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Olas
Latin American and Caribbean Water and Sanitation Observatory (OLAS)
Software for Observation Water and Sanitation Projects
OLAS initiative stand with woman sitting

Latin American and Caribbean Water and Sanitation Observatory (OLAS) is a digital platform that compiles relevant information about the water and sanitation sector in the region and contributes to the monitoring of the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

OLAS seeks to present reliable, comparable, timely, and consistent information for monitoring sectoral information in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to water and sanitation for Latin America and the Caribbean so that different sectoral actors and researchers can use it as input for the development of effective public policies and sector development.

Goals
  • To have sufficient, consistent and updated data and information that contributes to the integration of the SDGs in the sector and to know the real gaps in the water and sanitation sector that exist at the national and regional levels.
  • Standardize the methodology implemented by each country when collecting information and calculating sector indicators.
  • Promote coordination between statistical and information agencies, sectoral entities and national and local government actors, so that the information corresponds to the reality of the country.
  • Encourage research in the water and sanitation sector at both the national and regional levels through the creation of the OLAS Research and Development Network (RID), so that information is available to better guide public policy in the countries.
Components
  • Sector data: qualitative and quantitative information is presented to provide information about the status of the water and sanitation sector in each country of the region, as well as to monitor the related indicators.
  • Information Repository: includes technical, institutional and regulatory documents on the water and sanitation sector for each country and at the regional level.
  • Research and Development Network (RID): it has the participation of different institutions in the region dedicated to research in the sector, which use the information published in OLAS as a source for new research that allows the formulation of better focused public policies, as it is an input for decision making for sectoral entities at the national level.  This network encourages research through calls for proposals that offer financial support to strengthen sectoral research and exchange activities.
Partners

OLAS has the active participation of sectoral water and sanitation agencies and institutions from 19 countries in the Latin America and Caribbean region, which have designated focal points to follow up the evolution of the platform.
OLAS is supported in its design and implementation by the following institutions:

  • the Regional Office of the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF)
  • the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)
  • the Technical Cooperation Agency of the Swiss Embassy (COSUDE)
  • Sanitation and Water for All (SWA).

OLAS also has other regional partners with whom it has initiated the development of alliances to strengthen information generation mechanisms in the countries.
As the work of the Observatory continues, a Board of Directors will be formed with representatives from the countries and strategic partners to steer the development of OLAS.

Context

OLAS was created at the Latin American Conference on Sanitation (LATINOSAN), in which the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean established the commitment to create OLAS, to be the platform through which the countries of the Region "understand the reality and dynamics of the sector and provide tools to improve the safe management of drinking water and sanitation in LAC within the framework of the SDGs and their basic principles, through the generation of quantitative and qualitative information and capacity building of the actors involved". The San José Declaration derived from the Latinosan 2019 Conference established the commitment of the countries to make it operational in two years. 
Based on this agreement, the IDB is committed to support the countries in the design and implementation of the Observatory and in a first phase in the administration of the IT platform. 

For more information, please visit

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