This paper performs a literature update of quantitative studies of water and sanitation services (WSS), with an emphasis on tracking the benchmarking literature. There are 190 studies which use cost or production functions to evaluate the performance of WSS utilities. The studies examine: (1) the scale, scope or density economies of utilities in a particular country or region; (2) the influence of ownership on efficiency; (3) the existence and power of incentives associated with different governance systems (including external regulation); and (4) performance assessment (benchmarking). In addition, this paper presents patterns regarding quantitative methods adopted over time, as well as some major trends in results.
Keywords: benchmarking, literature survey, water and sanitation utilities