BWI work organizing construction workers in an ADB-assisted railway rehabilitation project in Cambodia. Conclusions:
•During negotiations and organising work it became obvious that there was not enough time or effort taken by the ADB, the government or the project engineer to adequately forecast and monitor labour costs or variances of these
Vietnam will supply power which could bring an end to blackouts in Cambodia in a deal brokered by Asian Development Bank which has put up half of total $100m (£61m) cost to erect pylons connecting power lines (and building substations) from Vietnam to Cambodia. It is the first segment of a national grid in Cambodian history. The new transmission lines run both ways; if, in the future, Cambodia has a power surplus it should be able to return the favour.
A World Bank report “Economic Impact of Sanitation in Southeast Asia” said that, compared to other Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia experienced the highest economic impact from its poor sanitation. The annual economic impact on health, water, the environment, human welfare and tourism is approximately US$6.3 billion in Indonesia, $1.4 billion in the Philippines, $780 million in Vietnam and $450 million in Cambodia. Indonesian loses the equivalent of Rp 265,000 per capita annually.
In Feb 2009, ADB organized the 1st Twinning Regional Forum held at the K Water Academy in Daejeon, Korea where for the first time, ADB-sponsored twinning utilities met to discuss twinning progress and processes and learn from each others’ best practices. ADB newsletter WATERMARKS (http://www.juscoltd.com/Water%20Mark%203.pdf ) reports the following ‘significant results’, despite delays in the start up phase of various twinning partnerships:
? After visiting their expert twin Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (Cambodia), Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Company (BIWASE-Vietnam) realized the need for a systematic training of their staff and quickly established a new training department.
From a war-torn utility, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) is now considered as one of Asia’s outstanding public utilities – financially and operationally autonomous, achieving full cost recovery and a low NRW level at 6%, and a growing reputation for organizational excellence, customer-oriented service, and high-level of service performance. Under an inspired leadership, PPWSA brings safe drinking water to a million people in Cambodia’s capital city. Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Company (BIWASE) provides the water needs of 1.2 million consumers in Vietnam’s southeastern province of Binh Duong. Like many others in Asia, BIWASE suffered from high-levels of NRW, faulty or inaccurate metering, and distribution system breakdowns. In July 2007, PPWSA was tapped as ‘expert twin’ under WOPs. Twenty-two BIWASE personnel then visited Phnom Penh to touch base with their PPWSA counterparts and see for themselves the renowned efficient operations through hands-on experience. Despite language and cultural differences, initial skepticism and other challenges, BIWASE managers learned much from the twinning, applied what they learned, and are now enjoying the fruits of the partnership. Claiming that they, too, are now experts, BIWASE colleagues had been given more challenging tasks that resulted in, among others – more streamlined work processes; 800-strong personnel fully-trained to apply new standard operating procedures; a 24-hour customer hotline; better-trained meter reading personnel. BIWASE now feels the benefits of the twinning arrangement – more revenues; fewer customer complaints about meter reading errors; and NRW drastically dropped by 20% with better planning of district metered areas — a strategy they learned from PPWSA. With BIWASE’s progress, other utilities in Vietnam are following suit and have identified better practices and applied them.
USAID facilitated a twinning partnership between Phnom Penh and the city of Iloilo in the Philippines in 2008, both members of the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities Initiative. The partnership included a range of sanitation and hygiene promotion activities for Russei Keo that had been piloted in Iloilo. That knowledge, combined with an environmental health survey of the district, led Phnom Penh to become a testing ground for a WaterLinks toolkit for promoting community-based programs for water, sanitation and hygiene. Building on the twinning experience and the toolkit, the Municipality of Phnom Penh organized Cambodia’s first-ever water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) promotion day which drew over 1,200 participants.
I offer 3 key messages for consideration in the Asian Dialogue, and by the UNSGAB: (i) deliver drinking water immediately to all; (ii) aim for total sanitation coverage by communities; and (iii) move water and sanitation up on the national agenda. ADB is encouraging developing member country governments to move water and sanitation up on the national agenda, by exploring innovative partnerships with civil society and the private sector to improve governance, maximize efficiency of service delivery and utilization of resources. A variety of new public-public partnership schemes are possible. We have documented new ideas, new attempts, and new success stories. We have commissioned a flagship report, Asian Water and Development Outlook that will showcase champions with success stories in the water sector, in support of the Asia-Pacific Water Forum.
Twinning as a development strategy has been around since the first millennium. In many cases, towns, universities, and other entities located in geographically distinct areas, but sharing similar characteristics, pair off to foster human contact, cultural exchange, or knowledge sharing. ADB has adopted and improved on this strategy for its Water Operators’ Partnership (WOPs) Program. The WOPs program promotes knowledge sharing and builds the capacity of water operators and utilities in the Asia and the Pacific region. Among its key initiatives is the twinning of 20 water utilities and operators. With the exception the Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (Cambodia) and Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Company (Viet Nam) partnership, which commenced in July 2007, ADB has completed six of seven currently operational twinning arrangements between November 2007 to June 2008.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) extends loans and provides technical assistance to its developing member countries for a broad range of development projects and programs. ADB identified core sectors for its assistance as road transport, energy, urban infrastructure, rural infrastructure, education, and financial services. In recent years, ADB has increasingly placed more emphasis on its private sector operations. In 2007, ADB approved $10.1 billion of loans, $673 million of grant projects, and technical assistance ($243 million). Private sector operations totaled $1.7 billion, significantly above recent levels. Most assistance went to the operational sector, with 39% of total loans (or $3.9 billion) going to transport and communications, more than double the amount in 2006.
ADB's Water Policy, approved in 2001, describes water as a “socially vital economic good”. ADB water policy covers water utilities, sanitation and other water infrastructure (e.g. irrigation). It promotes full cost recovery, water entitlements and “tradable water rights”, and private sector participation. The policy also ushered a “new generation” of water projects for the Bank. These include water policy reforms that promote private sector participation (PSP) in water supply/sanitation (WSS) in such countries as Sri Lanka, Nepal, China, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Pakistan, Vietnam and Philippines. According to ADB, private sector participation (PSP) or public private participation (PPP) seeks to fuse the skills, expertise, and experience from the public and private sectors to deliver high standard services to customers. The public sector offers expertise in governance, responsibility to the electorate, access to funding, appreciation of local cultural sensitivities as well as a local workforce, many with long years of service. The contribution from the private sector includes operational efficiencies, innovative technologies, international managerial experience, access to additional finance, and risk sharing. "There are several PSP models and no single model will suit all situations," says Kallidaikurichi Seetharam, ADB senior water supply and sanitation specialist. "PSP must be tailored to meet local infrastructure, affordability, cultural norms, etc. ADB does not advocate PSP exclusively. It advocates efficient, reliable, accessible water supply and sanitation services for all, which may require the involvement of private sector expertise."
In 2004, with the encouragement and financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the South East Asian Water Utilities Network (SEAWUN) launched its Performance Benchmarking Program for water utilities in South East Asian region. This inaugural Program involved the participation of 47 utilities from 7 regional countries, namely Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. In addition to the support of national water associations and various stakeholders, participating utilities made vigorous efforts during the process of completing survey questionnaire.
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.
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.
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.
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.