The first applications of benchmarking to the water and sanitation sector date back to the 1990s. Since then water utility benchmarking has been used at local, national and international scales. The main application of benchmarking in the sector is through voluntary benchmarking where performance is benchmarked within the water utility (over time, between similar units), with other water utilities (nationally or regionally) and with other utilities (e.g. power, telecoms, etc.). The use of benchmarking by regulators is yet limited, although an increasing number of regulators is assessing utility performance indicators and promote performance improvement, encouraging competition and providing incentives.
The aim of this course is to provide an overview of theory and experience in the benchmarking of water and sanitation services for the purpose of improving performance. The course draws on applied research by academics and on benchmarking practices worldwide.
Junior and mid-career professionals from water and sanitation utilities, regulatory agencies, government departments and NGOs; postgraduate students.
After this course you will be able to:
Upon completion of the module, participants will be able to:
Understand the objectives and approaches to benchmarking and its application in the public and private sectors
Know the application and use of benchmarking by regulators, utilities and other stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector
Know the legislative and regulatory experiences relative to the institutionalization of water and sanitation utility benchmarking
Know the prevailing objectives, approaches, methods and practices in drinking water and sanitation benchmarking, including their strengths, weaknesses, costs and benefits
Be able to identify specific performance indicators to typical organizational objectives of water utilities in emerging economies, including improvement of services to the poor, reduction of NRW and others
Be able to contribute to the design of a benchmarking framework based on specific organizational objectives
Course materials were organized by Mireia Tutusaus Luque (MSc), Lecturer/Researcher in Water Services Management, Department of Integrated Water Systems and Governance, UNESCO-IHE (assisted by Cecilia Alda Vidal, MSc).
The following partners participated in the PROBE research project and contributed to the development of this course:
UNESCO-IHE, The Netherlands, represented by Mr. Maarten Blokland
Vewin/EBC, The Netherlands, represented by Mr. Peter Dane
NWSC, Uganda, represented by Dr. Silver Mugisha
CEPT, India, represented by prof. Dr Dinesh Mehta and prof. Dr Meera Mehta
USP, Brazil, represented by prof. Dr Tadeu Malheiros
REMARK: The PROBE research project was funded by DUPC, the programmatic cooperation between the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNESCO-IHE.
This set of course materials is provided as OpenCourseWare without support and interaction with lecturers. Assignments, groupwork activities, games and other interactive materials are included in this webpage to be used in replications of the face-to-face version of the course. If you wish to replicate the course as a capacity building activity in your own organization; you will find a suggested program for 10 days and a evaluation form at the end of this introductory section.
This page contains the materials elaborated for the course: Benchmarking for improved Water Utility Performance as part of the PROBE- Benchmarking Pro-poor Water Services Provision research project. The course was originally planned as a face-to-face course. It included lectures, discussions, exercises, games and site visits. In this website you can download the PowerPoint presentations as well as other additional materials and follow the course at your own pace.
These open educational resources are part of the PROBE Project