The definitions and indicators associated with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have undergone important changes compared to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with implications for both WASH sector needs and financing. In this sense, countries will need to have a notion of the costs associated with the WASH-related targets of SDG 6, in order to develop the funding streams and financing mechanisms to achieve them.
The WASH SDG Costing Tool is an Excel-based cost model that was used to estimate the costs of achieving the SDG WASH targets in 140 countries (representing 85% of the world’s population). This model was applied on an individual country basis and then the results were aggregated to yield the regional and global totals or averages, weighted by country population size. The model estimated the costs to meet the basic WASH standards (similar to the MDG definitions) as well as the safely managed standard defined by the SDG indicators 6.1.1 and 6.2.1, and presented costs by rural and urban areas and by population wealth quintile.
The purpose of these Guidelines is to describe how the costing tool can be utilized, in order to enable independent application of the tool by countries. It is expected that these guidelines might be utilized by countries that expressed interest in obtaining cost estimates to reach the WASH SDGs in the aftermath of the SWA High-level Meetings. These guidelines enable the user to understand how to customize the cost analysis for their country.
With further adaptations, the tool can be used to make sub-national estimates (e.g. province, region or state). The user should note that even after country-specific values have been validated, the outputs should still be interpreted with caution, given the simplicity of the cost model and the remaining uncertainties in many of the underlying values.