Effective planning and policy implementation through strengthening and realigning enabling environments are critical to driving success in achieving SDG 6. However, evidence and appropriate data for policymakers and development actors to make this happen is missing, overlapping or even fragmented in most countries in Asia regions.
To address the challenge of policymaking under data-limited conditions, UNU-INWEH and partners – the UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), the Korea Environment Corporation (K-eco), the Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea, and national partners from Ghana, Tunisia, Pakistan and Costa Rica – worked together from 2016 to 2018 within the framework of a joint project ‘Water in the World We Want’ and developed the SDG 6 Policy Support System (SDG-PSS). This tool provides a ‘fit-for-policy’ evidence framework for collaborative planning to develop and implement water-related policies for strengthening the enabling environment for achieving SDG 6.
The project partners have moved to the second phase of the project in 2019 with the aim to extend the use of SDG-PSS to other UN Member States in different regions of the world. Addressing Asia region, UNU-INWEH and partners organized the workshop “Using SDG 6 Policy Support System (SDG-PSS) to facilitate countries in Asia for water-related sustainable development” in Daegu, Republic of Korea on 4-5 September 2019. Water professionals, experts and policymakers from different countries in Asia discussed how the SDG-PSS can be used to produce critical evidence on the enabling environment of SDG 6.
Among the key takeaways of the workshop, the workshop participants agreed that building regional cooperation would be key to success in promoting SDG-PSS as a tool for strengthening the enabling environments of SDG 6 in Asia region. Countries that are now engaging in the implementation and use of SDG-PSS can rely on two regional hub countries – Republic of Korea and Pakistan – for support and knowledge exchange. Participants also associated the tool to ‘modern-thinking’ approaches in using data to generate evidence for SDG 6 and highlighted the importance of nominating a national focal point for implementation and use of the tool.
The SDG Project workshop welcomed participants from Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Iran, Pakistan, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, Viet Nam, and the host country, Republic of Korea, along with representatives from UN organizations (UNU-INWEH, UNOSD, UN-Water).
The SDG-PSS is a user-friendly free system available online in English and French. A free web-based course is also available to provide training for systematic use of the tool. The SDG-PSS e-course can be accessed through the Water Learning Centre.