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Published on: 21/06/2016

IRC wants to support and develop initiatives which will involve a large range of stakeholders. So we built partnerships with TARU Leading Edge, Ennovent, the National Institute of Urban Affairs, the Tata Institute for Social Sciences, and the Centre for Urban and Regional Excellence, and as a result …

  • we carried out a sanitation assessment of one of the large religious events with TARU Leading Edge, and provided recommendations for future events.
  • we have developed the Sanitation Innovation Accelerator with TARU Leading Edge and Ennovent. This will identify, support and provide mentoring for sustainable sanitation innovations in rural India.
  • we’re launching state knowledge hubs in Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha, following strategic discussions with Water For People. Each hub will help the national and state governments to provide sustainable water and sanitation services for everyone.
  • state government officials are now more aware of what works and what doesn’t in community-managed water supply systems in rural India. The Community Water Plus project investigated these systems and then arranged regional and national workshops for state government officials, promoted by The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

IRC has been active in India for more than four decades in the form of support for projects managed from IRC headquarters in The Netherlands, but IRC now has a growing portfolio of activity on the ground in India. We engage in action research, innovation, knowledge management and advisory assignments. We bring in international best practices and specialise in identifying and overcoming the barriers to change.

Read the IRC India Country Programme brochure.

IRC's Track Record in India

Project Title

IRC Role



Innovation Hub for Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Solutions in India (IHUWASH) (2016-2019)

IHUWASH is a USAID-funded collaborative initiative of the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), TARU Leading Edge, IRC and Ennovent. IRC is responsible for conducting rapid water and sanitation assessments in the 3 cities and capacity strengthening of city and state officials.

Haryana (Faridabad), Karnataka (Mysore) and Rajasthan (Udaipur)

3 years

Watershed (2016-2020)

Strengthening civil society capacity for lobbying and advocacy for universal WASH services. Project page:


5 years

Safe Water Phase II (2015-2018)

This is a three year initiative (2015-2018) aiming to increase access to safe water particularly for people living at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP). Project page:



3 years

Community Water Plus (2012-2015)

Support to community-managed rural water supplies; IRC supported the general methodology and did two case studies; training module development

Uttarkhand and West Bengal

3 years

Case study on the Business of the Bangalore Honey Suckers (2012)

Review and oversight of the case study, available online: 

Karnataka (Bangalore)

6 months

QIS workshop in Bhopal (2011)

Monitoring. Co-organiser with WaterAid India

Presentation available on SlideShare:

Madhya Pradesh

1 week

Triple-S in India Study


2-3 roundtables

Study different service delivery models

Facilitate sector working group on sustainability

Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal

1 year

MASSMUS (2011)

Case study on the domestic use of large-scale irrigation systems

Andhra Pradesh

2 weeks

WASHCost (2007-2012)

Study on life-cycle costs of rural WASH:

Briefing Notes

Training module on assessing unit costs:

Andhra Pradesh

4 years

MUS Project (2008)

This included a case study in India, which was done by iDE, but IRC had a general synthesis role, through which also the India case was brought forward


4 years

Women, Wellbeing, Work, Waste and Sanitation (4WS)  (2003-2006)

Sanitation & gender. IRC led this multi-country applied research. Indian partners: University of Kerala, SEUF. See conference paper:


36 months

Negotiating peri-urban water conflicts (NEGOWAT) (2003-2006)

Water security. Multi-country research project in collaboration with Natural Resources Institute (NRI) at University of Greenwich. Indian partner: Madras Institute of Development Studies

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

3 years

Water Audits (2003)


Andhra Pradesh




1 year



1 year

Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme (2001-2006)

Capacity building. Indian partner 3rd phase 2004-2006: SEUF. Explanation online:


32 months

School WASH (2000-04)

Advisory services to UNICEF + Gov’t. Training. Materials. See proposal:

All  India

Over 4 years


Local water resource management

Andhra Pradesh

3 years

Local Water Resource Management

Water governance case study

Andhra Pradesh

2 months

Advisory services DGIS project Gujarat  

Hygiene promotion, gender


2 missions, over 2 years

Resource Centre Development Program (2000-2006)

Support sector learning/develop state WASH resource centres

Gujarat, Kerala,


2 years

Sustaining changes in hygiene behaviour (2000-2003)

Hygiene. IRC led this multi-country applied research. Indian partner: SEUF. See report:


42 months

Development of District scoping for rural water supply (1999– 2002)

Participatory district planning

9 Districts in different States

2 years

Integrated Research and Demonstration Project on Slow Sand Filtration (SSF) (1975-1989)

Technology. IRC led a multi-country applied research programme. NEERI was our Indian partner

Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu,

Four phases over a period of 14 years

Making sure that services are scaled up and are sustainable is the central theme of IRC's work in India. Our vision is that every Indian enjoys access to safe, adequate and improved water, sanitation and hygiene services now and forever.

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