Quick Read
16 July 2015

Global call for hygiene indicator in the Sustainable Development Goals

On July 15, Simavi joined the call for a global-level hygiene indicator in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Together with 90 influential international corporations, non-governmental organisations and coalitions we called upon key United Nations (UN) decision makers to ensure that the SDGs put priority on hygiene to make a truly positive impact on our future.


Hygiene is one of the most important components for global health and development. According to the World Health Organisation, washing hands with soap can reduce the risk of diarrheal diseases by up to 47 per cent. However, while hygiene is included alongside sanitation in draft Target 6.2 of the SDGs, hygiene is neglected in the recent list of global-level indicators being considered by the UN Statistical Commission.

This means that hygiene would not be measured globally, the target to improve hygiene would not be monitored, and the SDGs might not improve hygiene as much as they could, states the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing.

Given the crucial role that hygiene plays in multiple areas of development, they created a hygiene petition. Simavi and 90 other international organisations (including WASH Alliance Kenya) have signed this letter asking the UN Statistical Commission and key Member States involved in determining proposed indicators to address this oversight.

Please find the letter here, in which we argue together that “If hygiene is neglected in the Sustainable Development Goals at the indicator level this will be to the detriment of those populations who have the most to gain through global development— the poor and vulnerable.”

Do you agree that hygiene should be a priority in the SDGs? If so, sign this petition.

Start the conversation

Share this article

Quick Reads

A quick read is a concise article covering a current topic related to our approach.

More ‘quick reads’ Read next quick read