Coalition advocates for comprehensive reporting on SDG 6 indicators

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Alliance for WASH Advocacy (A4WA), a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and networks in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector, is advocating a comprehensive reporting on indicators of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6.

The SDG 6 seeks to “Ensure availability and Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation for All.”

A4WA, in conducting the assessment on the 2020 SDGs report, realized that only five out of 12 SDG 6 indicators were covered.

The other seven indicators, including the proportion of wastewater safely treated, Change in water use efficiency over time, Basic handwashing services and Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation.

The rest are changes in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time, amount of water and sanitation-related ODA that is part of government co-ordinated spending plan and proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management.

The Alliance observed that “the SDGs are inter-related, interlinked and inter-dependent hence the need to assess the other seven indicators to get a complete picture of SDG 6.”

Mr Ibrahim Musah, a WASH Consultant, in his presentation to the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in Accra, said A4WA further observed that it was only 6.1.1 that rural and urban analysis was provided to explain inequalities between urban and rural areas.

He said as part of the Coalition’s recommendations, Custodian agencies (Organizations responsible for specific targets and indicators) should be assigned to monitor and gather data for progress review.

Mr Musah said engagement and consultation between key WASH stakeholders and Custodian agencies should be regular to enable broader stakeholder engagement at the national and sub-national levels to support the NDPC and relevant Ministries with evidence-based data for progress review and reporting.

He also highlighted the use of existing data platforms for sharing, such as the National Level Learning Alliance Platform(NLLAP) and Mole Conference.

Dr Felix Addo-Yobo, the Director of Development Policy at NDPC, on his part, said having a timetable for data collection was a laudable initiative as the Commission envisioned to launch the process for preparing such reports.

He explained that the idea was to put it in the public domain and this would be an opportunity for various stakeholders to contribute to the process.

However, due to COVID-19 and other constraints they were not able to do so.

Mr Addo-Yobo said, “at NDPC our interest is not only SDGs, but we also report on National Medium-Term Agenda, we report on Agenda 2063, hence there is a need for a robust data system in place at the district level, which will address all the data needs, including SDGs.”

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Madam Nora Ollennu, Convenor of the Alliance, said among the challenges was the selection of indicators and how it was being tracked.

“It appears there are no clear national targets for Ghana in terms of measuring the SDGs,” he said.

She told GNA that the Coalition’s technical committee finalized the outcome of the review and was hopeful that the document submitted to NDPC would be considered.

Before the presentation, A4WA convened a meeting on 7th October 2021 in Accra, to review the 2020 national SDG 6 baseline draft report by the NDPC.

The forum, hosted by Catholic Relief Services, served as a platform for participants to identify gaps and achievements so far.

The Coalition comprises SVN-Ghana, WaterAid Ghana, Intervention Forum (IF), Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, Plan International Ghana, People’s Dialogue, Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor, Safe Water Network and SkyFox Limited.

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