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IRC International Water
and Sanitation Centre
IRC new logo.png
Location: The Netherlands
Type: NGO
Class: Knowledge
Key work: Information exchange
and knowledge transfer

Since its foundation in 1968, the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre has facilitated the sharing, promotion and use of knowledge so that governments, professionals and organisations can better support poor men, women and children in developing countries to obtain water and sanitation services they will use and maintain. IRC has a wide international network of NGOs that work at grassroots level.


We work with people in the poorest communities in the world, with local and national governments, and with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to help them develop water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services that last not for years, but forever. We identify the barriers to making this happen and we tackle them. We help people to make the change from short-term interventions to long-term services that will transform their lives and their futures.

We do this by:

  • uncovering the problems people face in maintaining WASH services in the communities that need them most;
  • helping those who plan and provide services to adapt and change the way they think and work, creating learning communities that go on to develop credible, affordable and long-term services;
  • putting ideas and knowledge into practice through innovative action research that helps people make better use of money and time and increases their awareness of what’s needed;
  • advocating and sharing expertise, experience and insights with all those who can make change happen;
  • influencing policies and practices that affect those people whose lives and futures are threatened by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene.


We have one overarching goal: safe and sustainable WASH services for all by 2025.

During 2012-2016 we’ll work with international partners and in selected focus countries and regions, to make sure that safe water, sanitation and hygiene is better managed and governed, and made to last.