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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Launching and Strengthening Parliamentary Water Caucuses

Parliamentary Water Caucuses Partnership (

    If we are to significantly accelerate progress toward global water security in the tight timeframe required by the SDGs, we need to start acting differently. In the water sector, our belief is that the role of national and subnational elected political leaders across the globe is under-recognized and under-appreciated.

    Our commitment, “Launching and Strengthening Parliamentary Water Caucuses,” is to do just that: to launch and strengthen informal associations of Members of Parliament focused on water security and sanitation in their countries. In as many countries as possible, the Members of these Caucuses will pursue a common legislative agenda in their parliaments: accelerated progress on water security, sanitation, and hygiene in their country. A Parliamentary Water Caucus typically undertakes activities in Parliament designed to promote access to safe, affordable, and sustainable water, including the consideration of new laws, stronger regulatory environments, and increased funding (from both domestic and international sources).

    Water Caucuses are intended to educate and inform members of Parliament regarding the positive impact they can have on their country’s WASH coverage. Caucuses also empower those legislators to collaborate with each other and their constituents to prioritize water investments that will make families, communities, and their nation healthier and stronger, and make important contributions to peace and security within and across borders.

    A Parliamentary Water Caucus is not an island. Caucus Members often work hand in hand with allies in civil society and the relevant technical ministries in their country. This working relationship has been referred to as a three-legged stool, including the Members of Parliament, civil society leaders, and the technical ministries who stand to benefit from the success of the Caucuses. Key stakeholders can also include the media, the private sector, associations, and many others.

    Expected Impact

    The most important impact of Parliamentary Water Caucuses is to clarify the linkage between SDG6 (water) and SDG16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions). Strong governance, including Parliamentary Water Caucuses, will increase water access. Increased water access will prove to citizens, voters, taxpayers that a government is holding up its end of the bargain. The social contract is a two-way street between people and their government, and water security is a fundamental, demand-responsive component of that social contract.

    More tangibly, the key impact of a successful Parliamentary Water Caucus over the medium- to long-term will be increased levels of safe, affordable, and sustained access to water security, sanitation, and hygiene for the citizens of that country. Intermediate outputs will be determined by each Water Caucus according to its country-specific priorities. Those outputs are expected to include new and stronger laws, tightened regulatory environments, increasingly open and transparent budgeting processes, increased budgets (prioritizing marginalized communities), and others.

    Other impacts will likely include:
    - The relevant ministries (WASH, health, education, public works) will benefit from increased budgets and stronger laws for WASH.
    - Water will assume a more prominent role in dialogues with the international development and diplomatic communities, and with neighboring countries.
    - Over the long-run, an increase in domestic resource mobilization is expected, with public financial support eventually replacing donor support.

    The initial focus of legislative Water Caucuses will be primarily on a national level, country by country. However, efforts are underway (e.g. Nigeria, Pakistan, India) to launch such legislative caucuses at a provincial/state level as well.


    Our commitment, “Launching and Strengthening Parliamentary Water Caucuses,” will count on partners from across the globe for its success.

    First and foremost, our most important partners are Members of Parliament themselves, who are the ultimate decision-makers for the laws, policies, budgets and programs that will help to accelerate progress in the global water sector. However, Members of Parliament will need the support of other partners:
    - Civil society leaders, organizations, and networks, with a particular focus on youth and gender
    - Parliamentary staff and assistants
    - The private sector
    - Media
    - The international donor community

    Additional information

    In March 2023, Honorable Jacqueline Amongin published a helpful article in The Parliamentarian, the key publication of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The article’s title is self-explanatory: "Water is (Good) Politics: The development of Parliamentary Water Caucuses on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) can bring vital attention to this vital global development goal."

    The article is available here:…

    Hon. Amongin is an elected Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) from Uganda. She worked for the Pan-African Movement, before being becoming a Member of Parliament in Uganda in 2011 representing the Ngora District. In 2013, she joined the Pan-African Parliament and was re-elected in 2016. In 2018, she was awarded a Mandela Leadership Prize for ‘promoting good governance and development in Africa.’

    The article describes the launch and the ongoing progress of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene:…

    Following in Uganda’s footsteps, the Liberian Parliament has recently announced the launch of their WASH Legislative Caucus:…

    Two donor countries also have Parliamentary Water Caucuses. The USA has its Congressional Global Water Security Caucus (…) and the UK has its All-Party Parliamentary Group on Water and Sanitation (  

    Goal 2

    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

    Goal 2


    By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round


    Prevalence of undernourishment


    Prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity in the population, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES)


    By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons


    Prevalence of stunting (height for age <-2 standard deviation from the median of the World Health Organization (WHO) Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age


    Prevalence of malnutrition (weight for height >+2 or <-2 standard deviation from the median of the WHO Child Growth Standards) among children under 5 years of age, by type (wasting and overweight)


    Prevalence of anaemia in women aged 15 to 49 years, by pregnancy status (percentage)


    By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment

    Volume of production per labour unit by classes of farming/pastoral/forestry enterprise size


    Average income of small-scale food producers, by sex and indigenous status


    By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality


    Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture


    By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed


    Number of (a) plant and (b) animal genetic resources for food and agriculture secured in either medium- or long-term conservation facilities


    Proportion of local breeds classified as being at risk of extinction


    Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries

    The agriculture orientation index for government expenditures


    Total official flows (official development assistance plus other official flows) to the agriculture sector


    Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round


    Agricultural export subsidies


    Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility


    Indicator of food price anomalies

    Goal 3

    Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

    Goal 3


    By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births

    Maternal mortality ratio


    Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel


    By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births

    Under-five mortality rate


    Neonatal mortality rate


    By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases


    Number of new HIV infections per 1,000 uninfected population, by sex, age and key populations


    Tuberculosis incidence per 100,000 population


    Malaria incidence per 1,000 population


    Hepatitis B incidence per 100,000 population


    Number of people requiring interventions against neglected tropical diseases


    By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being

    Mortality rate attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease


    Suicide mortality rate


    Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol


    Coverage of treatment interventions (pharmacological, psychosocial and rehabilitation and aftercare services) for substance use disorders


    Alcohol per capita consumption (aged 15 years and older) within a calendar year in litres of pure alcohol


    By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents

    Death rate due to road traffic injuries


    By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes


    Proportion of women of reproductive age (aged 15-49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods


    Adolescent birth rate (aged 10-14 years; aged 15-19 years) per 1,000 women in that age group


    Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all


    Coverage of essential health services


    Proportion of population with large household expenditures on health as a share of total household expenditure or income


    By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination

    Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution


    Mortality rate attributed to unsafe water, unsafe sanitation and lack of hygiene (exposure to unsafe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for All (WASH) services)


    Mortality rate attributed to unintentional poisoning


    Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate

    Age-standardized prevalence of current tobacco use among persons aged 15 years and older


    Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all


    Proportion of the target population covered by all vaccines included in their national programme

    Total net official development assistance to medical research and basic health sectors

    Proportion of health facilities that have a core set of relevant essential medicines available and affordable on a sustainable basis


    Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States

    Health worker density and distribution


    Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks


    International Health Regulations (IHR) capacity and health emergency preparedness


    Percentage of bloodstream infections due to selected antimicrobial-resistant organisms

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Goal 16

    Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

    Goal 16


    Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere

    Number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, by sex and age
    Conflict-related deaths per 100,000 population, by sex, age and cause

    Proportion of population subjected to (a) physical violence, (b) psychological violence and (c) sexual violence in the previous 12 months


    Proportion of population that feel safe walking alone around the area they live after dark


    End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children


    Proportion of children aged 1–17 years who experienced any physical punishment and/or psychological aggression by caregivers in the past month

    Number of victims of human trafficking per 100,000 population, by sex, age and form of exploitation

    Proportion of young women and men aged 18–29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18


    Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all

    Proportion of victims of violence in the previous 12 months who reported their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized conflict resolution mechanisms
    Unsentenced detainees as a proportion of overall prison population

    Proportion of the population who have experienced a dispute in the past two years and who accessed a formal or informal dispute resolution mechanism, by type of mechanism


    By 2030, significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime

    Total value of inward and outward illicit financial flows (in current United States dollars)
    Proportion of seized, found or surrendered arms whose illicit origin or context has been traced or established by a competent authority in line with international instruments


    Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms

    Proportion of persons who had at least one contact with a public official and who paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials, during the previous 12 months
    Proportion of businesses that had at least one contact with a public official and that paid a bribe to a public official, or were asked for a bribe by those public officials during the previous 12 months


    Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels

    Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)

    Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services


    Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels


    Proportions of positions in national and local institutions, including (a) the legislatures; (b) the public service; and (c) the judiciary, compared to national distributions, by sex, age, persons with disabilities and population groups

    Proportion of population who believe decision-making is inclusive and responsive, by sex, age, disability and population group


    Broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries in the institutions of global governance


    Proportion of members and voting rights of developing countries in international organizations


    By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration

    Proportion of children under 5 years of age whose births have been registered with a civil authority, by age


    Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

    Number of verified cases of killing, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and torture of journalists, associated media personnel, trade unionists and human rights advocates in the previous 12 months
    Number of countries that adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information


    Strengthen relevant national institutions, including through international cooperation, for building capacity at all levels, in particular in developing countries, to prevent violence and combat terrorism and crime

    Existence of independent national human rights institutions in compliance with the Paris Principles


    Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies for sustainable development

    Proportion of population reporting having personally felt discriminated against or harassed in the previous 12 months on the basis of a ground of discrimination prohibited under international human rights law
    Name Description
    Launch of Parliamentary Water Caucuses in five national and subnational legislatures in developing and developed countries
    Launch of Parliamentary Water Caucuses in ten national and subnational legislatures in developing and developed countries
    Strengthening of Parliamentary Water Caucuses in fifteen legislatures
    Financing (in USD)
    $US50,000, + fundraising efforts underway to channel support to national civil society networks
    Staff / Technical expertise
    Members of Parliament and their assistants across the globe have committed to helping each other launch Parliamentary Water Caucuses. Commitments currently in hand include those from Uganda, Liberia, Malawi, Niger, Senegal, and the USA.
    Staff / Technical expertise
    John Oldfield helped to launch the US Congressional Global Water Security Caucus, and is prepared to make a significant commitment of his time and expertise to this effort.
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    Action Network
    water logo
    01 June 2022 (start date)
    31 December 2024 (date of completion)
    Parliamentary Water Caucuses Partnership
    1. Global
    Other beneficiaries

    If the work of a Parliamentary Water Caucus is successful in a given country, the key beneficiaries of its work will be the people of that country, who will see increased, sustained, equitable, and affordable access to water security, sanitation, and hygiene in their communities. The relevant ministries (WASH, health, education, public works) will likely also benefit from increased budgets and stronger laws for WASH. Lastly, tying this into SDG16, the social contract (the two-way street between a people and their government) will be strengthened as people understand the value they get for their taxes. Increased access to water security can help pave that two-way street, making possible a more participatory governance, and a more peaceful society.

    South Africa
    South Africa
    Ibero-American Network of Life Cycle Assesment
    United States of America
    United States of America
    Contact Information