Take Action on Hygiene: Co-sign a letter in support of a global hygiene indicator today!

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Take Action on Hygiene: Co-sign a letter in support of a global hygiene indicator today!

All,

I am writing to request that your organization co-sign a letter asking members of the UN Statistical Commission and policymakers to include hygiene as a global indicator in the SDGs.

I realize that it is a very busy season for many, but we have a limited window in which to harness this critical opportunity to raise our collective hands in support of hygiene, which we know is an affordable and highly effective behavior that saves lives. If your organization can join us, the JMP Communications & Advocacy Working Group, and other WASH leaders by signing on to this letter, please let me know by July 12, 2015.

More information on the issue and the letter is below, as well as available here . Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, and feel free to share this advocacy opportunity with any colleagues or partners who may wish to join us as well.

Best regards,

Hanna

Hanna Woodburn
Deputy Secretariat Director
Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW)
Tel: 202-884-8398
www.globalhandwashing.org
Twitter: @HandwashingSoap
Facebook: Global Handwashing Day




The issue: The Sustainable Development Goals will have impact by having countries commit to the goals and targets, and then measuring and publicly reporting on them via a set of indicators. Since we know that what gets measured is more likely to get done, it is extremely important that hygiene is included in the list of indicators. However, in the recent list of global-level indicators being considered by the UN Statistical Commission, hygiene has been deleted. This is likely because the decision makers want a shorter list. However, relegating hygiene to a huge list of optional indicators will not give hygiene the priority needed for the SDGs to have real impact on both hygiene and the areas that it influences—such as health, education, and equity.

Objective: The JMP Communications and Advocacy Group is coordinating delivery of a succinct and persuasive message about the importance of hygiene that will encourage decision makers and stakeholders to act and recommend the reinstatement of a hygiene indicator in the list of global-level indicators for the SDGs.

Audience: This letter will be sent to members of the UN Statistical Commission and others who may have the opportunity to influence discussions and decisions around the SDG Indicators process.

Action by YOU: If you agree with the statements expressed in the letter below, please e-mail Hanna Woodburn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing to (1) advise us that your organization would like to sign on to this letter, and (2) attach your logo for us to insert underneath the text to represent your organization’s signature to this sign-on letter. Deadline for signature: 12th July 2015. The letter will be sent soon thereafter.


The letter

Dear Ambassador/Member of the ...,

As organizations working to advance access to water, sanitation, and hygiene globally, we welcome the creation of the Inter-Agency Expert Group and the work underway to agree measures of progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

We acknowledge the importance of a streamlined framework, but respectfully express our concern that in the midst of this complex process, the intention to measure hygiene, expressed in draft target 6.2, has been put at risk.

The agreement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 later this year is significant opportunity to catalyze global action on the water, sanitation, and hygiene crisis, which costs thousands of lives every day in addition to considerable resources of families and economies. However, achieving this goal depends on a global-level commitment to monitoring the different components of the Goal. Goal 6 cannot be achieved if hygiene, a key component, were to be omitted from the list of indicators. We are concerned to hear that the proposals issued to the IAEG on Monday, 1st June 2015 for the water, sanitation, and hygiene goal included indicators for water and sanitation but not hygiene. Absence of a hygiene indicator would result in omission of hygiene in implementation and monitoring strategies for Goal 6.

Hygiene is one of the most important interventions for human health and development and it is a truly universal necessity. Hygiene is fundamental to fighting undernutrition, reducing child mortality, overcoming antibiotic resistance, and advancing access to education. Ultimately, hygiene advances gender equity, dignity, and human rights. It underpins the delivery of several other Sustainable Development Goals. Every high income country has made hygiene a priority in workplaces and health care facilities. Despite this, hygiene has received inadequate prioritization at a global level. Omitting hygiene from global measurement would inhibit the potential of the international community to achieve the full impact of Goal 6.

Since 2009, indicators for handwashing with soap in the household - a key element of domestic hygiene - have been developed and refined. The major international household surveys which inform global monitoring now include a standard module in which survey teams check for the presence of soap and water at a handwashing station. The JMP in its 2015 report highlights the resulting data from 54 countries, and shows that current levels of handwashing with soap are low in many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Since the handwashing module is now standard in household surveys, monitoring of handwashing at regional and global levels will pose no additional burden on countries.

If hygiene is neglected in the Sustainable Development Goals at the indicator level this will be to the detriment of those populations who have the most to gain through global development— the poor and vulnerable. We recognize the imperative to establish a limited number of indicators; however, we also echo the recently issued zero draft call for the ambition of the targets to be maintained through this process. Excluding hygiene from systematic global-level measurement will impede our ability to fully realize the development potential associated with improving water and sanitation, as well as the delivery of cross-sector strategies. In the spirit of ‘leave no one behind’, excluding hygiene from the list of indicators is planning for failure.

The omission of hygiene was a great loss to the Millennium Development Goals. We now have the opportunity to remedy this oversight, but instead we risk compounding it. We must ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated in the Post-2015 era. This means ensuring accurate measurement of progress towards both components of proposed target 6.2, sanitation and hygiene.

We, the undersigned, sincerely believe that a global-level hygiene indicator is essential in pursuit of the bold mission set out in target 6.2. We call upon you to speak up for hygiene and actively support reinstatement of a global-level hygiene indicator in the Sustainable Development Goal global-level indicator list.

Sincerely,
Hanna Woodburn
Acting Secretariat Director
Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
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  • WASHanna
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Re: Hygiene indicator in SDGs

I mentioned in the WASH and Nutrition session at Stockholm World Water Week that the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) is asking for organizations to join us in advocating for hygiene as an indicator in the SDGs.

Please consider co-signing our response to the IAEG indicator consultation. More information is available here: bit.ly/hygieneSDG .

The deadline for expressing your interest is Friday, September 4, so don't delay!
Hanna Woodburn
Acting Secretariat Director
Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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