Competitive Grant 12:

Develop a Training Course for the Preparation of a Strategic Business Plan for Water Associations

Albania - Water Supply and Sewerage Association of Albania (SHUKALB)

 

Description of the activity

SHUKALB, the Water Supply and Sewerage Association of Albania, received an IAWD competitive grant to develop a training course for water and wastewater associations of the Danube region. This training course guided the associations through the preparation of draft business plans for their operations. Activities started in January 2014 and finished in March 2015.

Implementation of the activity

The overarching goal of this project was to strengthen the capacities of water and wastewater associations in the Danube region. Their work would become more structured and effective, thus allowing for greater leverage and better performance.

SHUKALB therefore developed a full set of course material on business planning for water supply and wastewater associations, including a trainer’s guide, a trainee’s manual, a supporting PowerPoint presentation, and an Excel business plan model. The material was prepared in English, to be translated into national languages by interested associations. In twelve modules, the course guides trainees towards their own business plan. The modules range from defining the value and roles of associations, to membership governance, setting strategic goals, and updating the 5-year business plan.

In February 2015, and aligned with an IAWD utility associations meeting, SHUKALB organized a training workshop with 38 participants from 11 associations of the Danube region, plus representatives of IAWD and EWA, the European Water Association. With assistance by the trainers, the participants went through all twelve of the course modules and drafted business plans for their associations. Participants of this workshop can now serve as trainers for their colleagues in their own water and wastewater associations. The next step will be to review the draft business plans with further guidance from the trainers.

Challenges and lessons learned

As the water supply and wastewater sector in Southeast, Eastern and Central Europe is facing great changes and challenges, the associations can be a driving force in adapting to new circumstances and in improving services. They are the sector’s voice in policymaking processes, while also being of central importance in training and capacity development of the region’s utility workforce.

A network of strong associations will therefore be crucial for the successful and sustainable implementation of region-wide capacity development efforts, as stipulated by the associations and IAWD.