Monitoring SDG6 on water and sanitation

Integrated Monitoring Initiative

Presenting the Initiative

Through the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6, the United Nations seeks to support countries in monitoring water- and sanitation-related issues within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in compiling country data to report on global progress towards SDG 6.

The Initiative brings together the United Nations organizations that are formally mandated to compile country data on the SDG 6 global indicators, and builds on ongoing efforts such as WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (JMP), Global Environment Monitoring System for Water (GEMS/Water), FAO’s Global Information System on Water and Agriculture (AQUASTAT) and UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS).

The joint effort enables synergies across UN agencies and harmonisation of methodologies and requests for data, leading to more efficient outreach and a reduced reporting burden. At the national level, the Initiative also promotes intersectoral collaboration and consolidation of existing capacities and data across agencies.

The overarching goal of the Initiative is to accelerate the achievement of SDG 6, by increasing the availability of high-quality data for evidence-based policy-making, regulations, planning and investments at all levels. More specifically, the aims of the Initiative are to:

  1. support countries to collect, analyse and report SDG 6 data
  2. support policy- and decision-makers at all levels to use this data


To achieve the objectives, the Initiative is developing over 15 years through four phases with progressive shifts in focus. Throughout the phases, activities are targeted to global, regional and national levels.

  • Phase 1 Global baseline: Focused on getting a baseline in place, which required methodology development and testing, and a first round of global data collection and reporting. Learn more about the results and lessons learned from Phase 1 here.
  • Phase 2 Build national ownership: In Phase 2, the focus is shifting towards building national ownership, with intensified outreach and capacity building. This relates both to technical issues, as well as cross-cutting and institutional issues. Monitoring methodologies and guidance still need to be refined, in particular looking at the use of novel data sources to cover gaps. Learn more about the work in Phase 2 here.
  • Phase 3 Integrate and mainstream: Coordination and integration at all levels, including the mainstreaming with existing national and regional efforts, started in Phase 1 and are important priorities for Phase 2. In Phase 3 it will become the main focus. Phase 3 will also look deeper into analytical work and build further national sustainability for this process by linking it with country-level policy and investment decisions.
  • Phase 4 Consolidate and sustain: Phase 4 will focus on strengthening the sustainability of the monitoring process at country, regional and global levels, and improving its effectiveness.


The Integrated Monitoring Initiative is funded by voluntary contributions by external support agencies that wish to support SDG 6 monitoring and reporting: Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. In addition, custodian agencies are receiving voluntary contributions from other support agencies that wish to support capacity building, data collection and reporting for individual indicators.