SOU 104 - Contractualization as a tool for the sustainable development of service quality in the water sector in Africa
PRESENTATION OF THE SESSION
Contracts for the Delegation of Public Service Management (DGSP) of water to major international private operators have been in progress for several years in many African countries without this having fundamentally changed the situation of the water sector in these countries.
It is therefore questionable to what extent this mode of public service management can effectively constitute all or part of a strategy for the sustainable development of public services in African countries.
The organizers of this workshop have developed in a book currently being published, the following problem which constitutes one of the possible answers to this question:
This issue is part of the methodological approach below that should be followed to ensure the successful sustainable development of the water sectors in African countries:
The first step is to upgrade the situation of the public operator in order to make the service viable in terms of quality and financial results. This step is the responsibility of the public operator and its regulatory authority, the only two entities qualified and authorized to implement and succeed. This stage also consists in implementing reforms aimed at ensuring the sustainability of people's access to water by standardizing the specific features observed in water management and supply in certain districts or localities (alternative methods of management and service provision), which directly or indirectly generate poor performance in the sector.
The second step is to bring the service up to international standards. This step can be achieved through a public-private partnership by the DGSP. This stage is the responsibility of the delegating authority and the private operator, each having a distinct role to play: the operator is responsible for the quality of the service and the delegator is responsible for implementing reforms aimed at definitively eradicating the specificities observed in the management of the service.
The third step consists in building a water policy consisting in mobilizing, managing and optimizing the use of the country's water resources and providing access to the service to the entire population within the framework of an efficient institutional organization and by ensuring that this policy complies with international standards. This step goes beyond the scope of the delegate's service and is the responsibility of the State and all the ministerial departments concerned. Unlike the first two steps, its implementation is not conditional on the success of the previous steps and can be carried out in parallel with them.
This workshop concerns the first two steps of this methodological approach.