28 August 2019

SDG Background

Author/Compiled by
Raphael Graser (Antenna Foundation)

Executive Summary

This background factsheet gives you an overview over the SDGs and how they are implemented, SDG number 6 in particular.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDGs were initiated in 2015 and comprise 17 targets with 169 sub-goals. The initiative builds on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including additional areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice among other priorities. The goals are interconnected as key to success in one target will often involve tackling issues associated to that target.

Of special interest for water is the SDG number 6 [ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all]. For safe water businesses goals 6.1: “By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all” and 6.3 “by 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally” (UN 2017) can serve as vision and provides it per se with a raison d’être in parallel.

SDG 6 in detail

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normative interpretation of SDG 6
Normative interpretation of SDG 6 (adapted from UNICEF, 2017 - own illustration)
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How are the SDGs implemented?

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The SDGs aim to tackle the root causes of poverty and aim at uniting the world to make a positive change for both people and planet. With the commitment of States, multilateral organisations, businesses and a variety of civil society organization stakeholders and the respective promised investments, a real change can be achieved. Including these various stakeholders helps tackling targets with the spirit of partnerships and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life in a sustainable way for future generations. Clear guidelines and targets are provided for all countries. These guidelines have been adapted by all states individually in accordance with their own priorities and implementation to fight the environmental challenges of the world at large. Of main importance for the water sector is that, compared to the preceding goals, the Millennium Development Goals, not only access to water as such, but access to safe water is included in the new water goal. This obligation brings great chances for people around the world who have been highly neglected in receiving access to safe water options. On the other hand, this aspect sets great terms of conditions for innovative safe water businesses reaching out for support that allows scaling.

Library References
Further Readings

UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-water (GLAAS)

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/monitoring/investments/glaas/en/ [Accessed: 19.02.2018]

The objective of GLAAS is to provide policy- and decision-makers at all levels with a reliable, easily accessible, comprehensive and global analysis of the investments and enabling environment to make informed decisions for sanitation, drinking-water and hygiene. Every two years a report is launched.

Reaching for the SDGs: The Untapped Potential of Tanzania's Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector

This article lays out findings of a diagnostic exercise of how the SDGs in the Tanzanian WASH sector can be improved.

World Bank (2017): Reaching for the SDGs: The Untapped Potential of Tanzania's Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector. (= WASH Poverty Diagnostic ). Washington, DC: World Bank

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