG assistance
- Number of people benefiting from the adoption and implementation of measures to improve water resources management as a result of USG assistance
Read the complete article.
Drinking water and sanitation: progress in 73 countries in
relation to socioeconomic indicators. WHO Bulletin, Nov 2015. Jeanne Luh& Jamie Bartram.
Objective – To assess progress in the provision of drinking water and sanitation in relation to national socioeconomic indicators.
Methods – We used household survey data for 73 countries – collected between 2000 and 2012 – to calculate linear rates of change in population access to improved drinking water (n = 67) and/or sanitation (n = 61). To enable comparison of progress between countries with different initial levels of access, the calculated rates of change were normalized to fall between –1 and 1. In regression analyses, we investigated associations between the normalized rates of change in population access and national
socioeconomic indicators: gross national income per capita, government effectiveness, official development assistance, freshwater resources, education, poverty, Gini coefficient, child mortality and the human development index.
Findings – The normalized rates of change indicated that most of the investigated countries were making progress towards achieving universal access to improved drinking water and sanitation. However, only about a third showed a level of progress that was at least half the maximum achievable level. The normalized rates of change did not appear to be correlated with any of the national indicators that we investigated.
Conclusion – In many countries, the progress being made towards universal access to improved drinking water and sanitation is falling well short of the maximum achievable level. Progress does not appear to be correlated with a country’s social and economic characteristics. The between-country variations observed in such progress may be linked to variations in government policies and in the institutional commitment and capacity needed to execute such policies effectively.
Join the call for a global-level hygiene indicator in the Sustainable Development Goals! Source: Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
The issue: The Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals are the successors to the Millennium Development Goals; a draft was published, and the details of the SDGs are being negotiated now. Hygiene is essential for achieving global development, and is therefore included as a target as part of Goal 6. Countries will commit to demonstrating progress on achieving the targets by reporting on indicators. However, in the recent list of global-level indicators being considered by the UN Statistical Commission, hygiene has been deleted. This is likely because the decision makers want a shorter list of indicators. However, demoting hygiene to a huge, secondary list of ‘optional’ indicators will not give hygiene the priority needed for the SDGs to have real impact on both hygiene and the areas that it influences—such as health, education, and equity.
Objective: The JMP Communications and Advocacy Group is coordinating delivery of a persuasive message about the importance of hygiene to encourage decision makers and stakeholders to act and recommend the reinstatement of a hygiene indicator in the list of global-level indicators for the SDGs.
Audience: This letter will be sent to members of the UN Statistical Commission and others who may have the opportunity to influence discussions and decisions around the SDG Indicators process.
Ned Breslin: Counted Like Sheep — Retooling the WASH Model’s “Beneficiary” Indicators (Part I)
Beneficiary is a misleading indicator and driver of development assistance. It implies passivity on the part of the “recipient” that does not mesh with my experience overseas, where people are indeed active agents of their own development, not simply recipients of donor benevolence
Many organizations understand this and have implemented programs and projects with considerable up-front financing and sweat labor from community members. In good programs, communities are heavily involved in the planning and execution process—they are hardly passive beneficiaries and do not deserve to be counted like sheep.
USAID Hygiene Improvement Project (HIP) – Access and Behavioral Outcome Indicators for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, 2010. HIP developed this publication for USAID and other organizations to measure indicators for handwashing, POU, and sanitation and provide guidance to implementers of WASH programs on what indicators to use to measure their programs’ achievements.
March 2, 2010 – USAID Hygiene Improvement Project Webinar – You are also invited to participate in a webinar about this new manual of indicators for WASH programming, on March 2, 2010 at 10 am Eastern Standard Time. Orlando Hernandez, HIP’s monitoring and evaluation specialist, will discuss this new publication and how program managers can apply these indicators to their WASH programs. To register for this Webinar, go to:
In a commentary published in Nature on 20 March 2008, Jamie Bartram (WHO) calls for a smarter system of indicators to monitor progress in achieving the MDG goals for safe water and sanitation. The current way of measuring progress shares “a basic weakness in regarding every human as either ‘having’ or ‘not having’ these key amenities [safe water and basic sanitation] ; a formula well past its sell-by date”, Bartram argues.
“Counting haves and have-nots has the advantages of simplicity and equity” […] but it does not encourage “progressive improvements”.
“The benchmark for sanitation is use at home, whereas for water it is an improved communal source – a protected well or spring, for example. Applying benchmarks that require both drinking-water and sanitation at home would better represent what is needed to protect health and secure social benefits. Sadly, raising the water benchmark to a household level alongside the sanitation benchmark would mean missing both targets”.
For Bartram elements of a smarter system include:
- recognising not only household latrines but also successful shared or public toilets
- including health, well-being and livelihoods in indicators
- using “overlays” incorporating greater detail in indicators, e.g. ‘marking down’ flush toilets “if they discharge untreated wastewater into a nearby river rather than to a treatment facility”.
- recognising “that safe water and sanitation in schools, workplaces, hospitals, markets and other public places are also important”
- recognising “that sanitation protects health best when practised by all”.