Published on: 19/12/2022
2022 was a year of transition, both in the world and for IRC as an organisation.
Against this backdrop, IRC's country and global teams continued our important work; promoting resilient water and sanitation systems, adapting where necessary and flexibly, and supporting our networks and partnerships at district, regional and national levels.
We embarked on the new path set by our shared Destination 2030 strategy to "drive exponential progress in the delivery of water, sanitation and hygiene and reach 200 million people with strengthened systems in the next decade". We are excited about all that we can achieve and empowered by the conviction that we can deliver on our bold vision better, when we do so together.
Part of delivering enduring change involves creating the right partnerships; finding collaborations that build momentum not just motion. Working with and alongside government leadership is core to this.
The symposium, co-hosted with the Government of the Republic of Ghana and UNICEF, set an important benchmark for the strong political commitment at local, regional and national levels. The three-day event was a truly a continental affair, convening more than 250 participants from 25 African countries and around the world (see the key takeaways from the event).
The dominant narrative continues to be that we are off-track to deliver the aims of Sustainable Development Goal 6 and, behind this, that we collectively fail to garner the necessary political or financial support required for radical change. At IRC, we refuse to be discouraged by these projections. Far too much is at stake. Lives and livelihoods depend on us staying true to the promise of universal access.
We commit to raising water, sanitation and hygiene up national political agendas. Looking across our portfolio and beyond into the emerging themes affecting the sector, we see the importance not just of WASH systems but of the interconnections of the different systems that surround and interact with water, sanitation and hygiene. Is a lack of safe WASH in health care facilities a WASH system failure or a health system failure, or both?
In much of our work over the last decade, we have focussed on defining WASH service delivery from a systems perspective. It is now time to reach out of our WASH silo and actively connect to other systems: health; nutrition; education; economic development; and climate - engaging them in our advocacy and learning - supporting them in theirs. This is the rationale for the "connect agenda" that lies behind our All Systems Connect symposium in May 2023.
Achieving this in 2022 is something we are justifiably proud about. And this couldn't have been possible without working with all of our partners in collective action. Overall, the year showed steady and determined progress. One of the secrets of being an effective change-maker is doing simple things well in uncertain times.
On behalf of all colleagues at IRC,
Our Netherlands office has moved. After 14 years in the International Water House in The Hague, our Netherlands office has a new home. You can find us in the heart of the city in the beautiful Nutshuis building Riviervismarkt 5, 2513 AM The Hague.
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