The severe deterioration of the water supply and sanitation services in the Newly Independent States of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (NIS) results from a long period of under-investment. This is why sustainable financing is the driver of the municipal reform that has been engaged by national and local authorities in most countries of that region. An appropriate set of benchmarking indicators is a pre-requisite for sound financial decision-making and for evaluation purposes. It is also a key to improving local governance practices. Sustainable water financing is also the priority of the EU Water Initiative for the NIS, presented at the 3rd World Water Forum in Kyoto (March 2003). In the framework of the Environmental Action Programme Task Force, co-chaired by the EC and the OECD, the collection and analysis of performance data has been initiated for Russia and 7 other NIS.
This process needs to be strengthened and extended, taking into account in particular the experience of the accession countries of central Europe. The indicators must be critically assessed with regard to their reliability and relevance in the various regional and operational contexts. Furthermore, this benchmarking set can be developed into a financial decision-making assistance tool. This development is the main objective of an envisaged subsequent research initiative. In this perspective, the preparatory (SSA) phase aims at:
- Taking stock of the benchmarking practice in the water sector, in the NIS, accession countries, the EU and other regions;
- Carrying out a cross-sector analysis of benchmarking models, with specific attention dedicated to Environmental, Sanitary and Service Quality indicators.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSSA - Specific Support Action