This Handbook is designed to enable the systematic and sustained monitoring of services using standardised indicators against agreed targets and benchmarks.
The Ministry of Urban Development initiated an exercise to develop standardised service level benchmarks with respect to basic municipal services in the year 2006. Subsequently, a core group comprising the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the Public Record of Operations and Finance (PROOF), the Water and Sanitation Program–South Asia (WSP–SA) and Municipal Commissioners of Pune, Bangalore, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Kolkata was constituted by the Ministry of Urban Development, which developed a draft Handbook of Service Level Benchmarking that was circulated among all the States and other key stakeholders. Based on the comments received, the draft was revised and a National Level Workshop was held in July 2008 for the adoption of benchmarks with respect to basic municipal services related to water supply, sewerage, solid waste management and storm water drainage.
This Handbook is designed to enable the systematic and sustained monitoring of services using standardised indicators against agreed targets and benchmarks. It will help effect performance improvements in the identified service sectors by (i) helping local decision-makers identify gaps, plan and prioritise improvement measures; (ii) enabling the identification and transfer of best practice; (iii) enhancing accountability to customers for service delivery levels; (iv) providing a framework that can underlie contracts/agreements with service providers; and (v) making it possible to link decision-making on financial allocations to service outcomes.
It is expected that State governments and cities would adopt this performance monitoring framework at the Urban Local Body (ULB)/parastatal level, and undertake to regularly collate and analyse the performance data to improve the quality of the decision-making process in the sectors identified in this Handbook. Its adoption by all States shall facilitate uniform measurements and reporting systems, which will be of immense help to the management of the service utilities in making the right comparisons aimed at improving the efficiency of the infrastructure. It shall also be of great help in shifting the focus from infrastructure to service delivery.