Overseas Development Experience

Tim Westmoreland has over 8 years experience working in the transitional and developing countries of South-East Europe. In particular working for 5 years as Head of the Water Sector for the United Nations Administration Mission in Kosovo (contracted by the EU) from 2003 until shortly after Kosovo independence in June 2008. This was a unique experience of institutional restructuring and physical rebuilding of a water sector from the remnants of war and a prolonged period of under-investment. Kosovo now has 7 functioning and effective regional water companies, all legally incorporated and supplying drinking water to over 1.7 million people.

This experience has given Tim a clear insight in what it takes to get sustainable water development in a difficult environment - reconstruction and improvement of infrastructure must go hand-in-hand with real change and development of institutional capacity of the water utilities who will manage, maintain and operate the infrastructure. So much water supply infrastructure fails because this simple fact is not taken fully into consideration and infrastructure projects are developed without a full sense of ownership by the relevant water operator.

As well as Kosovo, Tim has also worked in Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, the USA (Puerto Rico) and India.

Water Sector Reform in Kosovo

From 2003 to 2008 Tim Westmoreland was contracted by the European Union as Head of Water Sector in Kosovo and led a programme of sector reform.

In 2003 there were over 34 separate ex-socialist, poorly functioning, water enterprises in Kosovo. By 2008, following a programme of regionalisation, these were replaced by just 7 regional water companies. In 2007 all water companies were incorporated as modern joint stock companies with new Boards of Directors, improved corporate governance and, in many cases, new progressive management.

These reforms took place hand-in-hand with other key changes in the sector; the creation of a water regulator, environmental legislation and a new tariff system.

Since this reform the water sector has started to attract increased capital investment funds in the form of grants and loans to enable the Kosovo water companies to improve infrastructure and hence improve services to customers.