Global Monitoring Landscape

Monitoring initiatives have grown significantly in number over the last few years.

While global reports are important tools, in fact, the global monitoring landscape is far more complex. Sector bottleneck analysis tools, supported by international agencies such as the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), UNICEF and others, are being used by countries to identify constraints hindering progress. Recent initiatives include:

  • Monitoring of commitments made during the regional sanitation conferences (the ‘SANs’ or AfricaSan, LatinoSan, EASAN, and SACOSAN)
  • Country Status Overviews developed for AMCOW by the World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme  Expansion of waterpoint mapping in many countries.


Other well-established platforms such as the JMP are in the process of evolving as they consider their role after the end of the MDG period in 2015.

However, having a functioning national process in place is preferable to lots of different initiatives, which is a problem for governments. The timing of national data collection is not coordinated with global monitoring reporting, and the emphasis on aggregated regional and global reports means that too little data are fed back into country-level planning. Monitoring information and data are highly valued but the challenge is to provide a supportive framework to ensure information is consistent, reliable and leads to action.

The existence of SWA creates an unprecedented opportunity to develop a shared monitoring framework at a global level that could help resolve some of these pressing problems. To this end, the SWA Steering Committee recently formed a Task Team on the Global Monitoring Framework. 


The Task Team seeks to develop a shared monitoring framework. The team has initially focused on two tasks:

  • Harmonizing the monitoring initiatives focused on inputs to the sector (see below)
  • Overseeing the development of a shared set of voluntary norms and standards for how data are collected, so that all agencies are reporting on the same things in the same way.


Harmonizing the monitoring initiatives focused on inputs to the sector


The Global Monitoring Harmonization Task Team identified institutional analyses as a priority for harmonization, as many external agencies have supported them over the last decade. Though they take different forms, in general institutional analyses are designed by external support agencies to use available data to identify strengths and diagnose weaknesses in the institutional framework of a given country.  They examine inputs to the sector and the enabling environment, assessing the extent to which such parameters as policy, strategy, finance, and human resources are in place.  These analyses have been useful in assisting countries to gain greater understanding of their institutional challenges, and to identify bottlenecks and needed reforms

In the spirit of supporting the SWA Collaborative Behaviours, the Task Team has examined the issue of institutional analyses led by development partners and the context in which they have been used, as well as their relationship with government-initiated and government-led sector performance reviews. The paper presents an overview of this examination and offers a series of corresponding recommendations that seek to address the behaviours of external support agencies implementing institutional analyses and country governments in which institutional analyses are applied.

Access the paper: Institutional Analyses – An examination of 12 years of external support