Field Detail
Theme Health
Code PH-ENV-1.2
MDG code MDG-7.8
Sub-theme Environmental Health
Name Proportion of Population with access to improved drinking water (MDG 7.8)
Definition Improved drinking water sources are defined in terms of the types of technology and levels of services that are more likely to provide safe water than unimproved technologies. Improved water sources include household connections, public standpipes, boreholes, protected dug wells, protected springs, and rainwater collections. Unimproved water sources are unprotected wells, unprotected springs, vendor-provided water, bottled water (unless water for other uses is available from an improved source) and tanker truck-provided water (WHO)
Calculation/Formula (Population using improved sources / Total population) x 100
Unit of Measure %
Range (eg Age) Population
Assumptions Use of an improved drinking water source is a proxy for access to safe drinking water. Improved drinking water sources are more likely to be protected from external contaminants than unimproved sources either by intervention or through their design and construction.
Limitations This data is collected at the household level, so population values must be imputed. The indicator does not take actual drinking water quality into account, nor does it reflect the time spent on getting water from improved sources, which are not on premises. Both these determinants though are important parameters of access. Given the lack of comparable historic and current data on these parameters, these determinants are not reflected in the global indicator to measure progress towards MDG 7
Purpose/Rationale Access to drinking water and improved sanitation is a fundamental need and a human right vital for the dignity and health of all people. The health and economic benefits of improved water supply to households and individuals (especially children) are well documented. Both indicators are used to monitor progress towards the MDGs
Policy Linkages National development plans
Preferred Data Sources Census
Alternative_Data Sources DHS
Census - HIES - DHS tag Census / DHS / HIES (extrapolated)
Primary Data Collection System Survey - National Statistics Office
Frequency of Data Collection 5-10 years
Other agencies countries_ must report to: CHIPS, WHO/UNICEF JMP
SPC Responsibility - Data Management SDP
SPC Programme PHD
Numerator Population using improved sources
Component 1 Public standpipes
Component 2 Boreholes
Component 3 Protected dug wells
Component 4 Protected springs
Component 5 Rainwater collections
Denominator Total population
Factor x 100
Unit %
Other Metadata Link http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Metadata.aspx