In 2014, water associations from Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia, EBC Foundation and the Danube Water Program joined forces to set up and run a professional benchmarking programme for drinking water- & wastewater utilities in the former Yugoslavia region. Objective of the initiative was to help utilities improving their water services by benchmarking and learning from each other.
The programme was carried out by the newly established benchmarking hub for the former Yugoslavia region, hosted and coordinated by the Inter-institutional Professional Network in Water Sector of Serbia (IPM), with technical support from EBC Foundation. The Danube Water Program and the Open Regional Fund for Southeast Europe financially supported the capacity building activities.
After an initial training of the regional hub co-ordinator by EBC and a subsequent training of utility co-ordinators, 13 water- & wastewater utilities from the former Yugoslavia region started in 2014 with a first benchmarking exercise. In 2017 the hub carried out the fourth and final edition of the series of benchmarking exercises in this context.
Utilities that participated submitted performance information and received their own, individual company report in which their performance in several areas was compared with other utilities in the group and - as a reference value - with the average performance of utilities elsewhere in Europe.
Next to this assessment, meetings and workshops were organised to exchange knowledge and good practices and jointly search for improvement opportunities.
The exercise was conducted in English and (partly) in Serbo-Croatian. In total, through this initiative 24 water utilities from the former Yugoslavian region were successfully trained and gained experience with benchmarking and improving by learning from good practices.