Indicators for monitoring water, sanitation, and hygiene: A systematic review of indicator selection methods

Monitoring water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) is important to track progress, improve accountability, and demonstrate impacts of efforts to improve conditions and services, especially in low- and middle-income countries. Indicator selection methods enable robust monitoring of WaSH projects and conditions. However, selection methods are not always used and there are no commonly-used methods for selecting WaSH indicators. To address this gap, we conducted a systematic review of indicator selection methods used in WaSH-related fields. We present a summary of indicator selection methods for environment, international development, and water. We identified six methodological stages for selecting indicators for WaSH: define the purpose and scope; select a conceptual framework; search for candidate indicators; determine selection criteria; score indicators against criteria; and select a final suite of indicators. This summary of indicator selection methods provides a foundation for the critical assessment of existing methods. It can be used to inform future efforts to construct indicator sets in WaSH and related fields.

Indicators for monitoring water, sanitation, and hygiene: A systematic review of indicator selection methods. S. Schwemlein, R. Cronk, J. Bartram. 2016. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13:3. doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13030333