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Study tour shares best practices on water and sanitation management in India

A significant goal of the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) funded international technical assistance projects is to leave in place professional municipal staff, standard operating procedures, and streamlined management systems that will enable local participants to sustain improvements in governance and service delivery after the project ends.

Summary and participants: USAID and ICMA focus on water

The USAID and ICMA Commercialization of Afghanistan Water and Sanitation Activity (CAWSA) program has made significant strides toward achieving that goal. Most recently, CAWSA arranged a week-long training and study tour for 15 directors and engineers from local water supply companies in Afghanistan to participate in a study tour to Ahmedabad, in Gujarat state, India. The tour, hosted by the Urban Management Centre (UMC), ICMA’s representative in South Asia, focused on water supply and wastewater management systems.

Organisation: About ICMA

Each time we turn on the tap in our kitchens, set the trash out for pick up the next day, or cruise through our neighbourhoods on newly paved roads, we access our local governments. Providing essential community services that ensure the quality of our lives is what local government is all about. Founded in 1914, ICMA advances professional local government worldwide. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.  The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas. ICMA's primary audiences are  the professional city, town, and county managers who are appointed by elected officials to oversee the day-to-day operation of our communities.

Objectives: case studies, visits and training in water and sanitation management

Tour participants met with municipal leaders in Ahmedabad and Vadodara, heard presentations on leading practices in water and sanitation management, examined the issues and challenges facing this service sector, and visited local facilities for a first-hand look. Highlights included:

  • A visit to the Ahmedabad water intake, treatment, and distribution stations and the city’s customer service centre;
  • Training on water quality monitoring at the Gujarat Jalseva Training Institute in Gandhinagar, followed by hands-on exercises on water testing at the institute’s lab;
  • A “heritage walk” through Ahmedabad, showing how water and sanitation services are provided in the core city;
  • Case studies and videos on various aspects of water and sanitation management, including stakeholder mapping and improving cost recovery.

While in Gujarat, the group also had an opportunity to experience local culture and tourist attractions.

Products: to learn how water is provided in Indian cities

Speaking of the study tour, Mohammed Baheer, director general of AUWSSC, told a local newspaper in Ahmedabad that the group wanted to learn how water is provided in Indian cities and to learn more about good administration, financial management, and customer service practices. He noted that the focus on water services is consistent with the Afghanistan National Development Strategy, which establishes the country’s redevelopment priorities.
 
You can read more about this study tour on the website of ICMA.

23 Feb 2012

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