WASHing away inequalities: partnering to finance and achieve the water, sanitation and hygiene targets of the Sustainable Development Goals
The upcoming SWA Sector Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) will be convened in San Jose, Costa Rica, on 4-5 April 2019 to support the achievement of the water, sanitation and hygiene-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals. It will be held the days after LatinoSan.
It will bring together ministers responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene and senior government officials from different regions and development levels, as well as leaders from other stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, donors, development banks, UN agencies and academia.
Unique in the sector, the SMMs are the culmination of robust ongoing strategic dialogue at country level, involving multiple stakeholders bound together by the belief that good governance and mutual accountability are key to achieve water and sanitation for all, always and everywhere.
Key documents and resources
The 2019 SMM will have ‘Leave No One Behind’ as its overall theme and has a single, high-level objective:
To increase awareness and understanding of ‘Leave No One Behind’, its fundamental relationship with WASH, and its implications for leadership, partnership, planning and finance
This we be achieved through dialogue, knowledge sharing and learning, involving all interest groups and stakeholders.
To achieve its purpose, the SMM has been designed to deliver four outcomes:
- Leave no one behind. Develop a common understanding of what leave no one behind means, the scale of inequality in WASH, its root causes and its impact.
- Leadership. Highlight the critical role of leadership to focus attention and resources on leave no one behind.
- Finance. Establish how national sector finance strategies can be developed to maximise their impact on eliminating inequality.
- Planning, monitoring and review. Demonstrate how the application of the SWA Framework of Guiding Principles, Collaborative Behaviours and sector Building Blocks can address inequality in WASH.
The SMM will comprise plenary sessions, ministerial dialogues and a technical meeting, and will be chaired by the Honourable Kevin Rudd, SWA’s High-level Chair.
The preparatory process
Before the event, SWA partners will be engaged in a dedicated 6-month preparatory process that includes the joint selection and prioritization of of existing commitments, derived from national plans developed under government leadership. Ministers will be encouraged to table specific commitments developed with in-country partners in line with SWA’s Mutual Accountability Mechanism.
Starting in November 2018, the SWA will facilitate the preparatory process which will build on national processes and dialogues to foster strategic engagement around inequalities, leadership and the financing required to eliminate inequalities.
The main purpose of the preparatory process is to ensure ministers arrive with thorough understanding of (i) the progress their countries have made towards the achievement of national WASH targets and (ii) the extent of inequalities in service provision.
SWA partners, led by governments, will work together to:
- Strengthen analysis and multi-stakeholder dialogue on the status of the sector regarding leave no one behind, the leadership needed to catalyze progress and the financing required to remove inequalities
- Build political will and engagement among decision-makers (i.e. sector and finance ministers, and other key decision-makers) to agree the necessary priorities and commitments to eliminate inequalities
- Jointly select and prioritize existing commitments focusing on those that will improve equality in access to WASH services –this can include or focus on various aspects of the SWA Framework and should be embedded in existing national processes.
The process will make use of SWA’s Mutual Accountability Mechanism, and will be informed with evidence, for example, submitted to GLAAS as part of the 2018/2019 survey.
Outcomes of the preparatory process will include:
- A country statement which includes the status of progress with emphasis on inequalities, priorities for the country and, where possible, the commitments jointly agreed by the government and partners; and
- A ministerial briefing which will include a few slides for the minister’s intervention in ministerial dialogues.
SWA will facilitate follow-up activities to support a continued robust engagement of partners at country, regional and global levels.
Know more about
> Recent Sector Ministers’ Meetings: Washington DC, 2017; Addis Ababa, 2016
> Recent Finance Ministers’ Meetings: Washington DC, 2017, Washington DC, 2104
Countries who confirmed participation at Ministerial Level:
Frequently asked questions
- What is the official name and theme of the Sector Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- The official name is the SWA 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting. The title is “WASHing away inequalities: partnering to finance and achieve the water, sanitation and hygiene targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.” The 2019 SMM will have ‘Leave No-One behind’ as its overall theme. The 2019 SMM brings together three strands critical for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: • Leave No-One Behind: A key theme of LATINOSAN V, this is also the focus of SDG 10 which will reviewed by the UN HLPF in July 2019. ‘Leave No-One’ behind is the overall theme of the 2019 SMM. • Leadership: The focus of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC) in October 2018. The 2019 SMM will focus on the fundamental role of leadership to reduce inequalities in WASH. • Finance: The focus of SWA’s High-level Meetings in April 2017 – and inevitably a major theme in the SWA 2020 Finance Ministers’ Meeting. The 2019 SMM will focus on how sector finance strategies can be designed or refined to maximize their impact on the poor and other marginalized groups.
- Who is organizing the Sector Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- The Sector Ministers’ Meeting is organized by the Sanitation and Water for All global partnership, co-convened by UNICEF and the Inter-American Development Bank and hosted by the Government of Costa Rica.
- Where and when will the Sector Ministers’ Meeting take place? directdown
- The Sector Ministers’ Meeting will take place on 4 and 5 April 2019 in San José, Costa Rica.
- Who will participate in the Sector Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- Ministers in charge of water, sanitation and hygiene for their countries, development agency leadership, United Nations leadership, civil society organizations, private sector companies, and other select professionals will be in attendance.
- How can I request an invitation?directdown
- The Sector Ministers’ Meeting is restricted to SWA partners and a limited number of collaborators from the development community. Please email us or submit a question if you are interested in attending and have not received an invitation.
- How are delegations from SWA constituencies selected?directdown
- Delegations are selected by the partner focal point. As this is a ministerial-level meeting, generally a minister plus one senior-level advisor attends the Meeting.
- What is the main purpose of the Sector Ministers’ Meeting? What are the outcomes? directdown
- The SMM will be bring together ministers responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene and senior government officials from different regions and development levels, as well as leaders from other stakeholders, including civil society, private sector, donors, development banks, UN agencies and academia. To achieve its purpose, the SMM has been designed to deliver four outcomes. 1. Leave no one behind: Develop a common understanding of what leave no one behind means, the scale of inequality in WASH, its root causes and its impact. 2. Leadership: Highlight the critical role of leadership to focus attention and resources on leave no one behind. 3. Planning, monitoring and review: Demonstrate how the application of the SWA Framework of Guiding Principles, Collaborative Behaviours and sector Building Blocks can address inequality in WASH. 4. Finance: Establish how national sector finance strategies can be developed to maximize their impact on eliminating inequality. In support of these outcomes: ● The essence of SWA’s new Mutual Accountability Mechanism will be explained – demonstrating how it is founded on multi-stakeholder collaboration in support of government-led processes, from which joint commitments are derived and prioritized. ● Follow-up actions will be agreed for SWA partners to reflect in subsequent planning, implementation and review processes, and to inform preparations for high level meetings in 2019 and beyond.
- Can my country host a future Sector Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- The location of the Sector Ministers’ Meeting is decided by the Steering Committee, taking into account the principle of geographic diversity. Suggestions are always welcome. Please contact the SWA Secretariat.
- I’m a journalist, can I attend?directdown
- Opportunities are available for journalists to attend certain portions of the meeting. For more information, please contact Alexandra Reis, SWA’s Communications Officer.
- Have there been other Sector Ministers’ Meeting before this one?directdown
- The Sector Ministers’ Meeting was a special feature of the SWA Finance Ministers’ Meeting in 2010, 2012, and 2014. The year 2016 marked the first standalone Sector Ministers’ Meeting. The meeting took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Why is the meeting being held in Costa Rica?directdown
- The Government of Costa Rica kindly offered to host the meeting. Sanitation and Water for All is committed to geographic diversity and seeks to bolster its partnership across Latin America. The premier WASH event in the region, 5th LATINOSAN conference: “Sanitation for All: Reducing the Gaps”, will take place in San José during the days prior to the SWA Sector Ministers’ Meeting, making it an ideal time to host a meeting of sector ministers. The principle objective of LATINOSAN V is to assess progress on achieving the SDGs, especially those linked to sanitation, while promoting a more integrated approach to ecosystem management. LATINOSAN V will also launch the Latin American and Caribbean Sanitation Water Observatory, a platform that will monitor progress and enable learning on SDG 6 throughout the LAC region.
- How is it connected to other events in 2019?directdown
- The SMM links to, and complements, other regional and international platforms. It builds upon the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention (MGISC) which took place in October 2018 and focused on political leadership to achieve sanitation targets. The SMM will broaden this approach to include ministers responsible for water and hygiene and will mobilize government and partner commitments from their national processes to increase political will and leadership. The SMM follows three regional conferences on sanitation that focused on regional commitments towards achieving the sanitation targets of the SDGs: Africa Sanitation Conference (AfricaSan), which will take place in February 2019, LATINOSAN V on 1-3 April 2019, and the South Asian Sanitation Conference (SACOSAN) which took place in 2018. At the global level, a number of processes reinforce the opportunities for catalyzing sector progress around inequalities. In particular, Leave No One Behind is the core message of the 2019 World Water Development Report, the 2019 World Water Day, the 2019 World Toilet Day, and the Stockholm World Water Week. In addition, SDG 10 – Reducing Inequality – is the focus of the UN High Level Political Forum in 2019.
- How does the Sector Ministers’ Meeting connect to the SWA Finance Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- Adequate financing for WASH is critical to ensure the sustainability of programs and initiatives. In 2010, 2012, and 2014, the Sector Ministers’’ Meeting and Finance Ministers’ Meetings were held together to allow an opportunity for sector ministers and finance ministers to engage in meaningful dialogue. The next SWA Finance Ministers’ Meeting is planned for Spring 2020.
- How does the SMM link with the Mutual Accountability Mechanism? directdown
- The 2019 SMM will be the first high level meeting (HLM) to incorporate the newly launched Mutual Accountability Mechanism. The Mechanism reinforces country-level multi-stakeholder planning and review and empowers partners to hold each other accountable for progress towards the SDG targets. Partners work through national processes, in alignment with national plans and following government-led efforts, to identify their priorities which are supported by Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-related (SMART) commitments from governments and all SWA partners. Under the new Mechanism, all SWA partners, not just governments and donors, make commitments through the national sector dialogues during the annual planning or sector progress review meetings such as the Joint Sector Reviews. Governments and partners also report on the progress they are making towards their commitments at the national level using similar multi-stakeholder processes. At the 2019 SMM, governments and global partners will present their commitments drawn out of their national priorities. At future SWA meetings, such as the 2020 Finance Ministers and Sector Minister Meetings, partners will share their progress on previous commitments as well as announce new commitments. The commitments tabled at the SMM could be newly developed or taken from those previously made as part of the national planning process or at regional or global forums; they should not be made only for the SMM but should be identified and prioritized during the national and regional processes. Ministers will use the SMM to highlight their own national priorities and their intended plans for addressing the bottlenecks they anticipate. Experiences of governments and partners on the tools, approaches, and resources needed to achieve their targets will be the major input for the various ministerial dialogues which are part of the SMM agenda and the subsequent learning exchanges facilitated by the SWA Secretariat.
- Which countries have been invited to participate?directdown
- Over 85 countries have been invited to participate in the 2019 SMM. While SWA now numbers 63 country partners, other 24 country partners have been invited, as well as 31 External Support Agencies. For information on the countries that have been invited, please contact the SWA Secretariat.
- How many people are expected to attend?directdown
- The meeting is anticipated to attract between 250 and 300 participants.
- What role will ministers have at the Sector Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- Ministers will play a crucial role at the Sector Ministers’ Meeting. They will share experiences and best practices from their countries with other sector ministers from around the world.
- What role will other partners have at the Sector Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- Ministers will play the central role at the SMM. Other partners will have a unique opportunity to hear about countries’ progress and bottlenecks first hand which can help with collaboration, funding and programming. They will also have opportunities to engage with ministers that are relevant for their work. The non-governmental partners will be represented through small delegations, but their biggest contribution to the SMM happens in their participation in the preparatory process.
- Is there a cost for registration?directdown
- No, there is no cost for registration.
- What is included in the registration?directdown
- Registration includes all sessions, except for specific closed sessions, meeting documentation, lunch and coffee breaks during the days of the Meeting.
- I’ve been invited to the Sector Ministers’ Meeting. What do I do next?directdown
- Please be in touch with the SWA Secretariat so we may guide you on the next steps, including the preparatory process and travel considerations.
- How do I get from the airport to the Sector Ministers’ Meeting?directdown
- The selected venue for the 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting is the Convention Center of Costa Rica (www.costaricacc.com), located 11km from the International Airport of Juan Santamaria – SJO (www.sjoairport.com). 24h taxi services are available (www.sjoairport.com/taxi).
- I have issues with visas and travel requirements. Who can I contact?directdown
- Please contact the SWA Secretariat so that we may assist or submit a question.
- How do countries prepare to participate?directdown
- Countries are encouraged to attend one of the country preparatory webinars, as part of the Sector Ministers’ Meeting Preparatory Process. Please contact Muyatwa Sitali or submit a question.
- My Minister wants to present their country experience or be a speaker at the meeting. What is the procedure?directdown
- Please contact the SWA Secretariat here for additional information regarding the Preparatory Process in advance of the meeting by submitting a question here: Each sector minister should be prepared to present reflections and commitments on the following questions: • What is the status the SWA Framework in your country? • What are the barriers to effective collaboration under government leadership, and how can these be addressed? • How can the SWA Framework and tools such as the Mutual Accountability Mechanism be mobilized to improve partnerships in support of ‘Leave No-one behind’? • Where do we go from here – key actions that require follow up at country level and globally.
- Will there be a field visit?directdown
- There is no specific field trip for the 2019 SMM. Instead participants would be encouraged to join the LATINOSAN field trip scheduled for the morning of Wednesday 3rd April. In the afternoon, Ministers will be invited to attend the closing ceremony of LATINOSAN.
- Will there be an exhibition?directdown
- There are no plans for an exhibition.
- How can I share publications, brochures?directdown
- The SWA Secretariat will make available a space for participants to share their materials.
- My question is not here – how can I submit a question?directdown
- Please enter your question in our form. A member of the SWA Secretariat team will get back to you shortly.