The inter-agency initiative, GEMI

The inter-agency initiative, GEMI, was established in 2014 as an inter-agency initiative composed of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), operating under the UN-Water umbrella and complementing JMP and GLAAS.

In approaching the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a dedicated goal on water and sanitation, it was recognized that the sector at large would require a coherent monitoring framework, with improved data collection and analysis. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) and the UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) were already tracking progress in regard to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (SDG targets 6.1 and 6.2, and 6.a and 6.b), but the many initiatives that monitored different aspects of the management of water, wastewater and ecosystem resources lacked a coherent global mechanism.

GEMI’s long term goal is to (i) establish and manage, by 2030, a coherent monitoring framework for water and sanitation to inform the post-2015 period, and (ii) contribute to country progress through well-informed decision-making on water, based on harmonized, comprehensive, timely and accurate information.

The Initiative has developed monitoring methodologies which are currently being pilot tested in seven proof-of-concept countries – Senegal, Uganda, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Peru, Jordan and Fiji. The Initiative is currently being rolled out globally.

The GEMI framework allows Member States to pursue national monitoring interests with flexibility, and address national and regional issues while maintaining compatibility with global monitoring efforts. The methodologies will also combine traditional and innovative data collection.