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2016 was a year of success and consolidation as well as of loss, with the unexpected death of our much-missed colleague Ton Schouten. We were pleased and proud that the end of programme evaluation for our 2012-16 business plan confirmed just how successful we’ve been. In particular, it showed how we have become a relevant and valued country partner, and highlighted our achievements in establishing the service delivery approach globally.
 
The 2012-16 business plan was the last of its kind. It will be replaced by a broad strategic framework and theory of change. This framework will run up to 2030, and we will develop detailed annual plans within it. This new way of planning will allow us to be more flexible and adaptive, while still maintaining a strong strategic focus in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
 
2016 saw us consolidate the work we committed to in 2012 as we continued to establish and maintain a long-term presence in our focus countries. In 2017, we will deepen our involvement. We will now establish and maintain long-term partnerships in specific districts within those countries. These will be dedicated to achieving universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in those districts. We will do everything in our power to work with and support local governments and other partners to make this happen.
 
We will establish long-term partnerships in specific districts, dedicated to achieving universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene services
By adopting partner districts, we will also complete the process of decentralisation from the Netherlands that began in 2012. More importantly, we will hold ourselves accountable for making sure our interventions in system strengthening do lead to better WASH services for the poor.
 
As always, our success is founded on our partnerships: global, national, and local, with governments, civil society and increasingly the private sector. Only through these partnerships can we carry out the complex work of building strong, durable systems: systems that are essential if we’re to achieve WASH services for life. We would therefore like to thank all the partners we worked with in 2016, and we look forward to working with you again in 2017.
 
And finally, it was with great sadness that we heard the news of our dear friend and board member Piers Cross’ passing in March 2017. 
 
Our annual report is intended to give a flavour of our achievements in 2016. For more detailed information about our progress and finances, please read our 2016 Monitoring Report and our 2016 Annual Accounts
 

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