What is the SWA Partnership?

What is the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership (SWA)?

The Sanitation and Water for All Partnership links up governments, donors, civil society and multilateral organisations to work together and take action to tackle the sanitation and water crisis.

  • A global partnership: SWA is an established, global, multi-stakeholder partnership with over 100 partners, drawn from governments, civil society, donors, development banks and other agencies.
  • With a vision of sanitation, water and hygiene for all, always and everywhere: SWA is working to catalyse political leadership and improve accountability in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector and to achieve a vision of sanitation, water and hygiene for all, always and everywhere.
  • Initially set up to focus on the sanitation and water MDG targets: SWA was set up during the period of the Millennium Development Goals, and its initial focus was on the countries that were most off-track in their efforts to achieve the sanitation and water targets of the MDGs.
  • Now focused on the WASH-related targets of the SDGs: Now that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been adopted, SWA aims to grow and support this ambitious new vision of social and economic development for people, planet and prosperity. SWA partners are committed to playing a pivotal role in contributing to the delivery as well as follow-up and review of the water, sanitation and hygiene-related SDG targets.
  • With all UN Member States welcome: SWA encourages all interested UN Member States to join, particularly those with significant inequalities in access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

The Partnership works at both GLOBAL and NATIONAL levels

At the global level, the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership provides a political platform to bring partners together to work collectively to bring about global change. This includes the organisation of global SWA High-Level Meetings (HLM) . In the past, these High Level Meetings have brought together ministers of finance and ministers of water and sanitation from developing countries, ministers of development cooperation from donor countries, high level representatives from development banks, and civil society organisations. At these meetings in 2010, 2012 and 2014, ministers from both developing and donor countries have made commitments to improve water and sanitation services. Each has published a statement which sets out the actions they will take on water and sanitation over the next two years. Find out if your country attended the High Level Meeting and read the statements of commitments they made here. From 2015, the format of these meetings will change and you can find out more here.

At the national level, the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership supports improved strategic planning and better coordination amongst different sector actors. The Partnership aims to strengthen national planning around water and sanitation by promoting country–led, coordinated multi-stakeholder efforts which bring together a variety of partners across a number of sectors (not just water but also health, education and other sectors that have responsibilities around WASH) to agree on commitments to be made at the High Level Meetings. The aim is for these partners to work together to improve national WASH sector planning, budgeting, investment and accountability frameworks so that clear plans are made for implementation of commitments and money is spent where it is needed and in a way that is most effective.

SWA also aims to improve accountability at the national level for commitments made at the High Level Meetings. By including a variety of stakeholders in the process of preparing the commitments, there is greater awareness and motivation amongst stakeholders to be accountable and hold others to account for their commitments. It is recommended that the monitoring process at the national level is led by the government and includes different ministries, development partners and civil society networks.

Watch this video for more information