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Accelerate the scaling up of effective peer-to-peer partnerships between Water Operators worldwide
Together
towards
Good Practices 2021

Learning from each other, sharing experiences, and inspiring action is a critical way for water and sanitation operators to improve their services and enrich the lives of the people they serve.

Collaboration and solidarity are at the heart of the Global WOPs Congress and the event seeks to be inclusive and fair in its representation. +more

This free and open event is convened by the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance - a global network of public operators and their partners - led by UN-Habitat

Download the Congress Brochure

We as GWOPA have a strong commitment towards gender, cultural, geographical and stakeholder representation, and work hard to ensure it is fair and even in all our activities. Now that it is the time to prepare the sessions and panels for the 4th Global WOPs Congress, we would like to share with you a few reflections and encourage you to consider them while proposing the speakers.

As all male panels are not only a misrepresentation of the sector diversity, but also a disservice to gender equality struggles in all its dimensions, we make gender diversity a precondition for GWOPA organized events. Not only female, but also young professional and mentee speakers are usually underrepresented and hence always encouraged. GWOPA is supporting speakers to panels and will offer special support and orientation sessions ahead of the Congress.

  • Main Sessions

    Monday 18 October

    Opening Ceremony

    + more info
    Monday 18 October

    Access for All, in particular for women and girls!

    #AccessForAll
    + more info
    Friday 22 October

    Are WOPs Reaching the Most Vulnerable?

    #AccessForAll
    + more info
    Monday 25 October

    Utilities making inclusive and safe sanitation a reality

    #AdvancingSanitation
    + more info
    Monday 25 October

    What does Climate Resilience mean for Water and Sanitation Operators?

    #ClimateAdaptation · #AdvancingSanitation
    + more info
    Wednesday 20 October

    Managing and responding to natural disasters in a changing climate

    #ManagingCrisis · #ClimateAdaptation
    + more info
    Thursday 21 October

    Leapfrogging or treading water? Utilities picking up the pace at the water-energy-food nexus

    #CircularDevelopment · #AdvancingSanitation
    + more info
    Tuesday 19 October

    Nature as Critical Infrastructure: operators looking beyond the pipes

    #CircularDevelopment · #ClimateAdaptation
    + more info
    Tuesday 19 October

    Fighting COVID together – are utilities getting the support they need?

    #ManagingCrises · #AccessForAll
    + more info
    Tuesday 19 October

    Multi-stakeholder WOPs: Where NGOs, Academia and Others are adding Value to Utility Partnerships

    #Governance
    + more info
    Tuesday 26 October

    WOP Chef: Recipes for Enabling Water Operators’ Partnerships in Europe and Beyond

    #Governance · #Finance
    + more info
    Friday 22 October

    Transparency, Accountability and Participation: which innovations for improving quality and efficiency of utilities?

    #Governance
    + more info
    Wednesday 20 October

    WOPs and Financial Linkages - Leveraging Peer Partnerships for Greater Impact

    #Finance
    + more info
    Thursday 28 October

    The transformative journey of knowledge in a WOP, from need to impact

    #Knowledge
    + more info
    Friday 22 October

    The P is Key! Focusing on Partnership quality for successful WOPs

    #Knowledge
    + more info
    Thursday 28 October

    I WOP, EU-WOP, We all WOP - An open launch of the new EU-WOP Programme Partnerships

    + more info
    Thursday 21 October

    WOPs´ monitoring. What for? And How?

    #Monitoring
    + more info
    Tuesday 26 October

    The Global WOPs Observatory: WOPs data management for more and better WOPs

    #Monitoring
    + more info
    Wednesday 27 October

    How can a WOP boost your career as a water professional?

    #Knowledge
    + more info
  • Regional Sessions

    Thursday 21 October

    Sesión regional América Latina y Caribe / Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Session

    #RegionalEvent
    + more info
    Thursday 21 October

    Effective Capacity Development through WOPs and Webinars During a Pandemic: lessons from Asia

    #RegionalEvent
    + more info
    Wednesday 27 October

    WOPs to address water scarcity in the MENA region

    #RegionalEvent
    + more info
    Monday 25 October

    Boosting access water and sanitation services in Africa through peer-to-peer learning partnerships of operators

    #RegionalEvent
    + more info
    Thursday 21 October

    Successful factors for enabling WOPs: The French case

    #RegionalEvent
    + more info
    Wednesday 27 October

    Building Together the Water and Sanitation Sector in the Pacific and the Caribbean Through Peer-to-Peer Exchange and Improved Monitoring

    + more info
  • #OPERATORsSTAGE events

    Wednesday 20 October

    Lessons from the German Operators Neighbourhood System – would it work for you?

    #knowledge · #OperatorsStage
    + more info
    Tuesday 26 October

    Innovative Asset Management for Water Utilities in South East Europe

    #OperatorsStage
    + more info
    Wednesday 20 October

    Testimonies on Strengthening Integrity among Water Operators

    #OperatorsStage · #Governance
    + more info
    Thursday 28 October

    Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workers

    #OperatorsStage · #AdvancingSanitation
    + more info
    Tuesday 26 October

    Sustainable rural water operators´ management model

    #OperatorsStage · #AccessForAll
    + more info
    Wednesday 20 October

    How to increase the resilience of water and wastewater utilities in the face of climate change and increasing disasters

    #OperatorsStage · #ManagingCrises
    + more info
    Thursday 28 October

    Guidelines for Customer Survey and Complaint Management

    #OperatorsStage
    + more info
  • Side events

    Wednesday 27 October

    Advancing SDG 6.3.1 monitoring at the local level – Utilities championing urban wastewater treatment

    #SideEvent · #AdvancingSanitation · #Monitoring
    + more info
    Wednesday 27 October

    Enabling environment for female operators

    #SideEvent
    + more info
    Monday 25 October

    Planning in an uncertain future: The Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) methodology

    #ClimateAdaptation · #SideEvent
    + more info

Speakers - Opening Session

Uschi Eid

Since 2004 Dr. Uschi Eid has been a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Adivisory Board on Water and Sanitation, a body established by Kofi Annan. Between 1998 and 2005, she was Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Development Ministry. From 2001 to 2005 she was the Personal G8-Africa Representative of the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. Uschi Eid served for 20 years as a Member of the German Bundestag until 2009. Since 2011 she is Honorary Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrück in the field of Sustainable Resource Management with special focus on Water Management and Sanitation. For 16 years she lectured at the Free University Berlin on Contemporary African Studies.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif

Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif (Malaysia) is the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), appointed at the level of Under-Secretary-General by the Secretary-General, following an election by the General Assembly on 22 December 2017. She succeeds Dr. Joan Clos of Spain.

As the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Sharif has focused on reforming and rejuvenating the agency, mobilizing for internal and external support for the organization's restructuring and new Strategic Plan 2020–2023. Key initiatives undertaken by Ms. Sharif as the Executive Director of UN-Habitat include the adoption of the General Assembly Resolution 73/539 after 14 years of negotiation, which established a new governance structure with universal membership, governed by the UN-Habitat Assembly.

Prior to this appointment, Ms. Sharif was the Mayor of the City Council of Penang Island, Malaysia. In 2011, she was the first woman to be appointed President of the Municipal Council of Seberang Perai. As mayor of a local authority, she led the Municipal Council of Seberang Perai to achieve its vision of a “cleaner, greener, safer and healthier place to work, live, invest and play.” Ms. Sharif began her career as a Town Planner at the Municipal Council of Penang Island in 1985. In 2003, she was promoted to Director of Planning and Development, a position she held until November 2009.

Born in Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, on 26 August 1961, Ms. Sharif holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Town Planning Studies from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, UK and a Master of Science in Planning Studies from the Malaysia Science University.

Prithvirajsing Roopun

President of the Republic of Mauritius

Prince El Hassan bin Talal

Katja Dörner

Katja Dörner (*1976 in Siegen, Germany) took office as Mayor of Bonn on 1 November 2020. She pursued university studies in political science, linguistics, modern German literature and public law in Bonn, York and Edinburgh and graduated in 2000. From 2009 to 2020, she was a member of the German Bundestag; as of 2014, she served as Deputy Chair of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group and as a member of the Committee for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Since March 2021, Mayor Dörner has co-chaired the ICLEI Global Executive Committee 2021-2024 portfolio on Climate Action and Low Emission Development.

Her priorities for Bonn are making Bonn climate neutral by 2035, advancing sustainable mobility – notably with more bike lanes and a car free inner city, fighting inequalities and promoting affordable housing.

Maria Flachsbarth

Maria Flachsbarth, a doctor of veterinary medicine from University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, became a member of the German Parliament in 2002. Since 2006, she has been deputy chair of the CDU in the state of Lower Saxony, and since 2007, she has chaired the CDU district association for Hanover. From 2002 to 2013, she served on the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. From 2009 to 2013, she chaired a Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on the envisaged radioactive waste disposal facility at Gorleben, and she was the special representative for churches and religious communities of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. Then from the end of 2013 to March 2018, she served as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture. Since March 2018, she is Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Abdulla Shahid

H.E. Mr. Abdulla Shahid is a veteran diplomat and politician, with over 35 years of experience in the Executive and Legislative branches of the Maldives. He is currently serving as the President of the seventy-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly but continues to hold the portfolio of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives (a post he is holding for the second time, having held the portfolio previously in 2007). As Foreign Minister, in 2008, he is credited to having introduced the Human Rights Council Resolution 7/23 on “Human Rights and Climate Change”, championing a rights-based approach to climate change. He ensured gender parity among Heads of Maldives’ diplomatic missions as well as the executive levels of the Ministry for the first time in 2020. President Shahid also holds the distinction of being the first democratically elected Speaker of The People’s Majlis (Parliament).

Gilbert F. Houngbo

Gilbert F. Houngbo became the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on 1 April 2017.

Born and raised in rural Togo, Houngbo has spent more than 30 years working to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people, with extensive experience in political affairs, international development, diplomacy and financial management.

Prior to his appointment as IFAD President, Houngbo was the Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) where he led field operations in more than 100 countries and managed its bilateral and multilateral partnerships.

He served as Prime Minister of the Republic of Togo from 2008 to 2012, where he introduced economic reforms and enhanced the rule of law and civil liberties.

From 1996 to 2008, he undertook a number of roles at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) including Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary- General, Africa Regional Director, where he led poverty alleviation programmes in 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to this, he spent a decade in the private sector, including at Price Waterhouse, Canada, where he worked in Audit and Financial Advisory Services. Houngbo has a Matrîse en gestion des entreprises from the University of Lomé, Togo, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées in Specialised Accounting from the University of Québec, Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants.

Pedro Arrojo-Agudo

Mr. Pedro Arrojo-Agudo is the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. He was appointed by the Human Rights Council in September 2020 and started his mandate on 1 November 2020. From 2016 to 2019, Mr. Arrojo-Agudo served as an elected member of the Spanish Parliament. He was Professor in the Area of Fundamentals of Economic Analysis at the University of Zaragoza from 1989 to 2011, and has been professor emeritus since 2011. During the last three decades, he has focused his research on economics and water management, publishing his work in more than 100 scientific articles and in 70 books.

David Boys

David is Deputy General Secretary of Public Services International, a global trade union federation founded in 1907, affiliating 700 unions in 165 countries, representing more than 30 million workers. David is a recognised authority in the water sector and was a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, where he helped steer the concept of public-public partnerships, which UN SG Kofi Annan mandated UN Habitat to implement. PSI is also involved in initiatives to remunicipalise utilities and to encourage labour-management cooperation to improve effectiveness.

Frederic Kabore

Director General of Office National de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement (ONEA), Burkina Faso

Cristina Zuffo

Director of Research, Technological Development, and Innovation at Sabesp (Brazil)

Dwike Riantara

Managing Director of Perumda Air Minum Tirta Mayang Jambi City of Indonesia

Andre Dzikus

Chief, Urban Basic Services Section, UN-Habitat

What
makes the WOPs Congress different

United by solidarity

United by solidarity

Water Operators’ Partnership and other not-for-profit peer support exchanges will take center stage.

The Congress is a moment for the GWOPA network and new partners to come together around a shared commitment to helping each.

Diversity

Diversity

The WOPs Congress has been designed in close consultation with a Congress Taskforce (public operators, WOPs facilitators, donors, workers’ unions and civil society organisations) to ensure it shines a light on real actions, impact, and opportunity to increase progress on Sustainable Development Goal 6.

A focus on operator staff

A focus on operator staff

WOPs support operator staff to do their job better and they are happening all over the world.

The Congress will bring together hundreds of operator staff to tell their stories, learn from each other and inspire individual and collective action.

Moving towards sustainable access for all

Moving towards sustainable access for all

The Congress is convened by the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance – a diverse network largely made up of public water and sanitation operators along with their partners.

Participation is free of charge and open to all organisations and individuals with an interest in sustainable water and sanitation.

Why

Why participate?

LEARN: Contribute to and benefit from collective knowledge on peer-to-peer partnerships and the work of water operators.

SHARE: Strengthen or build new partnerships and exchange experiences with water operators and their partners.

INSPIRE... and GET INSPIRED!: Expand support for water operators and peer-to-peer learning amongst relevant stakeholders and the general public


Participation has no cost and online participation will allow everyone to take part.

Who

Who will be there?

Stakeholders from all walks of life who support public water and sanitation utilities, including national, sub-national and local governments, donors and financial institutions, knowledge and academic institutions, multi-lateral organizations, civil society organizations, workers unions, water regulators and business.

For those new to WOPs and GWOPA, the Congress is an opportunity to interact with a global network of actors committed to solidarity and peer support in the water and sanitation space.

Where

Where

The event is convened by GWOPA in its host city in Bonn.

Online participation will allow alliance partners, members and newcomers to participate.

Networking and e-socialising events will be organised to connect different individuals across the globe and build new partnerships and synergies.

Registration will open in June 2021.

Congress partners

Congress partners

The 4th Global WOPs Congress is made possible by the generous support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the City of Bonn, and with the ongoing work of the BEWOP project, WaterWorX, OFID SIP WOP Project.

The Congress is a collaborative effort from the entire GWOPA network, special thanks to the Congress Taskforce and regional WOPs platforms for their inputs.

Access the Congress virtual venue and revisit the sessions.



Good
Practices
2021

In late September 2021, the UN-Habitat's Global Water Operators' Partnerships Alliance launched a Call for Good Practices to identify, celebrate and encourage sharing of good practices on gender inclusion, and transparency and integrity, in water and sanitation utilities and Water Operators' Partnerships (WOPs).

Discover the selected good practices

    Gender Inclusion in Water and Sanitation Utilities and WOPs

    Women are under-represented among water and sanitation service professionals. At the same time, water and sanitation utilities often fail to take gender sufficiently into account in the planning, financing, delivery and evaluation of services, with negative consequences for women and girls in particular.
    These selected good practices show ways in which gender-sensitive approaches in service provision, promotion of gender inclusion in the workforce, or ways in which Water Operators' Partnerships have helped develop capacity for gender inclusion can be developed and implemented in the water and sanitation utility sector.

  • Champion

    "Entornos verdes y seguros para las mujeres"
    Submitted by Empresa de Acueducto y Alcantarillado de Bogotá (EAAB)
    #Colombia

    DESCRIPTION

    Los cuerpos hídricos en Bogotá han sido objeto de invasión y uso inadecuado del suelo, condiciones que han llevado a la EAAB-ESP a generar procesos de saneamiento hidráulico y a generar procesos participativos para el uso adecuado de estos espacios para el disfrute público.

    La EAAB-ESP ha acompañado las iniciativas de las mujeres lideresas para la recuperación del Humedal La Vaca, de donde surgió la fundación de mujeres Grupo de Banco de Semillas. Con el apoyo y liderazgo de mujeres de la comunidad y las actividades que realiza la EAAB-ESP para el mantenimiento integral de 2,24 Has del humedal, se adelantaron trabajos como: cerramiento provisional, siembras de restauración, extracción y retiro de RCD y residuos ordinarios, nivelación de terreno y recuperación de espejo de agua y plantas acuáticas. Así como múltiples talleres informativos y de sensibilización sobre los servicios ecosistémicos, la importancia de la protección y conservación de la flora y fauna de los humedales.

    Por otro lado, el proyecto Corredor Ambiental Tunjuelo-Chiguaza es un proyecto de infraestructura con enfoque de género que ha mejorado condiciones de seguridad de las habitantes del sector, con el fin de contribuir al disfrute y apropiación de la ciudad en espacios públicos seguros y ambientalmente sanos. Es un proyecto integral urbano, arquitectónico y paisajístico, con el cual se busca mitigar situaciones adversas que se presentan en el río con sus quebradas que son afluentes, así como articular los cuerpos de agua con los desarrollos que se localizan en su entorno como eje estructurante ambiental.

    PHOTOS

  • Runner up

    "Escuelas de Lideresas para la gestión del agua y saneamiento"
    Submitted by Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID)
    #Nicaragua #Panama

    DESCRIPTION

    La garantía de participación de las poblaciones beneficiarias, especialmente en la toma de decisiones en los programas y respecto a la gestión y mantenimiento de los sistemas ha sido uno de los pilares de los programas del Fondo de Cooperación para Agua y Saneamiento (FCAS), impulsando la perspectiva de derechos humanos. Las mujeres son las que, dada la distribución de los roles de género y la división sexual del trabajo, asumen las tareas de acceso al agua de las familias, gestionan su uso al interior de la casa, y de asegurar el buen uso de los sistemas por parte del resto de miembros de la familia, pero sin poder de decisión ni control de los recursos.

    La integración de la perspectiva de género dentro de las actividades de participación es uno de los elementos clave para mejorar y reconocer los roles de las mujeres dentro de la toma de decisiones asociada a los mismos. La Escuela de Lideresas se implementó por primera vez en el marco de los programas FCAS/AECID en Nicaragua, siendo una experiencia exitosa y logrando la incorporación de las mujeres como gestoras y decisoras de los sistemas de agua y saneamiento. Esta práctica se ha replicado en Panamá durante el año 2019, en el contexto donde trabaja el FCAS junto con el Ministerio de Salud, áreas rurales, dispersas y de población indígena de la Comarca Ngäbé-Buglé, impulsando el empoderamiento y liderazgo de las mujeres y promoviendo su capacitación para la inserción de las juntas comunitarias de agua.

    PHOTOS

  • Special mention - WOP practices

    "Mentoring and career development for women and young professionals"
    Submitted by Société Malienne de Gestion de l'Eau Potable SA (SOMAGEP SA)
    #Mali

    DESCRIPTION

    The WaterWorX project is a WOP that aims to strengthen SOMAGEP SA, the Malian water utility. This partnership with World Waternet in Amsterdam was initiated in 2018 and allowed SOMAGEP SA to focus on areas such as Non-Revenue Water, service coverage for vulnerable populations, leadership and organizational development, and water quality. SOMAGEP was already involved in gender activities through AFSO, the women association of SOMAGEP and the REMAFPEA (WASH professional women cluster of the African Water Association). During WaterWorX Phase 1 (2018-2021), AFSO initiated the process of gender certification from UN Women to evaluate current gender inclusion practices within the company. The feedback from this evaluation confirmed that SOMAGEP was on a good track but needed to further structure their existing practices. Since, the WaterWorX supported several training and inclusion initiatives that were specifically designed by and for the women of AFSO and REMAFPEA. In addition, via the WaterWorX WOP, the young professional network (AJPEA) was supported in promoting and communicating about social connections in favor of pro-poor communities within water supply projects financed by IDA, AFDB, AFD, etc.

    PHOTOS


  • Transparency and Inclusion in Water and Sanitation Utilities and WOPs

    Within water and sanitation utilities, good governance is key for a fair and sustainable management of water and sanitation. Poor accountability, transparency, and the lack of integrity often causes underperformance and generates unnecessary losses. It also prevents investments to go where they should, obstructing the achievement of fair and equal water access for all.
    These selected good practices show ways in which transparency mechanisms, accountability and integrity tools and processes, participatory governance, or plans to fight against corruption can be developed and implemented in the water and sanitation utility sector.

  • Champion

    "Integrity Management in Khulna Water and Sewerage Authority"
    Submitted by the Water Integrity Network (WIN)
    #Bangladesh

    DESCRIPTION

    An Integrity Management project was initiated in 2015 with the Khulna Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (KWASA) in Bangladesh that illustrates how a public sector utility can implement a management approach based on a structured change process to achieve improved performance and strengthened integrity. The water operator, which serves the City of Khulna (population of around 1 million), initiated the integrity change process supported by the Water Integrity Network (WIN), the Bangladesh Water Integrity Network (BAWIN), as part of Transparency International Bangladesh and the Centre for Water Management Services (cewas). The project was implemented between 2015-2017 and currently, a 2nd phase of the project is under implementation with NGO Forum as local partner. The project is in line with the Bangladesh government’s National Integrity Strategy, which urges government institutions to establish anti-corruption and integrity systems, especially through proper implementation of rules and regulations, procedural reform and capacity development.

    KWASA, as a relatively new operator, was struggling to handle its internal management while simultaneously ensuring adequate service to customers, showed an interest in knowing more about integrity management. WIN introduced the Integrity Management Toolbox (IMT), as a means to strengthen integrity management. KWASA was keen to address irregularities and insufficient service levels, which were being reported in the local press and becoming a reputational issue. KWASA management decided to adopt the tool to improve the utility’s efficiency and integrity and increase its institutional image. In addition, the Managing Director was keen on strengthening service delivery by developing and improving employee performance.

    PHOTOS

Congratulations to the selected applicants, and thank you to all submitters for your interest and participation in the Call!