17 Sep 2018

UNEP-DHI’s online tool for implementing United Nations' SDGs wins top award in Tokyo

Reporting platform helps African countries monitor status of political commitments for the water sector

The online reporting platform 'WASSMO' developed by DHI helps the African Ministers’ Council on Water clinch Gold in IWA's Project Innovation Awards. © International Water Association

An online monitoring and reporting system developed by DHI has clinched the Gold medal in Monday’s International Water Association’s (IWA) Project Innovation Award 2018 in Tokyo. This reporting platform has made it easy for African countries to report their water status progress in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Held biennially under the IWA World Water Congress, the Project Innovation Awards recognise and promote excellence and innovation in water management, research and technology. 


Lack of credible monitoring and reporting systems in Africa’s water sector is a critical constraint for making informed decisions on the development and effective use of water resources in the continent. As such, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) is required to report annually to the African Union Summit on the state of the continent’s water resources.

The AMCOW Secretariat commenced an initiative for a web-based monitoring and reporting system under the project ‘Establishment of a Monitoring and Reporting System for the Water Sector in Africa’. This project was implemented from late 2015 to mid-2017 with technical assistance from the UNEP-DHI Partnership.

An effective way to document and report

The DHI-developed platform called WASSMO (Water And Sanitation Sector Monitoring) allows countries to manage, document and monitor their national reporting processes in a user-friendly manner that was not possible with past monitoring systems. Gone are the days when the breakdown of a laptop or the change of staff meant loss of data and knowledge about data storage for a country. With the web-based IT system, all data are stored at a central database with back-up facilities. It monitors progress against 43 core indicators in these seven areas:

1. Water infrastructure for growth
2. Managing and protecting water resources
3. Water supply, sanitation, hygiene and wastewater
4. Climate change and disaster risk reduction
5. Governance and institutions
6. Financing
7. Information management and capacity development

This project allowed Africa, for the first time, to be ahead of other regions in transparency, documentation and agility with regard to monitoring in the water sector. It also helped them influence global discussion on the testing and revision of the UN SDG indicators, drawing amendments and changes in a direction amenable to African conditions and needs.

Congratulations on the win, AMCOW!