Media release: WaterAid Response to the UN High Level Panel Report

Responding to the UN High Level Panel Report on the Post 2015 Development Agenda, WaterAid Australia’s Chief Executive, Adam Laidlaw stated:

“We can only end poverty if an ambitious goal is set for everyone, everywhere to enjoy the human right to water and sanitation by 2030. WaterAid is delighted that the UN High Level Panel has listened to the call for a goal on universal access to water and sanitation.”

“With 1.2 billion people still living on less than $1.25 a day, WaterAid welcomes the vision outlined in this report. It will inspire world leaders to commit to an ambitious new set of global goals that finally deliver an end to extreme poverty.”

The UN High Level Panel has been co-chaired by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Prime Minister David Cameron. The Panel have met five times in the last 9 months in New York, London, Monrovia and Bali where they have held discussions on their recommendations on what should replace the existing Millennium Development Goals.

With 1 in 3 people globally without access to safe sanitation and 1 in 10 without clean drinking water, WaterAid is calling for a goal and ambitious targets for universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

Link to report:


WaterAid has spokespeople available from Australia, London, New York, Washington DC, and Africa for comment and interview on both the broad thrust of the High Level Panel Report as well as the new goal and targets around water and sanitation.

For interview requests, background briefings or further questions, please contact:

Kirrily Johns: 03 9001 8246 or

Notes to Editors

WaterAid’s vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. The international organisation works in 27 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific region to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in some of the world’s poorest communities. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 17.5 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 12.9 million people with sanitation. For more information, visit , follow @wateraid on Twitter or visit us on Facebook at

• Around 2,000 children die every day from diseases caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.
• 768 million people in the world live without safe water. This is roughly one in eight of the world’s population.
• 2.5 billion people live without sanitation; this is 39% of the world’s population.


WaterAid Australia – Seeking Program Effectiveness Manager

Sanitation Updates

WaterAid Australia have exciting news! We are recruiting for a Program Effectiveness Manager to join the leadership group of the International Programs department in Melbourne.wateraid-logo

We are looking for an experienced and passionate individual to support program staff in Southeast Asia and the Pacific and provide leadership on program quality and learning. The person should have detailed knowledge and experience on current best practice thinking on WASH approaches, technologies and methodologies and be able to adapt them to our programs.

They will spend a significant amount of time in our Country Programs and will work with staff in WaterAid Australia and partners to develop and deepen their understanding on sanitation approaches, hygiene promotion and rural water supply systems. The person will be a key driver to embed our monitoring and evaluation systems and action learning culture.

Tanya Stelmach, Regional Programs Officer
WaterAid Australia
Level 7…

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Let’s Tessellate

I returned from the UN High Level Panel Meeting of Parliamentarians & Civil Society on the Millennium Development Goals Acceleration & the Post 2015 Development Framework in Bali late last month.

I thought about how we can knock off extreme poverty once and for all.

I believe we can.

The intensive week’s discussions in Indonesia was part of the process to work out what the development landscape will look like after the Millennium Development Goals finish in 2015.  Business and Civil Society gave their view on what we should do.  The High Level Panel of Esteemed Persons listened and heard our messages.

The MDGs attempts to halve the number of people in poverty by 2015.

We have witnessed major achievements.  We succeeded in our MDG goal to provide access to water to many more people, mainly due to China’s mass service delivery approach.  However, there are still almost 800 million people living unhealthy lives without safe water.

We also saw major gaps.  There was little progress in providing access to sanitation to poor communities.  In 2000, the birth-year of the MDGs, 2.6 billion people did not have a safe and dignified toilet to use.  We anticipate that 2.5 billion people – more than half woman – will still not have a safe place to go in 2015. Sanitation is the most off-track and off-target MDG.

In the 15-year period of the MDGs, we did half the job of eradicating extreme poverty from all corners of humanity.

We now we need to finish the job.

Do not misunderstand me.  Overall, the MDGs were a fantastic success.  They are not enshrined in international or national law or in any treaty or covenant and no state is required to comply with them.  Yet, eight Goals mobilised and galvanised governments, donors and communities, business and civil society, to work together.  To collectively confront through an internationally consolidated approach the greatest human shame of our modern era. This is remarkable.

The Post 2015 Development Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals, that will comprise this framework must fully end extreme poverty within the within next 15 years.

The Framework needs to address a complex array of social, economic, environmental and energy challenges.  There is much unfinished business.

Sustainable development is vital.  Peace and security and development are inseparable twins.  A critical nexus that UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson,  frequency reminds us we cannot ignore.  Mr Eliasson completes the circle by correctly concluding that peace and security and development will not be achieved without full recognition and application of human rights for everyone.  Tackling extreme poverty is at the heart of this paradigm.

Priority One of the Framework must be to End Extreme Poverty by 2030.  Uppermost in this challenge is that we must ensure there is universal access to water and particularly sanitation by 2030.

My post “Post 2015 HLP Bali” thinking conceptualised a SDG architecture to be used as a thought-piece for the final round of intense discussions.   In May, UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon will receive a report from his special advisor Amina Mohammed on the new Framework’s architecture and priorities.

There is a crucial lesson we should learn from the MDGs.  The individual MDGs have been largely approached separately by donors and governments and other key actors such as NGOs.  For instance, the international community has built more and more schools to contribute to the achievement of the Education MDG.  However, many of these schools were built without toilets and as a result girls are dropping out of secondary education.  Therefore schools construction has actually led to lessening the life chances and opportunities for women and girls and failed to provide access to sanitation.

My Concept note for Post2015 Development Framework is simple. Intertwine and matrix each SDG so that it is connected and converges with other SDGs.  Interventions that seek to solve one SDG must also demonstrably contribute to solving all/most of the other SDGs.

The SDGs must be tessellated.

Let’s tessellate and consign poverty to history by 2030.

Adam Laidlaw

(The view expressed is a personal one and does not necessarily represent WaterAid’s view).

WaterAid discusses ending extreme poverty with UN

WaterAid is here at the High Level Panel Eminent Persons Meeting in Bali. It’s the penultimate meeting before the UN Secretary General is presented with a report from this esteemed panel as to what the framework will be to continue on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs were set by the UN in 2000 to halve the number of people in extreme poverty). The MDGs will come to an end in 2015. The “Post 2015 Development Agenda” must have an outcome of eradicating poverty and creating sustainable development for all people once and for all.

 In 1990 there were circa 2.5 billion people without access to safe sanitation. In 2000 the original MDG Goals missed out sanitation. It was only added in 2002. As of 2012 there are still $2.5bn people without access to safe, private and dignified sanitation; over half are women and girls who face abuse, shame, violence from having to open defecate (shit in the bush). We have had very little progress on sanitation during the MDG period. It is the most off-track MDG target.

 In short, water and, particularly sanitation, is the “pizza base” for all progress in human development. The Post 2015 Agenda must move away from siloed approaches and interconnect interventions. Sanitation is a key cross-cutting issue. – particularly for gender, health and education. It is essential to progress in other areas, to reducing inequalities, increasing accountability and, to eradicating poverty and ensuring we all have a adequate standard of living.

 First step is for all States to recognize the human right to water and sanitation. The next step is to set a framework that has the principle of universal access to WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene); to set a clear target to achieve WASH for all by 2030 and finally; to ensure WASH is equitable, particularly targeted to provide access to marginalized people, women and girls and people with disabilities.