Water Sanitation Health

Core Questions on Drinking-water and Sanitation for Household Surveys

How many people lack access to drinking-water and sanitation? This question is usually answered through the outputs of household surveys and censuses conducted throughout the world. But due to wide variations in survey tools and methods, comparison between different surveys is problematic. To help overcome this problem, the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) has developed a set of harmonized survey questions (the 'Core Questions') to help resolve these comparability problems. Including this question set in national surveys and censuses will help countries gain more systematic information on the drinking-water and sanitation practices and needs of the population.

The core question set presented in this document is already in use by the Demographic and Health Surveys, the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, and the World Health Survey. JMP wishes to encourage widespread use of these harmonized questions in countries both to facilitate evidence-based decision-making at national level and to help enhance the accuracy of its own information.