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Political leadership brings us a step closer to the dream of sanitation and water for all

04 Nov 2013


Monitoring report shows encouraging steps have been taken since the 2012 SWA High Level Meeting, but additional effort is needed to fulfill commitments by 2014.

At the second Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting in April 2012, developing countries, donors and development banks made commitments to address barriers to delivering sustainable water and sanitation services. The 2013 Progress Update on the 2012 SWA High Level Meeting Commitments, launched today in August 2013 by the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, tracks achievements made against the commitments so far.


“The monitoring report shows exceptional achievements and illustrates that that political will and strong leadership can drive action, even in the toughest environments. I am immensely impressed that countries were able to translate commitments into action on the ground. This report shows that SWA High Level Meetings add value."

– SWA Chair, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor


All fifteen developing countries that made specific commitments to tackle open defecation have made notable progress in scaling up community-based approaches to sanitation. Nine countries reported significant budget increases for sanitation and water and many leaders have given the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector higher political visibility. Others report progress in creating stronger information systems from which important decisions can be made. Improved planning and coordination processes is another theme highlighted in the report.

While notable progress has been made, the report shows that much work remains to be done to address commitments aimed at improving the effectiveness and sustainability of service delivery. Slower progress has been made in terms of strengthening institutional arrangements and financial systems, addressing human resources gaps and using better information in planning processes. Change in these areas will take a considerable amount of time and progress needs to be monitored over several years.


“Additional time and effort is urgently required if we are to fully achieve our collective vision of universal access to sanitation and water,” warned Kufuor. “I urge political leaders to be encouraged by progress so far but not to become complacent. We must all remain focused if we are to deliver the remaining commitments made in 2012"

– SWA Chair, H.E. John Agyekum Kufuor


In the coming months, SWA partners will be focusing on implementing the 2012 commitments as well as working develop new and more ambitious commitments to be tabled in 2014 at the SWA High Level Meeting (HLM).