SWA Framework


About the SWA Framework


Since the inception of SWA, partners have been working together to improve the effectiveness of collaboration in the sector. As a result of this work, the SWA partnership has developed a Framework for analyzing bottlenecks and challenges and identifying solutions to make progress towards the SDGs. At country level in particular, this Framework contributes to multi-stakeholder dialogue, identifying areas which are likely to hamper progress in the achievement of the SDGs. The Framework is sufficiently flexible to allow countries to adapt it according to their needs, processes and ways of working.

The SWA Framework is composed of three interlinked elements that embody the values partners share, their common understanding of the sector, what the sector needs to succeed, and how to meet these needs through collaborative action.

The three elements of the Framework are the Guiding Principles, the Building Blocks and the Collaborative Behaviours.

The Seven Guiding Principles 


The Guiding Principles lie at the heart of SWA. The SWA partnership was established through agreement on a set of core values that would guide it throughout its life, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or leadership. These Guiding Principles are what bind all partners together, forming the basis of all SWA activities and initiatives; to formally become part of SWA, all partner countries and organizations must agree to follow them. Read more

The Five Building Blocks

These capture the key elements that the sector must have in place in order to be able to deliver sustainable services and progressively eliminate inequalities in access. The governments lead in ensuring that the Building Blocks are functioning, and are given the necessary attention according to country priorities. SWA provides a platform for governments to coordinate support from development partners around the Building Blocks, as well as opportunities for learn and exchange with other governments around the world, and other SWA partners. Read more

The Four Collaborative Behaviours


SWA has identified specific ways of working that are aligned with SWA’s Guiding Principles, and which direct how SWA partners can best work together to deliver the Building Blocks. The Collaborative Behaviours are essential elements of SWA’s approach, reinforcing collaboration, alignment and efficiency. When jointly adopted by both governments and development partners, the Collaborative Behaviours strengthen country capacity to deliver and sustain services. Read more

The Mutual Accountability Mechanism


The Framework is anchored in the SWA Mutual Accountability Mechanism, which empowers partners to hold each other globally accountable for progress towards the SDG targets, as well as reinforcing country-level multi-stakeholder planning and review processes.

The partnership shares the belief that having different stakeholders working together towards common goals will facilitate transparency, accountability and participation. Partners created the SWA Mutual Accountability Mechanism so that their work on the Framework would be rooted in specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART) actions, and to reinforce multi-stakeholder decision-making.

Implementation of the Mutual Accountability Mechanism is led by governments and is aligned with national multi-stakeholder processes to develop national plans and strategies. Governments identify priorities from among their national targets and milestones, in discussion with other national SWA partners. These commitments are presented at SWA regional and global meetings – creating opportunities for international discussion of national progress.

The Mutual Accountability Mechanism is a key opportunity to put the SWA Framework into practice, incorporating the SWA Guiding Principles, re-enforcing the Collaborative Behaviours, and identifying gaps in a country’s implementation of the Building Blocks. Read more

How SWA is organized at country level


Achieving SWA’s mission requires that the partnership be functional and effective at national level in partner countries.

To support this, SWA relies on Focal Points. Every SWA country partner has one Focal Point for each constituency represented in that country. The Focal Points:

  1. Coordinate all SWA partners within their constituency to ensure their engagement in SWA multi-stakeholder activities
  2. Collaborate with other Focal Points nationally, regionally and globally
  3. Strengthen understanding and integration of the SWA Framework among partners

As SWA aims to support and build national processes and institutions; SWA Focal Points work with existing sector platforms and coordination structures – they specifically work to avoid duplication of existing national processes.

To reach your constituency’s Focal Point in your country, please contact the Secretariat.