Presenting target 6.a on international cooperation and capacity building

By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies
— 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

What and why?

Although the implementation of SDG 6 is expected to generate benefits that widely exceed the costs of doing so, some hundreds of billions of dollars still need to be raised for the purpose. Needs are greatest in developing countries, calling for an increased mobilization of domestic funds, but also a significant scaling-up of external support. In this regard, target 6.a seeks to expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries. International cooperation refers to external aid in the form of grants or loans, including official development assistance (ODA). Capacity-building includes strengthening the skills, competencies and abilities in developing countries in regard to water governance and management.

Creating an enabling environment is an essential first step for succeeding with the implementation of any management response. The “means of implementation” targets 6.a and 6.b are complementary to the dedicated means of implementation goal (SDG 17) and its 19 targets, which focus on finance, technology, capacity-building, trade and systemic issues.

In 2015, US $8.6 billion was disbursed as ODA, specifically targeted towards the water sector (including water supply and sanitation, agricultural water resources, flood protection and hydroelectric power), constituting about 5 per cent of the total ODA disbursed that year (Source: OECD). However, over 80 per cent of countries participating in the 2016-2017 GLAAS survey responded that they had insufficient funding (less than 75 per cent of the sum needed) to reach national targets on drinking water and sanitation. Photo credit: LEDSGP, Creative Commons Attribution.

In 2015, US $8.6 billion was disbursed as ODA, specifically targeted towards the water sector (including water supply and sanitation, agricultural water resources, flood protection and hydroelectric power), constituting about 5 per cent of the total ODA disbursed that year (Source: OECD). However, over 80 per cent of countries participating in the 2016-2017 GLAAS survey responded that they had insufficient funding (less than 75 per cent of the sum needed) to reach national targets on drinking water and sanitation. Photo credit: LEDSGP, Creative Commons Attribution.

How can monitoring help?

Progress towards target 6.a at the global level will be monitored through one indicator: