Monitoring and evaluation helps in improving performance and achieving results. In order to measure and assess performance towards attaining the water and sanitation related Millennium Development Goals for cities, systematic and sustained tracking and review of progress are important. The Water and Sanitation programme seeks to improve the monitoring of trends, achievements and shortfalls in the urban water and sanitation sector, bringing out intra-urban differentials and gender desegregated data to help develop policies and programmes at national and city-level targeted to improve services for the urban poor.
The programme has developed methodologies for establishing baseline data in urban centres of different sizes and for tracking the progress towards attainment of the MDGs. These will be applied in the Lake Victoria and Mekong water and sanitation model initiatives as well as the regional Water for Asian and African Cities programmes. UN-HABITAT is also using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to identify populations that are currently not served by water and sanitation utilities in the Lake Victoria and the Mekong regions.
To improve reporting of water and sanitation coverage globally, UN-HABITAT collaborates closely with the UNICEF/WHO Joint Monitoring programme (JMP). The goals of the joint monitoring programme are to report on the status of water supply and sanitation and support countries in their efforts to monitor this sector. Constructive collaboration has also been achieved in monitoring at the global level with the Johannesburg plan of implementation (JPOI) and World Water Assessment programme.
UN-HABITAT has developed a strategy for monitoring water and sanitation MDGs in the fifteen secondary urban centres of the Lake Victoria. Urban Inequities Surveys will be carried out at household level in partnership with the central statistics departments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The Water, Sanitation and Infrastructure branch is also working with the Local Urban Observatories (LUO) established by the Monitoring and Research Division of UN-HABITAT to improve the formulation and use of knowledge-based urban policies. These observatories will act as national resource centres to disseminate information to civil society about city conditions and the performance of the local authorities in order to raise public awareness and strengthen public accountability, and to support local authorities and service utilities to effectively plan and manage their services.