IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre has joined the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), the consortium of US-based organisations that implement water, sanitation and hygiene education programmes throughout the developing world.

IRC is leading in the WASHCost research programme, gathering information related to the true costs of providing water, sanitation, and hygiene services for an entire life-cycle of a service, from implementation all the way to post-construction. The programme involves several partners in the rural and peri-urban areas of Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, and Mozambique.

Research and analysis capacity
"This is very exciting for us because IRC is so highly respected around the world for its leadership in research and analysis of the growing water and sanitation sector," said MWA Executive Director Rafael Callejas.

Callejas: "The international development community recognizes and values IRC’s leadership in knowledge management, an area of enormous importance to MWA and its members. Our new formal association with IRC will build on the valuable working relationship we have had for years."

Feedback from the field
IRC Director Nico Terra emphasized how IRC’s expertise strongly complements the work of MWA’s 11 implementing NGO members. "IRC does not directly provide WASH services. Therefore we are keen to work with those who do," Terra said.

"The MWA partnership brings together a very interesting group of organisations with significant capacity to implement WASH projects in various parts of the world. We believe that IRC’s particular niche in the sector and our way of working is complementary to the strengths of the MWA partners and will add to the impact of their interventions."

About MWA
MWA was founded in 2002 to create opportunities for consortium programming, to help members share best practices and technologies, and to advocate for greater US commitment to improving WASH access for the world’s poorest people.

MWA is headquartered in Washington and its members now operate WASH programmes in nearly 85 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, with diverse funding from governments, multilateral institutions, foundations, corporations, and individuals. At this time, MWA directly manages several major consortium programmes for its members in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Central America.

About IRC
IRC is a knowledge-focused NGO headquartered in The Netherlands, and works with a worldwide network of organisations to achieve equitable and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. IRC’s roots are in advocacy, knowledge management, and capacity building.

IRC was set up in 1968 by the Dutch government on request of the World Health Organization as a WHO Collaborating Centre. It is now an autonomous, independent not-for-profit NGO with around 65 staff members at headquarters, and nearly 120 staff members conducting activities in a dozen focus countries, including Burkina Faso, Ghana, Honduras, India, Mozambique, and Uganda.

About WashCost and the life-cycle costs approach
Since 2008, WASHCost is developing a new methodology for monitoring and costing sustainable WASH services by assessing costs and comparing them against levels of service provided. The methodology—known as the “life-cycle costs approach”—is being tested in Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, and Mozambique. The life-cycle costs approach aims to catalyse learning in order to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of WASH service delivery—to essentially provide WASH services that last indefinitely.
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This news item was originally published on the websites of IRC
IRC and MWA.

More information
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre
The Hague, the Netherlands
+31 70 3044000

MWA Millennium Water Alliance
Washington, USA
+1 202 296-1832