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Frequently Asked Questions

The below list of questions and answers aims to address the queries that we tend to receive about WASHwatch.org. If your question is not answered in the list below, or by the glossary, then feel free to email it to washwatch@gmail.com.

  1. What are the objectives of WASHwatch.org?

    WASHwatch.org aims to facilitate CSOs in developing countries holding their governments to account for their commitments, and to improve access to information around WASH commitments and budgets.

  2. How can I get involved in contributing data?

    Anybody can contribute data to WASHwatch.org. You just need to email washwatch@gmail.com and ask for a username and password. You should read the guidelines for contributors before adding any information.

  3. How can I update country data entered by someone else?

    Anybody can contribute data to WASHwatch.org. You can add comments just by registering for a username via the link in the top right hand corner. To add or edit a country page, you just need to email washwatch@gmail.com and ask your username to be upgraded. You should read the guidelines for contributors before adding any information (see below).

  4. Why can't I find my country on the homepage?

    All countries in the world are available for editing, but not all of them have been activated. If your country is not listed, email us at washwatch@gmail.com and we can activate your country so you can edit it.

  5. How is WASHwatch data collected and calculated?

    All WASHwatch data is added by contributors from civil society organisations with a good knowledge of the WASH sector in their country. All policy verdicts in any one region are based on the same criteria and questions (see contributor document), and all financial data across the world is based on the same criteria. For comparability, figures for GDP and exchange rates are taken from standardised sources.

  6. How is WASHwatch data verified to be correct?

    WASHwatch.org has no editor, but relies on its user community to make comments and add new data when the situation changes. If you disagree with some analysis, or think it is out of date, please say so via the comments system. If you want to do this confidentially, email washwatch@gmail.com

  7. Why is WASHwatch.org only available in English?

    Currently we only have the capacity to have an English version of the site. In due course we hope to have French, Spanish and Portuguese translations of key areas. In the meantime, try using translate.google.com for immediate free translation. Contributors are free to enter data in the language of their choice, but it is better if English is used as it is the most widely-spoken language.

Guidelines for uploading information

People who contribute data to WASHwatch.org are encouraged to read the full guidelines, available here, before uploading information. This is to ensure that the site is applying the same criteria across countries, so that data is comparable. The document also answers key questions that you might have about how to enter data.

Glossary

Declarations

Sharm el-Sheikh declaration
The Sharm el-Sheikh declaration was made at the African Union summit in Egypt in 2008. Its full title is the "Sharm el-Sheikh committments for accelerating the achievement of water and sanitation goals in Africa". It has been ratified by all members of the African Union, and contains committments on all aspects of water supply, sanitation, hygiene, and water resources management. Click here to download the full Sharm el-Sheikh declaration.
eThekwini declaration
The eThekwini declaration was made at AfricaSan 2008, or "The Second African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene". Click here to download the eThekwini declaration and a list of the countries that ratified it at AfricaSan 2008. More countries have ratified it since then.
SACOSAN declarations
The most recent South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) took place in Colombo, SACOSAN 2011. There were previous SACOSAN meetings in Delhi in 2008, Islamabad in 2007, and Dhaka in 2003. Click here to download the Delhi declaration that was ratified at SACOSAN 2008. Click here to download the Colombo declaration that was ratified as Sacosan 2011.
EASAN declarations
The first East Asian Conference on Sanitation (EASAN) took place in Beppu, Japan in 2007. Click here to download the Beppu declaration.

Financial indicators

Gov. WASH Budget (local currency, millions)
This is the amount allocated to water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the government budget for any given year. It may be a total of several different budget lines – see “remarks” boxes on country pages for how contributors have calculated the figures.
Gov. budget for sanitation only (local currency, millions)
This is the part of the WASH budget (see above) that is allocated specifically to sanitation, and is only displayed if the contributor was able to discern this.
Gov. budget (local currency, millions)
This is the grand total of the whole government budget for all sectors.
Gov. WASH Budget as % of total budget
This shows the WASH budget relative to the size of the government’s total national budget. By using this indicator WASHwatch.org aims to make different governments' WASH budgets comparable to one another, to make an assessment of relative priority given to the sector. It can also show a single country's relative priority attached to WASH over a period of time, via the graphs on the country pages.
Gov. WASH budget (current $US, millions)
It is useful to see government WASH budgets in a common currency, such as US dollars. Because exchange rates change over time, WASHwatch.org uses average annual exchange rates from the World Bank databank
Average $US exchange rate for that year
This is the average annual exchange rate between that country’s currency and the US dollars, for any given year. To make the figures comparable, data from the world bank databank has been used for all countries
Gov. WASH budget as % of GDP
Government financial prioritisation of WASH can be seen by the percentage of its national budget that it sets aside for the sector (see above). However, it can also be useful to see the WASH budget as a share of the whole economy. This allows greater comparability between richer and poorer countries; for example, richer countries may not be using all their wealth to benefit their poorest citizens. A common source of GDP is used (see below).
GDP (current $US, millions, IMF)
There are many ways to measure GDP and many potential sources. WASHwatch.org therefore uses the data from the World Bank databank, because they provide regular and reliable GDP figures using the same method for all countries. We assume the current year will be the same as the previous year until new data is released

General terms

Human Development Index (HDI)
The Human Development Index (HDI) is an index used to rank countries by level of "human development". The HDI combines normalized measures of life expectancy, literacy, educational attainment, and GDP per capita for countries worldwide. It is claimed as a standard means of measuring human development. This concept, according to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), refers to the process of widening the options of persons, giving them greater opportunities for education, health care, income, employment, etc. The human development report is published every year, and provides updated HDI for all countries - Click here for the Human Development Report website.
Population
This is the number of people living in that country, as estimated by the UN population division. The data is taken from the World Bank databank
Under-five mortality rate
This is the number of children that die every year before their fifth birthday, per 1000 live births. It is therefore a rate, allowing comparison between countries. It can be seen as a way of measuring "chance of survival". The estimates come from the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, UN DESA, UNPD). The data is taken from the World Bank databank
Annual child diarrhoea deaths
This is the number of children under five that die of diarrhoea every year in that country. The estimates come from the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group, the paper is available here TheLancet.com. and the data is in the annex which can be downloaded from that page.
Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP)
The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) produces access figures which are comparable across countries, for monitoring the water and sanitation millenium development goals. The latest report was in 2012, providing data for 2010. These are sometimes different to figures quoted by governments because they are based on a methodology which calculates a trend based on household surveys from 1990-2010. The data are taken from the World Bank Databank. Click here for the JMP website, and to download the most recent report.

Sanitation

Is there a national sanitation policy? (San. policy)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No sanitation policy
1 - Policy drafted but not endorsed
2 - Policy endorsed and published
Is there one national plan to meet the sanitation MDG target? (San. plan)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No plan
1 - Plan under preparation, or no agreement
2 - Plan agreed and being implemented
Is adequate attention given to sanitation within the PRSP? (Priority in PRSP)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - Sanitation only mentioned as an afterthought to water supply
1 - PRSP has a sanitation section but no targets and no dedicated budget
2 - PRSP has specific sanitation targets and breaks down urban/rural, with dedicated budgets
Is there a principal accountable institution to take leadership on sanitation? (Single lead)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - Lack of clarity on which institution is leading on sanitation
1 - Single institution designated, but no capacity or resources to fulfil its mandate
2 - Single institution with mandate to provide leadership for sanitation programs and monitoring
Is there one coordinating body for sanitation involving all stakeholders? (Coordinating body)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No single effective coordinating body with mandate to coordinate sanitation
1 - One body exists, but without mandate, capacity and resources, or is not recognised by all
2 - One body with mandate, capacity and resources, recognised by other organisations as the coordinating body.
Is there provision within the policy and investment plan for sanitation sector capacity development? (Capacity dev.)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No strategy on sanitation sector capacity development
1 - Capacity development mentioned, but few details and little resources allocated
2 - Provision for addressing human resources, technical and organisational capacity, with dedicated funds
Is there a specific public sector budget line for sanitation? (Budget line)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No dedicated budget line for sanitation
1 - Budget line, but allocations are not used
2 - Dedicated sanitation budget line at national or local level, and allocations are used
Is there a sector investment plan for sanitation? (Investment plan)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No sector investment plan
1 - Plan exists, but no specific funds for sanitation, or the necessary funds are not being disbursed
2 - Sector investment plan exists, with dedicated plans for sanitatation, and is being fully funded
Is 0.5% of GDP allocated to sanitation? (0.5% GDP)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - Allocation less than 0.1% of GDP
1 - Allocation between 0.1%-0.5% of GDP
2 - Public sector budget allocation for sanitation at least 0.5% of GDP
Is there a sanitation performance monitoring system? (Monitoring)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No formal M+E framework
1 - M&E framework in place, but not used by all stakeholders, or has a lack of capacity or resources
2 - M&E framework used by all stakeholders, with effective information systems and accountability relationships

Water

Is there a comprehensive policy for water supply? (Water policy)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - Policy on water supply in general is unclear
1 - Policy on either urban or rural water is unclear
2 - Policies on urban and rural water supply are clear and published
Is there a plan for meeting the water MDG target or equivalent? (Water plan)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No plan
1 - Plan under preparation, or no agreement
2 - Plan agreed and being implemented
Are there specific measures in the plan for targeting poor people, and addressing the interests of women? (Targeting poor)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No measures
1 - Some measures, but they are unclear or not being implemented
2 - Clear measures, and they are being implemented well
Is there a lead ministry responsible for water supply? (Lead ministry)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No clarity on lead ministry
1 - Lead ministry agreed in theory, but there are still disagreements about certain issues
2 - Lead ministry agreed, and they are providing solid leadership
Is there clear separation of institutional roles? (Clear roles)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No clarity on roles at all
1 - Roles are separated in theory, but there is still confusion and inertia in some areas
2 - Clear roles for each issue, and all institutions are fulfilling their mandate
Are donors harmonising their support behind national sector plans? (Donors harmonising)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - All donors are working separately from the government, or through NGOs
1 - Only a few donors are harmonising their support behind the national plan
2 - The vast majority of donor support is harmonised and fully supportive of the plan
Is there provision within the policy for water supply sector capacity development? (Capacity dev.)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No strategy on water supply sector capacity development
1 - Capacity development mentioned, but few details and little resources allocated
2 - Provision for addressing human resources, technical and organisational capacity, with dedicated funds
Is there a sector investment plan for water supply? (Investment plan)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No sector investment plan
1 - Plan exists, but the necessary funds are not being disbursed
2 - Sector investment plan exists and is being fully funded
Are actors responsible for delivering water supply services adequately resourced, particularly if local governments? (Adequate resource)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - Inadequate decentralisation means that funds are not getting to where they are needed
1 - Much finance is not properly decentralised and so some funds are going unspent
2 - Finance is getting down to the local level and is being utilised efficiently
Is there an effective framework for performance monitoring? (Monitoring)
Contributors are encouraged to use these criteria and their own judgement.
0 - No formal M+E framework
1 - M&E framework in place, but not used by all stakeholders, or has a lack of capacity or resources
2 - M&E framework used by all stakeholders, with effective information systems and accountability relationships

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Disclaimer

WASHwatch.org is an online collaborative project. It is an online platform for civil society organisations (CSOs) to monitor government commitments and financing in a collaborative way. The structure of the project allows anyone with an Internet connection and a login to alter its content, and anyone can apply for a login. WASHwatch.org is a host not an editor. Therefore, WASHwatch.org cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The administrators should not be taken to endorse any third party comments on the site, or any third party comments to which links are included.

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