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Harmonization of statistics on water and sanitation in Nigeria (Minna, March 29-April 2, 2009)

Country / Regional Activity: Nigeria
Date of Event: 29/03/2009

The ADP is now piloting its Task 2. This task envisions the analysis and assessment of existing data by specialized national and international researchers. The analysis focuses on sector development strategies with an objective to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the data.

Two countries have been selected for Task 2 pilot work: Cameroon and Nigeria. In Nigeria, the ADP worked in the Water and Sanitation Sector (WATSAN). A key international partner was the Joint Monitoring Program (JMP). The JMP is a collaborative effort by WHO and UNICEF to monitor the progress of the MDGs related to the WATSAN sector. Previously, the JMP had published results for access to improved water facilities in Nigeria showing a downward trend (see chart below). This was based on three publicly available datasets, namely the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). The ADP Task 1 activities in Nigeria helped the NBS document six more surveys and these were included in the JMP estimate. These data were then recoded and a national consensus was reached on classifying the water sources. The results were significant. When examining the survey microdata, the trend line changes entirely. The new results show a clear upward trend in rural access to improved water. If the JMP approves these findings, it is likely that the MDG for access to improved water in Nigeria will be on-target. Furthermore, due to the population share that Nigeria represents in sub-Saharan Africa, it is likely that the region may show it is on-target to satisfy the MDG.

Through this ADP Task 2 experience in Nigeria, the IHSN and the JMP will develop practical training modules that will standardize the approach and effectively seek to repeat this exercise in other countries and other sectors (with other partners). This is an important contribution to better measure development results.