Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) by 2030 is expected to allow countries to reach an important milestone in their journey towards sustainability as successful water and sanitation management will be a foundation for the achievement of many other water-related SDGs directly or indirectly. Indeed, ensuring sustainable water and sanitation management for all is a challenge for many countries. Yet evidence and relevant data on SDG 6 for policy and decision-makers to make this happen are still missing, overlapping, or fragmented in several countries as the urgency for action is set to grow in the next years. There is also a renewed call by the United Nations (UN) for critical steps in support of the timely achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under the ‘Decade of Action to deliver the Global Goals.’
Against this background, strengthening and realigning the enabling environment for SDG 6 to drive successful implementation of policies is critical, as reliable evidence can support countries with a systematic approach to achieving SDG 6. Making the right policy decisions in the SDG era can be quite complicated, requiring organizations from different sectors to assess and combine evidence on targets and indicators and work together to develop better water and sanitation policies. For this reason, countries need to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, missing data, gaps, and opportunities if they aim to achieve SDG 6 by 2030.
This global project builds on the previous project “Water-related Sustainable Development Goals,” which was implemented from 1 October 2017 to 31 July 2020. UNU-INWEH and partners investigated options to support policy and decision-making under situations with limited data on water and sanitation. The project team developed the Sustainable Development Goal 6 Policy Support System (SDG-PSS), a tool to address the challenges of producing critical evidence on the enabling environment for SDG 6 to inform policy and decision-makers and support systematic actions on the achievement of water-related SDGs.
The tool is currently available online in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese languages. SDG-PSS has been used or considered for use by water professionals and policymakers from 34 countries (Armenia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, and Vietnam).
The project’s activities in this phase (August 2020 to December 2023) are based on the following objectives:
- To provide UN Member States an interactive platform for collaboration between professionals from different sectors, agencies, and institutions to work together towards the achievement of SDG 6.
- To improve understanding of the challenges and opportunities of data-driven decisions and policies in the context of SDG 6 targets and indicators while working under data-limited situations.
- To facilitate the use of SDG-PSS by offering a revised online training course in English, French and Spanish languages as a part of the UNU-INWEH’s Water Learning Center.
- To increase the number of countries using SDG-PSS to at least 50 by the end of 2023.
- To transform SDG-PSS beyond SDG 6 to address emerging challenges such as COVID-19 to build a tool, COVID-SDG-PSS, to facilitate health and water professionals to collaborate and work jointly to ensure no or minimal impact on water-related development in the pandemic emergency response situations
- United Nations Water (UN-Water)
- United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD)
- Korea Environment Corporation (K-eco), Republic of Korea
- Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea
- UNESCO International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management (UNESCO i-WSSM)
- Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Tunisia
- National Research Institute for Rural Engineering, Water and Forestry, Tunisia
- Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Pakistan
- Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AYA), Costa Rica
- Ministerio de Planificación Nacional y Política Económica (MIDEPLAN), Costa Rica
- National Water Agency (ANA), Brazil
- Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ghana
- Water: A Matter of Survival in the World of Pandemics (2021)
- Strengthening the enabling environment to achieve SDG 6 through data and evidence (2019)
Cover photo: Ray Wiltin/UN Photo