World Water Day 2019’s theme of “Leaving no one behind” focuses on vulnerable populations—including women, children, refugees, and indigenous peoples—that lack access to safe water. This theme is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets on universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water (6.1) and adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene (6.2).
Monitoring progress towards global water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) targets requires the collection of consistent and comparable data within and across countries. In October 2018, the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene released “Core Questions on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Household Surveys.” This resource includes a list of standard core indicators and recommended survey questions to assess WASH coverage in households, health care facilities, and schools.
The resource is organized by topic with standard indicator definitions, survey questions, and rationale. The JMP developed and tested the core questions in partnership with the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and other global survey programs. The resource also provides “expanded questions” that can be used to collect data on additional dimensions of WASH services.
In the coming year, Data for Decisions to Expand Nutrition Transformation (DataDENT) will be working to develop a similar resource of core indicators and household survey questions for measuring coverage of key nutrition interventions. We will expand upon the questions used by global survey programs and the recommendations developed by the nutrition community for the DHS-8 questionnaire review. The nutrition resource will also include examples of where questions have been tested and validated. We are excited to begin working on this resource and look forward to engaging the nutrition community in its development!