I would like to note a number of challenges in WASH and health that still pose challenges for states and their populations, especially in developing countries:
1. Inadequate provisions in legal,policy and strategic frameworks that ensure safe water and adequate sanitation is available to poor, vulnerable and marginalized groups and areas. This affects effective planning and targeting of finances, technological options, human resources among other aspects. Some of the existing legal frameworks in some countries remain outdated and need adjustments or review to align with global regional and national sector commitments and the new development agenda.
2. Where these frameworks exist, stronger regulation and compliance are needed to ensure WASH Infrastructure and services are provided according to the norms and standards that govern quality/safety, availability, quantity, affordability, acceptability (and sustainability). These core minimums are elaborated in the United Nations General Assembly human rights to water and sanitation resolutions and under the General Comment no. 15. Yet, although most governments have defined such core criteria in their domestic frameworks, most are not aligned with the human rights framework.
3. This brings me to the third challenge - that of monitoring. The Transformative Agenda has very cross-cutting elements that support the attainment of acceptable standards of living as it embraces the human rights much more than did the previous development agenda. Given this new dimension that embraces social economic and environmental aspects, more knowledge, understanding and sensitivities for right levels of disaggragation in monitoring to avoid overt or covert discrimination in access are needed. There is need, for instance, to extend interraction in the WASH sector into the realm of monitoring of the human rights sector. The challenge lies in deepening the understanding of the two monitoring frameworks (WASH and Human rights) adequately enough to promote inerractions for improved accountability of states for SDG6 monitoring. This in particular relates to monitoring progress that will bridge the inequalities gap and in effecting compliance.For the latter (i.e. compliance) there is inadequate capacities especially at sub-national level that would require contextualised interventions.
I would be happy to elaborate further on these issues.
Water and Sanitation governance Expert
2 years 9 months
I am glad that you have picked up the role of legislation, policies, institutions etc from the discussions as this is a level that impacts the structures for planning,implmentation and monitoring processes. It also reinforces the role of parliamentarians. parliamentarians have the decision-making powers and can pass legislation on a number of issues including the required budgets for accelerating access. As we know in countries where on-site sanittaion is one of the options for accessing sanitation, most countries lack guidelines that can assure public and environmental health as well as occupational safety of the faecal sludge workers/operators. In most countries, Target 6.2 wil not be achieved without enforcement of laws on some of teh elements that are defined in teh normative definition. In some cases there may be need for new legislation or at least some guidelines for faecal sludge management.
I would like to reiterate the point fact that access to safe and affordable drinking water and adequate sanitation are both human rights. It is important for this to come to the fore in the upcoming Forum since the SDGs have embraced the human rights framework in the Transrmative Agenda language through the promise of `leave no one behind` and in particular SDG 6 which speaks of `for all` as most other SDGs do. It is necessary that for purposes of accountability, human rights sensitive indicators are articulated as part of the national monitoring frameworks for realizing progress towards this universal access. This will ensure that the right level of disaggragation takes place so that discrimination of poor, vulnerable or marinalized groups or areas does not continue to happen, especially in the developing economies.
(Diana i missed the link to the Governance e-room is this another specififc forum which you mentioned earlier?)
2 years 9 months
Dear Dr Coulter,
I am intrigued by the interpretation of access to WASH that you have provided in your input! While fast grouwing populations are putting pressure on infrastructure and WASH services, i am not sure we can entirely blame reproduction. While in some countries this aspect may be relevant, most access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is lacking due to a number of reasons - some of which have been identified in this discussion including but not limited to inadequate legal and policy frameworks; poor governance; lack of adequate or weak institutional arangements; lack of coordinationbetween users of the water resources; weak water basin governance and mangement frameworks; inadequate WASH infrastructure; linited financing to accelerate extension of WASH services; poor or lack of structures and mechanisms for particicpation, access to information on options and available technologies among others. Some countries actually lack adequate density for economies of scale to lay WASH infractructure for populations.
I therefore think the issue of reproduction as a key problem would therefore need to be further elaborated to remain contextual otherwise would need to be addressed abit more cautiously. I am bearig in mind that governments have obligations to provide basic water and sanittaion services to all their populations as part of the social, economic and cultural human rights for an adequate standard of living.