Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is a partnership of governments, donors, civil society and multilateral organizations. Its aim is to ensure that all people have access to basic sanitation and safe drinking water. It is particularly concerned with those countries where the needs are greatest.
Every two years, SWA holds a global High Level Meeting to address planning and institutional requirements for improving access to water and sanitation.
The second High Level Meeting was held in Washington D.C. on Friday 20 April 2012. Ministers of development co-operation, finance, water and sanitation and representatives of the world’s leading water and sanitation agencies (over 80 in all), including 45 developing country governments, mainly in Africa and Asia, attended the meeting or were engaged in the dialogue process. The meeting resulted in commitments to take immediate steps to speed up global access to water and sanitation.
The third High Level Meeting was held in Washington D.C. on 11 April 2014. The meeting was attended by 20 ministers of finance and 35 ministers responsible for water and sanitation, including several ministers of health. Sixteen donors and development banks attended the meeting, six of them at the level of Minister or head of agency. Senior representatives of civil society and the UN also participated.
At the second Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting (HLM), in April 2012,developing countries, donors and development banks made commitments to address barriers to delivering sustainable water and sanitation services. This progress update, issued by the SWA Secretariat,synthesizes the status of commitments as of April 2013. Monitoring progress of the commitments is essential for accountability, and SWA partners agreed to report back annually.
Some significant progress has been achieved. For instance, budget allocations have been increased, relationships among key ministries have been strengthened, better evidence has been developed and concrete results on sanitation have been achieved.
However, additional time, effort and support will be required to carry out structural changes that will improve the effectiveness and sustainability of service delivery.
- Good progress has been made; however, additional effort is needed to fulfil commitments by 2014. By mid-2013, developing countries reported completion or good progress on almost 60 percent of commitments and donors reported completion or good progress on almost 80 percent. However, only 44 percent of country commitments and 42 percent of donor commitments are on track to be achieved by April 2014.
- ‘Quick-win’ budget allocations have been made; however, progress towards structural changes in overall financing systems has been slower. Nine countries have reported increased budget allocations. Longer-term structural changes, such as the creation of dedicated budget lines, are reported to be progressing significantly more slowly. Two donors have nearly fulfilled their major financial commitments made at the HLM and all donors are reporting good progress.
- Substantial progress has been made in tackling open defecation but additional effort is required to achieve elimination. Fifteen developing countries reported achieving good progress in tackling open defecation with community-based approaches. Four donors reported good progress on commitments to increase funding or to prioritize sanitation within their programmes. However, additional funds and further efforts on the part of all partners are still necessary.
- Partners have taken mutual accountability seriously; however, inclusion of multiple stakeholders in the review could have been stronger. All of the developing country governments and donors that made commitments at the 2012 SWA High Level Meeting submitted progress reports. Two thirds of developing countries consulted with development partners, but only ten percent included civil society and ten percent included the ministry of finance. Only one donor consulted with civil society on the review, however civil society has been engaged by donors around the commitments in other ways.
- The SWA HLM positively influenced progress in sector visibility, financing and sanitation. Developing countries reported better relationships between sector ministries and finance ministries which have resulted in increased budget allocations. Sector dialogue and coordination is stronger and donors report increased political support and visibility for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), particularly for sanitation.