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Published on: 24/03/2014

2006 was an important year for IRC. We successfully completed our Business Plan for 2002-2006 and embarked on a new plan for the coming five years. The main theme running through all our activities in 2006 was capacity strengthening. IRC believes that capacity constraints are a major hurdle in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the water and sanitation sector. Our efforts to strengthen capacities reflect the many roles that IRC plays in the sector. This Annual Report shows how those efforts have paid off over the past year.

Our focus on strengthening capacity was expressed in a wide variety of ways. Together with UNESCO-IHE, Cap-Net, Streams and the Water & Climate Programme (CPWC), we played an important role at the 4th World Water Forum (WWF4) in Mexico. In September, we organised an international conference on 'Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation: Strengthening Capacity for Local Governance'.

In terms of information and knowledge management, IRC continued to provide a broad range of products and services, including the SOURCE family of newsletters in different languages. A comprehensive survey showed that these products and services are highly valued and are widely used by practitioners in the sector. And we welcomed new partners to our quarterly publication Source Bulletin, strengthening the dissemination of information to the WASH sector.

IRC's thematic work continued to attract much attention, impacting on policy discussions in the WASH sector at all levels. The theme of transparency and corruption moved forward with the launch, together with a number of partners, of the Water Integrity Network at the World Water Week in Stockholm. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation commissioned IRC to carry out an important landscaping study as part of its strategic exploration of the WASH sector.

In the coming five years, IRC's role in the WASH sector will change radically. In particular, we will need to devote extra attention to forging innovative and effective partnerships. But our core concerns will not change: we will continue to do what IRC does best: strengthening capacity, disseminating information and developing knowledge.

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