AfricaSan5 THEMES

Accelerating Progress Towards the Ngor Commitments to Achieve the SDGs.

SUB-THEME #1: Sanitation, Hygiene and the SDGs: Leave no one behind


Leaving no one behind underpins all the Sustainable Development Goals and the Ngor commitments. This is because it is often the poorest and most vulnerable who bear the brunt of the public health burden, have the poorest health outcomes, and are the most deprived when it comes to public services. In order to ensure universal, safely managed sanitation and hygiene, we need to be better at identifying and targeting those who are hardest to reach with specific strategies and interventions.

This sub-theme will cover proven, transferable initiatives around:


  • Reaching the poorest, the vulnerable and most marginalized

  • Ensuring inclusive processes and outcomes

  • Gender and the relationship between men and women, boys and girls

  • Roles, positions and impacts of women and girls

  • Supporting those living with physical or mental challenges.


There are other issues that are central to the achievement of the clean water and sanitation sustainable develop goals that are often overlooked.


To reflect this, this sub-theme also examined:


  • Sustaining services and behaviors

  • WASH in institutions


SUB-THEME #2: Policies, Institutions and Regulation


Effective policies, institutions and regulations are core part of our collective progress towards achieving the Ngor commitments and SDGs. The policy landscape together with the institutional and regulatory framework, provide the enabling environment for improvements in infrastructure and sanitation service delivery expansion. Sector reforms are still required in many countries to further align and strengthen the sector’s accountability and effectiveness.


This theme provided a platform to share:


  • How countries have responded to aspects t deal with networked and non-networked sanitation service provision in both rural and urban areas in terms of policy, institutional reform and regulation.

  • Progress made in the areas of sanitation and hygiene policy reform and improvement, successes in institutional restructuring to enable the prioritization of sanitation and hygiene.

  • Progress on regulation of rural and urban sanitation and hygiene

  • Structuring and using smart tariffs, taxes and transfers to expand coverage to low income communities.

  • Political commitments to ensure that policy moves to impactful implementation.

  • Cross sector experiences beyond collaboration, achieving the true potential of integrated multi-sectorial efforts.

  • How the effects of rapid urbanization and the challenges it presents for sanitation and hygiene being dealt with in informal settlements

  • Advocacy successes to change sanitation and hygiene policy



SUB-THEME #3: Monitoring and using evidence to improve hygiene & sanitation


With the Ngor Declaration, African countries have committed to establish government-led monitoring, reporting, evaluation, learning and review systems (national and sub-national) and focus on progressively eliminating inequalities in access and use (Commitment 1 & 9).  Universities, The academia, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders are using information technologies to facilitate the use of data for the R&D and even operations of sanitation services. While African countries are making progress setting up standards and information systems to improve services and share results in multi-stakeholder reviews at national level, there remain significant challenges.


Sessions in this sub-theme highlight:


Successful approaches, especially from Africa, showing progressive improvement in:

  • Monization of reporting processes: national, regional, and global

  • Setting up of sanitation and hygiene information systems

  • Estimating required investments to achieve basic and safely managed services

  • Assessing human resource needs

  • Budget tracking

  • Sustainability evaluations

  • Using data to develop products and services (emptying services, construction, supply chains, etc.)


African innovators and non-African cases demonstrated the use of data in critical areas where African countries have reported limited progress:


  • Nationally accepted evaluations and identification of the vulnerable and unserved groups

  • M&E of basic and advanced services in public spaces, schools, health centers and other institution

  • Communicating M&E results: raising the priority of hygiene and sanitation outcomes at sub-national level and with civil society and citizens

  • Tracking / monitoring of untreated fecal waste being disposed in the environment

  • Evaluation of hygiene and sanitation products and services, including where necessary, certification

  • Data being used to improve hygiene approaches and outcomes



SUB-THEME #4: Building the Capacity and Financing Sanitation in Africa


a)  Capacity Development


Public and private institutions at all levels must have the capacity to carry out their roles and responsibilities for effective sanitation and hygiene service delivery. Having a skilled pool of professionals is pivotal to progress. Developing and funding strategies to bridge the sanitation and hygiene human resource capacity gap at all levels is prioritized within the Ngor commitments on sanitation and hygiene (Ngor Commitment #5). However, recent analysis has shown that progress has been slow across Africa.


The capacity development session will present proven and transferable cases from the WASH and other sectors on what has been done to address sanitation capacity development, which countries in Africa can learn from. Possible discussion areas could include:


  • Identification and analysis of capacity development needs in sanitation & hygiene programming.

  • Best practices and mechanisms of building capacity; examples of how capacity building institutions (government training institutions, universities, NGOs) can effectively engage to address demand.

  • Innovative models of capacity building and knowledge exchange.


(b) Financing


Financing is a key enabler for sanitation and hygiene programming. The World Bank estimates that achieving WASH targets will cost approximately US$114 billion a year between now and 2030, and those are only the costs for constructing new infrastructure, not the costs of operating and maintaining infrastructure over time.  Meanwhile, Official Development Assistance (ODA) hovers around US$18 billion a year – far short of what is needed. 


Ngor Commitment #3, “establish and track sanitation and hygiene budget lines that consistently increase annually to reach a minimum of 0.5% GDP by 2020” is one of the  commitments that African countries have made the least progress on. worst performing indicator. Innovative financing mechanisms will be needed to fill this financial gap.


The financing session offered proven and transferable cases on what has been done to fill gaps in sanitation financing, which countries in Africa can learn from. Possible discussion included:

  • Proven strategies and mechanisms for mobilizing resources to finance sanitation and hygiene; incentivizing investments by governments, private sector and households; combination of finance mechanisms – taxes, tariffs and direct transfers, etc.

  • Best practices in sanitation investment planning and allocation; estimation of investment needs to meet targets for safely managed and basic sanitation services; trends in the flow and use of domestic resources, donor contributions and private sector resources.

  • Mechanisms for improving sanitation expenditure accountability and transparency; improving efficiency and effectiveness of existing resources; systems to track financial investments from national to sub-national levels etc.

  • Moving from leadership and coordination to improved sector financing.