Promoting Excellence in WSS Service Provision
Performance Monitoring and Rewarding System
A European consultant once said, “NWASCO is the island of efficiency in the Water Sector”. In order to maintain this very high reputation and improve delivery within limited resources, it is imperative that capacities are used most efficiently and innovation is promoted within the organisation.
With the aim of promoting a culture of excellence and innovation among the employees, for the continuous improvement of the organisation and individual skills, a Performance Monitoring and Rewarding System (PMRS) was initiated. The main stay of the PMRS is setting of targets, monitoring performance and encouraging innovation.
The PMRS is designed to reward outstanding performance; help determine future pay awards and any disciplinary action for under-performance. It is believed that continuous monitoring of performance and provision of ongoing feedback with rewards to employees, will contribute to achieving their goals. Through monitoring of employee performance an opportunity is opened to better know how they are doing and resolve any problems early.
Performance reviews are done quarterly via an internal committee and in plenary with all staff. Weighting of specified targets and scoring is transparent with feedback given in plenary. Besides awarding outstanding performance to each individual, the following awards are also given:
- Employee of the quarter
- Innovation of the quarter
- Best Team player of the quarter
- Best Performing Desk Officer of the quarter
- Employee of the year
NWASCO has been established to monitor performance of service providers for quality and efficiency. This calls for staff to have fingertip knowledge of the same providers. In order to achieve this high level of professionalism and on-hand information, a desk officer approach to monitoring service providers has been instituted.
Desk Officers (DOs) are appointed among staff to focus on particular providers. The DOs are responsible for keeping in contact with their respective providers for the purpose of:
· Monitoring progress of various factors
· Implementing directives issued
· Keeping track of early warning indicators in case of under performance
· Providing personalised advice to identified problems
· Coordination of Water Watch Groups within the provider’s area
· Collecting license fees, etc
In other words, the providers have a direct contact person within NWASCO who attends to all their issues. NWASCO on the other hand establishes close personal relationships with the providers that will foster progress in service provisions and steer the sector towards sound and sustainable service provision for all.
Human Resource Development
Human Resource Management and Development has for years been neglected in the water sector. The synergy between training and the water industry is slowly weakening to the extent that training is becoming less and less relevant.
Human resource management and development is vital for the achievement of the overall goal of sustainable service delivery in the established CUs. The sector policy recognised human resource management and development as an essential factor for the success of the sector. Hence, the strategy for human resource management and development was elaborated to ensure professional, efficient, effective and sustainable service delivery.
The Government of Zambia with the help of DANIDA and the Royal Netherlands Embassy has responded to the need to invest in training that would be more practical and relevant to the industry by developing a funding strategy. The TEVET Fund is the mechanism through which this system has been implemented. This Fund is managed by Technical Entrepreneurship Vocational Training Authority (TEVETA).
The areas of focus for the Fund are pre-employment training, in-service training, informal sector training, and infrastructural development. NWASCO will coordinate CUs to access the Fund for in-service training.
Some CUs have made efforts to introduce in-house training which has so far been quite successful. NWASCO is also encouraging CUs to carry-out joint trainings with other CUs for cost-effective training.
NWASCO has facilitated in the provision of various trainings for the CUs including Training of Trainer (TOT) courses. The TOT courses have included training at supervisory level and material supplements.
Regulator-Providers Consultative Meetings
A Chief Executives Forum for the CUs, as well as, a Local Authorities Forum have also been instituted by NWASCO. The forums are meant for experience sharing and discussion of common issues. CEOs and senior Managers meet quarterly via these forums with the regulator. One major result has been the use of economies of scale to purchase needed common materials in bulk.
Rewarding Performance at Provider Level
In its annual Urban and Peri-urban WSS sector report, NWASCO, ranks the CUs according to specified performance indicators (see below):
1 Water Quality
2 Collection efficiency
3 Metering ratio
4 Hours of supply
5 O+M cost coverage by collection
6 Reduction of UFW (non-revenue water)
7 Staff efficiency
8 Regulator’s perception
9 Sanitation coverage increase
10 Water coverage increase
To foster this comparative competition in service delivery at attainment of defined benchmarks, CUs are given monetary, material and emotional awards at the launch of the sector report in the following categories:
- Best Overall Performance
- Most improved
- Best progress in service provision to peri-urban areas
The private sector and cooperating partners are encouraged to sponsor these awards.
Relationship with the Media
To further ensure that water service delivery receives accurate media coverage, a quarterly media forum is held by NWASCO where information is disseminated to journalists for them to be informed and ‘sell’ the sector.
Media awards on the same coverage are given in the following:
- Best Electronic media
- Best Print Media
- Best Photography
- Best Overall media coverage