The WASH Web is a vision to improve the quality and use of public information on water, sanitation and hygiene. WASHNote is committed to working collaboratively, in particular with open source communities, standards organizations, and data providers to ensure an open WASH Web built on the best standards for data access, security and privacy. The goal is that we all have access to key information and insights needed to discuss, plan and achieve the water, sanitation and hygiene-related Sustainable Development Goals. “We” means users, civil society, government, NGOs and the private sector.
We know this is a crisis: 29% of people lacked safely managed drinking water supplies and 55% were without safely managed sanitation services in 2017 (JMP, 2019). It is estimated that USD 114 billion / year is required to meet SDG 6.1 + 6.2 (Hutton & Varughese, 2016) while overseas development aid has been estimated close to USD 18 billion / year. Much more is needed.
Yet, we cannot make the case because we are running relatively blind in the water and sanitation sector. Blind in terms of exactly who is providing what services and whether they are up to standard. Blind in terms of the investments going into the sector.
By linking existing and new sources of WASH information, we can make the case. Visibility of the real situation on the ground will stimulate the trust and engagement of finance, civil society, and governments to meet the SDG commitments as well as national and community goals. There is a need to join together to generate more insight in water and sanitation services.
At WASHNote, we have identified three pathways to start to strengthen the WASH Web ecosystem:
1. A registry of WASH organizations to know who is doing what.
2. A web or thesaurus of WASH knowledge to link knowledge and data sources together.
3. The WASH Web dataset of countries and currencies to be able to better visualize WASH finance over time. This includes prices, budgets, transactions, life-cycle costs and more.
Why call it WASH Web?
At WASHNote, we believe in open standards. The World Wide Web is built on collaboration of different institutions agreeing to set a standard way to share information and to “hyperlink” from one web page to another. It unlocked communication and information in unprecedented ways. Now we have a variety of initiatives, Wikipedia, Governments, Google, Facebook, all building on this collection of standards. The WASH sector needs a way to hyperlink all the information that is already there and provide everyone from decision makers to water and sanitation service users access to key information on their service areas. Only then can we all accelerate action and collaboration on achieving the water and sanitation related Sustainable Development Goals.
WASHNote is committed to working collaboratively, in particular with open source communities, standards organizations, and data providers to ensure an open WASH Web built on the best standards for data access, security and privacy.