Water and Sanitation

What is your quick reaction to the latest GLASS report on WATSAN?

Binayak Das
Started by Binayak Das on
26 Nov 2014 at 06:57
Programme Coordinator, Water Integrity Network
Know-how: Other

Dear network members,

The Development News Tracker is doing a media story on the GLASS report. Can you please give a quick reaction on the report? What factors influenced the progress towards MDG goals and what hindered the process? 



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  • WaterGovernance & PlanningGlobal Management


Stephanie Tam
I find it difficult to sort through all the numbers and understand what they actually mean - they're all too simplified and too aggregated to really show what WASH conditions are on the ground for each specific scenario. Transnational comparisons don't really help in showing what was done (the means for measurement are completely obscured and one way of measuring that may have been appropriate for one context may not translate well to another context), nor in what needs to happen. I suppose it's useful for somebody at the international policy level, but it's utterly useless for anybody who is working on the ground or even at the national level where there are large regional discrepancies that are being hidden in these aggregate figures.

Furthermore, we should be mindful that it uses political boundaries to assess WASH across different countries, and that these boundaries may not be the best way to differentiate between WASH contexts. Regional identities may be much more fruitful, as they speak to geographic and cultural entities which may exist across political borders and help us better understand appropriate strategies based upon contextual similarities.
Karina Vink
I agree with Diana in that there is still much to be implemented and regularly checked. It is often not evaluated how MDGs are translated to local policies, and implementation is often done in those areas that are easy to reach the goals. Mostly, people who need sanitation and water access the most are left behind, such as people with HIV who are shunned from communal access points and washing facilities.The new proposed SDGs improve this by saying only if you reach the goal by x% for all populations, including vulnerable populations, it will be counted. This ambitious goal does not address the implementation gaps however. In any case, this report shows some progress was made, which is good!
Diana Dunkli
My reaction would be A HUGE GAP in implementation, as the report also says that only 20% of countries surveyed have national WASH plans that are being fully implemented and conduct regular reviews. I have not yet seen the financial status but will give my views about that soon.
Water Network Research
Members can find the latest GLASS report in the group library http://bit.ly/1Frrv7B
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