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on Fri, February 21, 2014 at 10.38 pm
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Focus areas document: OWG SDGs - 21 February 2014

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Focus areas document: OWG SDGs - 21 February 2014

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End Water Poverty
Fri, March 7, 2014 at 11.28 am
End Water Poverty, a global civil society coalition of over 270 organisations, welcomes the focus areas recommended by the Open Working group.

While we are really pleased to see that there is a specific focus area on water and sanitation we are concerned about the lack of reference to hygiene. Universal access to water and sanitation can only be achieved if hygiene education is considered and integrated. We therefore call on Member States to ensure that hygiene is included in any proposed targets and indicators relating to water and sanitation.

We also endorse the WHO/UNICEF JMP proposed targets and indicators on Water and Sanitation and Hygiene and call on Member States to incorporate these into the post 2015 development framework.
WaterAid
Tue, March 4, 2014 at 02.39 pm
Response by WaterAid to Open Working Group focus area report

WaterAid welcomes especially the focus area on Water and Sanitation, and the interlinkages identified with regards to poverty eradication, health and population dynamics and infrastructure. The recognized linkage between health and water and sanitation is particularly welcome, poor Water, Sanitation and Hygiene related illnesses is one of the biggest child killers in Africa.

We’re however concerned by the lack of the inclusion of hygiene in the focus area of water and sanitation. Without universal hygiene the benefits of safe water and sanitation are limited, hand-washing with soap and menstrual hygiene are transformative in saving lives and development. We therefore urge the OWG member states to include hygiene within the narrative of water and sanitation.

We are also concerned by the lack of acknowledgement of water and sanitation in three particular focus areas:

No. 2: Whilst the focus area of food security and nutrition mentions water it does not mention sanitation or hygiene. Fecal to oral transmission of disease, results in repeated diarrhea, one of the prime causes of malnutrition and under nutrition, hence universal sanitation is critical in order to improve nutrition.

No 4: The education focus area does not acknowledge the role that water, sanitation and hygiene plays. This is particularly prevalent when schools do not have running water or toilets for students and staff.

No 5: The Gender equality and women’s empowerment focus area, whilst acknowledging water as an inter-linkage, fails to include sanitation and hygiene both of which are critical. The lack of or poor sanitation puts women especially at risk of violence. Hygiene is particularly relevant for women and girls that are repeatedly held back or excluded form society as they no means to hygienically manage menstruation.

Despite these concerns we greatly welcome the 19 focus areas by the co-chairs they set out an excellent starting place for on-going negotiations for the post 2015 framework and show the array of inter-linkages especially with regards to water.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) must be considered together and universal access to WASH be understood as essential component of an integrated approach to tackling poverty, hunger, ill-health and inequality.
WorldWeWant2015 Content sss from Bahrain
Thu, February 27, 2014 at 05.35 pm
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Practical Action
Wed, February 26, 2014 at 11.50 am
Practical Action welcomes these strong and clear messages from the OWG Co-Chairs. While this document encapsulates dozens of crucial aspects of a successful post-2015 sustainable development agenda, Practical Action would like to point out some key areas of concern that remain incomplete or lacking in this document.

It must be recognized that focus area 7 on ENERGY, and the urgent need to alleviate energy poverty in particular, are at the core of progress in nearly all other focal areas of the SDG agenda. Practical Action stresses that the evidence is clear that neither energy poverty nor the litany of energy nexus issues listed under this focus area can be meaningfully addressed without emphasizing deployment of decentralized (off-grid) provision of modern energy services, combined with robust indicators and monitoring systems. We strongly urge inclusion of these issues in discussions of any energy-related SDG goals to prevent energy, already seen by many as the "missing MDG,” from becoming a "meaningless SDG."

On focus area 6 on WATER AND SANITATION, we welcome recognition of the need for safe drinking water and sanitation for all households, and urge that this ambition eventually be reflected in indicators. However, we note bulk of issues raised in this focal area concern water and deeply lament that there is no mention of hygiene here or in focus area 3 on HEALTH.

Considering focal area 13 on SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, we note that this area must have a strong emphasis not only on poverty eradication, but critically, on promoting equality. If we cannot find a way of disaggregating indicators on the rich and poor of urban areas, the urban poor will remain un-counted and un-reached.

While CLIMATE CHANGE is recognized throughout the document (including in the focal areas on energy, food security, infrastructure, sustainable cities) and with its own focal area 15, it is conspicuously absent from focus area 9 on INDUSTRIALIZATION, a major contributor of continuing greenhouse gas emissions. Also absent from the document is mention of risk reduction from human-induced and natural hazards. For poor people, it is the provision of adequate social protection that reduces vulnerabilities and enables their meaningful participation in sustainable development and the possibility to escape from poverty.

It is pleasing to see a comprehensive and balanced focus area on FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION (focus area 2), which importantly emphasizes smallholders, women and indigenous and local communities as well as efficient use of water and adaptation to climate change. It will be important that this emphasis in not lost in focus area 10 on INFRASTRUCTURE, which underscores the need for development of irrigation and infrastructure for agriculture.

On a similar note, the focus on ‘inclusive’ growth in a number of focus areas is excellent but we feel strong and explicit linkages must be made between Focus Areas 8, 11, and 12 on ECONOMIC GROWTH, EMPLOYMENT AND DECENT WORK FOR ALL, and PROMOTING EQUALITY. Additionally we strongly disagree with calls for ‘sustained’ growth in focus area 8 and 12, which in a closed physical system such as our planet, is not a realistic or sustainable aim.

Focus area 18 on MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION is particularly welcome. Prioritizing what will be measured in this list of important issues will be immensely challenging. To transform systems most important to those living in poverty, such as agriculture, energy, water and sanitation, and the science, technology and the innovation systems that support them, the ‘broad stakeholder engagement' noted must promote the active, meaningful involvement of small and marginalized players.

Finally, although technology and access to technology is well represented throughout the document, globally we must look beyond the transfer of technology from North to South, and recognize the potential of indigenous knowledge and local innovation to ensure a form of sustainable development that leaves no one behind. Missing from the document is reference to the urgent need to shift technology development towards those who need it rather than those who can afford it. This will require concerted investments in fostering grassroots- and frugal-innovation, as well as the use and regulation of technologies that aim to deliver on sustainable development goals.

Thank you for your consideration of these points and we look forward to continuing dialogue on these issues, which are of the utmost global import.

Kind regards, Lucy Stevens
helvetas
Mon, February 24, 2014 at 05.13 pm
This is a great document and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation is very pleased to see that integrated water resources management in general and water and sanitation has been given such a high priority under focus area 6 of the document. However, we deeply regret that Hygiene has not been mentioned. Access to safe water and sanitation are only sustainable if also hygiene education is included. Furthermore we would like to underline here that targets and indications for universal access to WASH should be based on the WHO/UNICEF joint monitoring project proposals as a lot of work has been put into identifying these criteria.
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