Need for Inclusion of Efficiency Benchmarking Framework as a Part of Disaster Education: Case of Public Service Infrastructure Utilities

  • Sai Amulya
  • Mukul KulshresthaEmail author
  • Shaivi Kulshrestha
Conference paper
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


Public service infrastructure is typically characterized as being mostly highly capital intensive, often requiring lumpy investments, and needing long gestation periods. Inefficient service operations of the infrastructure utilities not just result in unwarranted financial logjams, but the consequences also manifest into operational technical shortcomings and inefficiencies, making the infrastructure unworthy of facing disaster situations. If such inefficiencies persist in the entire sectors, then the planners, managers, and administrators become busy in focusing on providing day-to-day services, and the focus shifts away from disaster preparedness. Sector inefficiencies also contribute to constricted financial resources to recover and rebuild the infrastructure affected by disaster. With disasters presenting potentially severe impacts on public service utilities, ensuring that these services are efficient at their operational and financial levels can minimize the associated risks to a significant extent. Efficiency benchmarking accounts for operational, economic and environmental stability of utilities by reforming their operations in line with best practices, providing them an opportunity to optimize their resources, ensuring cost minimization and generating internal savings, thereby making these utilities financially stable to tackle the upcoming disasters. This chapter provides an insight on the need to integrate efficiency benchmarking frameworks in the curricula and be a part of every public service utility policy documents as a component of disaster risk management strategy. The study provides inferences drawn from case studies of various public service infrastructure sectors such as electricity, irrigation, water supply and telecommunication, discussing the extent of inefficiencies prevailing in each sector and the extent of savings possible if inefficiencies are mitigated. The chapter further discusses the importance to integrate benchmarking tools as a part of disaster education curriculum to provide future engineers with guidelines to design and operate utilities in an effective way to ensure sustenance and disaster preparedness in the sectors.


Disaster education Disaster risk management Efficiency benchmarking Public service infrastructure utilities 


  1. ADB (2007) 2007 benchmarking and data book of water utilities in India. Asian Development Bank, Manila, PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  2. Aigner DJ, Lovell CAK, Schmidt P (1977) Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models. J Econ 6:21–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Banaeian N, Zangeneh M, Omid M (2010) Energy use efficiency for walnut producers using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Aust J Crop Sci AJCS 4(5):359–362Google Scholar
  4. Carvalho M, Syguiy T, Silva DN (2015) Efficiency and effectiveness analysis of public transport of Brazilian cities. J Transp Lit 9(3):40–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Charnes A, Cooper WW, Rhodes E (1978) Measuring the efficiency of decision-making units. Eur J Oper Res 2:429–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. CWC (2005) General guidelines for water audit & water conservation. Central Water Commission Evaluation of Water Utilization Directorate, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  7. energeticaindia (2013) Lack of affordable & quality power is shackling India’s growth story, A FICCI Report, July–August 2013Google Scholar
  8. Estache A, Tovar B, Trujillo L (2008) How efficient are African electricity companies? Evidence from the Southern African countries. Energy Policy 36(6):1969–1979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fang H, Wu J, Zeng C (2009) Comparative study on efficiency performance of listed coal mining companies in China and the US. Energy Policy 37(12):5140–5148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gang L, Felingham B (2002) The technical efficiency of Australian irrigation schemes, discussion paper. University of Tasmania, HobartGoogle Scholar
  11. Garg A, Mishra V, Dholakia HH (2015) Climate change and India: adaptation gap 2015, W.P. No. 2015-11-01. Research and Publications, Indian Institute of Management AhmedabadGoogle Scholar
  12. Gupta S, Kumar S, Sarangi GK (2006) Measuring the performance of water services providers in urban India: implications for managing water utilities, WP 06-08. National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  13. Hasan D, Hakan BY (2003) Assessment of irrigation schemes with comparative indicators in the Southeastern Anatolia Project. J Agric 27:293–303Google Scholar
  14. Hon LY, Boon TH, Lee C (2015) Efficiency and deregulation in the Malaysian electricity sector. Energy Stud Rev 21(1):41–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. IBNET (2017) The international benchmarking network for water and sanitation utilities. Accessed 22 April 2017
  16. IPCC (2014) Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. In: Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Jain S, Thakur T, Shandilya A (2010) Cost benchmarking of generation utilities using DEA: a case study of India. Sci Res: Technol Invest 1:229–234Google Scholar
  18. Jamasb T, Pollit M (2008) Productivity and efficiency of US gas transmission companies: a European regulatory perspective. Energy Policy 36(9):3398–3412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kulshrestha M (2009) Efficiency evaluation of urban water supply utilities in India. In: Proceedings of the 8th international conference on applied infrastructure research, German Institute for Economic Research, 9–10 Oct 2009Google Scholar
  20. Kulshrestha M, Bharadwaj U, Mittal AK (2004). A generic approach to benchmarking of water and sanitation utilities. In: Gerald S, Donald FH, David KS (ed) Critical transitions in water and environmental resources management. Proceedings world water & environmental resources congress 2004. The Environmental Water & Resources Institute (EWRI) of  the American Society Of Civil Engineers (ASCE), June 27–July 1, Utah, USAGoogle Scholar
  21. Kulshrestha M, Mittal AK (2004), Performance appraisal of water utilities using DEA approach. In: Gerald S, Donald FH, David KS (ed) Critical transitions In water and environmental resources management. Proceedings world water & environmental resources congress 2004. The Environmental Water & Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society Of Civil Engineers (ASCE), June 27–July 1, Utah, USAGoogle Scholar
  22. Kulshrestha M, Mittal AK (2005) A generic framework for performance assessment of water supply utilities. The benchmark, Newsletter of the Water Research Commission Benchmarking Project, Issue No. 6, South AfricaGoogle Scholar
  23. Kulshrestha M, Vishwakarma A (2013) Efficiency evaluation of urban water supply services in an Indian state. Int J Water Policy 15:134–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mancarella (2016) Disaster management and resilience in electric power systems, Projects in North West Involving University of Manchester, UKERC Energy Data Centre, Ep/N034899/1Google Scholar
  25. Marques RC, Berg S, Yane S (2014) Nonparametric benchmarking of Japanese water utilities: institutional and environmental factors affecting efficiency. J Water Res Plan Manag, ASCE 140(5):562–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Moreno P, Lozano S, Gutiérrez E (2013) Dynamic performance analysis of U.S. wireline telecommunication companies. Telecommun Policy 37(6–7):469–482CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Munisamy S (2010) Efficiency and ownership in water supply: evidence from Malaysia. In: Proceedings of the 12th international business research conference, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 8–9 April 2010Google Scholar
  28. Ntantos PN, Karpouzos DK (2010) Application of data envelopment analysis and performance indicators to irrigation systems in Thessaloniki Plain. Int J Biol, Biomol, Agric, Food Biotechnol Eng 4(10):714–720Google Scholar
  29. Nyathikala SA, Kulshrestha M (2017) Performance and productivity measurement of urban water supply services in India. Water Sci Technol: Water Supply 17(2):407–421Google Scholar
  30. OECD (2016) OECD Council recommendation on water, Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development,, Accessed 12 Dec 2018
  31. OECD (2017) Water risks, disasters and climate change, OECD Water, The Water Challenge,, Accessed 12 Dec 2018
  32. PGCIL (2015) Building climate change resilience for electricity infrastructure, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited. Accessed 12 Dec 2018
  33. Phadnis SS, Kulshrestha M (2012) Evaluation of irrigation efficiencies for water users’ associations in a major irrigation project in India by DEA. Benchmarking: An Int J 19(2):193–218Google Scholar
  34. Rajasekar T, Ashraf S, Deo M (2014) Measurement of efficiency of major ports in India-a data envelopment analysis approach. Int J Environ Sci 4(5):926–936Google Scholar
  35. Rehmat A, Muhammad A, Ul Hassan N (2016) Comparative frameworks for risk mitigation in canal networks. In: 12th international conference on hydroinformatics, HIC 2016, Procedia Eng 154:1414–1423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rogge N, De Jaeger S (2013) Measuring and explaining the cost efficiency of municipal solid waste collection and processing services. Omega 41(4):653–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Singh MR, Upadhyay V, Mittal AK (2011) Benchmarking of north Indian urban water utilities. Benchmarking: An Int J 18(1):86–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Speelman S, D’Haese M, Buysse J, D’Haese L (2007) Technical efficiency of water use and its determinants, study at smallscale irrigation schemes in North-West Province, South Africa. In: 106th seminar of the EAAE Pro-poor development in low income countries: food, agriculture, trade, and environment, Montpellier, France, 25–27 Oct 2007Google Scholar
  39. Thakur T, Deshmukh SG, Kaushik SC (2006) Efficiency evaluation of the state-owned electric utilities in India. Energy Policy 34(17):2788–2804CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Udayanganie ADD, Prasada DVP, Kodithuwakku KASS, Weerahewa J, Little DC (2006) Efficiency of the agrochemical input usage in the paddy farming systems in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Prepared for the annual meeting of the Canadian agricultural economics society in Montreal, Quebec, 25–28 May 2006Google Scholar
  41. UN (2015) Water and disaster risk: a contribution by the United Nations to the consultation leading to the Third UN world conference on disaster risk reduction. In: UN world congress on disaster risk reduction, Sendal, JapanGoogle Scholar
  42. Valderrama HAS, Bautista (2011) Efficiency analysis of electric cooperatives in the Philippines. Philippine Manag Rev 19:1–10Google Scholar
  43. Vishwakarma A, Kulshrestha M, Kulshrestha M (2012) Efficiency evaluation of municipal solid waste management utilities in the urban cities of the state of Madhya Pradesh, India using stochastic frontier analysis. Benchmarking: An Int J 19(3):340–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vishwakarma A, Kulshrestha M, Nyathikala SA, Kulshrestha M (2016) Cost efficiency benchmarking of urban water supply utilities: the case of an Indian State. Water Environ J 30:77–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. UN Water (2015) Water and sustainable development from vision to action, means and tools for implementation and the role of different actors. In: Report of the 2015 UN-water Zaragoza conference, Zaragoza, SpainGoogle Scholar
  46. Yadav K (2006) Application of benchmarking in irrigation industry. In: Workshop on benchmarking of irrigation projects, MPWALMI, Bhopal, pp 25–48Google Scholar
  47. Yu M (2008) Assesing the technical efficiency, service effectiveness and technical effectiveness of the worlds railways through NDEA analysis. Transp Res Part A: Policy Pract 42(10):1283–1294Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sai Amulya
    • 1
  • Mukul Kulshrestha
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shaivi Kulshrestha
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Engineering Division, Department of Civil EngineeringNational Institute of Technology, MANITBhopalIndia
  2. 2.School of Habitat StudiesTata Institute of Social Sciences, TISSMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations