1. Introduction / Background 

The Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) and its Secretariat are led by UN-Habitat and located in Bonn, Germany. GWOPA leads the global movement for Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs), which are peer-support partnerships between water and sanitation service providers. They work by harnessing the skills, knowledge, and goodwill of a well-established utility to build the capacity and improve the performance of another that seeks assistance or guidance.

GWOPA ensures that WOPs are well-known, supported, adopted, and adequately funded and that WOP actors benefit from GWOPA knowledge products and services. Its global membership comprises local public water and sanitation service providers from all continents. More information on the initiative can be found at: 

  1. Proposed project

GWOPA is inviting utility associations and other pertinent entities to collaborate in promoting Water Operator Partnerships in South-Eastern Europe. establish a foundation for the future Water Operators’ Partnerships Platform for South-Eastern Europe within GWOPA. 

The proposed collaboration will entail:

The applicant will have to perform the following tasks:

  • Promote WOPs and GWOPA’s membership towards public and private utilities, utility associations, regulators, public asset holding companies, local governments, water basin organizations, relevant water sector NGOs and CSOs, knowledge institutions and research institutes and other types of relevant partners, as per GWOPA’s Charter list of eligible constituencies (see list in Annex 1);

  • Propose capacity-building activities relevant to future WOPs;

  • Create and moderate a sub-regional group online through the GWOPA’s Community of Practice and initiate knowledge exchanges;

  • Organize a two-day launching event including:

    • Knowledge exchange/training workshop (face-to-face) on WOPs using GWOPA’s guidance material. 

    • Matchmaking session with new GWOPA members from the region.

    • Round table of potential donors, which can be organized concurrently with another relevant regional event gathering utilities and other relevant stakeholders.

  • Identify potential sources of funding and donors for the long-term sustainability of a WOP platform for the countries in the region.

  • Develop a joint funding proposal for a future WOP program, including coordination and hosting, based on the matchmaking exercise held during the launching event.

Eligible partners should meet the following criteria:

  • As per the GWOPA’s Charter, the GWOPA Secretariat seeks public regional or national water and sanitation utility associations or similar non-for-profit organizations or networks

  • There should be national, sub-regional or regional public utilities’ associations or other types of water and sanitation sector organisations, networks, or institutions with not-for-profit status. 

  • Public water and sanitation operators should constitute the primary constituency of their respective governing bodies.

  • Their main activity should revolve around utility capacity building.

  • They should be members of GWOPA or become one before signing the Agreement (en_gwopa_membership_form_011222.pdf).

The EOI should contain, but not be limited to the following:

  1. A concept note including:

-background information explaining how your organization is interested and well-suited to supporting GWOPA at the sub-regional level, especially in Southeast Europe; organizational structure; experience and qualifications of key professionals of the organization);

- the approach that will be applied to develop and implement the activities listed above.

  1. The support/contribution the organization is willing to make, including cash and in-kind (contribution in terms of staff time, office space and equipment and other support in cash and in-kind should be expressed in monetary terms)                                                            

  2. Detailed breakdown of cost by component (items of the collaboration outlined above)

  3. Certified true copy of original Audited Account Statement for the last two years (of the lead submitter)

  4. Latest annual report (of the lead submitter)

  5. Legal status of the organisation and proof of not-for-profit (of the lead submitter)

  6. A completed institutional membership form for GWOPA (if not already a member)

UN-Habitat Contribution

Organizations fulfilling the criteria will be invited to sign an Agreement of Cooperation with UN-Habitat. UN-Habitat will contribute financial resources to a maximum of US$50,000 through the agreement with the selected implementing partner. The duration of the agreement will be 1 year, starting not later than the 31st of December 2023 and ending on the 31st of December 2024.

  1. Submission Requirements and Guidelines

Expressions of Interest must be emailed to  with the reference “EOI-GWOPA Southeast Europe’ in the subject of your email, with a copy to Please indicate the reference and attach the form to ensure your proposal is considered. 

Contact Information

Should you require further clarification on the call, please contact Anne Bousquet, Programme Management Officer, Urban Basic Services Section, UN-Habitat,


Please note that this EOI notice does not constitute a solicitation. UN-Habitat reserves the right to change or cancel this requirement at any time in the Expressions of Interest/or solicitation process.

Submitting a reply to an EOI does not guarantee that a Cooperation Partner will be considered for receipt of the solicitation when issued and only Cooperation Partners who are deemed qualified by UN-Habitat upon completion of evaluation of submission will receive the final solicitation document.

Annex 1 – List of GWOPA’s constituencies

  1. Public water and sanitation utilities; 
  2. Community water and sanitation operators and cooperatives; 
  3. Private water and sanitation utilities*;
  4. Associations of water and sanitation utilities* 
  5. United Nations organizations;
  6. Registered international multi-stakeholder platforms/network organizations; Development cooperation agencies
  7. Development finance institutions; 
  8. Non-governmental organizations;
  9. Civil society organizations;
  10. Trade Unions; 
  11. National and sub-national governments (including Public Asset Holder Companies); 
  12. Research and learning institutions; and 
  13. Water and sanitation sector regulators

* Private utilities and their associations should comply with the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact.