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Using data to achieve SDG 6


Water is linked to all other sectors. The SDG 6 Data Portal integrates hydrological, environmental, social and economic information. Actors in various sectors can see the bigger picture, helping them take decisions that contribute to all development objectives.

Supporting policy- and decision-makers

The monitoring and reporting of progress towards SDG 6 is essential to achieve SDG 6. High-quality data help politicians and policy- and decision-makers at all levels of government to:

  • Identify gaps and set priorities for effective water and sanitation policies and investments.
  • Learn about good practices to implement more efficiently.
  • Identify interlinkages across sectors to harness synergies and manage potential conflicts.
  • Communicate progress and requirements to ensure accountability, raise awareness, and gain political support as well as to stimulate action, including financial investment.

Engaging everyone

However, data are not only for politicians and policy-makers, they concern a wide range of stakeholders. In this portal we have gathered data for users to be able to explore and assess progress towards SDG 6 on their own.

Users may wish to use the portal to answer questions such as:

  • How many people are still lacking access to safe drinking water and sanitation in your country?
  • Are ecosystems being protected and restored, or exploited and degraded?
  • What is the level of water stress where you live?
  • Can integrated water resources management and transboundary cooperation help achieve a sustainable and fair use of water?

By asking such questions, users can assess if a country or region or the whole world is on track to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’.

A note on the SDG global indicator framework

The global indicators for SDG 6 have been broadly defined to track progress towards the SDGs at the global level, and equally, to be as useful as possible to as many countries as possible. There is also a range of other indicators that are relevant to national policy- and decision-making processes, and their monitoring should in no way be de-emphasized when a country engages in SDG monitoring. National aggregates are powerful to communicate progress and requirements, whereas well-disaggregated data are needed to support policy- and decision-making and planning.

To learn more about the global indicator framework and how SDG 6 data can support implementation at various levels, visit our website: www.sdg6monitoring.org/