Utility Strengthening Framework
Supporting service providers to become more resilient
WSUP’s Utility Strengthening Framework is a process for driving change from within utilities to enable greater progress towards universal water and sanitation coverage.
The Framework uses eight steps which guide a utility through the process of long-term change. It emerged out of WSUP’s belief that for the poorest residents to benefit from WASH services, strong service providers are essential, and is based on 15 years of experience in supporting utilities.
WSUP’s Utility Diagnostic is the self-assessment step of the Framework by which utilities can analyse their effectiveness in seven business areas: sustainability, attitudes & behaviours, capacity & performance, planning & investment, financial management, governance & mandates, commitment & engagement.
These cross-cutting areas enable utility staff from different departments to come together to analyse the utility’s capacity and capabilities in a way that galvanises a wide understanding of the utility’s priorities.
For utilities, the framework gives a process for driving long-term change that places the utility and their staff in charge. It is designed to ensure complete ownership of the change process, which in WSUP’s experience is vital to ensuring that improvements will last.
The framework is designed to be practical and agile – balancing the needs for utility to develop long-term strategic priorities with the need to implement change quickly.
How WSUP is using the framework
The Utility Strengthening Framework was first used with Southern Water & Sanitation Company (SWSC) in Zambia in 2019, and has since been utilised in Malindi, Kenya as well as with the national water and electricity provider in Madagascar, JIRAMA.
16 programmes of work were identified through the process with SWSC; WSUP are supporting the progression of two of these and further external funding has been secured by the utility to advance their sanitation strategy.
The utility strengthening project has now become SWSC’s operating document which defines its strategic direction.
Report: August 2020 – Building resilience to climate change: experiences from Southern Zambia
Read how the Southern Water & Sanitation Company is improving its climate resilience through the use of the Utility Strengthening Framework.