The 2017 SWA High-level Meetings (HLMs) will take place in Washington D.C., USA. They will comprise a Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM), convened by the World Bank on behalf of the SWA partnership, on 20 April. In the preceding days, 19 and 20 April, a Sector Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) will be convened by UNICEF, involving those ministers responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene who have accompanied their finance counterparts.
At the ministerial meetings, participants will have the opportunity to engage in policy debate, exchange lessons learned and hold each other mutually accountable for progress on improving access to sanitation and drinking water for all. The preparatory process is ongoing, with SWA organizing a series of webinars.
These ministerial meetings will build on previous SWA High-level Meetings of Ministers of Finance (in 2010, 2012, and 2014) and of ministers responsible for Sanitation, Water and Hygiene (in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016). The 2016 Meeting was the first occasion for the sector to come together after the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed. Countries and their partners discussed national planning to meet the challenges of the water, sanitation and hygiene-related targets and required resources.
The Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM), held at the time of the World Bank’s Spring Meetings, will focus on how to finance the achievement of universal, sustainable access to safely managed sanitation, water and hygiene. In this 2-hour meeting, while ministers will discuss the political, institutional and governance reforms needed to make better use of existing funding and for attracting additional resources.
The main objective of the FMM is to get endorsement of key policy principles on sector financing required to meet the water, sanitation and hygiene-related SDGs targets, with an explicit focus on eliminating inefficiencies and achieving universal access.
This one-and-a-half-day meeting, will build on the discussions held in Addis Ababa in March 2016. In particular, ministers will consider the Building Blocks needed to establish the foundations for a strong sector. They will also discuss the SWA Collaborative Behaviours.
SWA is facilitating a preparatory process for the 2017 HLM, in order for the attending ministers to arrive fully prepared for the meetings, and for them to be better equipped to take follow-up action. The process has started in November 2016 and goes until April 2017 with a series of webinars focusing on strengthening multi-stakeholder dialogue, building political will and commitment amongst decision-makers and preparing ministers for their engagement in dialogues.
Guidance note: this explains the entire preparatory process for the 2017 HLMs. It includes the objectives of the FMM and SMM as well as the outcomes of the preparatory process. The guidance note is important for governments and in-country partners.
Sample country overview: The primary output of the preparatory process will be a comprehensive overview document, i.e. Country Overview, which synthesizes the information about the country’s i) SDG vision and baseline; ii) the readiness of the sector to catalyze progress on the SDGs; iii) financial costs and strategies to close the financing gap; and iv) priority actions the government and partners have agreed to remove bottlenecks to progress. The Country Overview can inform inter-ministerial discussions between the sector minister(s) and the minister of finance. It also contributes to the broader multi-stakeholder country dialogues on the water, sanitation and hygiene related targets of the SDGs and can be part of the country activities around national sector review processes such as joint sector reviews.
SDG Costing Tool from UNICEF/FR/SP: A tool which can be used by countries who would like to calculate the investments needed to fulfill the SDG targets as well as the financing gap. Countries which have not yet done their own costing of the SDG targets (6.1 and 6.2) can use this tool to prepare their estimates. The tool is available in English, French and Spanish. Information from this tool (or other SDG costings where they exist) will be necessary to prepare the financial analysis for the Country Overview. The SWA Secretariat, working with UNICEF, also provides direct support to countries that may require additional assistance to work with the tool. In case this assistance is needed, please reach out to the SWA Secretariat using the contact information below.
Discussion Paper on financing SDG 6 from World Bank and UNICEF: The World Bank and UNICEF have contributed a paper focusing on the following: the magnitude of the challenge, particularly on why SDG 6 is important, the financing gap and why it has not been filled; how existing resources can be used more effectively (through analysis of such things as current utilisation of tariffs and taxes, and how service providers can be made more efficient), and the key policy-trade-offs in each sub-sector; and how new resources for the sector can be accessed by looking at the most viable sources of financing and how they can be leveraged. Governments and partners can use this paper to stimulate discussions on the policy options for financing the SDGs.
Generic ministerial briefing: This briefing can be used by government focal points to inform their ministers about the 2017 HLMs. The briefing is in MS Word to allow for countries to easily adapt it to their context.
All SWA partners operating at country level are encouraged to engage in the preparations. To learn more about the preparatory process and previous webinars and download presentations, click here.