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Published on: 29/06/2023

IRC at a glance 2022 Part 1

From systems strengthening to systems change

Delivering on the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals demands profound change. We know that although it's of crucial importance, strengthening national systems is not enough to achieve our ambitious goals. That's why 2022 was defined by a deeper collaboration and continued commitment to the power of collective action.

Like the rest of the world, we emerged from COVID-19 only to be confronted by a global energy and cost of living shock. Together with continued instability and insecurity across the Sahel and in Ethiopia, this global turbulence meant that in many areas, we were unable to deliver projects on time and within budget.

Nevertheless, our decentralised teams in focus countries and other countries, together with our partner areas, managed to deliver real and positive impacts at local, national and global levels. In business terms 2022 was among our busiest ever, with a total turnover of ~€11.7 million and a small positive result of ~€60,000. 

All Systems Go Africa was our first major international event in three years and a major milestone in building our community of systems leaders. The symposium convened 250 political leaders, government officials, academics and other professionals from 25 countries. An important emerging theme from the symposium and our broader work was the need to move from strengthening existing systems to advocating and supporting profound systems change through systems leadership. This has to happen at all levels of water, sanitation and hygiene system, and across interconnecting systems such as health, climate, economic development and social justice. 

Our alliance with Water For People got a new name (One For All) and welcomed a new member, Central African Republic-focused NGO Water for Good. We developed a shared results framework to accompany the Alliance's Destination 2030 strategy, and and we produced the first One For All annual impact report in May 2023. All Systems Go Africa represented an important joint activity for One For All's African teams, and it was followed in May 2023 by the All Systems Connect International Symposium, hosted in The Hague by IRC on behalf of the Alliance. 

These gatherings are important milestones in our efforts to develop and support a community of organisations dedicated to building strong national systems. They are a key element of our commitment  to effective collective action and systems leadership. Beyond the African continent, attending Singapore International Water Week and the Sanitation and Water for All Sector Ministers' Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, provided opportunities to reach out to current (India, Bangladesh) and potential new Asian counterparts, and key players such as the Asian Development Bank. 

We were excited to open our newest office in Mali, and to finalise the requirements for doing so in Niger. Both of these branch offices will, eventually, become independent entities along with all of IRC's other national offices – part of a network of independent and interdependent organisations delivering IRC's mission. 

This is the last annual report signed off by Robert Bos, who will hand over his position of Chair of IRC's Supervisory Board to Wambui Gichuri. Wambui prepared herself for the role by making extended visits to IRC's programmes in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Uganda during 2022, and we are delighted to welcome her at this significant time in IRC's development.

Read our Annual Report 2022, our Monitoring Report 2022 and our 2022 Financial Report for more highlights and details of our work.

IRC at a glance 2022 Part 2

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