What does “integrated monitoring of SDG 6” look like at the country level?

Bringing all the information from across sectors together helps identifying the bigger picture - a national focal point for SDG 6 monitoring and an intersectoral monitoring team can make this happen. Photo credit: Margaret Almon, Creative Commons Attribution.

Bringing all the information from across sectors together helps identifying the bigger picture - a national focal point for SDG 6 monitoring and an intersectoral monitoring team can make this happen. Photo credit: Margaret Almon, Creative Commons Attribution.

Monitoring SDG 6 is a technical process, but its successful implementation is very much linked to its institutional arrangements. Following the 2016 pilot testing of SDG 6 monitoring, country feedback focused on the importance of integration – across sectors and stakeholders, and within existing national processes and structures – for successful monitoring, analysis and reporting of data.

Below follows a short description of how an integrated monitoring process for SDG 6 may look like at the country level, and how it can be established:  

  • Monitoring of all SDG 6 indicators is coordinated, and the subsequent data analysis is integrated. This can be achieved by appointing a national focal point to coordinate SDG 6 monitoring, and by convening an intersectoral monitoring team made up of the SDG 6 focal point, the leads of the technical teams (see below) and representatives from the national statistics office. The purpose of the interstectoral monitoring team would be to work with monitoring and data across indicators and sectors, to facilitate learning, and support integrated data analysis and use for policy- and decision-making.
  • Relevant stakeholders are involved and cooperate in the monitoring process. For example, the responsibility of national-level monitoring could be assigned to target/indicator-specific technical teams, reporting to the SDG 6 focal point. The technical teams would be led by the institution in charge of implementing the specific target/indicator, and comprise all relevant stakeholders including academia, non-governmental organizations and business.
  • Monitoring process is aligned with national processes and structures. For example, monitoring could be carried out as an integral part of the day-to-day operations of the ministries/institutions that are in charge of implementation, and data be used in national follow-up and review processes such as a joint sector review.
  • Data are being used for evidence-based policy- and decision-making, in support of integrated water resources management. To strengthen this, policy- and decision-makers could be appointed to coordinate the monitoring process (e.g. the SDG 6 focal point and the leads of each indicator-specific technical team.
  • Politicians appreciate the importance of monitoring and support it accordingly. To gain political support it is important to communicate how policy- and decision-making can be improved by having access to high quality data, i.e. the return of investment in monitoring. 

Learn more about how other countries went about establishing an integrated monitoring process for SDG 6 here.