History of GWOPA

Since our foundation in January 2009, GWOPA has been working to strengthen the technical and management capacity of water and sanitation operators through not-for-profit peer support partnerships.

Recognizing the importance of strong utilities for sustainable development and the potential for peer-to-peer partnerships to play a much more significant role in helping countries meet the Millennium Development Goals for Water and sanitation, in its 2006 Hashimoto Action Plan, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board (UNSGAB) on Water and Sanitation recommended the establishment of a mechanism to promote the approach globally.

Upon the request of former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, UN-Habitat led the creation of this mechanism and formed its Secretariat. To encourage the involvement of all needed partners in its global mission, UN-Habitat set up the mechanism as an alliance, open to all relevant actors willing to contribute. Alliance membership is dominated by public water utilities from around the globe and also includes development partners, civil society organizations, labour unions and private water operators.

During these years, we expanded our global network, helped establish regional and national WOP platforms, engaged major donors and development banks from every region, facilitated the implementation of dozens of WOPs, documented and monitored global WOPs practice and developed WOP guidance material, contributing to a significant rise in global awareness and momentum for WOPs around the world.