Published on: 04/09/2014
The Guardian's Eliza Anyangwe speaks with IRC's CEO Patrick Moriarty on donor funding and short-term water projects that break down on a massive scale around the world.
In this interview, Patrick Moriarty explains why we need to radically rethink sustainable service delivery and what the role of government and donors is.
IRC believes that to achieve universal coverage and sustainability, business as usual approaches in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector have to change. That change has to be systemic, and it must start with a shared vision of services that meet people's needs, are sustainable and equitable, and are well managed and governed. IRC is changing the sector's conversation from provision of infrastructure to its effective use and management so that water, sanitation and hygiene services last.
At this year's World Water Week, sustainability has received much attention. But how do you make sure that water keeps flowing? How will services last? According to Moriarty, it means one thing: working with government.
NGOs should be supporters of government reform and not as givers of charity. "It's all about getting local government fired up and breaking through development 'mumbo jumbo'," he says to The Guardian. But at the heart of many a development challenges are funding mechanisms. It takes courage for donors to ignore 30 years of bad experiences with governments and work with them again." And how do you convince them to do so?