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What is it?

The European project “TRansitions to the Urban Water Services of Tomorrow” (TRUST) has developed this Roadmap tool to guide urban water utilities in their TRUST path to a sustainable future. The tool is design to easily help and guide inside the TRUST project all kind of water-related users, encouraging them to read/assess the most pertinent documents and/or tools.

Structure

This guidance tool is oriented under 9 basic steps, illustrated in the diagram above and available at the top of the screen permanently. It is an adaptive approach, as represented in the diagram: the left-to-right direction is the general direction of the process and the right-to-left direction indicates that each step is iterative.

To start the guidance process, the user must initiate TRUST&GO on the top menu and select the most relevant steps at the top of the screen (one or more). Another alternative is to click in the images here presented, in the Home section of the tool, where the TRUST&GO flowchart image will send the you to the tool itself, and each step image will open the corresponding step in the tool.

After the selection of the steps, the most relevant documents/tools within the TRUST project will be presented. Each document/tool is described in a Situation Analysis Factsheet (SAF), which summarizes the main content in two pages.

At the end of each SAF there is a link to the original document/tool as well as to other related documents. At this stage the user will only need to select the SAFs to be accessed and they will appear in the Portfolio section (upper right corner of the screen), ready to be download.

Also, in each step, the relevant SAFs will be presented along with their associated dimensions. This way, the user can have a second assessment of which SAF wishes to pass to the Portfolio.

Basic steps

Refers to organizational identity and stakeholders, including the definition of control boundaries (internal system) and influence sphere (transactional environment)
Includes the definition of “sphere of influence”, in three levels: internal, transactional and external.
  Definition of the reference point, including state of infrastructure assets and resources as well as social and governance structure
From the perspective of the present, this step can be useful for indicating the need for change and creating a sense of urgency.
 
Represents the desired state of the internal system and, to some extent, the transactional environment
The first version or iteration of the vision, before it is tested against context scenarios and adapted, should focus on that which is desired.
  Includes an inventory and analysis of factors and trends that may impact on the organization and its transactional environment
It is recommended that this approach include an assessment of uncertainty, using for example the Scenario Planning method. Urban water utilities may wish to test their plans against climate scenarios, as the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) scenarios, by UNEP. The SCENES project, under the EU 6th framework directive, has already enriched these GEO scenarios to be specifically relevant for the European water sector. The EU 7th framework PREPARED project also works with scenarios that may be useful.
 
Iterative comparison between the vision with the current state and with the possible future states of external system
The process of testing a vision against context scenarios should be iterative. One useful means of categorizing data about internal and external systems and presenting decision makers with alternatives is the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response framework.
  Selection of a series of actions that establish the proposed pathway between the current state and the desired future state
There are several available methods to develop this step, like Relevance-tree Analysis, Multi-criteria Analysis or SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).
 
Stakeholder engagement for proper planning processes and good governance
Regarding this phase, there has been much European research to help implement the theories of stakeholder engagement. One suitable method is backcasting, i.e, the assessment of the present state from the perspective of a normative (desirable) vision or target, which typically results on a rough pathway defining milestones & transition measures.
  Implementation of social changes with social, political and cultural influence
Water utilities are generally more than capable of planning and executing the engineering tasks involved in a strategy. The main issues tend to arise when ambiguous social, political, and cultural processes assert influence on the implementation of the plans. It is important to recognize this fact from the outset and to learn from the past by analyzing and accounting for known issues, limitations, & considerations. It is also essential to define the roles of the various actors, specifically stipulating which actors are to be involved in the implementation, evaluation, and/or adaptation of the strategic plan.
 
Process evaluation and monitoring, periodically asking the fundamental questions: where are we now? and where do we want to be?
Annual progress reports can be used to demonstrate the transparency of the evaluation process, using performance indicators, multi-criteria factors or other. One common used method is the SMART approach.

For further information on the TRUST project and the TRUST guidance tool, please turn to the Section “About” on the top main menu.