Programs >> Twinning Program

Twinning Approach

Twinning is an approach that enables peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge and experience between two water utilities. In a twinning partnership a utility that seeks to improve its performance (recipient twin) and service delivery pairs with a stronger utility (mentor twin) to learn from. Twinning partnerships typically focus on selected performance areas which the recipient twin aims to improve, and the mentor twin can provide the needed knowledge for.

Twinning arrangements follow a set of key principles to ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial and results in tangible improvements of service delivery.


Twinning Principles

Counterpart Exchange

Direct practitioner to-practitioner exchange on best practices
is the foundation of twinning.

Reciprocal Benefits

Benefits from the twinning partnerships are mutual,
but not necessarily equal.

Demand Driven

Twinning partnerships are demand-driven,
in line with partner strategies, plans, and interests.

Results Oriented

Twinning partnerships are results-oriented, ensuring
the adoption of best practices and the implementation of activities
that result in real improvements and tangible outcomes.


Twinning partnerships aim to replicate effective policies,
best practices and proven technologies throughout Asia.

Cost Sharing

Partners support programs on a cost-share basis, providing in-kind
and funding support for each activity.


All partnerships operate on a non-profit basis,
but could result in a commercial relationship.


SEAWUN Twinning partnerships

Twinning was introduced to SEAWUN member utilities by ADB in 2007. Since then 25 twinning partnerships have been set up between SEAWUN member utilities as well as water utilities from other regions in Asia and internationally. Most twinning arrangements have been either supported by ADB through its Water Operators Partnerships Program (WOPs) or the USAID ECO Asia Program, and some partnerships have been supported by other bilateral donors.

View the list of SEAWUN twinning partnerships...

Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA), Cambodia and Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Company Limited (BIWASE), Vietnam

One of the first twinning arrangements has been the partnership between Cambodia's Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) and Viet Nam's Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Company Limited (BIWASE) which started in July 2007. SEAWUN was a member of the Advisory Committee which supported this partnership. Information about the activities and results can be read in the final report.

Twinning under WaterLinks

In August 2008, ADB, USAID and IWA founded WaterLinks, a regional partnership network affiliated with the UN Global Water Operators Partnership Alliance. WaterLinks works with its regional partners like SEAWUN on knowledge sharing, training, and networking activities, Promoting and facilitating twinning partnership are part of these activities.

WaterLinks organized its first Regional Forum on 28th to 30th September 2009 in Bangkok. More than 160 participants from 82 water utilities, associations and international development organizations attended the event. 9 SEAWUN member utilities participated in the event and 3 utilities presented their twinning experiences.

In 2009 ADB published guidelines for successfull twinning arrangements. The guidelines can be viewed and downloaded here.

Additional information about twinning partnerships can be found on the WaterLinks website.



Last updated: 2 February 2012