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At IRC we're pretty clear about our aims – about the world we want to see. Everyone, everywhere enjoying access to water, sanitation and hygiene services that last forever. But how to get there? And what's our role?
We know – in broad terms – what has to change to get there. In short, national governments owning and accepting the challenge, and committing to ensuring that services are provided to all their citizens. With the rest of us getting behind and supporting them in delivering on their commitment (for more detail, see our shared Agenda for Change).
..by fundamentally changing, reforming and strengthening the national systems that deliver WASH services they will not only deliver services to everyone – but do so in such a way that dependency on foreign aid is ended once and for all.
What’s more we know, and never tire of telling people, that the problem is complex and not amenable to silver (or any other colour) bullets, that there are no simple solutions. That getting services to everyone implies igniting broadly based and nationally owned movements that are able to grapple with the inherent complexity of getting services to everyone; that can work out and then implement their own solutions; that learn what does and doesn’t work as they go; that adapt where necessary until, eventually, they reach (and maintain) their goal. In a word, processes that are long, expensive and messy – and that require patience and perseverance to drive to their end point.
Challenging as it is, we’re convinced that it is these processes that are the solution. That by fundamentally changing, reforming and strengthening the national systems that deliver WASH services they will not only deliver services to everyone – but do so in such a way that dependency on foreign aid is ended once and for all.
But what is IRC’s role in this? This new slide deck sets out to explain this. Articulating clearly and hopefully simply the challenges the sector faces, the processes necessary to identify and scale solutions, and our role in supporting these processes.
Making a rather complex problem analysis and theory of change clear and compelling isn’t easy – but I’m really pleased with this new visualisation. We’d love to know what you think – and be thrilled if it resonates with you, either because you think you’d like to work this way – or because you’re doing so already. Please do let us know.
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.