Tracking global progress on water, sanitation, and hygiene in ‘One for All’ Focus Countries – a collaboration between WASHNote, IRCWash and Water for People

One for All Global Landscape

IRC and Water For People have recently joined forces as ‘One for All‘. IRC and Water for People have jointly developed a strategy for their work in water, sanitation, and hygiene systems change at local, national, and global levels. The Results Framework contains metrics for each level of work; globally, they seek to facilitate transformational change in how services are provided around the world.

Together with IRC and Water for People, we recently completed a report on the status of 24 global landscape indicators – a set of indicators looking at a range of themes, including the population with access to at least basic services, the spread of access between wealth quintiles, financial commitments and disbursements, political will, and institutional capacity, amongst others. The report aims to highlight the progress and current status of One for All Focus Countries, which include: Honduras, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India and Bangladesh. Nonetheless, these are compared to regional and global averages as well. All analyses will be repeated in future years in order to document progress over time.

Looking at secondary data sources: JMP, OECD and others

We used secondary data sources like GLAAS, the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring Program (JMP), OECD, and Sanitation and Water for All (SWA). Further building on the work of the jmpwashdata data science library, which is now available for use, we were able to creatively visualize the number and proportion of people which have access to WASH services. This was done not only for the most recent data (2020), but also projected into the future based on the Annual Rate of Change (ARC) to be able to present a possible scenario for 2030. See the figure below:

We also further disaggregated these findings depending on wealth quintiles, boding very interesting (albeit shocking) results. For example, we projected that in Ethiopia approximately 33 million people in the lowest two wealth quintiles will still lack access to basic drinking water. This equates to over half (~56%) of the population in these wealth quintiles, but less than a quarter of the total population (~23%), indicating severe disparities in equity which should be adequately addressed. However, it is important to note that the data quality for JMP’s inequality spreadsheets is not as strong as the global dataset. The figure below shows the spread of data quality for the countries we assessed, based on the JMP’s country inequalities files.

Similarly, OECD data on Aid Commitments and Disbursements for WASH was downloaded and is now available as an R package and CSV file. We found that both commitments and disbursements seem to fluctuate over time, but that there is no clear trend.

Based on these analyses, some next steps include developing clear targets for each indicator, and also supporting focus countries in reaching these goals.


Dickinson, N. 2021. jmpwashdata: WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme Water and Sanitation Data. R package version 0.1.4.

GLAAS. 2021. UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water Data Portal.

OECD-CRS. 2023. OECD Creditor Reporting System.

WHO/UNICEF. 2023. WASH Data.

Comparing water point based and household survey based water access estimates with publicly available data

Water access graph comparing JMP and WPDx access

I am excited to share with WPDx a preprint of a study comparing different ways of measuring access to water services. . Comment and download the pre-print here:

It builds on the work of the jmpwashdata data science library that I started last year to enable researchers to use JMP WASH data like never before .

The purpose of the study is to determine how water point level estimates for rural basic water service coverage from the Water Point Data Exchange (WPdx) compare to the household level estimates from the Joint Monitoring Programme of WHO/UNICEF (JMP) in multiple geographies. The study describes how these different estimates are produced and proposes the comparison of JMP basic minus services on premises to WPdx basic access. WPdx basic access estimates the population with 1km of an improved water point. Comparing between metrics and triangulating different measured results can be useful to validate conclusions and inform decision making. This study finds a relatively strong correlation and linear trend between these two estimates in four countries that suggests that using household surveys and water point inventories together can be useful to decision makers who may only have one or the other data sources or may want to validate the conclusions from one against another. The WPdx basic estimates allow a more granular geographical level of access estimates that can be useful to districts and enable national vulnerability assessments. This could strengthen the type of analysis provided in JMP inequality charts showing the differences between country regions. At the same time, further research is needed to validate these trends at these lower geographical levels. Rural water leaders, including national and local governments, development partners, service providers and civil society should continue to advocate for the publication of water point data and the validation of access estimates on the basis of publicly available information. This plays an important role in improving the quality of both public and private data sets and analyses used by researchers and decision makers.

Read more about the study in the WPDx blog.


This study would not have been possible without the contribution of open data on water points by data providers to WPdx. Members of the Water Point Data Exchange (WPdx) working group reviewed both the proposal and findings of this work. Katy Sill of WPdx first recognized the potential of the work, provided invaluable feedback, and responded quickly with explanations about how the WPdx algorithms work while investigating and delivering improvements to the tools when required to make this comparison possible.

Similarly, the National Statistics Offices (NSOs) and the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) made it possible to use household survey data from different countries. I would like to thank the Joint Monitoring Programme of WHO/UNICEF (JMP) team for sharing country, regional and global estimates of progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in households as well as the estimates for the sub-indicators required to generate those estimates, for providing clarifications about the JMP methodology, and for taking time to reflect on study findings.

This material is based upon work supported by USAID under award number 7200AA18CA00033.