High Level Political Dialogue

The HLPD is SWA's primary mechanism to engage high-level decision makers to take action. It is designed to encourage on-going political dialogue at the national (including sub-national) and global levels and is focused on achieving results on the ground.


New HLCD wheel without time

The HLPD encompasses the preparatory process that countries and donors carry out in advance of the SWA High Level Meeting to develop context-specific commitments, the biennial High-level Meetings themselves, and the annual monitoring of commitments made.

During the HLPD, country-level dialogues are strengthened – both among ministers (and parliament) and technical stakeholders, CSOs, donors and development banks and citizens – and also provide a platform to strengthen mutual accountability. Partners are encouraged to raise WASH on the political agenda and promote solutions, demonstrate political will, strengthen mutual accountability and increase the impact of resources. 

Measuring commitments tabled at the SWA HLM is an essential component of the entire HLPD process and is critical to strengthening accountability in the sanitation and water sector. As such, developing country governments, donors and development banks agree to report annually on the progress made in implementing the commitments tabled at the previous SWA HLM.

Why is the HLPD important?directdown

• Aligns with ongoing dialogue and strengthens that dialogue where appropriate

• Raises the profile of sanitation and water politically

• Encourages multi-stakeholder processes and role a for everyone

• Encourages development partners to align behind clear plans and short term priorities

• Encourages mutual accountability by all stakeholders and by civil society organizations 




Monitoring commitments is a key mechanism for accountability and an important component of the HLPD cycle. It is not just a technical exercise, but provides an important opportunity to advocate for stronger results on the ground.

The SWA Secretariat is mandated with facilitating the HLPD and in particular the monitoring of commitments. To support partners, the Secretariat issued the Guidelines for annual tracking and reporting progressdeveloped in consultation with several developing countries’ SWA focal points. They are meant to support partner to report on progress against the commitments.

Milestones of the Monitoring phase:

         • December 2014: Guidelines and commitments reporting format are circulated by the Secretariat

         • Nov 2014 to Mar 2015: Partners carry out tracking and fill in the commitments reporting format

         • 10 Mar 2015: Deadline for submission of the commitments reporting format filled by countries and donors

         • 30 Jun 2015: Secretariat issues a Global Progress Update along with additional products

         • Jun to Sep 2015: Partners carry-out national advocacy around national progress on commitments 

SWA Cafés on monitoring and advocacy

Throught the Monitoring, the SWA Secretariat will organize a series of online learning and exchange webinars, open to all partners. Information and materials from previous Cafés: 

October SWA Cafe: maintaining momentum around the commitments after the HLMdirectdown

Presentation made by the Secretariat on strategies to maintain momentum after the HLM


Presentation made by Madagascar on how to build momentum after a change in government


Presentation made by Kenya on how to rebuilding momentum when your minister did not go to the HLM


November SWA Cafe: strategies to track 2014 commitments directdown

Presentation made by the Secretariat on Strategy to track the 2014 commitments


Presentation made by France, an example of donor strategy to track the 2014 commitments


Presentation made by Ghana, an example of a multi-stakeholder strategy to track the 2014 commitments


January SWA Cafe: Joint National Advocacy Plan directdown

- Why do we need national advocacy activities around the results of the monitoring? What should we be advocating to whom?

- Why jointly as a sector? Aren’t CSOs typically advocating “at government” and not “with government”? Can donors join sector advocacy?

- Why plan advocacy now, if the report will be issued in June?


Here are some of the views that participants shared:

Pakistan, Development Partners Focal Point, Mr. Naeem: “There is a core of engaged SWA partners , but there are a lot of other actors at country level, from whom we need support for implementation, who are not aware of the commitments. E.g. Donors at country level are not always aware of the commitments that their headquarters took or which commitments local government took. We can do a better job at targeting those partners and letting them know about the commitments.

Mauritania, Government Focal Point, Mr. Dadde: “For us, one of the key commitments is financial. Our advocacy should address primarily the Minister of Finance. Jointly, as a sector, we can better target the Minister of Finance to keep his promise. We should advocate jointly as a sector and government- our ministry-can be on the driving seat of the plan.” Sudan, Development Partners Focal Point, Mr. Habila: “In Sudan, we have a federal state. Many of our commitments are related to activities that should actually take place at State level. For us, the key targets of advocacy should be State Governors”.

Guinea, Civil Society Focal Point, Mr. Sylla: “We have seen it in the past, and there is no doubt: if we advocate together the message is more powerful. As civil society, we could be more proactive to engage regularly with government”


Here are some of the agreements that participants reached:

- Why advocacy? With the monitoring of 2014 HLM commitments already underway in many countries, it is becoming clear to many partners there is a need for a further push on implementation. The ask is: support to “unblock” what is holding back commitments’ implementation.

- To whom? Who has the power to “unblock” the implementation of commitments? It depends on the context of the country and on the type of commitment. The main target should be set at country level.

- Why jointly? Partners agreed the message is more powerful when delivered together or in a coordinated manner by the different actors in the sector. Constituencies will not be advocating at each other’ but advocating together to those who can “unblock” the commitments.

- How is this going to work? By agreeing on a common objective and on the key targets, by developing a joint plan of focused, realistic activities, allocated to different partners based on their strengths, and by involving the media and communications people very early on.


The outcome of the Café was a recommendation for the three focal points in each country, to sit together in the coming days and initiate a Joint National Advocacy Plan around the launch of the report, which is expected in June. Each country will define its targets and key activities locally and will strive to involve a wider number of stakeholders.

Presentation made by the Secretariat on Joint National Advocacy Plan