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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.


External Support Agencies
Civil Society
Research and Learning
Private Sector

Explore our Partner countries

Government Constituency Body / Organizations Commitment Target year
Global Civil Society Work with local governments, service providers, and civil society organizations to strengthen policy and regulatory environments that support financial flows to enable water and sanitation access for those who need it most. 2023
Global External Support Agencies Department for International Development (UK) Noting that sustainability of WASH services remains a key concern for the sector, DFID will assess the sustainability of the results it achieved between 2011 and 2015, sharing lessons learnt, and applying these to inform to its future work. The same assessment will also look at how we target our interventions in the context of leave no-one behind. 2020
Global External Support Agencies United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Global Coordination & Impact In addition to enabling environment support, USAID will simultaneously seek to increase the number of people worldwide who have access to water and sanitation. Specifically, USAID aims to provide 15 million people with sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2022. In addition, USAID aims to provide eight million people with sustainable access to sanitation services by 2022. 2022
Global Research and Learning WaterAid In countries where we work, WaterAid will work with others to develop plans and activities that accelerate change by integrating water, sanitation and hygiene into sustainable and national development plans. 2022
Global Research and Learning Water Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) We commit to listen and respond to requests for information from fellow SWA partners and stakeholders. 2020
Global Research and Learning Water Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) We commit to seeking equivalent commitments from other R&L partners. 2020
Global Civil Society Simavi Simavi and its WASH CSO partners in the African and Asian countries where we work, commit ourselves to: Simavi, together with its partners, is taking leadership in providing support and inspire initiatives aiming at realisation of human rights (HR) to water and sanitation of all, with an emphasize on the HR principles namely access to information, non-discrimination, accountability, participation and sustainability as well as affordability, acceptability and accessibility 2020
Global Research and Learning WaterAid WaterAid will take steps to better track our implementation of the SWA Collaborative Behaviours. As a starting point, we will ensure that by the 2020 GLAAS cycle we are better able to report on GLAAS indicators for Mutual Accountability, Government Leadership and Strengthening country systems across our country programmes. 2020
Global Research and Learning Water Institute at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) We commit to adhere to highest ethical standards by conducting business according to the UNC-wide honor code ( and standard practice for Research Institutions. 2020
Global Private Sector AquaFed AquaFed commits to helping five SWA country partners that are considering PPPs in water and sanitation by December 2019 , with expertise and information from our members. 2019
Global Research and Learning IRC While Masterplans are being implemented, we commit to supporting the local governments in our partner districts (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda) in project and finance identification, monitoring – including paying special attention to LNOB - addressing root causes of exclusion (2021) 2021
Global Research and Learning IRC In our partner districts (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda): support collective action at district level through advocacy, convening, communications, and knowledge management, including actively sharing lessons learned in national and international fora 2021
Afghanistan Government Capacity Building: Translate WASH sector Capacity Need Assessment Report into action and develop capacity building plan for 3 years. 0
Afghanistan Government Transparency/coordination: Strengthen sector partnerships for joint advocacy and coordination of WASH interventions. 0
Afghanistan Government Sustainability: Finalize and implement a comprehensive O&M strategy and community water safety planning to reduce risks of contamination of water from source to consumption. 0
Afghanistan Government Decrease OD by 7% under Afghanistan CLTS Movement (ACM). 2023
Afghanistan Government Financing: Develop and implement an advocacy strategy for increasing WASH investment from 25% to 40%. 2023
Angola External Support Agencies UNICEF Angola Country Office (ACO) National Strategy on Community-Led Total Sanitation for Angola approved as state public policy, to ending open defecation in the country by 2030. 2020
Angola External Support Agencies UNICEF Angola Country Office (ACO) National WASH Sector Coordination Platform (Foro Nacional das Aguas, FONAS) designed, validated among stakeholders, approved by the Government of Angola, and operational. 2020
Bangladesh Civil Society Network of Networks Increase meaningful participation of the women and excluded group in the Local Government Institutions (LGI) and their voice and demand reflected in the WASH budget of LGIs. 2021
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


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