Major urban areas around the world face the severe challenge of managing and financing municipal sanitation services, especially in the field of waste and wastewater management. In many countries several tasks related to basic services are in the process of being transferred to or already fall under the responsibility of municipalities. However, this transfer of responsibilities does often not go hand in hand with the simultaneous transfer of structures, financial resources and room for maneuvers. Furthermore, the credibility of cities among their citizens often depends on very concrete experiences with core services which the municipalities are supposed to offer. Here, municipal companies which are assigned with the provision of such municipal services play a key role as the quality of such service provision strongly influences the performance and livability of a city.
The international exchange platform Connective Cities and its initiators, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the German Association of Cities and Engagement Global / Service Agency Communities in One World, organized a Dialogue Event on “Financing mechanisms for municipal sanitation services - ensuring sustainable local service provision and infrastructure” from 18 to 20 September 2017 in Cologne, Germany to specifically look into good practices, challenges and solutions to this crucial topic. The event was organized in collaboration with the City of Cologne and Cologne’s relevant municipal companies dealing with sanitation issues. The exchange aimed at showing the possibilities of planning and implementing financing models in different local contexts, checking the regional applicability of the presented solutions and to discuss the respective challenges.
The dialogue event was geared towards both German and international municipal actors from Bosnia, Brazil, China, Morocco, Palestinian Territories and Ukraine with an interest in and first-hand experience in financing of municipal services in waste and wastewater management. All participants engaged proactively in the international dialogue by presenting their experience, showcasing examples of good practices in their municipality and/or identifying concrete challenges and needs they face.