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Published on: 06/10/2003

The Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme was an exchange programme for young water and sanitation sector professionals in the Netherlands and their counterparts in developing countries. It aimed to strengthen the capacities of these young professionals in generating and sharing knowledge.

IRC managed the JPO programme in collaboration with eight resource centres in developing countries. Twelve JPOs participated in the programme: four from the IRC in the Netherlands and eight from the resource centres. Each of the four Dutch JPOs spent a period of 15 months at one of the resource centres, followed by a further 15 months at another. In exchange, resource centres sent their JPOs to IRC for a stationing of 17 months.

The programme started in November 2001. The first phase was concluded in July 2003. The second phase ran from July 2003 to October 2004. The third phase of the programme ran until April 2006.


The long and intensive stationing of the JPOs proved very valuable for the individual JPOs and also very beneficial to both IRC and the resource centres. The Dutch JPOs learnt how to work in an organisation in a developing country, and were confronted with daily water and sanitation sector realities. The JPOs from the resource centres learnt how to work in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary environment of international sector professionals. The JPOs from both sides of the exchange programme learnt to live and work in both cultures, and in the process they played an important role in strengthening the relationship between the resource centres and IRC, not only on a formal level, but in particular on a personal level they have become bridges between IRC and the resource centres.


The programme ended in 2006.

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