The core premise of WaterLinks is to assist urban water and sanitation service providers in the Asia-Pacific region to better deliver safe water and basic sanitation services. There are three key activities, each drawing on a range of resources, to achieve real, on-the-ground results in terms of expanded or improved access to services and increased capacity:
- Water Operator Partnerships (WOPs): In a WOP, a “mentor” partner works with the “recipient” partner to identify and address one, or more, service delivery challenges through a 12-24 month partnership arrangement. Mentor partners are service providers with tested innovative solutions who are willing to share their knowledge according to their priorities and interests. Recipient partners are those seeking to learn and adopt new or improved practices to advance their service delivery. Partners typically formalize a partnership agreement and jointly develop a work plan detailing specific commitments, activities, resources, timelines, and outcomes. Partnership activities include technical consultations, specialized on-the-job training, technology demonstrations, peer review of procedures and systems, and information exchange. Through the network, WaterLinks connects mentor and recipient partners according to their interests, capabilities, and needs, and offers facilitation support to help implement partnership activities and meet targeted outcomes.
- Regional Capacity Building: To support WOPs, WaterLinks facilitates the preparation and implementation of regional training programs and knowledge products (such as toolkits, manuals, and applied studies).
- Information Sharing and Networking: To promote scale-up and replication, WaterLinks disseminates good practices emerging through WOPs via publications, the WaterLinks website, and global, regional, and national sector events. WaterLinks also organizes regional networking events, including the Annual WaterLinks Forum, to share partnership results and facilitate new partnerships. Each year at the WaterLinks Forum, WaterLinks presents awards recognizing partnerships that excel in achieving service improvements.