Monitoring SDG6 on water and sanitation

Integrated Monitoring Initiative (IMI-SDG6)

Presenting IMI-SDG6

Through the UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG6), 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.

IMI-SDG6 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 the 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 United Nations organizations as well as a harmonization of methodologies and requests for data, leading to more efficient outreach and a reduced reporting burden. At the national level, IMI-SDG6 also promotes intersectoral collaboration and consolidation of existing capacities and data across organizations.

The overarching goal of IMI-SDG6 is to accelerate the achievement of SDG 6, by increasing the availability of high-quality data for evidence-based policymaking, regulations, planning and investments at all levels. More specifically, IMI-SDG6 aims 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 work of IMI-SDG6 is possible thanks to the generous support of the Governments of Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.