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Published on: 30/06/2021

IRC at a glance 2020

In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw exciting achievements in the fourth year of our 2017-30 Strategic Framework.

We saw significant progress in our partner districts. At least 137,000 people now have enhanced access to services in six of our partner districts, while 171 schools and 55 health care facilities have upgraded water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. The combined population of our partner districts is now 2.78 million people. In all of these districts, we saw strong political commitment and local government leadership.

This progress became visible when we launched our new, innovative public facing dashboard. It allows us to see how our work is progressing across each of our programmes, and measures the strength of the whole WASH system and the services it delivers in our partner districts.

At the national level, we saw the growing importance of public utilities in the provision of safe water to all – not just urban dwellers – in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda. In India, through the Jal Jeevan Mission, we saw what is possible when national government truly gets behind WASH. 

Two initiatives developed significantly during the year. Our District Master Planning Facility means we are currently engaged in master plan development in 19 districts. While the WASH Systems Academy saw more than 2,000 people around the world register for our growing menu of online courses.

We announced our strategic partnership with US-based NGO, Water For People. Together we work in 15 countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, including a shared presence in Honduras, India and Uganda. In 2020 we developed an exciting new Strategic Framework – 'Destination 2030' (D30). Under this, we are jointly committed to increasing our impact, ensuring that at least 20 million people in our partner districts see their services improve.

As a result of COVID-19 WASH was in the spotlight as never before. It was seen as a critical public health intervention in the face of the pandemic, something that helped us to forge new and important relationships with colleagues in the health sector. Despite sometimes being confined to their homes, our teams around the world continued to work and to support our partners in the fight against the virus. 

Our efforts to convince the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the value of extending its support for our Watershed strategic partnership failed. This was disappointing, nevertheless, the first phase of Watershed has been a very successful and valuable learning experience. In 2021, we will continue more than ever to advocate for NGOs, governments and funders to re-prioritise resources to ensure that civil society organisations are strengthened in their work: supporting people to have a say in decisions that affect them.

Read our Annual Report 2020, our Monitoring Report 2020 and our 2020 Financial Report for more highlights and details of our work.

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