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Improving alignment and co-ordination amongst government departments/initiatives to enhance performance measurement

Despite the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) making good progress with monitoring and evaluating Water Services Authorities (WSAs) status and performance, the DWS does not currently have a core set of Performance Indicators (PIs) that is used to convey said status and performance to other government departments. As a result, other departments (e.g. such as National Treasury (NT), Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA)) and other national initiatives (e.g. the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and Water Research Commission (WRC) Municipal Benchmarking Initiative (MBI)), often develop their own PIs and subsequently request data from WSAs to calculate these PIs. To-date, coordinated engagements with the aforementioned departments to seek alignment and consolidation of water and sanitation related PIs has been limited. The above often results in duplication of effort leading to WSA data fatigue.

Recently, National Treasury have embarked on a “Reporting Reforms Project” which aims to address current noted limitations. Furthermore, South Africa also actively participates in both African Ministers Council of Water (AMCOW) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) reporting initiatives, with their own unique set of PIs. A unique opportunity therefore exists for DWS to provide sector leadership and drive the water and sanitation PI alignment and development. This will not only improve coordination and cooperation amongst government departments/initiatives, but also alleviate data request burdens to and improve interactions with WSAs.

This DWS initiative addresses the opportunity to develop a set of useful, feasible, accessible and desirable water and sanitation Performance Indicators (PIs) that can be utilized for both assessing performance and identifying current challenges. As the initiative aims to seek alignment, the Emanti team are engaging a number of key sector stakeholders, their processes and associated PIs, including NT, StatSA, CoGTA, AMCOW/SDGs. Expected benefits arising from this initiative include: (1) increased buy-in from National Treasury, StatsSA and other sector departments, (2) minimising duplication of effort and reduction in data fatigue, (3) more aligned water sector PIs, (4) increased alignment to SDGs/AMCOW reporting requirements, and (5) increased ability to provide data/information to SDG/AMCOW processes.

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