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Published on: 27/01/2015

This year, the UN will launch the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How will they differ from the existing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and what will the implications be for the sector?

One of the main differences between the MDGs and SDGs is the focus on universal access as compared to merely reducing by half the people without access. That higher ambition raises many questions about equity and the expected increased costs providing access to the last few percent of the hardest to reach.

These questions will be the focus of the next event hosted by IRC.

When: March 4th, 17.00 - 18:30 p.m.(preceded by coffee from 16:30 and followed by drinks till 20:00)
Where: Venue: 7AM Buitenhof 47, 2513 AH Den Haag. How to get to 7AM - Directions

Join us and participate in the discussion around the potential impact of the new SDGs for our sector and network with other colleagues from NGOs/government/academia and private sector. 

Save the date and register at for your presence at the event and to be kept informed about future events.

We hope to meet you on March 4th in The Hague!

Speakers include:

  • Pim van der Male, Senior Policy Officer Water Management, DGIS Foreign Affairs Ministry
  • Koos de Bruijn, Manager Advocacy, Partos
  • Ruth Mathews, Executive Director, Water Footprint Network

Moderator Ton Schouten, Monitoring team leader, IRC


Download the programme here 

Word of welcome and background to the event.

Introductory presentations:

  • The process of formulating the SDGs and what is still to come.
  • What is different: universal access.
  • What is new: service levels.
  • What is new: water resources management targets

Open discussion: identifying implications for the way we work in the water and sanitation sector


Download the background paper here

In September this year, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be agreed upon by the UN Member States. The current proposal of the Open Working Group contains a dedicated goal on water and sanitation: "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all". Under that goal several targets have been formulated, related to access to water and sanitation services, but also to ensuring adequate water resources for water and sanitation services to function. This year will see the finalization of the political process of adopting these goals and targets, in which there is possibility that these undergo further amendments – though the spirit behind it is likely to remain.

This goal and targets will become a leading orientation for the WASH sector for the next decades to come, and as such as a sector we need to understand what they entail. They clearly bring new elements, as compared to the MDGs, including:

  • A shift from reduction the population without access to achieving universal access
  • The inclusion of service attributes, such as safe and affordable water and adequate and equitable sanitation
  • Dedicated targets around water resources


The objective of this IRC Event is to inform the Dutch water sector on the differences between the proposed SDGs and the MDGs, and to discuss the implications for the sector.

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.

The four past events in 2014 were:


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