JMP: A Tool for Monitoring Progress in Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

What is the JMP? 

The JMP refers to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water, Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene. Since 1990, it has been reporting on country, regional and global estimates on progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

Today, the JMP maintains an extensive global database, providing comparable estimates of progress at the various levels (WHO & UNICEF, n.d.). Currently, it focuses on further enhancing the monitoring of WASH in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It envisions the progressive realisation of access to WASH for all and the reduction of inequalities in service levels by 2030. 

The strategic aims of the JMP are as follows:

  • Normative role: developing indicators and methods for enhancing monitoring of WASH
  • Global data custodian: maintaining a global database and producing reliable estimates to status and trends, including progress towards SDG targets
  • Country engagement: providing guidance and tools to support countries in the collection, analysis and reporting of progress on WASH
  • Integrated monitoring: collaborating on analysis of interlinkages between WASH and related SDG targets.

Who is involved in it?

The JMP is jointly managed by WHO and UNICEF and involves the collaboration of national, regional and global partners (WHO & UNICEF, n.d.). 

What is it used for?

The JMP is a tool for monitoring WASH in households, schools and health care facilities.

Specifically, it monitors:

  • The accessibility, availability and quality of the main sources of drinking water used by households for domestic uses, including drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene
  • Sanitation or the management of excreta from facilities used by individuals
  • Hygiene or the conditions and practices that help maintain and prevent the spread of disease (including handwashing, menstrual hygiene management and food hygiene)
  • Inequalities in access to WASH
  • WASH in schools and health care facilities, in addition to WASH in households

The JMP is also used for monitoring progress towards SDG targets on WASH, specifically:

  • 6.1: By 2030, to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all) 
  • 6.2: By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations).

Additionally, it also contributes data for monitoring other SDG goals, including 1.4, 3.8, and 4.a that may be indirectly related to WASH (WHO & UNICEF, n.d.).

What does the current JMP data tell us about WASH in the Maldives?

WASH in households

This most recent data comes from a report on WASH in households published in 2019, which includes updated national, regional and global estimates for 2000-2017 (UNICEF & WHO, 2019).

Latest status in the Maldives, 2017 (UNICEF & WHO, 2019)

Drinking water

  • More than 99% of the population had access to at least basic drinking water supplies; i.e., improved drinking water sources that require less than 30 minutes for collection
  • 97% of the population used drinking water supplies that were accessible on-premises
  • 75% of the population stated that these supplies were available when needed
  • 48% had access to piped water supplies, while 52% had access to non-piped supplies

NOTE: There is no data on whether drinking water supplies are safely managed or free from contamination.


  • From 2000 to 2017, the proportion of the population using at least basic sanitation (i.e., improved sanitation facilities that are not shared) services in the Maldives rose by 26%
  • More than 99% of the population had access to at least basic sanitation facilities
  • There is, however, no data on whether non-shared facilities are improved facilities; i.e., designed to hygienically separate excreta from human contact.
  • When including shared facilities, however, it was found that 4% of the population used latrines and other, 36% septic tanks, and 60% used sewer connections.
  • 0% of the population practised open defecation, with 3% of the population reportedly living in communities where at least one household practised open defecation

Disposal of child faeces

  • Approximately 90% of the population disposed of child faeces into the garbage
  • Less than 10% of the population disposed of them into toilets/latrines 
  • Approximately 1% of the population buried them
  • Approximately 2 – 3% used other methods of disposal

Child faeces are considered highly infective. Therefore, the most appropriate methods of disposing of child faeces include depositing or rinsing into an improved toilet or burying them. On the other hand, co-disposal of child faeces with solid waste is generally considered inappropriate, unless solid waste management systems effectively minimize the risk of humans being exposed to pathogens contained in mixed wastes


  • 96% of the population have basic handwashing facilities at home, i.e., handwashing facilities that include soap and water

WASH in health care facilities

The most recent data showed significant gaps in basic WASH services in health care facilities globally. Additionally, while countries are taking measures to address this situation, the progress made is variable and insufficient (WHO, 2020). The current targets aim to assure that at least 80% of health care facilities have basic WASH services by 2025, and the achievement of universal access by 2030.

The latest status in the Maldives, 2019 (WHO, 2020)


  • 55% of health care facilities had basic water services, i.e., water is available from an improved source (those that have been designed/constructed to have the potential to deliver safe water) on the premises


  • 100% of health care facilities had improved sanitation facilities
  • 99% had facilities that were improved and usable
  • 80% had facilities dedicated to staff
  • 15% had facilities dedicated to women
  • 30% had incorporated menstrual hygiene management
  • 57% catered for persons with limited mobility


  • 88% of health care facilities had hand hygiene at points of care
  • 47% segregated their waste
  • 59% treated their waste
  • 18% had basic environmental cleaning services (cleaning protocols and staff trained): 18
  • 28% had limited environmental cleaning services (cleaning protocols or some staff trained)
  • 44% had no environmental cleaning services (no protocols and no staff trained)
  • 62% had protocols for cleaning
  • 19% had training on cleaning 

Why is WASH in health care facilities important?

  • Protects front-line health care workers, care seekers and patients
  • Prevents avoidable deaths
  • Necessary for the prevention and control of infections
  • Fundamental for health security, preparedness and response efforts
  • A necessary element of primary healthcare
  • Is a top priority for women receiving maternal care
  • Critical to ending neglected tropical diseases
  • Increasingly affected by climate change and needs climate-smart innovations and approaches
  • Necessary for all health- and environment-related SDGs

(WHO, 2020)

WASH in schools

The most recent data comes from a report published in 2020, that includes updated national, regional and global estimates for WASH in schools up to the year 2019. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this report especially focuses on implications for assuring safety within school settings during the pandemic (UNICEF & WHO, 2020).

Why is WASH in schools important?

  • Universal access to WASH cannot be established without its access in all settings, including schools
  • Especially in the context of COVID-19, it is clear that access to WASH services is essential for effective infection prevention and control in schools, to facilitate safe reopening and operation of schools and to avoid prolonged school closures.

(UNICEF & WHO, 2020)

Latest status in the Maldives, 2019 (UNICEF & WHO, 2020)

Drinking water

  • 100% of schools had basic drinking water services, i.e., water came from an improved source and was available


  • Approximately 98% of schools had a basic level of sanitation services, i.e., had improved facilities that were gender-segregated and usable


  • Between 10 – 20% of schools had limited hygiene services levels in schools, i.e., access to handwashing facilities with water but no soap. The remaining proportion (more than 80% of schools) reflect insufficient data


World Health Organisation (WHO). (2020). Global progress report on water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities: Fundamentals first. Retrieved from

World Health Organization (WHO) & United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (n.d.). How we work. WHO/UNICEF JMP.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) & World Health Organization (WHO). (2019). Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017. Retrieved from

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO). (2020). Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools. Retrieved from

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