PURC/IDB Benchmarking Workshop for Water Utilities in Central America

October 15 - 16, 2007
San Jose, Costa Rica

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Utility managers, policy-makers, and regulators from Central America learned about sustainable and cost-effective benchmarking procedures, and reviewed resource allocation issues associated with water utilities in Central American nations. The workshop identified the strengths and weaknesses of current data collection procedures. It also served as a forum for obtaining feedback on PURC’s benchmarking work and for developing institutional mechanisms for maintaining a regional database. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded PURC to assemble the data, conduct an analysis of utility performance, and organize the workshop in San Jose.

The 40 attendees included data providers from Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and El Salvador, a legal consultant from Bolivia, a regulator from Belize, and representatives from the IDB, The World Bank, and The United Nations. Speakers included PURC Director of Water Studies Dr. Sanford Berg, PURC Research Associate Maria Luisa Cortón, Dr. Ricardo Sancho Chavarría, Costa Rica (AYA, Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados), Federico Basañes (IDB), Arq. Abbie Lara, Honduras (ERSAPS, Ente Regulador de los Servicios de Agua Potable y Saneamiento), Caroline van den Berg (IBNET [The International Benchmarking Network for Water and Sanitation Utilities], World Bank), Alejo Molinari (ADERASA, Asociación de Entes Reguladores de Aguas de las Américas ), and Dr. Román Gómez (UN-HABITAT, The United Nations Human Settlements Programme).

More information can be found on the Water Initiatives page of the PURC web site. A goal of the project is to serve as a catalyst for improving procedures for evaluating infrastructure sector performance. The following research papers can be found though the research papers search engine:

Berg, Sanford V. 2008. "Water Utility Performance in Central America: The Political Economy of Coverage, Quality and Cost." University of Florida, Department of Economics, PURC Working Paper.

Corton, Maria Luisa, and Sanford V. Berg. 2007. "Benchmarking Central American Water Utilities, Final Report." University of Florida, Department of Economics, PURC Working Paper.

Berg, Sanford V., and Maria Luisa Corton. 2007. "Benchmarking Central American Water Utilities, Executive Summary." University of Florida, Department of Economics, PURC Working Paper.

Berg, Sanford V., and Maria Luisa Corton. 2008. "Water Utility Benchmarking for Managerial and Policy Decisions: Lessons from Developing Countries." In Performance Assessment of Urban Infrastructure Services, ed. Enrique A. Cabrera, Jr. and Miguel Angel Pardo, 307-320. London: IWA Publishing.


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