Strengthening the Water Sector Institutional Development in Angola

Key Contact
Camilo Lombana Cordoba
Start Date
End Date
Funding Amount
$ 25,000
Knowledge-providing Countries
Knowledge-receiving Countries


The Government of Angola aims to strengthen the institutional capacity of selected water sector agencies and to increase the coverage of sustainable access to water services in target cities. To support this reform process in the water sector, a knowledge exchange was organized for Angolan high-level officials to learn from the experiences of Colombia.

The objectives of the knowledge exchange were: -

  • Raising the awareness of possible water sector reforms that could be promoted in Angola
  • Improving the participants understanding of the economic regulation of public utilities as well as approaches to formulating a sound regulatory framework
  • Understanding the roles and responsibilities of the different agencies involved in the water sector.

In support, the South-South Facility (SSF) co-funded knowledge exchange activities to facilitate the sharing of experiences, good practice and approaches to implementing water sector reforms drawn from the Colombian experience.

The Angolan delegation comprised of nine high-level officials from:

  • The Ministry of Energy and Water;
  • The Regulatory Institute for Water and Energy Services (IRSEA);
  • The National Directorate of Water (DNA)
  • The Second Water Sector Institutional Project- PDISA 2 implementing units

The knowledge exchange was particularly useful in strengthening the policy dialogue with the Government of Angola and moving forward with the sector reform supported by the World Bank-funded project Second Water Sector Institutional Development Project (PDISA 2). From this standpoint, the knowledge exchange activities will directly support the implementation of this project.



The reform faced two main challenges:

  • A weak enabling environment: There is a lack of consensus on what the role and responsibilities each participating institution and stakeholder should assume
  • Inefficient policy instruments: The institutional framework as well as the financing and subsidy mechanisms have proved inefficient. Angola seeks to think outside the box as it implements this reform process.



To support the Government of Angola’s water sector reform, a series of knowledge and learning activities were carried out. Virtual knowledge sharing sessions were organized as well as a week-long visit to Colombia. The activities began with videoconferences with the knowledge-providing institutions to determine the learning agenda and methodology for the knowledge exchange. This was followed by a preparatory videoconference to help build rapport between Angolan and Colombian officials. During this meeting, the learning agenda and methodology were discussed, and a consensus was reached. The study visit to Colombia took place on May 6-10, 2019.

The key themes addressed during the knowledge exchange included:

  • Water sector reform journey in Colombia: gains and challenges
  • Strategies and approaches used in Colombia to overcome the reform challenges
  • Water and sanitation institutional framework and enabling policies
  • National regulatory framework and how it ensures the provision of quality services at affordable rates
  • Supervision and control mechanisms for water utilities
  • Water and sanitation financing models
  • How the Colombian Government tracks the performance of municipalities providing water and sanitation services; and the associated incentive mechanisms
  • The monitoring, evaluation and control framework for municipalities
  • Learning from the successful Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the water sector in Colombia
  • How a user cadaster is developed and how it is used to determine service charges for the different groups of customers based on their purchasing power.


Lessons Learned

The key lessons and good practices learned during the knowledge exchange included:

  • The need to clarify the roles and responsibilities of all the institutions involved in the water sector in Angola. There are several gaps and overlaps in the roles and responsibilities of the water sector institutions. A comprehensive water sector diagnostic and associated recommendations would support the re-defining of each agency’s role and responsibilities to ensure coverage of the whole spectrum from policy making to service delivery; including regulation and oversight.
  • The role subsidies play in improving sustainability in water and sanitation service delivery. This underscored the need to develop a comprehensive subsidy policy to analyze and compare different alternatives to fund and target subsidiaries for the water and sanitation sector in Angola. Considering how the water sector in Angola has evolved rapidly over the years, it became apparent during the knowledge exchange visit that a comprehensive water sector diagnostic is required for Angola.
  • The importance of improving the selection and recruitment process for the management of the Provincial Water and Sanitation Utilities (PWSUs) in Angola. The importance of having a strongly qualified technical work force was underscored during the knowledge exchange. The National Directorate of Water (DNA), the Regulatory Institute for Water and Energy (IRSEA) and the Provincial Water and Sanitation Utilities can improve their performance and service delivery by having a well-trained work force. DNA will define the required skills and profiles for the managers of PWSUs needed to cope with larger and more sophisticated utilities.
  • Community involvement needs to a have a prominent role in the entire value chain of the water and sanitation services. As observed in the Colombia experience, the community is involved, and their feedback sought at all stages of the process; including the formulation of new policies; the design and construction of new systems and the regulation and control of services providers. This has helped to build a culture where consumers pay for and value the services they receive.
  • The importance of collecting quality information and having a unified system to gather all sector data. During the knowledge exchange, the Angolan delegation was exposed to the critical role data plays in policy making and regulation. To ensure the integrity and quality of the water sector data, a single entity should be charged with the responsibility of managing all the data required from different institutions, agencies and stakeholders in the country. This will enhance efficiency, simplify the reporting process and minimize duplication.
  • Regionalization of utility companies should be encouraged to avoid the inefficiencies created by a proliferation of small utilities. Utilities that provide services to more than one municipality can achieve economies of scale and possibly better service delivery.
  • Subsidies are key to enhancing the sustainability of water and sanitation services. The Angolan delegation noted that the payment capacity is below the cost of service delivery therefore a subsidy mechanism in needed.


At the end of the study visit, the Angolan delegation discussed and developed an action plan. This action plan was later endorsed by the State Secretary for Water in Angola.


Beneficiaries / Participants

  • Planning Director, Angola Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA)
  • Legal Director, MINEA
  • Executive Coordinator, PDISA 2,
  • President of the Administrative Council, Regulatory Institute of Water and Energy Services (IRSEA)
  • Administrator of the IRSEA
  • Chief of Legal Department, IRSEA
  • Technical Advisor, IRSEA
  • Institutional Specialist, PDISA 2 Implementation Unit
  • Institutional Specialist, National Directorate of Water


World Bank Contribution

The World Bank, through the South-South Facility, co-financed the knowledge exchange activities between Colombia and Angola. A World Bank team accompanied and supported the Angolan delegation during the entire design and implementation process. Planning and implementation was a collaborative effort between teams from the Water Global Practice, the Development Economics (DEC) Vice Presidency unit and the Governance Global Practice.

Given the large number of countries undergoing several reforms, the Water Global Practice team stated that the exchange was a vital opportunity to leverage the World Bank role as a knowledge broker, connecting knowledge providers with institutions and agencies in need of knowledge and technical strengthening.


Moving forward

The knowledge exchange was particularly useful in strengthening the policy dialogue with the Government of Angola and moving forward the sector reform supported by the PDISA 2 project.

There was an agreement that there is need to develop a comprehensive subsidy policy in Angola.

A study for this purpose will be financed by the World Bank-funded project PDISA 2, and the World Bank task team would support the Government with preparing the Terms of Refence for the study.

To increase transparency and accountability, good practices in corporate governance will be applied to PDISA 2-supported utilities. PDISA 2 will support the process of developing sound corporate governance guidelines to be applied during project implementation.

A community engagement strategy will be developed and piloted to improve rapport between utilities and beneficiaries through community engagement programs. This will provide forums for the utilities to build closer connections with communities and sensitize them about the benefits and responsibilities as water service users. The PDISA 2 project will support a comprehensive communication campaign.

PDISA 2 will support the development and piloting of a regional business plan for one of the utilities benefitting from the project. These will be part of the efforts towards achieving regional service delivery by supporting PWSUs in developing strategic regional business plans.




  • Vice-Ministry of Water and Sanitation
  • The Water and Sanitation Regulatory Commission
  • The Superintendent of Public Services
  • The Cundinamarca Regional Public Utility
  • The Triple A Utility – a regional utility covering the Colombian city of Barranquilla


Results Story Author: Twity Mueni Musuva Uzele