I am a Water Engineer/Consultant and have been working for a number of years now on helping water utilities around the world optimize their network operations, with a particular focus on Non-Revenue Water (NRW).
I recently concluded an NRW performance based contract (PBC) in the Kingdom of Bahrain, in the Middle East. Prior to that, I worked on a number of utility Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building projects in countries such as Ghana, Sudan and Sri Lanka.
Through this experience I developed an interest in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in relation to the water sector. While working in Ghana, coincidentally the country utility had a Management Contract in place. Later, when completing my MSc - I researched water sector PPPs in Tanzania and Argentina that ended in legal arbitration.
In the case of Tanzania, I had a particular reason for being interested as it involved my former employer, though I had absolutely no involvement in the Lease Contract there. As I studied it in detail it struck me how this was a contract that was unviable from day one and, though I would have relished the challenge of trying to make it work, it was practically guaranteed to end in failure.
Through my membership of the International Water Association (IWA), I was invited to a Practitioner’s Retreat at the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC on NRW PBCs. This alerted me to the World Bank’s resources and programs in these areas and subsequently the PPP Certification Program.
The World Bank is currently creating a knowledge base for NRW performance based contracting. Other initiatives I am interested in include the DFID funded “Dreampipe Challenge” which seeks innovative ways of financing NRW projects in developing countries. Given all this - a certification program on PPPs makes a lot of sense to me.