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Water and Wastewater Sector Reform in Egypt – Striving for Excellence

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What does it take to have a vibrant water sector that consistently meets the needs of a growing population, at an affordable price with quality levels that support public health? This question is often easier to answer in countries with well-developed sectors that enable utilities to operate in a sustainable manner. It is much harder to answer in developing countries with a tradition of centralized management of the sector and epic struggles to fund the infrastructure needed to promote public health – which helps people help themselves.

The progress of the Egyptian water sector over the past 20 years is remarkable, especially in recent years during which the country has implemented reforms that verge on being revolutionary. Egypt is an example and a model for other developing countries to follow. This paper describes what it has taken to bring the sector so far forward in a relatively short time, told from the perspective of people who have been intimately involved in engineering this success - accomplished largely with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Keywords: asset management; financial planning; infrastructure finance; management information systems; operations improvement; performance indicators; program management; regulation; sector reform; utility management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-01-01

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