WASHwatch in Action at AfricaSAN

Africsan 4 is now well underway. With monitoring of progress and commitments a key topic of discussion in numerous sessions, as the sanitation sector recognises that progress on eThekwini commitments has been patchy at best, and monitoring has been an area of particular weakness.

What better moment to formally launch washwatch.org, and contribute to an improved monitoring programme for the next fifteen years.

The final eThekwini monitoring scores are available to compare on washwatch.org, alongside information about every country’s investments, and progress, for sanitation and water. For the first time, not just the top level ‘traffic lights’ but the indicators upon which it is based and the evidence related to those scores, is available for anyone to analyse or comment on.

Civil society colleagues in Ghana have used this tool to produce their own set of scores, to compare with the official record. They argue that many of the scores are currently too high, highlighting 3c – the systematic assessment of sector progress, is missing in the urban context, that the separate budget lines need to disaggregate hygiene, and that while allocations are reported, spending is not, so real impact is missing.

Other scores are reported to be correct, but with important additional analysis about the difference between rural and urban indicators and the nature of progress, aiding sector professionals and civil society to interpret the scores and improve progress in the future.

End Water Poverty members have used the information provided by WASHwatch to produce a briefing paper, describing the sanitation situation and highlighting important considerations for decision makers at Africsan.

As the conference continues, we will be encouraging delegates to consider how to strengthen monitoring and mutual accountability for the SDG period, to ensure that the step change we need can be achieved. This must include publicly available, and usable, information on the status of the sector, and honest and open discussion about the necessary reforms. We look forward to using washwatch.org to inform and facilitate these discussions.

Written by Tim Brewer