This activity under the Protocol has gained a special relevance due to the recent recognition by the UN General Assembly and by Human Right Council of the human right to drinking water and sanitation. The work, led by France and mostly supported by UNECE, aims at enhancing access to water and sanitation for poor, vulnerable and socially excluded people. In order to facilitate the achievement of this objective, it was decided to prepare a document on good practices to enhance solidarity that would allow an information exchange on relevant experience in UNECE countries related to (a) targeted measures to overcome water affordability issues; and (b) solidarity measures to improve access to water and sanitation in rural areas.
The document on “No one left behind: Good practices to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation in the pan-European region” which was prepared by a drafting group of experts was discussed during the Workshop on Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation - Challenges, good practices and lessons learned (4-5 July 2011, Geneva) and then released for dissemination at the Sixth World Water Forum which was held in Marseille, France, on 13 March 2012, and subsequently for consideration by the Parties to the Protocol at their third session.
One of the main messages of the document No one left behind is that current governance frameworks are often "equity blind". Ensuring equitable access requires a results-oriented action plan, building on country situation analysis and context specific indicators.
In order to monitor progress on achieving equitable access to water and sanitation in the countries of the pan-European region, it was decided to develop and test a self-evaluation tool (or "scorecard") that could be used by governments and other stakeholders to establish a baseline, track progress and prompt discussion on further actions to be taken to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation.
An Expert Group developped a draft version of the score card on monitoring progress in achieving equitable access to water and sanitation (First meeting of the Expert Group for the development of an equitable access score card (27-28 September 2012)). The score card is currently tested through 3 country pilots in France (Paris region), Portugal and Ukraine.