Better water data in Bolivia

Proejct description

Title: Implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Bolivia
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Bolivia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment and Water
Overall term: 2019 to 2021

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Context

The goals which the Government of Bolivia has set are in part aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in its 2030 Agenda. However, Bolivia lacks sufficient reliable data to implement them in its water sector. Furthermore, the quality of available information often falls short of international standards, which limits its capacity for planning and assessing political decisions or investments. Data gaps and contradictory information are especially common in remote, poor and rural areas, which are home to around 30 per cent of the population.

One of the reasons for this situation is the fragmented system used for collecting statistical data. Different criteria are applied for harvesting data from the various water sector actors and the procedure is not coordinated. Moreover, there are no uniform indicators in place to provide a basis for methodically correct data collection. Another problem concerns the lack of information exchanged between government institutions and non-governmental actors. Linking data even proves difficult within the ministries themselves, as the various datasets and information systems used are frequently incompatible.

There are, however, initial positive signs that point to the possibility of long-term cooperation. For example, Bolivia’s National Institute of Statistics (Instituto Nacional de Estadística – INE) recently devised the country's first ever national statistics strategy and the water sector has signalled its interest in measuring indicators more precisely in future.

Objective

The Government of Bolivia uses standardised monitoring data to achieve its water-related development goals.

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Approach

With its combination of process development and specialist advice on methodology, the project oversees the targets and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goal of ‘ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’. The aim is to direct attention to hitherto undersupplied or disadvantaged population groups as well as to the qualitative aspects of water supply and the availability of water.

Better data through horizontal and vertical coordination: The project promotes exchanges and cooperation between key actors in the water sector and the National Institute of Statistics. It improves linkages between various levels of national government, public and private actors. To this end, discussion rounds and networking meetings are planned.

Improving processes: A consulting company advises local actors and rural communities that have wide information gaps. The project also supports the Vice-Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, the national regulatory authority for drinking water and sanitation services and the National Institute of Statistics. All work together to map out and specify indicators, datasets and procedures.

Capacity building: The project plans to organise upskilling and exchange formats with a view to improving the use of digital applications. This should lead to improvements in statistical competence, methodological expertise and instruments. The project also plans to coordinate these activities with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which is also part of the BMZ-backed 2030 Agenda initiative.

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