Monitoring SDG6 on water and sanitation

Focusing on data usage

The purpose of data collection is to support policy- and decision-making at the national level. It is therefore important to link the monitoring process to policy processes. This link could be established by e.g. appointing policymakers as the coordinators for monitoring each indicator. Furthermore, by having the same ministry coordinating both the implementation and the monitoring of a specific target, the different processes can reinforce each other by sharing information, good practices and lessons learned.

Integration within and beyond SDG 6 is essential when analysing data. Since water and sanitation monitoring is often carried out across various sectors, this provides an excellent opportunity for using water and sanitation data to link together data sets from these other sectors. Having an intersectoral monitoring team can be very helpful for carrying out a cross-sectoral analysis of water and sanitation data. It is also recommended that different data sets from across sectors be widely accessible (both from a technical and political perspective), for which transparency, standardization and political support are key. To carry out an integrated analysis, there is also a need for comprehensive analytical tools or frameworks.

An important use of data is awareness-raising among politicians and the general public, for which data need to be presented in a non-technical format.

Water data are key for the planning and design of human settlements and different types of infrastructure. By gathering all the data in one place and making them easily accessible, for example, through a geographical information system, planners and engineers can do a better job. The map above gathers information from several databases and includes information on aspects such as the type and location of protected ecosystems and drinking water sources, the risk of flooding, the location and results of flow monitoring and water quality sampling stations and wastewater treatment plants, as well as a wide range of other data required for physical planning (Source: BayernAtlas).