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Seminari "What really matters to improve urban water services?"

14/10/2016 de 14:00 a 15:00
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Seminari "What really matters to improve urban water services?"

The constraints experienced by water utilities in developing countries, with regard to the universal provision of access to water and improved water services, have been defined by international policymakers as "a crisis of governance". This study departs from the theoretical perspectives on governance and aspires to accumulate knowledge and advance understanding on how the performance of water utilities can be enhanced.

The study integrates different research methods and explores theoretical perspectives on governance to examine the governance aspects of water utilities in the transition phase from public to private management and operation. The study investigates whether the governance structure that involves the private sector in the form of Public Private Partnership (PPP) of water utility has produced "good governance" and enhanced water governance in two cases, the Lema Water Company in Amman, Jordan and the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in Accra, Ghana. The analysis highlights evidence of governance deficiency. Accordingly, the thesis argues against the policy design that assumes that simply transferring the management and operation of water utility to private operators would resolve the problems of water utilities and enhance water governance.

The analyses and the conclusions suggest that policymakers need to better understand how institutions at different levels impact the overall performance of a water utility. The performance of the water utility cannot be detached from the wider institutional setting or reduced to simply changing the operator. In practical terms, this thesis emphasises that policymakers have to map and identify the institutional factors constraining the overall performance of a water utility, at all levels. The thesis also urges policymakers to be cautious regarding which formulated policies are seen as solutions. Policymakers should restrain themselves from experimenting with policy when they are not sure that certain outcomes are likely to be produced by adopting a particular policy.



12.30 h a 13.30 h
(Edifici Vèrtex -Campus Nord)

Agustí Pérez Foguet

"What really matters to improve urban water services?"

Lina Suleiman

Dr. Lina Suleiman is postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Institute Technology of the KTH (Sweden). She obtained his PhD in Infrastructure with specialization in Planning and Implementation at the same university, with a thesis entitled “Water Governance in Transition”. She has over twenty five years of academic and professional experience related to scientific research in both the industrial and the academic sector. She has worked for both public and private authorities in a local context as well as for international organisations.

Paraules clau

Water governance, public private partnership, civil society, new institutional economics, Accra, Amman




  • Suleiman, L. "Water supply governance in Accra: “authentic” or “symbolic”". Water Policy, Vol 12 (2), 2010, pp. 272-289
  • Suleiman, L. "Civil Society: A Revived Mantra in the Development Discourse", Water Policy, Vol 13 (1), 2011, pp. 87–101
  • Suleiman, R.,Van Well, L. and Gustafsson, J.E . “Governance of the Amman Water Utility". Development in practice Journal, Volume 18 (1), Feb. 2008, pp. 53-65
  • Suleiman, L. “The NGOs and the Grand Illusions of Development and Democracy”, VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, Volume 24 (1), 2013, pp. 241-261