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While most countries have policies and plans in place, many yet to operationalise and fully implement measures to support and strengthen their national WASH systems.

TitleNational systems to support drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene : global status report 2019 : UN-Water global analysis and assessment of sanitation and drinking-water (GLAAS) 2019 report
Publication TypeProgress Report
Year of Publication2019
Authors-Water, UN, WHO
Paginationxv, 121 p. : 44 fig., 27 tab.
Date Published08/2019
PublisherWorld Health Organization
Place PublishedGeneva, Switzerland
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISBN Number978-92-4-151629-7

There is widespread recognition that sustainable and effective WASH service delivery is not only determined by the state of infrastructure, but also by complex institutional, governance and financial management systems. The UN-Water global analysis and assessment of sanitation and drinking-water (GLAAS) 2019 report focuses on WASH systems by covering the four key areas of WASH systems (governance, monitoring, human resources and finance) with an emphasis on national WASH policies, plans and targets. It also monitors government-reported progress towards national WASH targets and assesses how countries are considering the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their national WASH sectors.

The GLAAS 2019 report is based on a survey of 115 countries and territories, representing 93% of the population of Least Developed Countries, and a survey of 29 external support agencies (ESAs), including IRC. In addition it includes case studies on policy and planning frameworks for sanitation in seven countries: Bangladesh, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia.

The report's main findings are:

  1. Implementation of national WASH policies and plans is constrained by inadequate human and financial resources.
  2. While most countries have national standards for drinking-water and wastewater, institutions tasked with regulatory oversight for WASH service delivery are stretched and unable to undertake the required surveillance.
  3. National financial systems to support decision-making should be strengthened. While most countries have financing plans for WASH, more than half of these plans are insufficiently used in decision-making.
  4. National WASH targets are increasingly reflecting SDG ambitions, aiming to provide universal coverage and reach higher levels of service. However, a dramatic increase in performance will be required to achieve these targets.
  5. Large funding gaps remain between what is needed to reach WASH targets and what is available.
  6. Countries are responding to the "leave no one behind agenda" by establishing policy measures to reach populations living in vulnerable situations.
  7. External support agencies (ESAs) are increasingly aligning their objectives with the SDGs and prioritizing a focus on WASH systems strengthening


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