6.2.1 Proportion of Population with Basic Handwashing Facilities on Premises
Target 6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Custodian Organization: World Health Organization (WHO) & United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Tier Classification: Tier I
To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:
Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.
Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.
Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.
Definition: The Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services, including a handwashing facility with soap and water is currently being measured by the proportion of the population using a basic sanitation facility which is not shared with other households and where excreta is safely disposed in situ or treated off-site. ‘Improved’ sanitation facilities include: flush or pour flush toilets to sewer systems, septic tanks or pit latrines, ventilated improved pit latrines, pit latrines with a slab, and composting toilets.
Concepts: Population with a basic handwashing facility: a device to contain, transport or regulate the flow of water to facilitate handwashing with soap and water in the household.
Improved sanitation facilities include the following: flush or pour flush toilets to sewer systems, septic tanks or pit latrines, ventilated improved pit latrines, pit latrines with a slab, and composting toilets.
Safely disposed in situ: when pit latrines and septic tanks are not emptied, the excreta may still remain isolated from human contact and can be considered safely managed. For example, with the new SDG indicator, households that use twin pit latrines or safely abandon full pit latrines and dig new facilities, a common practice in rural areas, would be counted as using safely managed sanitation services.
Treated offsite: not all excreta from toilet facilities conveyed in sewers (as wastewater) or emptied from pit latrines and septic tanks (as faecal sludge) reaches a treatment site. For instance, a portion may leak from the sewer itself or, due to broken pumping installations, be discharged directly to the environment. Similarly, a portion of the faecal sludge emptied from containers may be discharged into open drains, to open ground or water bodies, rather than being transported to a treatment plant. And finally, even once the excreta reaches a treatment plant a portion may remain untreated, due to dysfunctional treatment equipment or inadequate treatment capacity, and be discharged to the environment. For the purposes of SDG monitoring, adequacy of treatment will initially be assessed based on the reported level of treatment.
A handwashing facility with soap and water: a handwashing facility is a device to contain, transport or regulate the flow of water to facilitate handwashing. This indicator is a proxy of actual handwashing practice, which has been found to be more accurate than other proxies such as self-reports of handwashing practices.
Rationale: MDG target 7C called for ‘sustainable access’ to ‘basic sanitation’. The JMP developed the metric of use of ‘improved’ sanitation facilities, which are likely to hygienically separate human excreta from human contact, and has used this indicator to track progress towards the MDG target since 2000. International consultations since 2011 have established consensus on the need to build on and address the shortcomings of this indicator; specifically, to address normative criteria of the human right to water including accessibility, acceptability, and safety. Furthermore, the safe management of faecal wastes should be considered, as discharges of untreated wastewater into the environment create public health hazards.
The above consultation concluded that post-2015 targets, which apply to all countries, should go beyond the basic level of access and address indicators of safe management of sanitation services, including dimensions of accessibility, acceptability and safety. The Expert Working Group called for analysis of faecal waste management along the sanitation chain, including containment, emptying of latrines and septic tanks, and safe on-site disposal or the transport and treatment of wastes at a designated treatment site. Classification of treatment will be based on categories defined by SEEA and the
International Recommendations for Water Statistics and following a laddered approach (primary, secondary and tertiary treatment).
Handwashing with soap is widely agreed to be the top hygiene priority for improving health outcomes. In 2008 and 2009, the JMP supported a review of indicators of handwashing practice, and determined that the most practical approach leading to reliable measurement of handwashing in national household surveys was observation of the place where household members wash their hands and noting the presence of water and soap (or local alternative) at that location. This provides a measure of whether households have the necessary tools for handwashing and is a proxy for their behaviour. Observation by survey enumerators represents a more reliable, valid and efficient indicator for measuring handwashing behaviour than asking individuals to report their own behaviour.
Limitations: A framework for measuring faecal waste flows and safety factors has been developed and piloted in 12 countries (World Bank Water and Sanitation Program, 2014), and is being adopted and scaled up within the sanitation sector. This framework has served as the basis for indicators 6.2.1 and 6.3.1. Data on safe disposal and treatment are not available for all countries. However, sufficient data were available to make global and regional estimates of safely managed sanitation services in 2017.
Presence of a handwashing station with soap and water does not guarantee that household members consistently wash hands at key times, but has been accepted as the most suitable proxy. Data were available for 70 countries in 2017.
Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data from the UN Statistics Division is compiled by the respective custodian for the SDG indicator, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.
Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.
6.2.1 Proportion of Population with Basic Handwashing Facilities on Premises in the Sustainable Development Goals
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6. Ensure access to water and sanitation for all
Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. Drought afflicts some of the world’s poorest countries, worsening hunger and malnutrition.
By 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.
Related 6.2.1 Proportion of Population with Basic Handwashing Facilities on Premises Targets
By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations