5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Sanford Berg
Session Name Planning and Governance
Author(s) Sanford Berg,  Public Utility Research Center (Presenting Author)
  Seven Elements Affecting Governance and Performance in the Water Sector
  A number of studies have emphasized that governance involves many elements, including accountability, autonomy, role clarity, policy coherence (especially as related to objectives), stakeholder participation/engagement, professionalism (capacity), and transparency. The OECD has recently identified twelve elements characterizing sound systems of water sector governance, including those already noted. Ultimately, governance affects the (1) effectiveness of institutions in implementing and achieving targets (as quantified objectives), (2) the efficiency of institutions as reflected in the benefits obtained at least cost, and (3) the trust and engagement of the citizenry—as governance promotes public confidence and inclusiveness of stakeholders (achieving legitimacy and a sense of fairness among affected parties). Sound governance affects conflict resolution among participants, promoting general acceptance of outcomes; poor governance exacerbates problems. Getting governance structures right is central to improving cost containment, service quality, and network expansion. This study identifies seven elements affecting infrastructure performance: institutions, interests (stakeholders), information, incentives, ideas, ideals (priorities placed on objectives), and individuals (leadership). It describes how these seven interrelated elements determine how effectively a regulatory system responds to challenges.