Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who supports WASHwatch?

WASHwatch is a platform for collaboration originally set up by WaterAid with support from End Water Poverty and funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, for the benefit of all sector partners. WASHwatch collaborates with a wide range of partners including CSOs, donors, governments, multilaterals and development banks. WASHwatch is an independent platform and does not represent the views of WaterAid, End Water Poverty or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


End Water Poverty (EWP) is a global civil society coalition campaigning to end the water and sanitation crisis. Established in 2007, EWP has grown to over 350 members in more than 50 countries around the world, working in all regions across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America.


The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works with thousands of partners in Africa, India, Europe, South America, and here in the United States. The foundation's goal is to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live.


WaterAid is an international organisation whose mission is to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.

2. Who owns the data on WASHwatch?

The data on WASHwatch is sourced from a variety of organisations including GLAAS, JMP, UNICEF, WHO, SACOSAN, SWA, and the UN. The source and methodology behind the research is checked for validity by the WASHwatch team before posting. The data available on WASHwatch is open sourced and we actively encourage anyone to use the data in line with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

3. How often is WASHwatch updated?

Every 6 months the WASHwatch team do a full statistical update to ensure all data on the site is up to date. If there is a big data release in between these updates such as JMP or OECD annual release, the team will upload that within a few weeks of its release. There is a bimonthly newsletter which details which data has been updated on the site, to sign up click here. To subscribe to this newsletter click here. With the scores for the declaration and commitments, they are continuously updated when relevant reports or data are seen by the WASHwatch team. 

4. Can I contribute to WASHwatch?

WASHwatch is as good as the information you put into it! Therefore, all WASHwatch users are encouraged to comment or share their in-country knowledge to support or revise WASHwatch scores. To find out more about what you can contribute see here. 

5. How are the WASH maps made?

Our world maps for water and sanitation show access figures from 1990 and projections for expected access in 2030. WASHwatch has made the projection calculations based on access figures from the Joint Monitoring Programme (WHO/UNICEF) and population figures from the United Nations Population Division. WASHwatch took the annual change in access figures, the annual change in population figures and calculated the expected change in access figures until 2030. 

6. What are the declarations and commitments?

On WASHwatch we rate all WASH related declarations and commitments on a national, regional and global level including: Global Goals; MDGs; Human Rights to Water and Sanitation; eThekwini; Ngor; LATINOSAN; SACOSAN and SWA Commitments. For more information on the declarations and the commitments click here. 

7. What are traffic light scores?

Each country is scored by a traffic light on progress towards meeting its WASH commitments. Countries receive an overall traffic light score for each declaration, as well as traffic light scores for each commitment that falls under a declaration.

For all declarations which have a formal monitoring process WASHwatch presents the official scores. (E.g. eThekwini, Sacosan and Ngor.) Comments and evidence submitted by users will therefore help to influence the formal process and ensure transparency and rigor in the tracking. 

For declarations where there is no formal monitoring, WASHwatch have provided indicators. This is then scored by the WASHwatch team using verified data, reports and government policies. The scorings are clearly marked in the key


8. How are traffic light scores weighted?

In order to ensure the traffic light scores are accurate, when calculating the scores indicators are weighted by the percentage of a country’s urban and rural populations. 


CountryY’s total population is split by 40% rural and 60% urban. It has scored 0.5 for its rural policy and 1 for its urban policy. The overall score would reflect population weightings, and therefore would be calculated as:<o:p/>

Rural policy score = (Score of 0.5)  x  (Rural weighting = 0.40)    = (0.5 X 0.4) = 0.2<o:p/>