Monitoring and Evaluation for Rural Sanitation and Hygiene: Framework

Published on 1 December 2021

The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) Guidelines and Framework presented in this document (and in the accompanying M&E Indicator Framework) aim to encourage stakeholders in the rural sanitation and hygiene sector to take a more comprehensive, comparable and people focused approach to monitoring and evaluation.

French and Portuguese translations are also available via the OpenDocs link to the right.

Many M&E frameworks currently reflect the interests and ambitions of particular implementing agencies – that is, community-led total sanitation (CLTS) interventions focused on open-defecation free (ODF) outcomes in triggered communities; market-based sanitation interventions focused on the number of products sold and whether sanitation businesses were profitable; and sanitation finance interventions reporting the number of facilities built using financial support.

Few M&E frameworks have been designed to examine the overall sanitation and hygiene situation – to assess how interventions have affected sanitation and hygiene outcomes across an entire area (rather than just in specific target communities); to look at who (from the overall population) benefitted from the intervention, and who did not; to report on the level and quality of service used; or examine whether public health has improved.

Since 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have extended and deepened the international monitoring requirements for sanitation and hygiene. The 2030 SDG sanitation target 6.2 includes requirements to:

  • Achieve access to adequate sanitation and hygiene for all
  • Achieve access to equitable sanitation and hygiene for all • End open defecation
  • Pay special attention to the needs of women and girls
  • Pay special attention to those in vulnerable situations.

The 2030 SDG sanitation target calls for universal use of basic sanitation services, and for the elimination of open defecation, both of which require M&E systems that cover entire administration areas (i.e. every person and community within a district) and which are able to identify people and groups that lack services, or continue unsafe practices.

Fortunately, the SDG requirements are well aligned with the sector trend towards system strengthening, in recognition that governments are responsible both for the provision of sustainable services and for monitoring the achievement of sustained outcomes.

This document provides guidelines on the monitoring and evaluation of rural sanitation and hygiene, and presents an M&E framework that outlines core elements and features for reporting on progress towards the 2030 SDG sanitation target (and related national goals and targets for rural sanitation and hygiene), while also encouraging learning and accountability. Given wide variations in the ambition, capacity and resources available for monitoring and evaluation, it is apparent that not all of the M&E processes and indicators described will be appropriate for all stakeholders.

The intention is to provide guidelines and details on useful and progressive approaches to monitoring rural sanitation and hygiene, from which a range of rural sanitation and hygiene duty bearers and practitioners – including governments, implementation agencies, development partners and service providers – can select and use those most appropriate to their needs. Eventually, it is hoped that all of the more progressive M&E elements and features will become standard, and be incorporated in all sector monitoring systems.

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Robinson, Andy


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