In September of 2016, we introduced our first-ever Global Citizen accountability report to stakeholders around the world, which provided insights into the status of commitments made since 2012 for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) on our platform.
With that report on the progress of 25 WASH commitments, we promised that Global Citizen's WASH accountability reporting had just begun. Updates on the existing and future reports serve as an integral step to ensure that commitments made as a result of Global Citizens’ actions, and the advocacy work of the Global Citizen team or from our platforms, fulfill the promises made to Global Citizens on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
And now, with our first accountability update report, we are striving to keep our own promise as part of our Earth Day Challenge week. This report launch coinciding with Earth Day is very fitting, given access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene supports a healthy planet. For example, access to WASH prevents unsanitary contamination of our water and land, and supports resilience to climate change and environmental shifts through promoting strong water and sanitation systems, infrastructure, and technology.
The cross-cutting effects of access to WASH are also far-reaching, such as the subsequent increased access to education when girls are able to manage their periods in safety and with dignity at school through menstrual hygiene management. And, when girls are educated, they encourage their families and communities to practice environmentally sustainable uses of their land and water sources.
Our update report, launched today, reviews the progress achieved toward intended impact for some of our more at-risk commitments following the findings in our first WASH report last year. This will help place us in the strongest possible position to undertake any necessary follow-up advocacy efforts, and hold those commitments accountable to Global Citizens.
The update report also overviews new WASH commitments made on our platform since our last report, published in August 2016. While our update report does not comprehensively review impact from all of Global Citizen’s WASH campaigning, it was developed to incentivize a constructive dialogue, leading to positive action by partners responsible for the delivery of some of our more vulnerable commitments, for reasons ranging from under resourcing, to serious setbacks caused by natural disaster.
That being said, we have also taken the opportunity to highlight a number of shining examples of WASH commitments, whose progress is either admirable or completed with notable success.
Given Global Citizens have taken 1,091,237 actions for WASH since last August, commitment makers and stakeholders alike should take note that Global Citizens stand ready to mobilize action to see all our commitments and announcements honoured for the 2.4 billion people living without adequate sanitation and the 663 million people without safe water.
With 28 new commitments and announcements for WASH — worth $2.4 billion and set to affect the lives of 486 million people by 2030 — WASH is proving to be one of our most effective campaigning strategies in support of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. With our ongoing accountability promise, we stand stronger than ever in our preparedness to support world leaders, businesses, organizations and individuals succeed in meeting their global responsibilities.
Our 28 new commitments and announcements generated 23 new items for WASH accountability tracking. There are fewer items for us to track than there are new commitments and announcements, as a number of new items provide updates on previous commitments. We also added an additional accountability item to track where Global Citizen itself was called to action by our partner announcements made at Global Citizen Festival India.This is in order to hold ourselves to the same level of accountability as we expect of others. Of these 23 new items, 6 are currently on track, 4 are progressing with some risk, none are at risk of not meeting their targets, and 13 are too soon to report on.
The update report also gives full updates on the progress of six of the 25 pre-existing commitments and announcements, (and a further three which contribute to the outcomes of two of those existing commitments). For those items, two had improved, one had declined and three were still progressing with a similar level of risk.
Included in these findings, we are delighted to note that with herculean effort, Nepal now appears back on track to meet their target to become open defecation free by the end of 2017, despite significant setbacks caused by the April 2015 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Meanwhile, we note that Madagascar has now adjusted their national target to become open defecation free by one year to 2019. However, we understand from our partners at WSSCC that this revised target is a realistic goal.
In compiling this report, we highlighted three key trends framing our understanding of accountability on WASH going forward, which you can learn more about within the report itself:
— The need to address the full breadth of Sustainable Development Goal 6 and fill the gap left by the Millennium Development Goals on WASH
— The need to maintain momentum and break the poo taboo once and for all
— Financing WASH and SDG 6
We now invite you to take a look at the first of many Global Citizen WASH accountability update reports here