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Mutual Accountability Mechanism

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require that governments engage with all actors through participatory multi-stakeholder processes, and that they demonstrate accountability in the decisions that they are taking in ensuring universal access to water and sanitation services, leaving no-one behind.

SWA’s Mutual Accountability Mechanism is designed to respond to these obligations of participation and accountability. It reflects the vision, principles, obligations, requirements and challenges set by the SDGs, as well as incorporating the SWA Framework of Guiding Principles, Collaborative Behaviours and Building Blocks.


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Government Constituency Body / Organizations Commitment Target year
Global External Support Agencies Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency FINANCING Until 2020: USD 160 million annually (WASH) 65% spent in rural areas 90% in off tracked countries for sanitation 2020
Global Private Sector Global Handwashing Partnership The Global Handwashing Partnership commits report back on these commitments by the next high level meeting and will provide regular updates to the Private Sector Constituency. 2020
Global Research and Learning SIWI-Stockholm International Water Institute SIWI will continue to support the achievement of governance related SWA commitments (including capacity building), in collaboration with other partners, in the countries where we work. 2021
Global Civil Society Simavi Contribute to the realization of the Dutch Government commitment to SDG6 in reaching 30 million people with water and 50 million people with sanitation in 2030. Simavi does this together with other CSO and non CSO partners by implementing different WASH programmes in several countries, for instance WASH SDG consortium programme. 2020
Global Civil Society Water For People Water For People's model of district-wide implementation is to ensure every community, every school and clinic, and every household has access to reliable water and sanitation services over time. Globally, we expect to reach 30 districts across nine countries by 2030. 2030
Global External Support Agencies The Ministry of Foreign Affairs The Netherlands will contribute to providing access to safe and affordable drinking water for 30 million people (SDG 6.1) and to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for 50 million people (SDG 6.2), by 2030 2030
Global Civil Society Freshwater Action Network South Asia By 2020 will develop rigorous analysis on the status of progress on Hygiene in south asia and basing on the same develop common advocacy messages for CSOs around financing for hygiene including MHM. 2022
Global External Support Agencies United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Coordination & Impact Finally, USAID will report on the value of new funds mobilized for the sector as a result of U.S. Government assistance, and on institutional strengthening. 2022
Global External Support Agencies United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Coordination & Impact Consistent with USAID’s Water and Development Plan in support of the U.S. Global Water Strategy, USAID commits to contributing to the global WASH community by investing in governance, institutions, and innovative financing to foster vibrant, financially sound, and increasingly self-sufficient systems of service providers. 2022
Global External Support Agencies WSSCC WSSCC commits to support sanitation and hygiene systems strengthening activities and develop 17 country engagement plans using the SWA framework in Bangladesh, Benin, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe by the end of 2020 2020
Global External Support Agencies Department for International Development (UK) The UK renews its existing commitment to help 60 million people to gain sustainable access to water supply and sanitation services by the end of 2020. Between 2015 and 2018 we have reached 40.3m people, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. 2020
Global External Support Agencies United States Agency for International Development (USAID) National Coordination USAID has sharpened its consistent application of criteria to allocate resources at the national level in order to better tackle inequalities. This includes identifying, on an annual basis, priority countries for USAID WASH activities. Consistent with the Water for the World Act of 2014, USAID will aim to increase coordination of actors within the water and sanitation sector in priority countries to align objectives and leverage resources in conjunction with relevant public, private, and other donor institutions, including through mechanisms such as SWA’s Mutual Accountability Mechanism or other Joint Sector Review processes. Additionally, USAID will use its funds strategically to mobilize financial resources from host country governments and the private sector; increase the capacity of national and sub-national governments to assess, regulate, and manage water and sanitation service delivery and water resources in high-priority and strategically aligned countries; and aim to increase the capacity of civil society to advocate for water and sanitation service delivery and water resources management. 2022
Global External Support Agencies Department for International Development (UK) One in five of the world’s poorest people have a disability. WHO estimates that one in five of the world’s poorest people are disabled. Noting the theme of the 2019 SMM and our own Disability Inclusion Strategy, DFID will ensure that all the WASH services we support are disability inclusive 2020
Global External Support Agencies Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency MONITORING Until 2020: spend 5% on actions to support an unified, robust framework for national monitoring (20 countries, CSOs, …) and global (JMP, GLAAS, GEMI) and 2% for Research 2020
Global Private Sector SWA PS Constituency By the next High-level Meeting in 2020, PS Partners in MAM Pioneering Countries, will have supported 20 SWA Countries in engaging with the private sector, depending on the needs of SWA country partners. This can potentially include hosting in-country roundtable events or providing direct support to planning and strategy or jointly developing a framework of key policy elements that will set the enabling environments for broader business engagement, solutions and investments into the next decade. 2020
Global External Support Agencies World Health Organization WHO will provide global monitoring data, through GLAAS, TrackFin and JMP, to inform national and international decision-making. 2025
Global External Support Agencies Department for International Development (UK) In line with DFID’s WASH Approach Paper and the SWA Framework, DFID will increase its work with governments and partners to strengthen national capacity and delivery systems. This will improve effectiveness and sustainability of WASH services. It will also help attract additional resources to the sector. 2020
Global Research and Learning WaterAid In countries where we work, WaterAid will support progress in government-led policies, standards and plans that positively influences hygiene behaviour to maximise the benefits of access to safe water and sanitation. 2022
Global Private Sector SWA PS Constituency By June 2019, the PS Constituency will have identified PS Country Focal Points (CFPs) for all MAM Priority Countries, plus 20 others; and by September 2019, half of the PS CFPs commit to reaching out to at least one network in each pioneer country to inform about the MAM and invite participation, as well as identifying at one opportunity for multi-stakeholder engagement. 2019
Global Private Sector SWA PS Constituency By December 2019, the PS Constituency will have conveyed to other SWA Constituency Partners how to work with the PS, identifying specific opportunities and suggesting mechanisms to develop catalytic and mutually beneficial collaborations. This will be achieved by rolling out a series of Private Sector-led Webinars on Private Sector Engagement tailored to each of SWA’s Constituency (Countries, CSOs, External Support Agencies and Research & Learning). 2019


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What is the Mutual Accountability Mechanism?

The Mutual Accountability Mechanism is a process for governments and other stakeholders to make commitments together on specific actions each actor will take to achieve their targets set in the short- to medium-term on the road to reaching the SDGs.

The Mutual Accountability Mechanism recognizes that government leadership is essential to achieving SDG 6 and sanitation and water for all, always and everywhere. Commitments for the Mutual Accountability Mechanism are drawn from the plans, strategies, targets and milestones developed by governments and other actors through multi-stakeholder planning and review processes. The SWA partnership expects all SWA partners to collaborate in the making of commitments, and to report back on their actions to achieve these commitments.

SWA partners can present and report on commitments at SWA‘s global High-level Meetings. SWA will also make use of the opportunities provided by regional water and sanitation meetings such as SACOSAN, LatinoSan and Africa Water Week to convene sessions relevant to the partners active in the region.

How can I engage with the Mutual Accountability Mechanism?

The Mutual Accountability Mechanism invites all SWA partners and others to collaborate in the making of commitments. Depending on whether you are from a government agency, department or ministry, or whether you are from another constituency (civil society, external support agency, private sector or research and learning) you can engage with the process in collaboration with other partners and make commitments. It is not necessary to be an SWA partner to join the process of identifying and making commitments.

How can I make commitments?

Through multi-stakeholder national planning, monitoring and review processes, governments and other stakeholders define their short- medium- and long-term strategies to overcome existing bottlenecks and challenges and to achieve the WASH-related targets of the SDGs.

From these strategies, the government selects two or three priority actions or strategies ('commitments‘). These may address issues that have come up in the planning or review process, or may respond to specific aspects of the SDGs. Particularly relevant will be issues, such as ‘leave no-one behind’ or issues where SWA partners believe that the global or regional perspective offered by discussions with other SWA partners will be particularly helpful to them.

Commitments should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound (SMART), such that progress towards their achievement can be monitored, reviewed and reported upon.

How can I submit commitments ?

The SWA Mutual Accountability Mechanism builds on and reinforces existing national multi-stakeholder planning and review processes. Through this mechanism, all SWA partners are invited to develop commitments, based on national priorities, to be shared on the SWA website and to be presented at SWA’s global High-level Meetings.

Below are the relevant online forms which transfer data directly to the SWA database and website.

If you have any problems or questions please write to:


For governments

Please submit your commitments here -

For all other constituencies and organizations 
Non-government actors working at country level:
If you are working at the country level, please submit your commitments here -


Global organizations, including bilateral donors and international organizations
If you are working at the global level, please submit your commitments here -

Where can I see the commitments made by my government and by other partners?

All commitments are available on the SWA website, both on the dedicated country page, as well as through a webpage where you can search for commitments by country and topic.

All commitments made to-date under the Mutual Accountability Mechanism are available here.

How will I verify that I have achieved my commitments?

The monitoring and review of commitments must be anchored in the national cycle of planning- monitoring and review processes, with indicators identified to follow up on targets and specific commitments, along with their other nationally agreed targets and plans. This multi-stakeholder platform for country-level monitoring could be complemented by global aggregation of sector performance using JMP, GLAAS, the Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles and any relevant regional monitoring mechanisms that are in place.

SWA’s global Sector Ministers’ Meetings provide an opportunity for SWA partners across the world to present and subsequently report on their own commitments and to learn from others’ priorities and activities. As every country has its own processes and timeframes, the SWA Mutual Accountability Mechanism must allow for SWA partners to present and review their Commitments at the global meeting that is most appropriate to them. There will be a Finance Ministers’ Meeting in April 2020, and a Sector Ministers’ Meeting in the second half of 2021.

Will there be a regular SWA report on the commitments and the Mutual Accountability Mechanism?

Every three years the SWA Secretariat will produce a global report on the progress reflected by the Mutual Accountability Mechanism, and on the extent to which partners have achieved the commitments made in the previous three years. This will provide an opportunity for analysis of successes and continuing challenges. The first global report will be available in 2021.


View all Key documents
Key documents Type
Mutual Accountability Mechanism: Lisbon Meeting Report
Mutual Accountability Mechanism Brochure
Overview: Mutual Accountability Mechanism Commitments
Guidance Note for submitting commitments for the Mutual Accountability Mechanism
View all Webinars
The Mutual Accountability Mechanism: What do the commitments tell us and what must be done to achieve them?

The Mutual Accountability Mechanism: What do the commitments tell us and what must be done to achieve them?

The webinar focused on the commitments tabled so far by 47 governments and 18 global partners. Most of the commitments are...
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Introduction to the Mutual Accountability Mechanism

Introduction to the Mutual Accountability Mechanism


Akpa Oluyemisi

The Mutual Accountability Mechanism is important for the Government of Nigeria because it will give traction to ongoing initiatives for improving service delivery in the WASH sector

Federal Ministry of Water Resources Nigeria