Water sanitation hygiene

Monitoring sanitation

A young girl covering a latrine
UNICEF/LeMoyne

SDG target 6.2 calls for achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and ending open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations. The indicator used to measure progress is the percentage of the population using safely managed sanitation services, which is defined as the population using an improved sanitation facility at the household level which is not shared with other households (the indicator used for MDG monitoring) and where excreta is safely disposed in situ or treated off-site.

Although 2.1 billion people gained access to improved sanitation facilities between 1990 and 2015, the world missed the MDG target for sanitation by almost 700 million people. Many improved sanitation facilities will not be counted as ‘safely managed’, because solid and liquid faecal wastes are not safely disposed of or treated. Monitoring of sanitation will now follow faecal wastes from the household through treatment and disposal, including emptying of pit latrines and septic tanks, and offsite treatment of wastewater or faecal sludge.

The JMP is currently producing baseline estimates for SDG Target 6.2 on sanitation and hygiene and has opened a ‘data drive’ to collect information that could be used for global reporting purposes, with the aim of publishing an SDG baseline in summer 2017.

Further information

Explanatory note and data request format

See also