HLPF 2018: Why robust multi-stakeholder national accountability mechanisms are essential for achieving SDG 6

Date: 12th July 2018

Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1 [name] => Uncategorised [slug] => uncategorised [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 479 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 5 [cat_ID] => 1 [category_count] => 479 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Uncategorised [category_nicename] => uncategorised [category_parent] => 0 ) )

(The article below was originally published with support from WSSCC by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, here)

This side event convened to launch and discuss the findings of a global review on the effectiveness of national accountability mechanisms on progress towards the water and sanitation targets of SDG 6. The report is available online at: https://bit.ly/2KHTr4H

Moderator Catarina de Albuquerque, Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), stressed that the global review of national accountability mechanisms was conducted in 25 countries, in partnership with various CSOs worldwide. She said the study showed that accountability mechanisms are lacking in many countries and called for raising awareness among governments to ensure that multi-stakeholder mechanisms are effective and participatory in implementing the SDGs.

Amrith Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, noted the importance of partnerships, including with private sectors, CSOs, and youth. He outlined Sri Lanka’s efforts to realize a sustainable and resilient society, focusing on clear and safe water and sanitation. He highlighted the importance of not losing the great motivation governments have shown during the HLPF to make the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) a reality.

Snehalatha Mekala, Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA), noted that effective accountability mechanisms for monitoring progress on SDG6 need a legal basis and regular, transparent, and participatory processes. She highlighted findings showing that accountability mechanisms are not available, even when countries report they are, and that they often are not effective. She outlined challenges, including: lack of a legal basis for existing accountability mechanisms; limited CSO participation; lack of diversity of stakeholders represented: insufficient financing and budget allocation; and the need for improved monitoring capacity of countries.

Irene Gai, Kenya Water for Health Organization (KWAHO) shared the results of a study that examined national accountability mechanisms in Kenya. She reviewed existing mechanisms and platforms for SDG 6, including CSO participation, and described key challenges, such as the need for harmonized data collection tools with targets and indicators and resources. She outlined key recommendations for governments and CSOs, including: the need for: enhanced inclusivity; increased transparency on budgets; building a stronger voice for CSOs; and improved CSO accountability to citizens.

Norma Munguia Aldaraca, Director of Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico, reported on her country’s experiences with the voluntary national review (VNR) process, noting that data is always a problem. She said it takes time and knowledge for society to get acquainted with the SDGs and called for more involvement of municipalities and the private sector.

Ananda Jayaveera, Regional Sanitation Centre (RSC) and FANSA, Sri Lanka, emphasized mainstreaming CSO engagement and noted: his country’s efforts to establish a CSO platform and the importance of a service delivery system, especially for marginalized people.

Nathalie Seguin, Freshwater Action Network Mexico (FANMEX), said that CSOs participated in the negotiations processes for the 2030 Agenda, but that once adopted, they face more difficulties participating in national implementation. She noted current challenges, including: strengthening CSOs’ capacity to advocate for and engage in developing plans and indicators at the national level; and increasing collaboration with communities that are left behind. She called for the HLPF to consider a better mechanism for CSO participation and to accept CSOs’ shadow reports.

Sena Alouka, Jeunes Volontaires pour l’Environnement, speaking on behalf of the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW), spoke about the importance of CSO accountability, citing Burkina Faso as a positive example, and identifying the need for improved NGO governance.

Marianne Kjellén,Water & Ocean Governance Programme (WOGP), UNDP, described the role of UNDP and other UN agencies in supporting national governments and other institutions on national accountability mechanisms.

During the ensuing discussion, panelists identified promising ideas and inspirations and responded to participant questions, including on: linking the political sphere of the HLPF to the more legal sphere in Geneva; including SDGs in school curricula; the importance of partnerships to stop silo-thinking; producing and presenting shadow VNRs; and maintaining a comprehensive, not fragmented approach to the 2030 Agenda.

The close of the event included the official launch of the report, “Global Review of National Accountability Mechanisms for SDG 6” with a presentation of the first copy to Ambassador Amrith Rohan Perera. The report is available online at: https://bit.ly/2KHTr4H

Related News

Ms. Hind Khatib-Othman, Managing Director at the GAVI Alliance, is the new Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). She assumes the role in November during the next meeting of the Steering Committee, WSSCC’s governing body. Ms. Khatib-Othman succeeds Mrs. Ebele Okeke and Mr. William Herbert, who served as interim Co-Chairs since […]

Mme Hind Khatib-Othman, directrice générale de l’Alliance GAVI, devient la nouvelle présidente du Conseil de concertation pour l’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement (WSSCC). Elle prendra ses fonctions en novembre, durant la prochaine réunion du Comité de direction, l’instance dirigeante du WSSCC. Mme Khatib-Othman succède à Mme Ebele Okeke et à M. William Herbert, qui occupaient […]

SquatEase poised to help increase use of squat toilet and reduce open defecation The widespread practice of open defecation is a major source of contamination of India’s fresh water resources. It causes severe illness among millions of people across the country every year. At the heart of the problem is not just a lack of […]

October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. In 2018, the Global Handwashing Day theme is ‘Clean hands – A recipe for health’. The theme focuses on the […]