Plenary Session

Enabling WOPs, Enabling Finance

Wednesday, 24 May 2023
09:00 — 10:15
Plenary Room
GWOPA is the Convener for the session.

The session will discuss the intimate connection between operators’ skills and capacities and their financial sustainability. It will look at how mechanisms to support utilities build a skilled workforce and strong management capacity go hand in hand with access and management of the finance they need to reach their full potential in meeting the SDGs.

The financing gap to reach SDG 6 is enormous, estimated at between 200 and 700 billion USD per year until 2030; several times higher than current annual investments. The capacity and performance of water operators and their ability to collect and use data are formidable barriers to finance reaching where it is needed for more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable services.  

The session will exchange experience on how supporting capacity and performance improvements through low-cost Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs) is effective in building financial management capacity and unlocking financing for water and sanitation service providers. Building up the capacity and performance of utility workers and professionals through WOPs can help ensure sound data management, the effective use and longevity of investments, foster innovation, improve financial management and boost utilities’ credibility and trust with external stakeholders. 

Panelists will discuss mechanisms available to support water and sanitation operators for investment financing and sustaining investments.  This will include drawing on recent research on the link between Water Operators Partnerships, capacity development and utility investments.  



Carlos Diaz 

Manager of Strategic Programmes on Climate, Policy & Regulation, Utilities, Standards & Performance Improvement Tools



Allison Woodruff 

Principal Water Security Specialist, Water Sector Group, Asian Development Bank

Allison Woodruff is Principal Water Security Specialist with the Asian Development Bank. She manages ADB’s Water Operators Partnership program, and has 15 years of urban development and water sector experience in Asia and the Pacific.


Mr. Arnaud De Vanssay

Head of Water Sector, International Cooperation and Development Unit – Environment, Natural Resources, Water, European Commission


Mr. Dieter Rothenberger

Head of Programme, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


Barbara Schreiner 

Executive Director of Water Integrity Network

Barbara Schreiner is the Executive Director of the Water Integrity Network, a global network of organizations committed to improving integrity practices and reducing the risk of corruption in the water and sanitation sectors. She has extensive experience in the water sector in government, in research, and in the not-for-profit sector.


Walid Mehalaine

Head of Grants & Technical Assistance of OFID

— Session Programme