Skip Navigation

Water and Sanitation

OGP members tackle disparity and safety issues in water and sanitation through commitments ranging from improving access to fighting corruption.

Overview | Recommendations | Partners | Data | Documents | Commitments | Recent Posts


Challenges involved with safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are increasingly complex and widespread. According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme , around the world, 30 percent of people do not have access to clean water and a troubling six in ten lack safely managed sanitation. 

Climate change is adding further stress to water safety and security and is already affecting water access for people around the world, due to more severe droughts and floods. These more frequent extreme weather events threaten the sustainability of services through damage to WASH infrastructure and degraded physical access to WASH facilities.

Smart investments in WASH are a foundation for resilience and public health, and WASH services can be greatly improved with better transparency, participation, inclusion, and accountability.  

WASH, along with other public services such as health and education, are some of the least explored areas in OGP. Current and previous commitments, encouragingly, focus on creating inclusive dialogue and feedback loops. 68% of these commitments have been deemed ambitious – meaning they have the potential to lead to significant change on the ground if fully implemented – by the Independent Reporting Mechanism, which is much higher than the global average.

An important contributor to the development of OGP commitments on WASH is the Community of Practice on Water and Open Government. This group of organizations is working hard to promote fairer, more reliable and more efficient water and sanitation delivery by connecting the WASH and OGP networks and developing valuable recommendations for OGP action plans.OGP members can use their action plans to address many of the root causes of WASH issues, including corruption and poor quality, as well as lack of prioritization, access, equity, and accountability.


  • Ensure public participation and greater transparency in policy decisions. In 2016, Uruguay launched a dialogue on the National Water Plan, which included nearly 2,000 citizens, academics, and government representatives. 
  • Ensure officials’ duty to respond to public inquiry. After citizens in Paraguay demanded updated, complete, and cross-referenced information on water and sanitation sources, the government adopted the Rural Water and Sanitation Information System digital platform (SAISAR in Spanish), overseen by non-governmental organizations, municipalities, and donor groups.
  • Accelerate much-needed transparency, participation, and accountability, especially in large infrastructure contracts. Brazil has created a data platform that allows the public to monitor the country’s water resource management program.
  • Obtain input from impacted communities and under-represented organizations, particularly women and indigenous communities where relevant. In Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana, landlords, resident associations, the government, and citizens formed a partnership to increase access to basic household sanitary facilities, like toilets, improving overall health.
  • Improve legitimacy of decision-making. Recent evidence from Costa Rica shows that communities with stronger public water committees and clear rules for tariff collection have better performance in terms of both providing water to rural communities and recovering costs.

OGP Global Report Data

The data below is drawn from the 2019 OGP Global Report. You can view and learn more about the report here.

These are members making OGP commitments to improve their performance in the respective policy area. As members that have demonstrated political commitment through OGP, the next step is ensuring that implemented commitments have maximal impact.

Indicates that member has a starred commitment in this policy area.


  1. Water and Open Government: A Step by Step City Guide

    SIWI shares four steps for co-creating open government commitments to accelerate the process of improving urban water, sanitation and hygiene…

    2021, Outbound Link, Web Page

  2. Webinar: Water and Open Government – The Cases of Armenia and Ghana

    Find resources and a recording of the webinar, which explore how open government reforms can accelerate clean water priorities.

    2020, , Web Page

  3. Water Fact Sheet 2020

    Snapshot of global progress and member-level examples of water reform in OGP

    2020, Document, PDF

  4. Innovations in Water Management in the city of São Paulo: The Leading Role of Civil Society

    When political leaders failed to act on São Paulo's grave water crisis from 2014-2016, civil society organizations, including the Alliance…

    2019, Outbound Link, Web Page

  5. A Community of Practice on Water and Open Government

    Tackling today’s water challenges will require more than improving infrastructure and stepping up investments.

    2019, Resource, Web Page

  6. Global Report - Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

    Improving open government yields significant dividends to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).

    2019, Document, PDF

  7. OECD's Water Governance Indicator Framework

    2018, Outbound Link, Web Page

  8. WASH Accountability Mapping Tools

    SIWI, UNDP and UNICEF share a set of methods developed for assisting groups in understanding accountability relations in their WASH…

    2016, Outbound Link, Web Page

  9. User's Guide on Assessing Water Governance

    UNDP's guide aims to assit practitioners to design and conduct water governance assessments more effectively within their own local or…

    2015, Outbound Link, Web Page


Recent Content

Water CitizENGAGE in Paraguay

Making Waves: Improving Water Governance through Open Government Approaches

Clean and readily available water for all is a human right. Learn how open government approaches can improve accessibility, transparency and government accountability over this precious natural resource.

Show More
Open Government Partnership