Water Operators’ Partnerships are increasingly recognized as instruments to strengthen operational capacities of water utilities and to foster knowledge exchange between utilities with the ultimate aim of expanding and improving the provision of water services to consumers. Recent programmes like the EU-WOP Programme, sustainable utility partnerships developed by the German Water Partnership or the WaterWorX Programme are illustrative of this growing recognition of WOPs. Contributing to the achievement of SDG target 6.1 figures prominently in these programmes.
At the same time, much of the literature on WOPs is either written in the context of the public versus private debate (where WOPs are presented as an alternative to PPPs) or has a strong case study focus that simply describes a particular WOP case study. What is missing is a more critical yet constructive analysis focused on understanding different dimensions and phenomena of WOPs and how such partnerships work in practice. Such a more critical perspective is necessary in order to further the discussion on WOPs as an instrument for improving service provision and, ultimately, to contribute to making such partnerships more effective.
During this session series following papers submitted to the special issue will be presented and discussed:
This is a series of three sessions. Organized in themes, authors of the papers submitted to the special issue WOPs: Practices and Principles will present the results of their papers and will engage in discussion with the guest editors, other authors, and the audience.