Sector governance and reform

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Sector Resources Policy topics Sector governance and reform

  

Good Practice review

2006

Pdf file available in:

(5.0/1)

Baietti, Kingdom, van Ginneken

Characteristics of Well-Performing Public Water Utities

This report presents findings on attributes of well-run public utilities and attempts to identify important factors that influence their performance. The scope is also largely oriented to utilities that serve urban communities, but with varying characteristics and service objectives. The report is primarily intended for policy makers in central and local governments but can be also useful to utility managers as well as sector professionals supporting utilities and governments in such endeavors.

The route to change for a given utility is unique, and there is no predetermined action plan of corrective measures that must necessarily be followed in sequence. Yet, as the findings of this study reveal, there is a broad process and some basic norms that are fundamental to success or, by contrast, similar actions that have helped to cause organizations to fail. The intent is therefore to share with practitioners such findings but allow them sufficient flexibility to structure these into a coherent reform program that would be appropriate to the specific conditions of the utility and the environment in which it operates. As such, the intention of this report is to move away from “one size fits all” and “best practice” approaches to one of “best fit” given the unique circumstances surrounding a given utility.

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Contributed by Christoph Leitner on 15 April 2016

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Good Practice review

2017

Pdf file available in:

(5.0/2)

Geert Engelsman & Michel Leushuis

Review of success stories in urban water utility reform

Infrastructure is more than contract signing and cornerstone laying. Once the ribbons are cut, adequate operation and maintenance is required to reach the life-time potential of the built assets. In many countries, the reality is far from this ideal; Public Utilities struggle to sustain their infrastructure systems. Daily work is dominated by fire-fighting problems, rather than by good business conduct.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has published a new Review and Tool on how Public Utilities evolve into effective institutions. We wanted to learn from successful utility turn-arounds. Eight successful cases were studied to extract the factors that led success. The Tool helps to assess where a utility is in its development or reform process and offers guidance on potential reform paths, accommodating for the political context of the utility. The Tool can support a structured dialogue amongst the stakeholders in a utility reform process, the formulation of a utility-specific reform strategy, and the monitoring of reforms.

The review and tool can be downloaded from the SECO Infrastructure Financing website in the download section at the bottom of the page.

Publisher: Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO,

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Contributed by Cliff Hammer on 20 May 2017

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Good Practice review

2008

Pdf file available in:

(4.0/1)

Water Sector Board of the World Bank Group

Aggregation of Water and Sanitation Provision: Finding the Optimal Scale for Operations

When several municipalities unite in a single administrative structure—a process known as aggregation—they can lower the cost of utility services through economies of scale. Aggregation
of water supply and sanitation (WSS) services is established practice in some countries and is likely to spread, as decentralization policies leave some service providers too small to be efficient or sustainable.

In 2005, the World Bank studied 21 instances of aggregation
of WSS services aggregations, looking for innovative models and factors that contributed to success. The practices they identified may help other countries aggregate municipal utilities.

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Contributed by Christoph Leitner on 15 April 2016

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Background or theoretical study

2008

Pdf file available in:

(4.0/1)

van Ginneken, Kingdom

Key Topics in Public Water Utility Reform

This report is based on consultation with sector professionals through workshops and interviews in addition to research undertaken under a BNWP (Bank-Netherlands Water Partnership) financed project to investigate Modes of Engagement with Public Sector Water Supply and Sanitation in Developing Countries. This research included case studies on well-functioning utilities as along with a literature study on both successful and failed reform processes. This report expands on the paper by Baietti et al by assessing a small number of the key institutional issues identified in that study in more depth. While this report does not discuss financial aspects of reform in detail, the authors recognize that financial reforms are often indistinguishable from institutional measures.

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Contributed by Christoph Leitner on 15 April 2016

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Good Practice review

2008

Pdf file available in:

(4.0/1)

Muller, Simpson, van Ginneken

Ways to Improve Water Services by Making Utilities More Accountable to Their Users: A Review

This review is structured as follows. Chapter 2 provides some background on changing approaches to providing water services in past years, and introduces the concept of accountability and the various routes of accountability between service providers and users within the broader context of the corporate management of utilities. Chapter 3 systematizes and describes tools of accountability. It categorizes the tools according to four dimensions—driver, modality, formality, and targeting—and then describes 14 individual tools, whose purposes range from information provision to consultation, participation,  and redress. Chapter 4 assesses the outcomes that have been achieved by applying the tools. It starts by establishing a set of criteria to measure performance, and then discusses achievements in various environments in terms of effectiveness, inclusiveness, efficiency, and sustainability. Based on this assessment, Chapter 5 identifies some critical success factors in the application of tools for utilities at different stages of maturity, with the aim of assisting practitioners to choose the right suite of tools to match their circumstances. Chapter 6 concludes.

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Contributed by Christoph Leitner on 15 April 2016

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Regional analysis

2009

Pdf file available in:

(3.0/1)

Kommunalkredit Public Consulting

Report on measures to cope with over-fragmentation in the water supply and sanitation sector

The report is structured as follows: The chapter to follow discusses the issues to be analysed in more detail by identifying and assessing the main topics covered in the report. Chapters 2 to 6 discuss the current state of affairs in the water sector in Austria, France, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. The focus of these country-based case studies is to highlight the current situation in the water sector in these countries, concentrating mainly on issues linked to the questions of whether inter-municipal cooperation exists in these countries and, if so, how has this has developed over time.


Chapter 7 summarises the findings of the country-specific case studies, focusing on discussion of the potential of inter-municipal cooperation in the water sector. It has to be stated that the country-based experiences are unique and therefore cannot simply be compared and/or transferred between countries. Additionally, it is impossible to draw generally accepted recommendations with regard to issues relating to decentralisation. For instance, the situation in the water sector in Austria is stable and therefore differs completely from that in Romania where the legal framework and institutional set-up still regularly face major revision. The issue of time is also of great significance as the water sector in older EU member states has developed over quite a long time horizon as opposed to in new EU member states. This aspect is of especial interest and concern as all EU member states are required to fulfil the same EU water policies objectives and regulations, and the new EU member states must comply both within a relatively short timeframe and from a different starting point. The focus of the final chapter is on discussion of the findings with regard to developments in the water sector, particularly with reference to the decentralisation and fragmentation in the sector. In addition, the chapter  reveals the factors driving the process of the formation of inter-municipal cooperations as identified in the individual country case studies and in the literature. The report ends with a typology highlighting some of the dimensions of inter-municipal cooperation.

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Contributed by Christoph Leitner on 15 April 2016

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Regional analysis

2011

Pdf file available in:

(0.0/0)

García Quesada

Water and Sanitation Services in Europe - Do Legal Frameworks provide for “Good Governance”?

The present study examines the national legal frameworks of six European countries to analyse whether, and to what extent, they provide for effective governance in water services provision. It argues that, although governance deficits have been recurrently put forward as a cause contributing to the current world water crisis, insufficient is known of what constitutes good governance practices. To overcome this limit, this research argues that the concept of governance should be best analysed by focusing on its constituent elements, which help to evaluate the functioning of the different governance mechanisms in diverse regulatory settings.

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Contributed by Christoph Leitner on 15 April 2016

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