Global Goals: Agenda 2030

 The Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), which expire this year, are a set of eight global development goals for improving livelihoods and wellbeing, around topics such as improvements in access to water and sanitation, food security, education, gender equality, health, and environmental sustainability. Since their inception in 2000, the MDGs have played a central role in shaping official development processes, policy, and donor decision-making.

According to official figures, the MDG to halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water by 2015 has been met, with over 2 billion people – mainly in China and India – gaining access, although the degree to which this is affordable or safe water has not been measured. The target to halve the number of people without access to basic sanitation still remains far off-track and, without an improvement to the current rate of progress it is not expected to be met for another 200 years.

When the MDGs expire, they will be replaced by a set of Sustainable Development Goals - the Global Goals - which will set the development framework for the next 15 years. In response to criticisms that the MDGs were established through non-inclusive, top-down mechanisms in which the voice of civil society and people in the South generally were excluded, and in which targets took precedence over processes, the post-2015 framework has sought to facilitate the involvement of a wide range of civil society groups.

Due to dedicated hard work and advocacy from so many in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) over the past few year, all United Nations Member States have now officially adopted 'Agenda 2030'. We welcome these ambitious and far-reaching goals and targets; it is especially a win that there is a dedicated water and sanitation goal - Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and santitation for all.  Water and sanitation issues underpin nearly every other development indicator encompassed in the current and future development frameworks, and are a critical priority for all.

End Water Poverty celebrates that water and sanitation is included in the Global Goals, and that the human right to water and sanitation is explicitly included. Realising this human right must be an explicit target to ensure that everyone has access to safe, affordable water, and safe, affordable and acceptable sanitation. Together we can achieve the change we want and truly end the water and sanitation crisis. We support Goal 6!

EWP has engaged in many processes in the development, lead up and adoption of Agenda 2030. The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global Goals as they have now come to be known, replace the Millennium Development Goals which concluded at the end of 2015. We celebrate the Global Goals that were adopted and signed on 25 September 2015! We are particularly delighted about the inclusion and prioritisation of Goal 6: ensure availability and sustainable management of access to water and sanitation for all. What an achievement for the WASH sector! 

For an overview of the process, visit the UN here, and for the latest updates on the process as it evolves, click here.

The EWP toolkit on 'Getting Our Voices Heard' is available in English and French.

EWP has engaged throughout the post-2015 process and the development of Agenda 2030:  

  • EWP's response to the UN-appointed High Level Panel report detailing recommendations for the UN and its member states is available here.
  • EWP engaged in thematic consultations organised by the NGO platform Beyond 2015. Along with NGOs including WASH United, the Freshwater Action Network, Coalition Eau, and WaterAid (all EWP members), EWP co-authored the Beyond 2015 thematic position paper on water, available here. This group has now sunset and reformed as Together 2030, and EWP continues our engagement and work together. We are also on a number of different platforms and coalitions that bring together civil society to have a united voice and ensure transparency in these critical forums and development spaces. 
  • EWP was at the UN General Assembly MDG Review Summit, held in New York in September 2013. EWP developed a "key asks" document for the summit, available here
  • See the blog and news section of this website for all updates and information about our recent advocacy work and achievements on the Global Goals!
  • EWP also maintains a task team for developing strategies for engagement and advocacy in the post-2015 development agenda. 

End Water Poverty has been advocating strongly for water and sanitation to be a priority in the future sustainable development framework for the past few years. Our highlights include: 


  • Throughout this year, we have been calling for specific indicators to ensure that poor and marginalised communities have their human rights to water and sanitation realised and that the voice of civil society is heard throughout the process.
  • Our member Freshwater Action Network - Mexico (FAN-Mex) attended the UN informal hearings representing WASH civil society earlier in the year, as well as the Sustainable Development Summit where the Global Goals were officially adopted.
  • End Water Poverty, through our very active SDG task team, summited important input into both rounds of the civil society consultation held by the Inter-Agency Expert Group, the body leading the process of formulating the indicators of the Global Goals and their targets. The indicators are currently being developed, and this is a very critical stage. We must have disaggreated, detailed targets in order to prevent inequalities and ensure that one on is left behind, and that the impact of the Global Goals is effectively monitored.  

In 2014, we successfully focused our efforts to ensure the report from the UN Open Working group on the SDGs contained a dedicated water and sanitation goal which includes references to the human rights to water and sanitation.

2013 was a critical year for our advocacy!

Our advocacy work on the future agenda began in 2012 when EWP members were involved in country consultations and attended UN High Level Panel meetings in Monrovia, Liberia and Bali. We also prepared Beyond 2015's thematic position paper on WASH.

Agenda 2030 national context assessment 

Since the adoption of Agenda 2030 at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, the focus now shifts to member states to realise this comprehensive agenda, including Global Goal 6 - to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’ - and the many other WASH related aspects. Now is the time for national governments to identify how they will take the voluntary commitments made in New York and adapt and harmonise them to suit their national context as part of timely implementation plans, all to realise this critical agenda.

For this to happen, governments will have to ensure transparency and participation in all implementation processes, and involve a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, right from the planning stages. Civil society must be in a position to make sure this happens and to make the most of opportunities presented by the Global Goals at the national level.
To this end, the End Water Poverty SDGs task team has developed a ‘National Context Assessment’ tool so that WASH civil society and others can capture information about how this process is being taken forward at the national level to support tailored advocacy plans. This tool aims to assess how implementation of the SDGs is being taken forward at the country level, to get insight into civil society's perspectives and understanding of these processes, and help develop a snapshot of what processes and systems are being in place to ensure we meet this ambitious new agenda.

We need you! Help us by adding your voice and offering a snapshot of the process in your country. 

Click here to fill in the online assessment

The opportunities presented by the Global Goals will look different in each country, according to the national needs and development progress. This means that CSOs will need to tailor messages and solutions according to their specific context. As a result, it is of critical importance for civil society to fully assess their national context in relation to the Global Goals and implementation as soon as possible. 
Thank you for your help! Together for a better future. 
The capturing and sharing of this information aims to:
  • Facilitate more transparent, ‘live’ knowledge sharing about national Agenda 2030 implementation plans, with your government and other stakeholders;
  • Identify capacity and information gaps and how we can overcome these;
  • Contribute to evidence-based national advocacy plans.

Other languages and downloadable versions:

English: Should you prefer, or should you experience internet difficulties with completing the assessment online, you may complete this offline and email us your responses to
Click the following links for:

The national context assessment is now available in other languages! Please click below for:  


End Water Poverty Resources

Resources from our members and partners

  • WaterAid's Global Goals ToolkitThis toolkit provides an update on the UN Global Goals, the role of WASH as an essential component of an integrated approach to tackling poverty, hunger, health and inequality and to aid advocacy work aimed at achieving Global Goal 6. The toolkit includes a number of very useful sections including a guide to advocacy on WASH, a media guide to talking about the new global goals, and many more fantastic resources and tools for civil society organisations and all those in the WASH sector. Use it in your advocacy today! 

  • World Bank Water: The Costs of Meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal Targets on Drinking Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene. This study assesses the global costs of meeting the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)-related targets of SDG 6. It is intended to serve as a vital input to determining the financing needs to achieve them. This is a very useful document for End Water Poverty members, especially for your sustained, long term advocacy through the Keep Your Promises work to ensure that your governments adequately funds their WASH commitments and work towards achieving universal access for all. 

  • United Nations' Water: Monitoring Water and Sanitation in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - An introductory guide. In embarking upon the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a dedicated goal on water and sanitation, credible data is needed to underpin sector advocacy, stimulate political commitment, inform decision making and trigger well-placed investment towards optimum health, environment and economic gains. Focusing on aspects related to water, wastewater and ecosystem resources, GEMI complements WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) and UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) efforts on drinking water and sanitation. Together JMP, GEMI and GLAAS will be able to monitor global progress towards the entirety of Goal 6.

United Nations and civil society coalitions resources: