European WOP Program

Meeting Sustainable Development Goal 6 will require strong institutional capacity in the Water and Sanitation sector of developing countries. European Water Utilities from many EU member states have mobilized commitment and interest from their staff, customers and stakeholders, and allocated own resources and utility expertise to share with peers to help them realize the SDGs.

At the request of the European Commission, a proposal for a European WOP programme was developed by GWOPA with a consortium of European Utilities and platforms from Belgium, Netherlands, England, France, Germany, Spain, Finland, Denmark. The programme would see GWOPA managing a suite of 2 – 4 yearlong WOPs mentored by European utilities.

This concept has recently been accepted in principal by the European Commission Strategic Steering Committee project modalities defined through the course of 2019 for commencement in 2020.



  • Strengthen the technical, managerial and financial capacity and operation performance of beneficiary utilities in developing countries.
  • Unlock investment finance by increasing the capacity of beneficiary water and sanitation utilities to access and manage funds.
  • Strengthen and scale the WOPs and grow and support the pool of European utilities that mobilise commitment and resource.
  • Form a platform for cooperation, exchange and dialogue among Water and Sanitation Utilities, the European Commission, EU member states and other investment financiers.


Initial Description of actions 

  • Define proposal requirements and selection criteria and overall implementation modalities, drawing on existing European capacity/experience and GWOPA principles and good practice.
  • Call for proposals from sets of WOP partners from European and a beneficiary country.
  • WOP Proposal review, selection and announcement.
  • Capacity development for effective WOP practice – throughout the programme, learning and exchange between European mentor utilities to increase proposal quality, effectively implement WOPs, maximize financial linkages and draw lessons. Supported by GWOPA online community of practice.
  • WOP Implementation.
  • Monitoring – WOP partners monitor progress using common monitoring protocols and GWOPA platform. Framework supports linking of local implementation to SDG targets.
  • Documentation and Dissemination – document utility improvements, innovation, financial leverage approach, to share widely the European WOP experience.
  • Preparation of investment-ready post-WOP improvement plans/projects to maximize further improvement and funding opportunities post-WOP
  • Phasing out of initial WOP implementation period and exploration of next steps
  • Exchange of lessons, knowledge capitalization, connection for follow-up finance
  • Evaluation