African Ministers' Council On Water / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation / World Health Organization / The Center for Water Security and Cooperation

Strengthening National WASH Policy and Legal Frameworks to Achieve SDG6

Sunday 26 August | 11.00-12.30 | Room: FH 202

Since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, there has been increasing demand from national governments for support to revise and adopt more effective WASH laws and policies that align with the SDGs. As a result, many countries are requesting guidance on how to assess gaps in policies and on whether reforms they have taken, once implemented, are resulting in the intended changes, including achieving national WASH targets.

In collaboration with countries and development partners, the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), WHO and The Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC), have begun to develop guidance to support countries when they decide to revise national laws and policies to accelerate their progress to achieve the SDGs. AMCOW is working to develop regional policy guidance and WHO-led UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) is working to build on that framework with CWSC to develop a methodology so countries can assess existing national WASH policies and plans and track effectiveness over time. This event will include a presentation of the initial evidence reviews and analyses and a panel discussion on key elements of laws, policies and strategies and what can help ensure they are effective at country level.

Gold standard events are committed to ensure the gender balance in speakers/panellists and young professional representation in the session.

Programme

Strengthening National WASH Policy and Legal Frameworks to Achieve SDG6

11:00 Opening Remarks by Dr. Canisius Kanagire, AMCOW


11:20 Lightning Talk: UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) 2018/2019 cycle with a focus on national policies, plans and targets  

Fiona Gore, WHO


11:35 Lightning Talk: Lessons from RENEWAL: Legal Barriers and Innovative Legal Solutions to Sanitation Challenges 

Alexandra Campbell-Ferrari, CWSC

 

11:50 Q&A

 

12:00 Panel: How can effective laws and policies support national governments and other actors to accelerate the provision of quality WASH services?

 

12:20 Summary and wrap-up by Dr. Canisius Kanagire, AMCOW


Conclusion

Short Conclusion

The session ‘Strengthening National WASH Policy and Legal Frameworks to Achieve SDG6’ at World Water Week 2018 was presented in collaboration with the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The session began with presentations from AMCOW, WHO, and CWSC on how their ongoing work is contributing to a joint-initiative to develop the Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG). Following the presentations, participants were given a card and asked to discuss one of the following questions:

- BLUE CARD: What are the current challenges created by sanitation laws, regulations, policies or strategies in your country of residence or a country where you

- YELLOW CARD: What tools or information related to laws, regulations, policies, or strategies would help to address the current challenges?

- RED CARD: In your opinion, what is needed to ensure governments have improved laws, regulations, policies and strategies for countries with poor sanitation?

The working discussions reiterated that countries need more effective WASH laws and policies and emphasized that guidance is needed to support countries in assessing policy gaps and initiating reforms. The groups presented concrete recommendations for preparing comprehensive and applicable guidelines such as utilizing community knowledge and incorporating measures for transparency, accountability and enforcement in legal frameworks.

As next steps, AMCOW, WHO and CWSC will form a Task Force to contribute to the development of the Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines in close collaboration with countries and development partners.

Recommendations

1. The Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines should be relatively timeless and applicable to a broad range of contexts. In particular, the guidelines need to look beyond the SDG-era and should apply to water-scarce countries and fragile states, alike. 

2. The Africa Sanitation Policy Guidelines should be inclusive. Inclusivity entails that the guidelines will be applicable to different types of household-level users as well as sanitation in institutions including health care facilities and schools.

Initiatives and tools

1. The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS) is an initiative implemented by WHO to inform decision-makers with reliable, accessible, and comprehensive evidence on the WASH enabling environment. GLAAS will be used to provide data and information on WASH policies, plans and governance as evidence for the ASPG.

2. The Blue Phone – Building Legal Understanding and Engagement – is an innovative water and sanitation legal technical unit implemented by CWSC. With the launch of ASPG, the Blue Phone will provide support to decision-makers, development partners, and other stakeholders looking to make informed decision to better understand, implement, or revise WASH laws or policies.