Tag Archives: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

WASH 2016 Conference – Pathways to universal and sustained water, sanitation and hygiene – abstracts now open

WASH 2016 Conference – Pathways to universal and sustained water, sanitation and hygiene, May 16-20, 2016, Brisbane, Australia.

  • WASH conference 2016 – abstracts now open

The future of action on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) looks positive – with the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals global agenda maintaining attention on the need for water, sanitation and hygiene for everyone, all the time. But the path to achieving this global agenda requires new ways of thinking. WASH2016-banner

How can all WASH actors – governments, private sectors and civil society – work together to ensure WASH, whether at community-scales or larger institutional-scales, to achieve not only sustained access for everyone, but also health, well-being, environmental and economic outcomes for societies?

This and many more questions will be explored at the WASH 2016 conference in Brisbane, Australia 16-20 May, 2016.

Abstracts (oral, poster and training program) are now accepted for the two-day conference and the three-day training program.

Abstracts are welcome in the following categories:

Conference website

A toilet for 66 million people in rural Bangladesh

BRAC staff member on a household visit

BRAC staff member on a household visit

ik_pictureIn Bangladesh, the largest NGO in the world BRAC is working its way up to help the country to get proper sanitation. It has reached more than half of the population since the start 9 years ago. It is one of the world’s largest sanitation implementation programmes. IRC works with BRAC to make it happen. In this interview, IRC sanitation expert Ingeborg Krukkert tells her story about her work in Bangladesh. ”

Bangladesh is well on track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030,” says Ingeborg Krukkert in IRC’s headquarters in The Hague. “This is undeniably due to BRAC because it’s serving half of the country. Bangladesh is a good example for others on how to achieve so much in such a short time. It is proof that change is possible.”

IRC’s Sanitation and hygiene specialist for Asia, Ingeborg Krukkert, travels to Bangladesh every two months to work with BRAC. Working on hygiene promotion and behavior change, she complements BRAC’s groundbreaking programme with IRC’s monitoring system to measure and enhance the true impact in sanitation and hygiene. Continue reading

#MenstruationMatters in Bangladeshi schools

28 May is Menstrual Hygiene Day. In Bangladesh, BRAC field staff are working hard to “end the hesitation around menstruation” especially in schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools.

BRAC staff member (left) from Jessore district with sanitary napkins for schools. Photo: Petra Brussee/IRC

Field staff of BRAC WASH in Bangladesh talk just as easily about menstrual hygiene as they do about water seals for toilets or hand pumps. At community level menstrual hygiene messages are included in the programme for adolescent girls and young women. Since 2006 about 45 million community cluster meetings have been organised.

In rural areas rags are used by women who cannot afford sanitary napkins. Field staff discuss menstrual hygiene with adolescent girls and young women, for example on how to wash rags with soap and dry them in the sun. They are also encouraged to speak up about menstrual hygiene says Abu Taleb Biswas of BRAC WASH in Hygiene Promotion – the backbone of BRAC WASH: “Women and adolescent girls learn to speak up about menstrual hygiene issues, something that was nearly unthinkable even a few years ago.”

Continue reading

World Toilet Day: cities can’t wait

On World Toilet Day, IRC presents its ideas how to ‘systemically change sanitation in cities’. A new working paper marks one of the first steps in finding answers on how to reform a sanitation sector, which is failing a large part of the urban population.

Convergence of human and solid waste in a stormwater drain in Mumbai, India (Photo by Giacomo Galli/ IRC).

Convergence of human and solid waste in a stormwater drain in Mumbai, India (Photo by Giacomo Galli/ IRC).

While more people in cities have access to toilets than in villages, both wastewater and solid waste remains largely untreated. Take Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh: 99 percent of the population use toilets but according to Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) a staggering 98 percent of their waste is dumped untreated in the enviroment [1].

On World Toilet Day, IRC presents its ideas how to tackle sanitation in cities. A new working paper “Towards Systemic Change in Urban Sanitation“, marks one of the first steps in finding answers on how to reform a sanitation sector, which is failing a large part of the urban population. The problems in urban sanitation range from lack of facilities to lack of public funding and messy politics in urban governance.The root causes are systemic and technology alone is not the solution.

Continue reading

Female parliamentarians want free sanitary pads for Uganda’s schoolgirls

Uganda’s female parliamentarians led by controversial Speaker of Parliament Hon. Rebecca Kadaga have called on the government to provide sanitary pads for all schoolgirls in the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme. Kadaga launched her call at the Annual General Meeting  of the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) on 16 May 2014.

Cover MHM study UgandaThe call was spurred by IRC’s research with SNV in Ugandan schools, which showed there is a higher likelihood of adolescent girls staying home during their periods. Girls in the 140 schools surveyed reported missing from 8 to 24 school days per year, resulting in lagging behind or some dropping out of school.

In August this year, IRC will present results from the Uganda study at the Menstrual Hygiene Management Conference taking place in Kampala, Uganda. NETWAS Uganda and partners are organising this event to encourage learning about what can be done to improve menstrual management in schools, institutions and communities.


  • Marielle Snel and Carmen da Silva Wells, Why focus on menstrual hygiene management?, IRC,, 27 May 2013
  • Olive Eyotaru, Include girls’ sanitary pads in UPE pack, Kadaga says, Daily Monitor, 18 May 2014
  • Editorial, Support low-cost sanitary pad drive, Daily Monitor, 20 May 2014
  • Support Uganda’s low-cost sanitary pad drive, SNV Uganda, 23 May 2014

DFID pledges €28 million to SNV for multi-country sanitation programme

More funding for a local government-led approach introduced in 2008 by SNV and IRC to scale up sanitation from community to district level.

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has awarded SNV Netherlands Development Organisation a €28 million (US$ 32 million) service contract to fund the Sustainable Sanitation & Hygiene for All (SSH4A) Results Programme. Introduced by SNV and IRC in 2008 in Nepal, Bhutan, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, SSH4A is a comprehensive, local government-led approach to scale up sanitation from community to district level.

With funding from the DFID Results Fund, the SSH4A Results Programme will provide improved sanitation to more than 2 million people in nine countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The programme will also reach out to over 2.7 million people with hygiene promotion, make 1,200 communities Open Defecation Free (ODF), ensure that 400,000 people practice hand washing with soap at critical times, assist the preparation of district sanitation plans and improve local governments’ capacity for steering improved sanitation.

SSH4A diagram

SSH4A programmes have been implemented with rural communities in 15 countries across Asia and Africa. In Asia, more than 2.2 million rural people have been reached, of whom 700,000 received improved sanitation.

More information:


SourceSNV, 28 Apr 2014

IRC showcasing WASHCost Calculator at Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India

WASHCost Calculator

IRC’s WASHCost Project will be one of approximately 50 exhibits that will be on display during the two-day Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India. IRC will present the WASHCost Calculator; an online tool that helps professionals to plan for WASH services that are built to last.

The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India is being co-hosted by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It will coincide with World Water Day on March 22, 2014. The fair is also supported by the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.

In 2011, the Gates Foundation launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge (RTTC)  to develop toilets without connections to sewer, electrical, or water systems. Sixteen of those prototypes will be on display in India.

The WASHCost Calculator takes into account everything from construction, finance, and installation, to maintenance, repairs and eventual replacement. It raises issues such as who owns the infrastructure or who is responsible for replacement. It helps you to think about how you are going to maintain the service before you’re trying to build it. The online tool is designed to compare data across organisations and is dynamically updated, growing smarter with each additional project. And the tool is now online at:  http://washcost.ircwash.org

IRC has created a poster, which gives an example of how the WASHCost Calculator can be used for rural sanitation in India.


  • IRC selected as an exhibitor for the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India, IRC, 20 Mar 2014
  • Girindre Beeharry and K. VijayRaghavan, Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India – Solutions for India and the World, Impatient Optimists, 10 Mar 2014