Issues in Strenghtening and Expanding a Utility in a Social Context of Lower and Middle Income Countries

Organization IWA
Author Silver Mugisha
Year 2018
Topics Drinking Water Systems, Urban Water Management, Water Governance, Regulation and Utility Management
Level of action Water & Sanitation services/ Utility level


In his keynote speech, Mr. Silver Mugisha gives insights into institutional frameworks that are most conducive to strengthen and expand utilities in low and middle-income countries with special focus on the African and here Ugandan experience. He strengthens the status quo of the unfocused and disoriented regulatory system as key institutional challenges. He spoke about the absence of incentives in operational contracts and the lack of operational autonomy and inadequate oversight, which means the lack of M&E departments to oversee operational performance. He raised the issue of donor based finance of utilities and relation to an ineffective tariff system. The duplication of roles within the public institutions creates institutional conflicts is a cause of hindering the sector to become efficient and waste resources. As an example he explains these issues on the country case of Uganda. He states the importance of utilities to be customer oriented and involved all stakeholders of the communities, enhance training and educational options for the employees and creates professional opportunities and capacities, and create pride of work and collective leadership for performance excellence and sustainability of the operations.

Silver Mugisha is an Ugandan Engineer and currently works as the Chief Manager in charge of Institutional Development and External Services at the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Uganda. He holds a Ph.D in Civil Engineering of Makerere University. His research areas of interest are performance management, industrial organisation and institutional development. He has been in NWSC since 1994 and has been among the key champions in the design of almost all the performance improvement programmes that have been implemented in the Corporation since 1998; resulting into significant turnaround in the financial and operational performance of NWSC.