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Beyond improved: monitoring drinking water in the post-MDG era

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:10 by Richard B. Johnston
The MDGs have been a major driver of public policy in the water and sanitation sectors. The indicators used to measure progress towards MDG Target 7c are based on a technological classification of water and sanitation infrastructure into ‘improved’ and ‘unimproved’ classes. While this classification has been useful, it also has shortcomings, notably the lack of consideration of actual drinking water quality. Processes are underway to shape the global development agenda in the post-MDG era, and improved targets for water and sanitation could be developed, based on the human rights framework. This represents an opportunity to improve upon the ‘improved/unimproved’ indicators. WASH sector professional should advocate for water and sanitation to be well-represented in post-2015 goals and targets. The Joint Monitoring Programme established technical Working Groups which have suggested possible targets and indicators; these would represent a substantial advance in service delivery, but would also require advances in monitoring practices.



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JOHNSTON, R.B., 2013. Beyond improved: monitoring drinking water in the post-MDG era. IN: Shaw, R.J. (ed). Delivering water, sanitation and hygiene services in an uncertain environment: Proceedings of the 36th WEDC International Conference, Nakuru, Kenya, 1-5 July 2013, 6pp.


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