Skip to main content

50 years of IRC: Interview with Louis C. Boorstin

Published on: 27/02/2019

We are getting more articulate on how to discuss and demonstrate the importance of the systems approach.

Next in this series of IRC 50 interviews, we talk to Louis Boorstin, Managing Director of the Osprey Foundation and member of IRC's Supervisory Board. We met up with him on the sidelines of the 1st Agenda for Change (A4C) Learning & Reflection Meeting in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Louis C. Boorstin. Video still/IRC

CD: When did you first hear about IRC?

LB: The first time I heard about IRC was probably 2005 when I was at the Gates Foundation. One of my colleagues, Rachel Cardone, had worked with IRC before and brought that relationship to our team.

CD: What have you found most useful so far from IRC?

LB: I think of IRC as an essential backbone institution in the WASH sector. Essential because it has an expertise in systems building, systems strengthening: the core elements of what it takes to keep water and sanitation running. Essential but often not understood or appreciated. Over 50 years IRC has developed an expertise in that area and has continually and consistently promoted ways to get better at doing that.

CD: How do you see the future of the Osprey Foundation in the WASH sector and what role could IRC can play in that?

LB: I think IRC’s role is only becoming more important as there is an increasing understanding of the value of the systems approach. IRC and the rest of us are getting more articulate on how to discuss that and demonstrate it. We are now seeing successes in various countries at the district level and at the national level. We have more successes and as we get better data, it will become more important for IRC to spread that knowledge both in the countries where it’s working and in new countries.

Many thanks to Louis Boorstin for sharing his thoughts with us. Do you also have a special story related to IRC? We'd love to hear it! Leave a comment or message us at

Useful links


At IRC we have strong opinions and we value honest and frank discussion, so you won't be surprised to hear that not all the opinions on this site represent our official policy.