Researcher entries

Philippines: Small Towns Water Utilities Data Book

The Performance Improvement and Benchmarking of Philippines Small Towns Water Supply Project forms an important foundation as it initiates a performance-based system for assessing the grant of water supply franchises as well as a means to support utilities in evaluating and improving their own performance by learning from others. This Data Book presents the results of the performance data collection and analysis undertaken for 20 utilities.

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority— Internal Reforms Fuel Performance Upgrade

INVESTING IN THE PEOPLE - When GD Chan took over the war-ravaged utility, he knew he had a lot of tough, unpopular decisions to make. The first of these was restructuring the management. Corrupt leaders were replaced by younger employees who had the right qualifications. Promising young and dynamic employees were given new authority and inefficient “old timers” were reassigned to more dormant roles. Next came the strengthening of the workforce, and PPWSA’s solutions centered on education, motivation, and sanction.

How Water Utilities can Strengthen Themselves

Many a water utility has been overwhelmed by the prospect of developing a capacity building and institutional strengthening program (CBISP). An effective CBISP should review, define, and implement the following functionally-linked activities: Business Planning; Human Resources Development (HRD); Information Technology (IT); Management Information Systems (MIS); Financial Management Development (FMD); Financial Modeling and Tariff Development; Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Boosting Performance through Twinning

Haiphong and Da Nang towns in Vietnam share one big challenge—providing quality and reliable drinking water services to their communities in the most economical and efficient way possible. Haiphong does this better than Da Nang, so in May 2008, Haiphong committed to help Da Nang under a twinning program initiated by ADB, one of eight utility twinning agreements established under ADB’s WOP.

Binh Duong Water Gets Strength from Phnom Penh Twin

The BIWASE—PPWSA partnership, which commenced in July 2007, was the first twinning arrangement under the ADB-WOPs program. The twinning arrangement is to last 18 months and may be extended upon agreement by both PPWSA and BIWASE. Its activities include exchange visits of BIWASE personnel to PPWSA, and seminars, courses, and internships on areas of operations that need improvement. BIWASE now feels the benefits of the twinning arrangement. Greater revenues are coming in. There were fewer customer complaints about meter reading errors than ever.

Stocktaking of Water and Sanitation Sector and Private Sector Involvement in Selected Asian Countries

This background note is part of a wider program carried out by the OECD on “Sustainable financing to ensure affordable access to water and sanitation.” The program includes the development of practical guidance for governments wishing to engage the private sector in the development and management of water and sanitation infrastructure, based on the newly released OECD Principles for Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure.

Forging Government-Corporate-Society Partnerships

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are contractual agreements between a public agency and private sector entity. Benefits from PPPs - Expedited completion of projects; Project cost savings; Improved quality and system performance; Use of innovative materials and management techniques; Access to new capital. What is often lacking in PPPs? - Public trust; Accountability for quality services; Water conservation and demand management; Targeted services to the poor. A New Paradigm for PPP: Government – policy and regulation; Corporate – service delivery; Society -- equity and sustainability.

Twinning (WOPS): A means of advancing utility performance

Characteristics – (a) Establishing a partnership between two water utilities (b) First Utility – stronger performer and willing to share their experiences and methods; (c) Second Utility – already working to achieve improvement and prepared to commit to a change program; (d) Written commitment by both utilities setting out their respective obligations (e) Both achieve gains – but not necessarily equal benefits.

Twinning: Overview and Experiences

Common principles include: Non-profit engagement; Capacity building or mentoring element; Practitioner-to-practitioner exchange; Camaraderie or same “language”; Sharing of new innovations/ technology/systems; Mutual benefits: new experiences + joint effort. Common Structure: (a) Mentoring: a “beneficiary” partner relying on knowledge transfer from a model partner to address a specific problem (b) Equal: partners having similar problems engaging in dialogue to find a solution and advance knowledge.

Singapore PUB's WaterHub

Presents PUB’s WaterHub, the knowledge hub for the water industry, launched in Dec 2004, and trains PUB’s 3300 staff + water industry workforce; mission is to be the international technology, learning and networking hub for the water industry.

Twinning Arrangement between PPWSA and BIWASE

A twinning arrangement between Cambodia's Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) and Viet Nam's Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Company Limited (BIWASE) commenced on 31 July 2007 upon the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) by both parties. The arrangement will proceed for 18 months and may be extended upon the parties' mutual written agreement. BIWASE is a member of the South East Asian Water Utilities Network (SEAWUN).

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority: An Exemplary Water Utility in Asia

Cambodia's Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) is unlike a typical water utility in Asia. And it is not because it has service efficiency, greater water productivity, or increasing consumer base—other water utilities in the region have some of these traits at one time or another. PPWSA is different because it has achieved all these by radically transforming a decrepit and war-torn water supply system with missing water and missing customers into a model public sector water utility that provides 24 hour drinking water to Phnom Penh. Water service now covers 100% of inner city Phnom Penh and is being expanded to surrounding districts, with priority given to urban poor communities. In particular, PPWSA now serves 15,000 families in 123 urban poor communities, giving the poor extra privileges such as subsidized tariffs or connection fees, installment connection fees and more. Non-revenue water has also decreased from 72% to 6%, while bill collection is now at 99.9%. Its 147,000 connections, up from 26,881 in 1993, bring reliable and safe drinking water to all of Phnom Penh’s one million inhabitants 24 hours a day.

Benchmarking – Recent Global Developments

Benefits of Southeat Asian Water Utilities Network (SEAWUN) program to date:
- A readily comparable set of performance indicators
- Relatively simple data collection
- Performance indicators that can be used internally for performance management
- An indication of who are the best performers
- A forum for discussion on what are the best practices
Over time, they also provide some indication of how well utilities are progressing in improving their performance.

Twinning of Water Utilities (ADB-WOPs)

Exemplary water utilities in the Asia Pacific region – e.g., Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority, Manila Water, and Singapore’s Public Utilities Board -- are being tapped to help developing utilities enhance their skills and operational efficiency. Whereas most twinning arrangements pair off entities with similar characteristics on the assumption that they will share similar problems and solutions, WOP’s approach is to match a stronger water and sanitation utility (expert) with a developing utility (recipient).

ADB Water Operators Partnership (WOP) Program

The Water Operators Partnership (WOP) Program, a collaboration between ADB and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) works to enable water utilities to improve service coverage and delivery, financial sustainability, and other aspects of their performance. The WOPs Program is part of a larger plan to achieve breakthroughs in vital areas of water supply and resources management and attain the Millennium Development Goals—the Hashimoto Action Plan (HAP).

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