The ROCKBlue Initiatives

ROCKBlue currently has four Initiatives supporting the work we do with our partner utilities and to give back to the urban WASH sector. The Initiatives are:

  • Performance Achievement Workshop Series (PAWS)
  • Utility benchmarking
  • Knowledge Management
  • Women Utility Leadership in Urban WASH (WULUW) to promote and support female leaders in urban WASH

Performance Achievement Workshop Series (PAWS) workshops are one of our “tools” to drive results – relying on the knowledge that many with whom we work have a strong appreciation for attending workshops, seminars and conferences.

We’ve combined this (workshop) motivator with everyone’s goal to see results. The key approach of PAWS is for utilities to commit to Quick Wins between Workshop #1 and Workshop #2, as well as Intermediate Results between Workshop #2 and Workshop #3. And then, continuing that goal-oriented momentum forward long after Workshop #3.

Utility Benchmarking – Similar to the PAWS Initiative, benchmarking is an essential tool to drive results. Benchmarking provides the starting point of our interventions and work with utility partners. It is a sub-set of our Partnership Tracking Form (PTF) – along with commitments to Quick Wins, Intermediate Results and ultimate goals for improvement.

Through an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) our preference has been to use AguaRating for utility performance benchmarking. See http://aquarating.org/en/.   Benchmarking is also critical for proving results over time which is essential for confidence building and is even interlinked with establishing credit worthiness.

Knowledge Management – In addition to our direct support for utility partners we endeavor to “give back” to the urban WASH sector by providing current knowledge and best practices.

We do this through our Knowledge Management Initiative which consists of sharing practical tips/blogs on our website. Click here to see our Practical Tips for Utilities.  Most of these blogs come from our Roster of over 100 Specialists. Content includes topical issues and questions (e.g., capital finance and non-revenue water) of importance to our partners and stakeholders in the sector.

WULUW– ROCKBlue established WULUW to promote women in leadership in urban water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Why is WULUW important? The current trajectory of WASH services in the developing world is such that UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) will not be met. One of the major obstacles faced by SDG6 is insufficient leadership – particularly a shortage of women in leadership positions at utilities and municipalities.

ROCKBlue’s WULUW initiative joined with the Girls4Girls (G4G) program, including their work with STEM Cohorts, as well as the International Water Centre, for the purpose of meaningfully increasing the number of women working in leadership positions at water utilities and municipalities.

WULUW’s goals are accomplished through four key activities:

  1. collecting and disseminating informational and motivational stories/examples about female leadership in urban WASH;
  2. mentorship between existing female leaders (mentors) and aspiring future female leaders (mentees);
  3. professional career guidance and networking for aspiring future female leaders; and
  4. connecting aspiring future female leaders with educational opportunities and resources.

Initiatives’ Synergy – PAWS and Benchmarking, together with our PTF, support each other and our focus on results. All three run in parallel and rely on each other.

Knowledge Management indirectly supports the goals set by our utility partners by providing key knowledge to help them better perform in their positions. It’s primarily an avenue to capture the rich knowledge of our Specialists and to share that with our partners.

WULUW also indirectly supports the goals set by our utility partners in that there is strong evidence showing that the more women are involved, particularly in leadership positions, the better the performance of utilities. So, indirectly, WULUW helps our partners and the WASH sector writ large.