From Kigali to Toronto: NewIBNET Data Pioneers are traveling around the world

The simplest way for an informative webinar on the pains and gains of benchmarking in water and wastewater utilities: Invite the five awardees of the IWA/NewIBNET 2023 Initiative and ask them about their honest opinion as utility professionals. Read now about the personal insights from a user perspective about our benchmarking tool and connection platform that were shared at the Webinar “Being a Utility Data Champion at the IWA Congress in Kigali – What it meant for us and looking ahead to Toronto!” on Feb 19th.   

Remaking a New International Benchmarking Network – more than just a data collection repository  

The five awardees were chosen from 70 utilities who shared their data on Key Performance Indicators and Management Practices with NewIBNET as part of a joint Initiative with IWA, and consequently were the lucky recipients of a full conference package to attend the IWA Congress in Kigali. To read more about the IWA Congress in Kigali, click here.  

“When we started to design the NewIBNET, we asked the utilities how they wanted us to shape the platform. It was a common denominator that they wanted an opportunity to exchange experiences with other utilities and to learn from each other. This information was crucial for us to include an innovative connection feature today.” said Marco Aguero, a Senior Water Supply & Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank in charge of NewIBNET, in his opening remarks setting the tone for a lively discussion on mutual learning that followed thereafter.  

Thanks to our active members, utilities and regulators included, the NewIBNET is now more and more becoming a community of practice, and not just a data collection repository. With this vision forward utilities more than development planners will be able to make use of their own data in the future through comparing themselves to others in the sector and exchange with each other across the globe.  

The voice of pioneers in benchmarking – what it means to be part of a global network  

At the forefront of this endeavor are Israfil, George, Gelana, Almeida and Walter. Five utility professionals from all over the world, who granted us an honest insight to the user perspective of NewIBNET at this early stage of the platform.  

For example, the following statements were made when they commented the 15 Key Performance Indicators calculated and visualized by NewIBNET based on the entered data from their utilities: “Areas where we thought we were alone in tackling them, we were able to share where we stand compared to others. We could then connect to others who had undergone this already and learn from them – there are already a lot of things out there! I can learn from peers. There are so many changes I am thinking through as a leader at the utility, and what I can do better based on the data I have seen in on the NewIBNET Dashboards.” said George Odero, Plant Manager, KIWASCO, Kisumu Water and Sanitation Company, Kenya.

With the single largest data set in Ethiopia and Pakistan, it is particularly interesting to hear: “I was surprised with a few KPIs results on the NewIBNET Dashboard which showed us where we should focus our work.” from Gelana Mekonnen, Nekemte City Water Supply and Sewerage Service Enterprise, Ethiopia.

Walter Emmnace, Head of Process Excellence, Maynilad Water Services, Philippines flagged what is most important now: "Indeed, it would be more helpful to see data with the profile of time, the progress across time, but we have to start somewhere!”  

This is our cue to continue our work, but also an appeal to all water utilities and associations, because NewIBENT Data Services not only become more practical from year to year, but also the more utilities are available for comparison and networking. 

Let’s look ahead – expanding the network and looking forward to Toronto  

Having had Dr. Charles Joseph, Strategy and Insights Manager at IWA, in our Webinar, we heard once again how utilities at the IWA Congress in Kigali appreciated to hear from others what pilot projects they have started, what has worked well and what has not – so that we are proud to announce that once again we have partnered with IWA to launch the Initiative for the

 2024 Data Pioneers in Water Utilities -  Learning at Toronto Edition

Israfil Akanda, Executive Engineer, Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Bangladesh, said about his time at the congress in Kigali that he learned a lot in terms of sustainable water management, sanitation, and climate resilience and that he met many similar utilities, how they are operating, and how they are achieving success.

Drive change in your utility, become a Data Focal Point and use NewIBNET Data Services to improve your utilities performance! With the 2024 Data Pioneers in Water Utilities -  Learning at Toronto Edition you also get the chance to be among the sponsored utility professionals who get paid air travel, accommodation, and conference participation to the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition in Toronto, Canada, August 11-15.  

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