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IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre has joined the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), the consortium of US-based organisations that implement water, sanitation and hygiene education programmes throughout the developing world. “This is very exciting for us because IRC is so highly respected around the world for its leadership in research and analysis of the growing water and sanitation sector,” said MWA Executive Director Rafael Callejas.
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre has joined the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), the consortium of US-based organisations that implement water, sanitation and hygiene education programmes throughout the developing world.
“This is very exciting for us because IRC is so highly respected around the world for its leadership in research and analysis of the growing water and sanitation sector,” said MWA Executive Director Rafael Callejas.
“The international development community recognizes and values IRC’s leadership in knowledge management, an area of enormous importance to MWA and its members. Our new formal association with IRC will build on the valuable working relationship we have had for years.”
IRC Director Nico Terra emphasized how IRC’s expertise strongly complements the work of MWA’s 11 implementing NGO members. “IRC does not directly provide WASH services. Therefore we are keen to work with those who do,” Terra said.
“The MWA partnership brings together a very interesting group of organisations with significant capacity to implement WASH projects in various parts of the world. We believe that IRC’s particular niche in the sector and our way of working is complementary to the strengths of the MWA partners and will add to the impact of their interventions. “
MWA’s membership includes the major WASH implementers headquartered in the United States: CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, Global Water, Lifewater International, Living Water International, Water Aid in America, Water For People, Water Missions International, Water.org, and World Vision. MWA was founded in 2002 to create opportunities for consortium programming, to help members share best practices and technologies, and to advocate for greater US commitment to improving WASH access for the world’s poorest people.
MWA’s members now operate WASH programmes in nearly 85 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, with diverse funding from governments, multilateral institutions, foundations, corporations, and individuals. At this time, MWA directly manages several major consortium programmes for its members in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Central America.
MWA has a fulltime professional staff headquartered in Washington, DC, and its Board of Directors is composed of its member NGOs.
IRC is a knowledge-focused NGO headquartered in The Netherlands, and works with a worldwide network of organisations to achieve equitable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. IRC’s roots are in advocacy, knowledge management, and capacity building.
IRC was set up in 1968 by the Dutch government on request of the World Health Organization as a WHO Collaborating Centre. It is now an autonomous, independent not-for-profit NGO with around 65 staff members at headquarters, and nearly 120 staff members conducting activities in a dozen focus countries, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Honduras, India, Mozambique, and Uganda.
IRC works with practitioners in focus countries to identify challenges, fill gaps, and develop models for sustainable and equitable service delivery, and overcoming the obstacles that lead to wasted investment. IRC shares lessons from this work with the wider WASH sector, and advocates at national and international levels for improved WASH policy, financing, and practice.
The Dutch Government (DGIS) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have been long-term financiers of IRC. Other donors include the European Union, USAID, DFID, UNICEF and the World Bank.
Read also the article on how the MWA is taking up the life-cycle cost approach developed by IRC's WASHCost project.