Development of D-LeaP

Under the first phase of the Danube Water Program three types of on-the-job capacity building programs were developed and offered by IAWD and partners under DWP and ORF/GIZ financing, including Energy Efficiency, Asset Management and Commercial Efficiency. Those programs resulted in concrete results for a number of the 135 participating utilities, such as the identification of € 10 million of energy efficiency investments yielding 35% energy savings, the preparation of business plans for 19 utility companies, and the establishment of 17 utility asset registers.

The focus of those initial programs was to test various approaches and demand from utilities, and a program fee was requested from all participants to evaluate willingness to pay, although the amount (€ 1000 for large utilities and € 500 for small ones) was not set at cost recovery level.

How the Danube Learning Partnership (D-LeaP) evolved

The first phase of the Program showed that there was an unmet demand for high-quality, on-the-job capacity building. A survey on Capacity Building Programs conducted by IAWD in November 2015 found that only around 50% of respondents were satisfied with the capacity building options available in their country. The other half acknowledged the benefits of international and interregional cooperation to increase the quality of capacity building, e.g. by knowledge exchange and networking.

“D-LeaP, the partnership between IAWD and national water utility associations, allows the national associations to provide regionally developed and approved capacity building programs to the utilities in their respective countries.”, Sandi Zulic, Chair of the D-LeaP Committee Council, BiH

Therefore, the the second phase focused on the development of the Danube Learning Partnership (D-LeaP), which is designed as regional, integrated and sustainable capacity building initiative of national water utility associations and IAWD based on the pilot experiences of the last years and through extensive consultation with key partners.