Flow of data from national to global levelCountries are responsible for collecting and sharing data and metadata on the SDG global indicators, in order to inform the global follow-up and review of progress towards the 2030 Agenda. To ensure that the data are comparable across countries and over time, it is important to collect data according to the recommended monitoring methodologies for the specific indicator.
Country data are compiled and validated by indicator-specific custodian agencies, who submit the data, along with regional and global aggregates, to the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). The custodian agencies are also responsible for developing international standards and monitoring methodologies, and to strengthen national monitoring and reporting capacity.
Reporting frequency and processAlthough UNSD annually reports on progress towards the SDGs, the frequency of country reporting on each indicator may be different and depending on the individual indicator. For some of the indicators under SDG 6 it make sense to report every, or every second, year, whereas for others it is sufficient with reporting every three to four years.
The process and mechanism for reporting varies across the SDG 6 indicators. For most indicators, a request for data is sent to an indicator-specific focal point in the country, who is encouraged to submit data through a specific questionnaire. For some indicators, the custodian agencies look for already published data in official open sources and national statistical offices. For one indicator, country estimates are derived from global satellite imagery. Regardless of the compilation process, all final data to be submitted to UNSD will first be validated and approved by countries.
Focal pointsSince data on water and sanitation are collected by a wide variety of stakeholders, within a country, there may be many different focal points (e.g. one for each indicator). Therefore, the Initiative recommends that countries also identify an overall focal point, who can work with indicator-specific focal points and promote coordination and collaboration across the indicators.
The Initiative is supporting the identification and maintenance of overall and indicator-specific focal points, and encourages communication and coordination among these.