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From Knowledge and Capacity Development to Performance Improvement in Water Supply: the Importance of Competence Integration and Use The Management contract.

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Presentation on theme: "From Knowledge and Capacity Development to Performance Improvement in Water Supply: the Importance of Competence Integration and Use The Management contract."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Knowledge and Capacity Development to Performance Improvement in Water Supply: the Importance of Competence Integration and Use The Management contract between Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL) and Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) By Silas Mvulirwenande Guy Alaerts Uta Wehn de Montalvo

2 Outline of the Presentation 1.The problem 2.Main concepts 3.Main results 4.Conclusions

3 The proxy measure problem in KCD Performance improvement is associated with competence development. However, the former does not always automatically translate into the latter Knowledge integration processes : take long but often taken for granted (or simply neglected) Measuring KPIs and conclude on KCD instead of measuring KCD per se KCD interventions Improved institutional performance Performance targets (often based on KPIs) Improvement in technical KPIs used as proxy measure of KCD effectiveness Translate Knowledge integration and use Measure of changes in competences

4 Main concepts Technical competence Competence on Governance Competence on Learning and Innovation (Knowledge competences) Managerial competence Action Arena Community Attributes Evaluative Criteria Actors Action Situations Outcome Patterns of Interactions Rules- in-Use Physical/Ma terial Conditions Knowledge conversion modes (Nonaka) Aggregate competences (Alaerts and Kaspersma) IAD Framework (Ostrom)

5 Synergistic effect of the concepts The three concepts illustrated above together allow an KCD analysis that: Comprehensively describes the changes in capacity (Aggregate competences) Shades light on the actual integration processes new knowledge and capacity undergoes once introduced in a social system (Knowledge conversion modes); and Is multi-level and inserts the outcome of KCD intervention into organisational internal and external environment (IAD Framework)

6 Results

7 The performance indicator – based assessment by the Auditors Raw water quality Target to meet the standards of the water Resource Commission The monitoring programme started only after 3 years Some important parameters were not measured Conclusion: the operator failed to meet fully the service standard Treated water quality and pressure Target to meet standards set by Ghana Standards Board Tracking Treated Water Quality started from the 3rd year Consistent incidences of quality not complying with standards Pressure could not permanently be maintained in most distribution systems Conclusion : quality and pressure did not meet the service standards Non Revenue water Target to deduce NRW by 5 % per annum For 35 systems investigated in the 4 th year Total NRW was about 51% (against 50% before management contract) Conclusion: the operator was unable to achieve the 5% reduction annually Treatment plant operations Target to maintain average daily production for at least ten months in a year In the 4th Contract Year, out of 94 plants: 24 plants were complying with the management contract criteria. Electromechanical and hydraulic equipment was in a poor state. Conclusion: the operator failed to meet fully the service standards but also allowed the conditions of the plants to deteriorate through poor maintenance practices Failed AVRL has not been able to meet the targets set in the management contract Performance Technical aspects ( poor : 2 on five point scale ) Overall performance score (Average)

8 An alternative approach to assessing the Management Contract The capacity - based assessment by the Authors The targets in the contract say nothing about capacity However, AVRL had to develop the capacity of the utility in order to improve its performance. Hypothesizing that the conventional (technical) KPIs need to be complemented with measures of the changes in capacity prior to and after the project, the authors conducted a capacity based-assessment

9 Changes in capacity (Technical) At organisational level Before the Management contractAfter the Management Contract Raw water quality Lack of data, no maintenance of facilities, no plans and strategies to assess and protect water sources Introduction of a raw-water quality monitoring programme, drinking water safety plans, raw water quality baseline, improvement of the capacity of several laboratories Treated water quality Water from wells not chlorinated only rudimentary, treatment steps simplified or bypassed Introduction of a new reporting and monitoring system based on electronic files, development of emergency procedures. Non Revenue Water No robust strategies to fight NRW estimated at 50% NRW plan (activities and policies), metering programme, GIS office, loss control teams in all the regions, District Metered Areas (DMA) launched At individual level Typical technical competences Weak Network mapping Techniques for meter management Knowledge competences Weak Teamwork Networking Communication Problem solving Information and Communication Technology Respondents recognize these aspects as important changes in capacity

10 Conclusion by the Authors on the Management contract Strong and broad evidence exists on changes in competences due to the Management Contract. Although AVRL did not meet the technical KPI targets, it did however enhance the fundamental capacity of the utility. If the above competences were further expanded and mobilized throughout the whole organisation, this would create a large impact first in capacity, and then after a few years in technical performance.

11 Conclusions

12 On theory The concepts used proved useful for understanding KCD The public sector is right in stressing the role of K&C. However, it must learn a lot from the private sector on how to manage processes inside organisations. The enabling environment, the organisational leadership and management procedures are critically important to help develop and maintain new competences and capacity.

13 On the problem of proxy measures It makes sense to differentiate performance improvement from competence development Therefore, KCD targets should be set that are realistic, taking into account the time knowledge and capacity take to nurture Traditional technical indicators are useful to indicate the level of utility performance. However, they do not inform about the real capacity and the extent to which it improves due to KCD. Therefore, need for appropriate methodologies to assess KCD to complement KPIs based assessments. This would allow fair and realistic assessments

14 Purpose of 5th Symposium Thank you for your attention. Questions + Comments ? Contact details Silas Mvulirwenande PhD Research Fellow UNESCO-IHE – Institute for Water Education E-mail:

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