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Managing Water Utilities

This course sequence is based on the famous Water-Impact Guidebook, written by Nancy Barnes together with several international experts and edited by Thomas Petermann & Ernst Döring of GIZ GmbH. The Guidebook consists of 56 chapters, all are giving an introduction to the management of Water Utilities.

As the Guidebook is such a valuable resource for managers, technicians and deciders from the water sector, it was decided to identify the most relevant chapters and to «break down» the content of the guidebook as a set of e-Learning courses.

These three e-Learning courses make it even easier for water utility members to go into the content, the guidebook is dealing with. Every lesson – between 60 and 120min reading time – is constructed the same way. It consists of four pages which care for the most crucial content and of four pages to give participants the opportunity to read the whole chapter and to comment on their personal (or the view of the organization they are working with).

The lessons are thematically summarized into modules. Each module, consisting of 4 to 6 lessons, takes 2 weeks. The first week is a study time («Aquire Knowledge») and the second week of each module is the «Reflection & Remix» period. Participants are invited to use their smartphones with «Social Media» installed (almost every participants uses an Android or an iPhone) to exchange with each other and to cluster their working results.

Every action taken by the participants is accompanied by e-Tutors (specialized e-Learning trainers) who evaluate and motivate each participant. The e-Tutors offer also so-called «Webinars» in every module to give extended input with additional presentations and lectures and by giving participants the opportunity to use their headsets to discuss over audio (Voice over IP [VoIP]). The e-Tutors are also responsible to track and monitor each participant and to give recommendations about the content of a certificate. The three eLearning courses have been repeated several times since they first came to the market in 2012 with a huge success for approx. 100 participants for each course run.

The tables of content of the courses are available here:

Module 1 «Framework» shows how organizations come into existence and what the institutional and internal framework is all about:

  • 1-Water Sector Framework
  • 2-Organization Framework
  • 3-Leadership & Commitment
  • 4-Governance

Module 2 «Organization Development» shows what an organization can do to succeed:

  • 5-Mission & Objectives
  • 6-Strategic Planning & Analysis
  • 7-Functions
  • 8-Organization Structure
  • 9-Job Design

Module 3 «Result-driven Organizations» highlights how managers can bring organizations to life when they set goals, continuously monitor progress, hold people accountable and take action to ensure the desired results:

  • 10-Planning Ahead
  • 11-Delegation
  • 12-Motivation
  • 13-Management by Results
  • 14-Reporting & Analysis
  • 15-Rewards for Achievement

[Translate to English:] Module 4 «Doing a Good Job» wants to show why some people do a better job than others:

  • 1-Doing a Good Job
  • 2-Teamwork
  • 3-Time Management
  • 4-Effective Meetings
  • 5-Effective Presentations
  • 6-Leading People

 Module 5 «The Employee Side» deals with people as the most valuable assets of an organization:

  • 7-Human Resources Management
  • 8-Training
  • 9-Employee Feedback
  • 10-Compensation

[Translate to English:] Module 6 «Social Responsibility of the Water Utility» deals with the moral obligation, utilities have to protect the health and safety of their employees, their customers and the public in general:

  • 1-Health & Safety
  • 2-Public Involvement
  • 3-Serving the Poor
  • 4-Conflict Resolution
  • 5-Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS
  • 6-Ethical Behavior

Module 7 «Financial Sustainability» highlights the secrets of increasing revenues and decreasing costs:

  • 7-Financial Management
  • 8-Revenue Generation
  • 9-Customer Service
  • 10-Non-Revenue Water
  • 11-Number of Employees

Module 8 «Improve Operational Performance» introduces management techniques that lead to minimum standards for water quality, service levels and quality management:

  • 12-Standard Operating Procedures
  • 13-Business Process
  • 14-Minimum Service Standards
  • 15-Quality Management
  • 16-Performance Management
  • 17-Crisis Management 


More information on the book, summary of all chapters and a cost-free booklet can be found on the projects website: ›››


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