A 3-month successful mission on Management Information between VEI Dutch Water Operators & Mandalay City Development Committee took place in November as part of WaterWorX program

Friday, 22 November 2019 16:03

BEWOP Tools and Guidance Workshop

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Bracing for Impact: African Water and Sanitation Utilities trained on how to plan, monitor and report on the results of Water Operators’ Partnerships

WOP between VEI and the City of Harare as part of the WaterWorX Programme

The conference will take place from 9:30am to 2pm at Pati Llimona (Regomir 3, Barcelona)

Water stress poses great threat to MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, which is the most water-scarce region in the world. GWOPA has initiated a regional consultation process with the support of the Department of Energy of Abu Dhabi with the objective of proposing a regional capacity building action plan on water scarcity for Arab utilities through Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs).

The development of this action plan is a consultative process which ambitions to bring on board the main regional stakeholders as well as utilities -both potential mentors and mentees: in addition to the regional survey, GWOPA organizes two Expert Group Meetings -one that was held in January 2019 at the World Future Energy Summit, and the second one that will take place at WFES 2020- The outcome of the consultation will be presented at the World Urban Forum 2020 held in Abu Dhabi in February 2020 to potential donors.

For this purpose, GWOPA has developed a questionnaire to consult the utilities in the MENA region* on the theme of water scarcity. The respondent organizations will have the opportunity to be included in GWOPA’s proposal for the potential WOP programme in the region and indicate their interest in participating either as a mentor or a mentee (or both). The outcome of the questionnaire will also help GWOPA identify the main challenges and tailor the proposal according to the needs and priorities of the operators from the region.

To access the online questionnaire, please open the following link


* For the scope of this survey, the MENA region includes: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, and Yemen.
Regarding mentoring, operators from the Mediterranean area are encouraged to participate (Spain, France, Italy, Greece…)


As part of its 40th anniversary to be held in February 2020 in Kampala, Uganda, in the sidelines of its 20th Congress, the African Water Association is launching competitions to reward innovative water and sanitation projects as well as professional networks.

AfWA has defined five awards under the following categories:

The Best Network Award: AfWA, in the implementation of its gender policy, has encouraged the establishment of National Networks of Women Water and Sanitation Professionals and National Committees of Young African Water and Sanitation Professionals. These awards will make it possible to distinguish in each category the network that has stood out both for its dynamism and its performance.

  1. The best AfWA network of young professionals
  2. The best AfWA network for professional women

The Best Innovative Project Award: Through this award, AfWA aims to reward, in each category, an entity or an individual who has demonstrated creativity in providing a solution to an issue in the industry.

  1. The best Innovative Project in the "Water Utility" category;
  2. The best Innovative Project in the "Sanitation Utility" category;
  3. The best innovative project in the "African Individual" category;

The awards ceremony will take place during the 40th anniversary celebration dinner on Sunday, February 23, 2020 in Kampala.

The deadline for submission is 15th November 2019 at midnight GMT.

Visit AfWA website for further information


The former German capital, Bonn, will host the Secretariat of the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) Secretariat for the next five years, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. UN-Habitat has announced the decision as the result of an open international call for a host organization for the GWOPA Secretariat launched in June 2019.

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, communicated the decision to the Federal Government of Germany on 31 October 2019, on the celebration of World Cities Day.

The hosting arrangement with the Government of Germany will support GWOPA in pursuing its mission to scale up peer-support partnerships (Water Operators’ Partnerships or WOPs) between water and sanitation service providers worldwide in support of the SDGs and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Complementing GWOPA’s project work, the German hosting will provide stable revenues to permit GWOPA to work globally in collaboration with regional partners over the coming five years.

Hosting twenty UN institutions and more than 150 NGOs, Bonn offers important networking and collaboration opportunities for GWOPA. The German bid to host GWOPA was supported by a dozen German-based organizations, including the governments of the City of Bonn and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the Government of the Netherlands, a long-standing supporter of WOPs. Bonn is well located close to GWOPA’s various European partners, notably those in the Netherlands and Brussels, where GWOPA is collaborating closely on the WaterWorX and European WOPs programmes.

Since 2013, the GWOPA Secretariat has been based in Barcelona, where support from the Government of Spain and the City of Barcelona has allowed GWOPA to help utilities around the world help one another.

 OFID (the OPEC Fund for International Development) and GWOPA (the Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance) have entered, following a first collaboration for 10 African WOPs in 2013-2015, in a new Agreement to help five water and sanitation utilities in Africa and Asia, to implement Short Term Action Plans and develop Medium Term Sustainability Improvement Plans (SIP) through WOPs. The African Water Association (AfWA) and WaterLinks will coordinate at regional level the implementation of the WOPs projects with the utilities involved.

In Africa, Blantyre Water Board, Malawi and Welayita Sodo Town Water Utility, Ethiopia, the mentees, are mentored by eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (eTMM), Water Unit, Durban, South Africa. In Asia, Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority from Bangladesh, are mentored respectively by Kota Surabaya, Indonesia, and Suez India, India.

During the 2-year long partnerships between the five pairs of utilities, “mentor” operators will support “mentees” with capacity development and change implementation in high-priority areas, ranging from improving billing and collection to energy efficiency, assembled in Short Term Action Plans (STAPs). The STAPs will include a small investment component, such as a pilot project, to ignite long term changes towards sustainability.


Towards the end of the STAP implementation, the WOP partners will be supported to conduct a more thorough joint analysis of the causes and potential solutions to their performance shortcomings, and to develop Sustainability Improvement Plans (SIPs) which would lay out a suite of longer-term improvement steps, combined with an investment component, to be implemented during a subsequent phase of improvement (lasting 3-5 years). To maximize potential for uptake, the MTSIPs will be developed with the involvement of relevant banks or donors (including those who have already shown interest in investing in the beneficiary countries’ utilities).

Throughout the process, the WOPs partners will be supported by GWOPA to coordinate thepartnering processes, on WOPs approaches and best WOPs practice; and with relevanttechnical trainingon themes requiring deeper learning. Key staff from participating operators will share their learning and showcase their experience through onlineCommunities of Practice (CoPs)dedicated to various relevant technical issues and partnering issues as well, establishing bridges and fostering cross-fertilization between the regions. GWOPA is also providing a Planning and Monitoring online tool (the PMP) for the WOP Programme which allows: 1. comparative analysis of various projects of the Programme; and 2, visualization of parameters of each of the monitoring dimensions (impact and partnering practices).

The program was launched in May 2019, with a launching webinar and then a kick-off workshop last June, organized in Barcelona, Spain, by GWOPA. The workshop was attended by representatives from Malawi, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines that explained their plans for further collaborations for WOPs.

As part of the implementation of the project, a launching workshop was held in Sodo (Ethiopia) and Blantyre (Malawi) last August, followed by a benchmarking visit to the eThekwini municipality of Durban (South Africa) in September 2019. The objective of the benchmarking visit, attended by both mentee teams at the same time, The objective of the audit visit is exposing the mentee utilities to the good practices of the mentor and starting the self-assessment process for the identification of the priority themes of the SIP.  The next phase of the implementation of the project is the mentees diagnostic visit.

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Chemical and microbiological analysis laboratory of EWS, Durban                 Field visit visit to a drinking water treatment plant of UMGENI, Durban


The objective of the audit visitsis to evaluate the level of performance the mentees, through the methodology developed by GWOPA, and identify improvements to be made on different aspects according to the priorities of the mentees. Those priorities will be captured in a Short Term Action Plan, entered in the online PMP for monitoring and reporting purposes.

In Asia, the first diagnosis is taking place in Da Nang, Vietnam, then Khulna and Chittagong in Bangladesh before the end of the year.

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Field visit during the SIP WOP in Vietnam                                                        Mentors and mentees interactions for the SWOT analysis



Signing ceremony of MOU between MWAP and DAWACO











  • Urban October 2019: 31 Days of Promoting a Better Urban Future

European utilities, governments, financiers and NGOs met at a meeting convened by the European Commission Devco in Brussels last week, to talk about a new Water Operators’ Partnerships Programme (EU-WOP) being prepared for launching in 2020. Aimed at helping utilities in developing countries meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the programme would provide support to water utilities from Europe to mentor their peers in developing countries. This EU-funded programme will be managed by the Global Water Operators' Partnerships (GWOPA) of UN-Habitat under which around 20 Water Operators' Partnerships will be established and will receive guidance from the global alliance.

In its development cooperation, the European Commission is increasingly embracing partnership approaches like WOPs that address multiple objectives and bring different actors together to reach the SDGs. The EU-WOPs programme proposes to add value to the diverse decentralized WOP activities already being led by European water utilities, by creating opportunities for learning and exchange between them. It also helps to get new European utilities involved as mentors. The programme also aims to involve financial institutions early on, to anchor and extend the benefits of these capacity development partnerships by linking them with investments.

During the meeting, more than 50 people from European Institutions put their minds together to comment and suggest improvements to the proposed programme. The EU-WOP programme builds on the lessons from an earlier Europe-wide experience (the 2013 EU-ACP Water Facility Partnership Window) and will make use of GWOPA’s experience in supporting WOPs processes.


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