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IRC in red

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre is an international think tank actively building strong water, sanitation and hygiene systems – from the bottom up and the top down. We exist to support countries to build strong local and national services, underpinned by resilient systems, that transform lives and build equity, justice and opportunity for all. IRC’s roots are in advocacy, knowledge management and capacity building. The organisation was founded in 1968.

Our Mission

We are mostly citizens of the eight countries where we work: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Mali, Niger and Uganda. We work directly with communities, experts, public servants and decision-makers. We facilitate collective action with Government, water utilities, the private sector, NGOs, citizen groups and entrepreneurs. Regionally and around the world we work with banks, donors and a range of institutions to support their effectiveness in delivering long-term solutions that last, not short-term projects that don’t.

To help develop water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services that last not for years, but forever, we identify the barriers to making this happen and we tackle them. We help people to make the change from short-term interventions to long-term services that will transform their lives and their futures.

We do this by:

  • uncovering the problems people face in maintaining WASH servicesin the communities that need them most;
  • helping those who plan and provide services to adapt and change the way they think and work, creating learning communities that go on to develop credible, affordable and long-term services;
  • putting ideas and knowledge into practice through innovative action research that helps people make better use of money and time and increases their awareness of what’s needed;
  • advocating and sharing expertise, experience and insights with all those who can make change happen;
  • influencing policies and practices that affect those people whose lives and futures are threatened by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.

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