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Preparatory process for 2017 HLMs - Summary & Resources

30 Mar 2016

The World Bank, on behalf of SWA, will convene a Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) on or around 20 April 2017, during the World Bank Spring Meetings. Just prior to this meeting, on April 19 and 20, ministers responsible for the WASH sector who accompany their country’s finance minister to Washington will attend a one-and-half day Sector Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) convened by UNICEF. Participants at the FMM will discuss the magnitude of the SDG challenge, using existing resources more efficiently, and accessing additional resources. Participants at the SMM will discuss how to ensure that the sector is prepared to deliver on the targets and demands of the SDGs including the financing of the sector.

In order for the ministers to arrive fully prepared for the meetings, and for them to be better equipped to take follow-up action, the SWA Secretariat is facilitating a preparatory process which runs from November 2016 to April 2017. The 2017 FMM and SMM are part of the ongoing cycle of SWA activities aimed at catalyzing coordinated action to achieve the water, sanitation and hygiene targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Objectives of the preparatory process

The objectives of the preparatory process for the 2017 High-level Meetings (Finance Ministers' Meeting and Sector Ministers' Meeting):

  • Strengthen multi-stakeholder dialogue around the status of sector effectiveness, efficiency, stakeholder behavior and national readiness for implementing the WASH-related targets of the SDGs;
  • Build political will and engagement amongst decision-makers (i.e. finance and sector ministers) to agree action on overall SDG readiness, including financing for the sector;
  • Prepare ministers for their engagement in dialogue with their peers on their country’s readiness for the SDGs, sector effectiveness, financing and the actions they intend to take.

All SWA partners operating at country level are encouraged to actively engage in the country-level preparations.

Materials for the preparatory process

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.

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.

See additional materialsdirectdown

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.

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.

SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles from UN Water GLAAS

SWA has identified four collaborative behaviours which, if jointly adopted by governments and development partners, would improve long-term sector performance and sustainability. SWA partners agree to:

  1. Enhance government leadership of sector planning processes;
  2. Strengthen and use country systems;
  3. Use one information and mutual accountability platform;
  4. Build sustainable water and sanitation sector financing strategies that incorporate financial data on all 3Ts (taxes, tariffs and transfers), as well as estimates for non-tariff household expenditure.

Part of the preparatory process will include analysing how governments and development partners are applying the SWA Collaborative Behaviours for effective development cooperation. The SWA Steering Committee has agreed and endorsed a set of indicators for each of the Collaborative Behaviours. SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles will be produced and shared with countries between January and April 2017. Information from the profiles can be used in the sector review, particularly by highlighting how both government and partners apply the Collaborative Behaviours in the sector.

Preliminary SDG baseline estimates from WHO-UNICEF JMP

The UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) is preparing the 2017 baseline report for the SDGs. Preliminary country estimates based on available national data have been shared with UNICEF and WHO Country Offices for data validation. These preliminary estimates could be used to prepare indicative country synthesis on the SDG baseline and magnitude of the challenge to achieve the country’s targets for sanitation, water and hygiene in urban and rural areas. If interested in knowing how to obtain these preliminary estimates, please contact the secretariat who will put you in touch with the right personnel.

Support from the SWA Secretariat

The SWA Secretariat is facilitating the preparatory process and provides support to current and potential SWA partners through webinars. The support also includes coordination of demand-driven assistance to countries on the application of the SDG costing tool, analysis on the Building Blocks and SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles. Countries which need this support should liaise with the Secretariat to arrange bilateral calls. The Secretariat will either directly provide support or mobilize global partners to respond to the greatest extent possible.

Bilateral calls

As of 24 February 2017, we have organised bilateral calls with 16 countries, attended by representatives of the government and other partners. If you would like to arrange a bilateral call with the secretariat, please contact the secretariat.

Recording of preparatory process webinars

At the global level, the Secretariat has organized three webinars with the following objectives:

  • Webinar on Overview of the 2017 HLMs in November 2016: purpose; concept notes for the FMM and SMM; and outline of the preparatory process;


SWA Overview of the 2017 HLMs webinar - November 2016 Download the presentation EN FR


1st Webinar English - SWA HLMs preparatory process: Overview of the 2017 HLMs 1ère webinar français - processus préparatoire des Réunions de haut niveau de 2017


  • Webinar on SDGs and Financing in December 2016: Focused on two major issues: i) increasing understanding of the implications of SDGs and the new indicators including how to determine the baseline; and ii) the tool to calculate the costs for achieving the SDGs as well as the financing gap


SWA webinar on SDGs and Financing - December 2016 Download the presentation EN FR SP


2nd Webinar English - SWA HLMs preparatory process: SDGs and Financing REPEAT 2nd Webinar English - SWA HLMs preparatory process: SDGs and Financing


2ème webinar français - processus préparatoire des Réunions de haut niveau de 2017



  • Webinar on Highlights on the SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles and strategies in February 2017: Highlights on the SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles and strategies to close the financing gap through better use of existing resources and mobilizing additional funds


SWA webinar on Highlights on the SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles and strategies - February 2017 Download the presentation EN FR SP


3rd Webinar English - SWA HLMs preparatory process: Highlights on the SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles and strategies 3rd Webinar English Repeat - SWA HLMs preparatory process: Highlights on the SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles and strategies


3ème webinar français - processus préparatoire des Réunions de haut niveau 2017 de SWA 3rd Webinar Spanish - SWA HLMs preparatory process: Highlights on the SWA Collaborative Behaviours Country Profiles and strategies


  • Global update webinar to update SWA partners on the preparations for the SWA 2017 High-level Meetings in March: Highlights on the information about the agendas of the Sector Ministers’ Meeting and Finance Ministers’ Meeting, as well as detailed information on the design of the ministerial dialogues which are part of the Sector Ministers’ Meeting. A few countries shared highlights of how they are working with multiple stakeholders to discuss their country’s SDG baselines and vision, the state of their sector’s readiness and the required financing to achieve their goals.


4th Webinar English - SWA HLMs preparatory process: Global update webinar

4ème webinar français - processus préparatoire des Réunions de haut niveau 2017 de SWA : webinaire mondial


CSO's Preparatory Process


CSOs have a role to play in the preparatory process for the HLM. They have to be involved in the national dialogue for the preparation of the HLM. CSOs are the one who can push governments to engage in the High Level Political Dialogue and raise awareness among citizens and media to push the governments to be ambitious for the progress towards the SDGs They should be involved in the preparatory process by can with Governments and others stakeholders for a national dialogue on WASH. Civil society organizations have a key role in ensuring that communities' voices are heard in the preparation and follow up of the national goals towards the SDGs and in pressing for accountability for their delivery.

To know how to get involved as a CSO, please read the two following documents :


Contact information


For any clarifications on the preparatory process and to arrange bilateral calls on previous webinars, please email

Francophone countries and those in Asia and the Pacific can also contact