Neglected Outcomes of Customer Orientation in Urban Public Water Utilities in Uganda and Tanzania
Ssemwogere, Edward Anselm
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We used 30 decision making units (DMUs) of National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) in Uganda and Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Corporation [DAWASCO] in Tanzania to collect data from customers and workers/regulators of the two utilities. We also collected secondary data on the performance of the utilities in 2010. We used this data to calculate the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for the DMUs. The results indicate high adoption of customer orientation in NWCS’ DMUs (mean score = 86%) while in DAWASCO’s DMUs the mean score is 44%. The results from DEA analysis show a mean efficiency score of 93% for NWSC and 71% for DAWASCO. Also, the findings indicate a service quality gap of -1.98 for NWSC and -2.81 for DAWASCO. We found that there is a positive correlation between customer orientation and efficiency (0.58 [p<0.01]); a positive correlation between customer orientation and customer satisfaction (0.36 [p>0.01]); and an inverse correlation between customer satisfaction and efficiency (0.043% [p>0.01]). These results imply that increased adoption of customer orientation reforms enhances technical efficiency albeit the resultant improvement in customer satisfaction is statistically insignificant.
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