SDG 6 Bubble Storming Series-Part 3

Strategies around SDG 6 Target Interdependence

Focusing SDG 6 Target interdependence

Formulating strategies to achieve progress toward SDG 6 Goal is incredibly hard. Attempting to reach an SDG Target is not like building a house or working your way up a career ladder. You can’t do it alone. However, with the right mix of strategic planning, there are chances you might reconsider your approach towards SDG 6. This blog post will help you learn more about this goal and unpack interdependence.

If you are thinking about including SDG 6 in your target agenda, or you have already selected to impact SDG 6 or you are one of the active contributors (service providers in the water and sanitation sector) it is crucial for you to understand these interdependencies. This analysis will help develop new business partnerships to focus activities to further strengthen the impact.

Take an example, Target 6.1 -Access to Safe and Affordable Drinking Water. This target depends on the performance of 5 targets within SDG 6. Target 6.3 by improving water quality, wastewater treatment, and safe reuse of water influences Target 6.1. By increasing water use efficiency and ensuring safe freshwater supplies, Target 6.4 influences this target. Protecting and restoring the water-related ecosystems is crucial to ensure safe and affordable drinking water Target 6.6 influences Target 6.1. Through extending capacity-building support across the sectors in water- and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling, and reuse technologies Target 6. a influences Target 6.1. Lastly, by increased support and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management Target 6.b influences Target 6.1.

Target 6.2, which talks about access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations, is hard to achieve without progress on Target 6.a and Target 6.b. Target 6.2 plays a crucial role in achieving the progress of Target 6.3 which is to improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse!

Target 6.3 is influenced by five Targets 6.a, 6.b, 6.2, 6.4, and 6.5! and influences Target 6.6 and Target 6.1. Likewise, we must consider 8 targets in SDG 6 and their causal relationships with each other. Review the following graphic image carefully.

And here is a link to the interactive graphic that will explain more, and allow you to explore the SDG 6 target inter-dependence in more detail. Explore the interactions by selecting the target. Then click on focus!

Once you experiment with this graphic and focus on each target, you will unlock the potential details of SDG 6 Targets dependencies’ and their importance in formulating and streamlining strategies.

How does this analysis become relevant to government and business strategies?

A company Water Field Technologies Pvt. Ltd works in rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharging. Through this company is directly impacting target 6.a. But by doing so, the company is impacting almost every target within SDG 6. If you consider impacting SDG 6 in your agenda, isn’t it relevant to choose partners which are already influencing the entire SDG 6? While designing programs, won’t it be more beneficial to choose one relevant target which influences a few other targets within SDG 6?

Governments and businesses can encourage technology innovation and integration successfully. Review the most developing technologies in the water and sanitation sector, as mentioned in part 2 of the series.

Which are the two targets influencing almost every target within SDG 6? 

Target 6.a

This target influences all 7 by expanding cooperation and capacity-building support to in water- and sanitation-related activities and programs, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling, and reuse technologies. Breaking this target into 6 distinct technology focus points will be a good strategy mix to develop partnerships. As mentioned in my previous post, this justifies the report from Valuer.ai which highlights the most developing clusters in SDG 6 belong to Target 6.a.

Target 6.b

By supporting and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management Target 6.b influences 6 Targets except 6.a.

The interdependence of SDG 6 targets can help companies set a clear vision toward SDG 6 business integration in several ways:

  1. Comprehensive approach: The interdependence of SDG 6 targets highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to achieving the goal. This means that companies must consider all aspects of water management, including access to safe drinking water, sanitation, wastewater management, water quality, and water-use efficiency.
  2. Systems thinking: The interdependence of SDG 6 targets requires companies to adopt systems thinking approach to water management. This means considering the entire water cycle, from water sources to wastewater treatment, and identifying opportunities for intervention at various stages.
  3. Prioritization: The interdependence of SDG 6 targets can help companies prioritize their SDG 6 initiatives. By identifying the most pressing issues related to water management, companies can focus their resources on the areas where they can have the greatest impact.
  4. Collaboration: The interdependence of SDG 6 targets can encourage collaboration between companies, government agencies, NGOs, and local communities. Collaboration can help ensure that efforts are coordinated, resources are shared, and progress is monitored collectively.
  5. Innovation: The interdependence of SDG 6 targets can inspire companies to develop innovative solutions to water management challenges. By taking a comprehensive and systems thinking approach, companies can identify new opportunities for innovation and leverage technology to develop more sustainable and efficient water management practices.

Overall, the interdependence of SDG 6 targets can help companies set a clear vision towards SDG 6 business integration by promoting a comprehensive, systems thinking approach, prioritization, collaboration, and innovation.

In conclusion, the SDG target interdependence is key and provides a unique opportunity to link the global to the local and the private sector over public sector involvement. As shown, we find an increasing number of successful private-public partnerships that are effective and efficient at delivering targets on their own.

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