12 April 2023 / Vienna, Austria
The UBP Hubs are Alive and Kicking - And the Danube Hub is Preparing to Meet in Vienna
Contributed by:
Voice of the Danube
14 April 2023

Those who are already active in the Utility Benchmarking Program testify to its benefits. Those who aren't, should join asap. Here's why.

„87% of Europe’s utility managers feel that they perform above average. 100% of the UBP members know the facts. Stop guessing and join the Utility Benchmarking Program”, says IAWD President Walter Kling.

Indeed: Benchmarking, the systematic collecting of data to compare performance among utilities of similar size and conditions, is a major tool to improve water utility performance.

D-LeaP, the Danube Learning Partnership, works to establish sustainable benchmarking routines in Southeast, Eastern and Central Europe, operating UBP Hubs on both the national/subregional and the Danube regional level.

Its Utility Benchmarking Program assists utilities in identifying areas in which performance needs improvement, building a strong network of utilities that jointly work on improving their services over time.

National UBP Hubs are important instruments to cover the world's most international river with its multitude of languages. They deliver the UBP in the local language and can adapt to national data collection practices, especially the data collected by water regulators, ministries and other relevant institutions.

In total, UBP has created four national/subregional Hubs, focusing on utilities in Kosovo & Albania (operated by the Water and Wastewater Works Association of Kosovo and the Water Supply and Sewerage Association of Albania), in Bulgaria (operated by the Bulgarian Water Association) and Ukraine (operated by the Danube Water Centre Ukraine), with the Ukraine Hub currently inactive due to the ongoing armed conflict.

These Hubs have trained 46 utilities in 2022. Evis Gjebrea, Deputy General Director of the Tirana Water and Sewerage Utility, sums up the reasons to join: „Data are the fuel of management. Avoid racing with an empty tank. Join the UBP.”

Participating utilities enjoy constant support from their Hub's Benchmarking Coordinator and the IAWD UBP team, receive their own individual Benchmarking reports with performance comparisons and valuable indicators of performance gaps and are then able to set improvement goals targeting individually selected performance indicators, constantly tracking their progress.

They profit from online trainings, can access D-LeaP Academy e-learning materials and can use the IAWD Utility Benchmarking Platform to collect, validate, analyze and archive their data. Participants are also part of a vital network built on mutual support. Mentor utilities offer peer support, Benchmarking workshops support knowledge exchange and networking, and yes, there are also social occasions.

The upcoming Danube Hub Benchmarking Workshop is a good example: Scheduled on 30-31 May back-to-back with the 2023 Danube Water Conference on 31 May to 2 June in Vienna, the Workshop will gather the participating utilities of the UBP Danube Hub in the premises of the World Bank Office to exchange their benchmarking results, discuss best practices and allow for networking.

A study tour to the Vienna Wastewater Treatment Plant is part of the event program, and the social highlight will be the UBP Danube Hub CEO dinner on 30 May along with the awarding of certificates for benchmarking coordinators and their utilities.

Welcome to Vienna – and welcome to the Utility Benchmarking Program!  

VoD - UBP Danube Hub Workshop

The UBP Danube Hub Workshop to be held in Vienna, Austria on 30-31 May back-to-back with the 2023 Danube Water Conference on 31 May to 2 June....