On 8-10 February 2022  UN-Water Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG6) hosted the 2nd Global Workshop on Integrated Monitoring of SDG 6 on Water and Sanitation, which builds on the first global workshop held in the Hague in November 2017.

The overall purpose of the workshop was to provide a platform for country focal points and UN custodian agencies to take stock of the efforts to date to report on progress towards SDG 6, to look at next steps for using SDG 6 data, and to prepare for future work on SDG 6 monitoring and reporting.

The primary target audience of the workshop were the national experts involved in the monitoring and reporting of SDG 6 data to the United Nations, including:

- Indicator-specific focal points (who typically compile and submit a country’s data on specific SDG 6 indicators)

- Overall focal points (who typically keep track of a country’s SDG 6 data submissions and encourages coordination and collaboration across indicators)

- SDG contacts in national statistical offices (who typically has overall responsibility for a country’s SDG reporting). Also participating in the workshop were representatives from the eight UN agencies that are appointed as custodians of the 11 global indicators under SDG 6 and the UN-Water Technical Advisory Unit, i.e., the partners of IMI-SDG6.

Further, various UN agencies and international organisations were invited to participate in the workshop, based on their engagement in water and sanitation data compilation, reporting and use at global, regional and national levels. Likewise, a number of regional organizations as well as development partners were also invited.

The workshop consisted of three sessions:

With the first regular session: Stock-taking SDG 6 monitoring to date, the aim was to collect country feedback on the work on SDG 6 monitoring during the last several years, including the associated reporting process and capacity building support, and to discuss cross-cutting challenges and how to improve country level collaboration across indicators and sectors.

The second regular session: Data for policy and communication was about the next steps for using the collected data to inform policy, including how to communicate the data in a way that make it actionable for various audiences. In this session case studies on data use at various levels (from global to local) were covered and also got advice from an external communications expert.

The third session: Needs and priorities for the future was a ‘real time consulting’, where a number of countries ask participants for advice on specific monitoring issues that they are encountering. This exercise helped to prepare for the final part of the session, where the presenters outlined the needs and priorities for the future work on SDG 6 monitoring at the global level.

In 2023, IMI-SDG6 enters its third phase. While support to countries on SDG 6 monitoring and reporting remains at its core, the focus will increasingly shift towards data use and policy integration. To help plan for this phase, IMI-SDG6 is currently undergoing an external review, in which country focal points will be asked to provide feedback on the work to date. In addition to being a means for learning and exchange between countries and an opportunity to discuss data use for policy, the 2nd Global Workshop also became an important platform to help identify needs and priorities for future SDG 6 monitoring at various levels.