Leaving no one behind in water and sanitation: can we measure it?

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The SDGs include a number of ‘universal’ targets for water, hunger and poverty, but what does that really mean and how do we measure them?

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The SDGs include a number of ‘universal’ targets for water, hunger and poverty, but what does that really mean and how are these measured in practice? There are many inequalities related to who can access and benefit from water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH services) and a major challenge is how these are measured, tracked and communicated. This is fundamental to accelerating progress in achieving SDG 6 if we really aim to leave no one behind. I will discuss how WASH inequalities have been measured to date based on infrastructure access, and describe gaps related to tracking how different groups of people benefit from WASH services. Ways for improved measurement will be proposed, going beyond the SDG targets to include a wider range of indicators, metrics and better data dis-aggregation.

Speaker

Dr. Sarah Dickin is a Research Fellow and Team Lead for Sanitation and Health at the Stockholm Environment Institute, a research and policy institute focusing on environment and development challenges. Her research interests are focused on the gender and social dimensions of water, sanitation and hygiene, including linkages to climate change and planetary health. She holds a PhD in health geography from McMaster University, Canada and the United Nations University Institute for Water Environment and Health. She currently co-leads the Research and Learning constituency for Sanitation and Water, a multi-stakeholder partnership focused on achieving SDG 6.

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