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Published on: 29/09/2015

Innovative approaches to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in emergency situations

Emergency and conflict situations around the world are increasing rapidly. In 2014 the number of forcibly displaced people reached 59.9 million, three times that of 2010 and the highest since 1945. There are currently 14.4 million refugees and more than twice as many internally displaced as a result of conflicts, poverty and natural disasters (UN2014a) [1].

These require fast responses to enable populations to access basic water and sanitation services. However, beyond the immediate response phase, there is a critical transition to recovery and development phases. Too often, refugee settlements become semi-permanent settlements.

At this IRC event we will discuss:

  • What innovations (technological and institutional) are taking place that enable access to basic water and sanitation services fast in emergency situations?
  • How much does it cost to provide a basic service in an emergency situation?
  • What innovations are emerging for ensuring an efficient transition to a recovery phase?

To learn more about the topic read:



For more information on the event and to be kept informed about future events please contact us at 

When: Wednesday 25 November 2015, 17.00 - 18:30 p.m. (preceded by coffee from 16:30 and followed by drinks till 20:00)

Programme: Expert presentations followed by an open discussion


  • Michel Becks, Head Resilience Advisory Unit and Advisor Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at Netherlands Red Cross on Demand-driven humanitarian WASH innovations – a selection of priorities and solutions.
  • Tineke Hooijmans, Associate Professor of Sanitary Engineering, UNESCO-IHE on Decision Support System for selection of sanitation options in emergencies.
  • Ryan Schweitzer, Technical Advisor at Aguaconsult on Life-cycle costs of WASH in refugee camps.

A detailed programme and Bios of the speakers 

Venue: 7AM Buitenhof 47, 2513 AH The Hague. How to get to 7AM - Directions

The event is free, there is no registration fee.

We hope to meet you on November 25th in The Hague!

About IRC events 

IRC runs thematic events in The Hague, open to all interested parties. They aim to bring together professionals to network and discuss hot topics in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. They are forward looking and multidisciplinary in nature presenting the latest thinking from governments, NGOs, private sector and academia.

Past IRC events 



[1] UN,2014a. The Millennium Development Goals Report [pdf.] New York: United Nations.


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