Toolkit Instructions

Thank you for using the IBNET Toolkit. Instructions are presented as follows:

Before starting to use the IBNET Toolkit, please note that:

If you are new to benchmarking activities it may be worth spending some time reading the document “IBNET and water benchmarking” which is included as part of the Toolkit. This will provide background information to undertaking benchmarking in the water and sanitation sector and provide ideas for the way in which the IBNET Toolkit could be used to get you started and stimulate ideas for your benchmarking interest.


Software requirements:
1. In order to make the benchmarking kit compatible with the largest possible number of users, the software application in this diskette is compatible with Microsoft’s Excel 97 or later. Document files are in Word 2000 format, but useable in WORD 97;
2. If your software is not compatible with these versions of Excel and Word, please contact us
3. If you are using one of the versions of Excel indicated above, start Excel and open the relevant file on the IBNET Toolkit. You will need to click on “enable macros” button in order to start using the documents;
4. Depending on the system being used, some users may get a notice indicating that they should open the file in read-only mode, and asking whether they want to do so. Always answer NO to this question.

Working with the IBNET Toolkit

The Toolkit is held in the Excel file on the website. In case you cannot download files from the website, please contact us

The Toolkit contains several documents and files. Please go to the download page to display the full list.

Screen sizing and navigation

If the screen looks too small or too large, try using the SMALL SCREEN, MED SCREEN, or LARGE SCREEN buttons at the top of the screen to get the screen to the right size for you.

Use the PREVIOUS and NEXT buttons or the worksheet tabs (at the bottom of the screen) to navigate around this application.

Use the HOME button to go back to the home page.

Data Entry

  • Please use a period to indicate decimals, and a negative sign (-) to indicate negative numbers.
  • Do not use any other signs, such as currency symbols, percentage signs, thousand delimiters, etc. when entering data
  • Please do not use zero to clear a value; use the delete key.
  • Enter a zero when a value is “0”. Do not leave it blank.
  • If you do not have the data leave the cell blank.
  • Please pay special attention to the units being used! Most data is requested in thousands, but some is in single units. Also pay attention to the appropriate currency (US dollars or local currency).
  • Use the data provided in the file World Bank GNI & Exchange Rate xls to find out your country’s GNI per capita and exchange rate information. Using the correct figures in these variables is essential, as they are used to calculate many of the indicators, as well as to allow cross-country comparisons. If the data for one year is not available, try using the figure from the previous year. We will update this data as it becomes available.
  • You can quickly check data definitions by placing the mouse over the name of each data item.
  • Note that data entry using the keypad is incompatible with the program on some PCs. Enter the data using the numeric keys on the main keyboard if this happens to you.

Two issues that may rise when you are entering the data are the


• Apportioning costs and staff numbers

If the Utility provides other services as well as water & wastewater, it will be necessary to identify the sub-totals – for staff, income and costs – that relate specifically to water and wastewater. This should be done by apportioning ‘overhead’ functions such as finance and personnel between water, wastewater and other services, in a way that reflects the size of the operations.

For example:

No Number 1 Apportioned overhead 2 Total after apportioning 3
Water service
Wastewater service
Other services
Overhead activities
Total less overhead

Note 1. This could be the number of staff, or a cost or revenue.

Note 2. Overheads – 20 – are apportioned in the ratios 40:25:15

Note 3. The sum of the two columns to the left


• Confidence in the data

The data required to calculate the indicator values are derived from several sources. The likely data sources are listed in table 1, with some issues that can influence the reliability of the data.

The utility should:

  • Assess the quality of its data sources
  • Keep records of how data have been derived
  • Assign a confidence band to each source, and hence each group of data (see Table)

Table 1: Confidence band definitions

Band Description
Based on reliable records, procedures, investigations or analyses, that are properly documented and recognized as the best available
Generally as in band A, but with minor shortcomings, e.g. some documentation is missing, the assessment is old, or some reliance on unconfirmed reports or extrapolation is made
Extrapolation from a limited sample for which Band A or B information is available
Based on the best estimates of utility staff without measurement or documented evidence

Adapted from OFWAT and IWA documents

Exiting the application

After saving the data, we recommend using the EXIT button to close the application. This action restores the usual default settings for Excel, including the menu bars.

Reviewing results

A summary of the data you have entered, and the indicator values that result, can be seen by clicking on the MAIN REPORT button. You can review on screen, or print, using the PRINT button. When you have finished click on the RETURN button to take you back to the welcome screen.

A number of value expectations have been built into the data capture system. Data values that fall outside the range of these expectations are noted in the Exception Report. Some screen prompts are also included. To view the Exception Report, click on the EXCEPTION REPORT button. You can review on screen, or print, using the PRINT button. When you have finished click on the RETURN button to take you back to the welcome screen.

Please check your data and results carefully. You may want to ask a colleague to check them with you.

Should you want to make any changes go back into the data capture system and amend the values as required.

Sharing data

Using you data to undertake performance comparisons with others is an important part of benchmarking. This may be done directly by your own utility, or this may be facilitated by a water and sanitation association, or by the regulator. Please refer to the IBNET Water Benchmarking document to explore further thoughts on the important and value of sharing information and what it could mean to assisting any performance improvement or sector reform process. When you are satisfied that the data you have entered is correct you are now in a position to share the data and indicators with others.

How you do this is for you to decide. Some suggestions are as follows:

  • Share with your management team. This will allow them the opportunity to comment on the data (they may spot data errors !) and to see the indicator values that have been calculated.
  • Share with your peers. Consider exchanging your data and indicator values with peers in your Region. If they do not have a copy of the Start Up Kit we will be pleased to send them a copy.
  • Share with your national body. Ask your national body (e.g. professional association or trade group) to act as a clearinghouse for data and indicator values.

In addition, The IBNET team would be please to facilitate sharing of information between data providers. You can send your completed file to the IBNET team.


Having used the Kit we would welcome your comments. Are the indicators about right, how well does the software function, what improvements would you like to see?

Please let us know – contact us.

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