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”.

There are three main ways to meet the criteria for having a safely managed sanitation service. People should use improved sanitation facilities which are not shared with other households, and the excreta produced should either be:

  • treated and disposed in situ,
  • stored temporarily and then emptied and transported to treatment off-site, or
  • transported through a sewer with wastewater and then treated off-site.

If the excreta from improved sanitation facilities are not safely managed then people using those facilities will be classed as having a basic sanitation service (SDG 1.4). People using improved facilities which are shared with other households will be classified as having a limited service. The JMP will also continue to monitor the population practising open defecation which is an explicit focus of SDG target 6.2.

The JMP 2017 update estimated that in 2015, 61% of the global population (4.5 billion people) lacked safely managed sanitation services. These people either used basic toilets or latrine (2.1 billion), shared toilets among several households (600 million), used poorly constructed latrines or buckets (856 million), or defecated in the open (892 million).

Further information

See also