Benchmarking Household Water Insecurity Around the World

While the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 6 underscores the need to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” policymakers lack robust, globally comparable data on water insecurity to work together to achieve that goal.

For this reason, Northwestern University and UNESCO joined forces with Gallup to expand Household Water Insecurity Experiences (HWISE) surveys to 31 countries in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. With nationally representative surveys in all of these countries (including India, China and Brazil) researchers will now be able to benchmark water insecurity among roughly half the world’s adult population.

Among the issues the HWISE surveys will help policymakers understand and compare between countries include the relationship between access to water and wellbeing, how gender and other socioeconomic factors affect water security, and how water insecurity relates to food insecurity. The data will enable policymakers to develop interventions where they are needed most; tailor them to specific countries, regions, cities, and villages; and track progress toward achieving water security. The HWISE survey is scheduled to be repeated in 2021 and thereafter.

For more information, please see the Gallup website.