Use of a capability-maturity model to evaluate institutional capacity of urban water utilities in developing economies

Urban water utilities in the world’s developing economies are faced with challenges of scaling up services to cope with the rapid rate of urbanisation, and sustaining the service delivery. It is increasingly being recognised in development management that institutional capacity is a precursor for sustainable service delivery. This paper describes a process undertaken to develop an outline Water Utility Maturity (WUM) model, a novel tool for evaluating institutional capacity of urban water utilities. The conceptual framework for the WUM model was derived following an extensive literature review that examined the various conceptualisations of institutional sustainability, institutional capacity and performance, in the context of urban water services. The WUM model is designed to be flexible and considers different levels of institutional capacity. There is need to validate the model through further empirical research.