National Water Operators' Partnerships (WOPs) are promoted to be able to deliver better performance results as they can overcome common hurdles in partnerships related to language and culture barriers. Our paper argues that although the underlying idea of national WOPs appears sensible, the findings in Indonesia suggest that the actual functioning and performance of the WOPs is very much dependent on the governance framework under which these utilities operate. As such, the national WOP is not able to transcend this politicized environment, but rather becomes part and parcel of it.

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