[2020 International Mayors Forum Preparatory Webinar Series - Webinar #3] Delivering basic services to Leave No One Behind – Closing the WASH Gap
Delivering basic services to Leave No One Behind - Closing the WASH Gap
Recording of the Webinar
Documents and Readings
CONCEPT NOTE (Updated as of 7 October 2020)
SPEAKER BIOGRAPHY (Updated as of 11 October 2020)
Access to basic services such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are indispensable in the fight against pandemics such as COVID-19 and other major diseases. Today, many countries are increasing access to WASH as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic locally, but gaps remain especially in vulnerable communities, informal settlements and as the economic impacts of the pandemic weigh in financing progress on WASH is a challenge.
Strengthening access to WASH is central to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” but growing urban inequalities persist when it comes to access to basic services like WASH. While the gap between richest and poorest in access to sanitation was reduced in 52 countries, it has increased in 22 countries (JMP, 2019). Three out of ten people lacking access to basic services such as sanitation live in cities, often in informal settlements. Rapid urban growth rates coupled with striking existing sanitation gaps make this an imperative for local governments in Africa and Asia if the response to pandemics such as COVID-19 is to be effective.
Local governments, both urban and rural, are all facing budgetary challenges in light of COVID-19’s economic impacts. Already, in recent UN data collected through country surveys, the majority of countries noted that while policies and plans are in place for hygiene, they often lack sufficient human and financial resources to implement the plans. As per Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 6.2.1 on the proportion of the population with a handwashing facility with soap and water at home, however, out of the 38 countries that reported having basic hygiene targets for handwashing facilities on premises with soap, only nine countries (23%) could provide data on current coverage for this target. The current pandemic has made data collection on WASH coverage a challenge, especially in smaller municipal areas.
The United Nations has launched the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework which aims to ensure rapid results at scale as part of the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030 and ensure water and sanitation for all. The framework notes that at the local level, outdated infrastructure and governance slows the achievement of SDG 6 along with a clear lack of capacity and finance among local governments and water and sanitation providers. With this background, the webinar will explore current trends in the Africa and Asia-Pacific regions, including WASH disparities and effective models for accelerating local progress on WASH amid the current pandemic to leave no one behind.
This webinar is organized by the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Objectives and Content
This webinar is part of a series of online webinars exploring specific sessions under the 2020 International Mayors Forum. The 2020 International Mayors Forum examines the socio-economic and ecological impacts of the current crisis on local governments.
This webinar aims to provide local governments and local actors with some knowledge to help them go in that direction, while supporting a swift recovery from COVID-19 and advancing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development. Local governments are currently facing multiple challenges in delivering crucial public services such as Water and Sanitation as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic its complex impacts. The Forum explores how local governments and local actors can work together for an inclusive resilient recovery and sustainable urban future
This webinar aims to engage sub-national government representatives, local government leaders, and national institutions across the UN Member States (time zones: Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific).
The webinar will also be open to non-government experts working in the areas of national to local SDG implementation and WASH areas, as well as all areas of municipal management and territorial development. Experts working on all related areas across sustainable cities and public services are also welcomed to join. The webinar is also open to academia, youth, and other interested stakeholders to ensure an inclusive and integrated discussion on accelerated local solutions for accelerating the 2030 Agenda in the decade of action.
- Mr. Jean D’Aragon, Officer in Charge, UN Office for Sustainable Development, UN DESA
- Mr. Carlos Carrion-Crespo, Specialist, Public Services, International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Ms. Julie Perkins, Officer-in-Charge, Global Water Operators' Partnerships' Alliance (GWOPA) Urban Basic Services Section, Urban Practices Branch, UN-Habitat
- Ms. Sareen Malik, Executive Secretary, African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW)
- Ms. Gertrude Rose Gamwera, Secretary-General, Uganda Local Governments Association
- Mr. Andres Hueso, Sanitation Senior Policy Analyst, WaterAid
- Ms. Bindu Taylor-Brewer, Chief Resilience Officer, Paynesville, Liberia
For more information:
Sara Castro de Hallgren, UNOSD, UN DESA at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the purpose of this event, UNOSD procures the services of Cisco Webex, an external service provider. Registration for this webinar is supported by the Webex Events registration mechanism and does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities