UNICEF is working with governments and partners to achieve the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) Sustainable Development Goal, covering mainly targets 6.1 and 6.2. This calls for universal and sustainable water and sanitation services with a progressive reduction of inequality, especially for the most vulnerable children, in times of both stability and crisis. While many countries have accelerated their contributions to the WASH sector, meeting SDG 6 by 2030 will require increased resources and effort. Affecting positive change in WASH sector performance requires a system-wide approach that tackles several dimensions simultaneously, including policy, financing, institutions and other key functions of the WASH enabling environment (EE). This approach necessitates developing a reform agenda based on a sound understanding of the WASH sector: its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and bottlenecks.
This document focuses on WASH sector EE functions but recognizes that the WASH EE sits in a broader country context that influences UNICEF’s work. It is a guide and resource for UNICEF country staff to strengthen the WASH EE.