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Monitoring utility performance and resolving conflicts

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conference contribution
posted on 12.02.2018, 15:07 by Sanford V. Berg
It can be argued that there are four sources of conflict in policy development and implementation: cognitive conflicts (based on technical disagreements regarding how scientific data might be interpreted), interest conflicts (where stakeholders obtain different benefits and costs under alternative policies), values conflicts (involving ideology or personal preferences regarding outcomes), and authority conflicts (stemming from jurisdictional disagreements). These potential sources of conflict characterize most politically-charged situations, with water supply management illustrating the interplay of these forces. Strategies for managing the four conflicts are reviewed: “balancing” competing goals, cycling between different objectives, making different agencies responsible for meeting specific goals, and relying on precedents to make decisions. Benchmarking (despite its limitations) is shown to be an important tool in conflict resolution, as it documents past performance, establishes baselines for gauging improvements, and makes comparisons across service providers.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)

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WEDC Conference


BERG, S.V., 2005. Monitoring utility performance and resolving conflicts. IN: Kayaga, S. (ed). Maximising the benefits from water and environmental sanitation: Proceedings of the 31st WEDC International Conference, Kampala, Uganda, 31 October-4 November 2005, pp. 103-108.


© WEDC, Loughborough University


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