What are WOPs
Water Operators’ Partnerships –WOPs - are peer-support arrangements between two or more water or sanitation operators, carried out on a not-for-profit basis in the objective of strengthening their capacity. WOPs are being promoted as a simple but effective method of bolstering the ability of public watsan service providers to play their full role in delivering quality basic services to all.
Who is GWOPA
GWOPA is an alliance of partners working towards the common goal of making Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs) happen more often and with greater impact.
The GWOPA Secretariat, hosted by UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya, is driven by an international Steering Committee and supported by a global network of partners and members. GWOPA counts amongst its supporters utility associations on all continents representing thousands of water utilities, regional development banks, international financial institutions, labour unions, civil society organizations, development partners, and learning institutes.
The Global WOPs Alliance Secretariat is hosted by UN-HABITAT at its headquarters in Nairobi. The Secretariat implements the Alliance work plan and coordinates all its activities in various working areas including supporting regional WOP platforms, WOPs direct brokering and funding, financial guidance and support, development and management of WOPs knowhow, training and capacity building, alliance and partnership building, as well as advocacy and communication activities.
The Secretariat prepares and presents to the annual meeting of the Alliance Steering Committee and bi-annual meeting of the Alliance General Assembly, the annual budget, progress report, and work plan.
The Global WOPs Alliance activities are implemented under the overall strategic direction of a Steering Committee (SC) comprised of water operators, operator associations, and WOP platforms from regions around the world, in addition to private sector water operators, non-governmental and civil society organizations, labor union representatives, as well as substantive and financial partners of the Alliance.
Most utilities in developing countries suffer from a number of interrelated institutional weaknesses, including inadequate cost recovery compounded by a low customer base and limited physical coverage, dilapidated physical infrastructure, high levels of unaccounted for water, the low skill levels of the staff and poor customer relations, among others. There is also the inability to serve the needs of the urban poor, the main targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Fostering collaboration between Water Supply and Sanitation Utilities is a vital element in ensuring exchange of experiences between performing and non-performing utilities. The need for creating a mechanism for the collaboration of water utilities is highlighted in the “Hashimoto Action Plan” which was announced by the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) during the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico.
One of the recommendations of the Hashimoto Action Plan was the establishment of a global mechanism to promote water operators partnerships (WOPs). The rationale behind the WOPs mechanism is that most of the capacity for improving water and sanitation services lies with the operators themselves. It also builds on the fact that about 90% of all utilities are publicly managed, and that even modest improvements in these utilities will go a long way in contributing to meeting the internationally agreed development goals and targets for water and sanitation. Thus the WOPs are to be based on mechanisms to enable operators to systematically communicate amongst themselves and to share their experiences and learn from each others’ practices for the benefit of all.
The Global Water Operator’s Partnership Alliance brings together a diversity of actors – networks, associations, financial institutions, and research and expert organisations - that stand to enrich WOPs with their knowledge and resources. Water Operators’ Partnerships are being promoted by a global alliance of partners who believe in WOPs and are committed to supporting them. The Global WOPs alliance aims to build on the relative strengths of each of its partners to make WOPs work.
Full text of GWOPA Charter