The German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) has supported the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) since 1994 by the provision of assistance aimed at increasing the efficiency of the potable water supply and wastewater disposal services under the Operations Management Support (OMS) project.

Using OMS as an example, this article shows the links of the change processes at the utility and the sector level (micro–macro linkages) for the introduction of institutional changes within the Jordanian water sector. The support of OMS followed co-evolutionary thinking, that is, it supported the dynamics coming from the utility level and affecting the sector level as well as the feedback loops from sector level to utility level. On the utility level, OMS activities and the induced improvements are a technical base for wider reform processes. They facilitated the implementation of private sector participation, PSP, with better quality base data. The information systems which were introduced by the project also indicated the importance of structural changes on the sector level and the urgency of these reforms. And finally, the involvement of OMS staff on the utility level made them credible when offering advice about the sector level. Hence, the parallel support of activities on both levels provided a deeper awareness of the reform issues and contributed to the success of the sector reforms.

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