Selection of appropriate cost and performance indicators will depend on the situation facing each utility, as well as the target audience for the information. Policymakers are looking for highly aggregated information, while utility managers want to see detailed information.
The indicators in the IBNET Toolkit are presented under a number of headings (see Table). They are considered a minimum (core) set and were developed after discussions with a wide range of water professionals. Likely availability of data was a critical factor in the selection of indicators.
|Table: Core Water Supply and Wastewater Indicator Categories|
|– Service coverage||– Quality of service|
|– Water consumption and production||– Billing and collections|
|– Non revenue water||– Financial performance|
|– Metering practices||– Assets|
|– Pipe network performance||– Affordability of service|
|– Cost and staffing||– Process indicators|
The set will not, and is not intended to, fulfill the needs of all the stakeholders in all water and sanitation utilities. Such comprehensive measurement sets would list many pages of indicators, data items, and their associated definitions. Most utilities will, however, benefit from knowing how they perform in each of these core ratios, how their ratios are moving over time, and how they compare with their peers—nationally and internationally.
It is expected that each utility will enhance this core set by adding its own utility-specific indicators. Such indicators might consider additional manpower, cost, financial, or quality of service or poverty issues, which are of particular relevance to the utility and its stakeholders.
In the short term some of the core indicators may require data that is not currently collected by all utilities. It is expected that this will be rectified over time as users begin to appreciate the value of understanding their comparative performance in these key areas. A full description of the core indicators is presented in the IBNET Toolkit indicators.