1. ICVA Annual Conference, 18 March 2020  
“Protecting  principled humanitarian action: an honest conversation on risk.”  Click here to review the draft agenda and to find additional information.  

The Annual Conference  will look  at  the  risk to  principled humanitarian action and in turn the risks taken by NGOs to deliver effective and efficient humanitarian assistance to those most in need.  The conference will  be  preceded  by a  Members’ Day on 17 March  and  followed by a  Partners’ Day on 19 March  which will provide an opportunity for NGOs to further engage and interact around the theme.  For more information please  see  the ICVA website.

2. Information on Board Chair:
Anoop Sukumaran is leaving Act Alliance and will be stepping down as Chair of the ICVA board on 15th February.  A new chair will be selected amongst the board members and announced in our next Bulletin.
Anoop has made an great contribution over his more than 3 years on the ICVA board and as chair of the board since March 2018.  Anoop has provided great vision, leadership, insight and principled humanitarian acumen. Our most sincere appreciation to Anoop.

Forced migration

3. The first weeks of 2020 were largely devoted to exchanging with ICVA members and other stakeholders on planning and expectations for 2020. Focusing on dynamics and trends initiated last year, ICVA organised collective and bilateral discussions on inter alia the results of the Global Refugee Forum, the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees, and the setting-up of a High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. ICVA also launched its traditional workstreams related to coordinating the delivery of NGO statements at UNHCR’s Standing Committee meetings (first for 10-12 March) and working with UNHCR’s Partnership and Coordination Service to organise the 2020 UNHCR-NGO Annual Consultations

4. The Global Refugee Forum
ICVA shared and discussed with its members a preliminary overview of the deliberations and results emanating from the Forum as well as an initial mapping of the GRF/GCR ‘implementation landscape’. This overview will soon be further developed on the basis of NGO inputs and a deeper analysis of information made available on the digital platform’s Dashboard and the GRF outcome document, once issued. Thanks to all the NGOs that already provided inputs.
For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

5. The 2020 Nansen Refugee Award
On 28 January, ICVA organised an exchange with NGOs, the Permanent Mission of Norway, and UNHCR on the 2020 Nansen Refugee Award nomination process. Many ideas emerged on nominations that may come from the NGO community, for example highlighting NGOs’ extraordinary service to IDPs; on addressing Climate Change and disaster displacement; Disability in humanitarian contexts; countering xenophobia; stressing women leadership; and NGO relentless work in forgotten crises. The nomination process closes soon, on 9 February! If you know an individual or organisation that should be recognised for outstanding and dedicated work on behalf of displaced people, this is your chance to send a nomination. More information is available here.

6. Briefing on the Venezuela Crisis 
Building on previous work in support of NGO engagement on the International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis (Brussels, 28-29 October), ICVA hosted a Briefing to Member States and NGOs on the ongoing Venezuela Crisis on 14 January. The briefing was co-organised by World Vision International and Plan International, which called on their regional specialists to present details on their operations, observations and challenges in addressing the crisis. This event also intended to ensure continuity of engagement of the NGO community in view of the Venezuelan Response Crisis Pledging Conference scheduled to take place in 2020. 
For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

7. NGO Statements for UNHCR’s 77th Standing Committee 
In mid-January, ICVA launched its usual process of coordinating the drafting and delivery of joint NGO statements for the first meeting of the UNHCR Standing Committee of 2020 (10-12 March). Statements in preparation should cover topics related to the GCR and outcomes of the GRF, Regional updates about Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and MENA. This represents the opportunity for NGOs to express their views on issues of concern and contribute to UNHCR’s review of activities and programmes. NGOs interested in contributing to this process may contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The 12th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Summittook place 20-24 January 2020 in Quito, Ecuador. ICVA and its members participated and contributed to the GFMD and its Civil Society Day. 

As per 1 February 2020, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the Chairmanship of the GFMD, with three strategic priorities:  

1. Broadening stakeholder engagement in the GFMD. 
2. Incorporating regional perspectives into the development of background material for the Summit. 
3. Further orientating the GFMD towards a focus on partnerships and outcomes. 

For more on the UAE GFMD priorities click here.

Rich discussions took place in Ecuador during the GFDM CSD. Against also the background of the situation in Venezuela and the region, the CSD focused on the need to support all migrants in accessing their rights. Moreover, two of the issues discussed by civil society representatives- criminalisation of migrants and climate change related displacement- are not present on the agenda of the other Forum’s mechanisms, so they become even more important. Five concrete recommendations were agreed by civil society organisations:

  • The effects of climate change are often borderless, therefore, tackling them requires collective action which involves national and local state actors, climate change   experts, academics, and also regional civil society networks;
  • Cities can play a major role in keeping migrants safe. In that sense, sanctuary cities are an important alternative to the criminalisation of migrants and migration;
  • The focus should be on migrants’ access to rights as opposed to ‘access to services’, with an emphasis on respecting the dignity and humanity of all migrants regardless of their migration status;
  • Effective partnerships involving all necessary actors at local and national level and across borders are key to upholding dignified labor migration policies and practices as well as access to decent work and safe working conditions;
  • The needs of migrants in mixed migration movements need to be met through the application of humanitarian principles, regardless of their status, and in partnerships across all agencies, civil society organisations, governments and local state actors.

See here for more on the recommendations of the 12th GFMD CSD


9. IASC Humanitarian Financing Results Group (RG5): The IASC Results Group 5 held its first 2020 meeting on 28 January in Geneva. Priority areas of work for 2020 and supporting deliverables were agreed with Results Group co-chairs and the IASC OPAG before the end of 2019. Following discussion at the January meeting, a sub-group within RG5 will be focused on developing plans to carry forward recommendations from the ‘Financing the Nexus Study’. This work will focus on tools and guidance that will be applicable to practitioners at the field level and on some specific country contexts for initial development. The ICVA Humanitarian Finance Working Group meetings are generally timed to provide input into RG5 meetings, and ICVA members with an interest in specific RG5 agenda items are welcome to join the discussion. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

10. UN-NGO Partnership discussions. UNHCR hosted a meeting in Geneva from 29-31 January to discuss how to improve conditions of partnership between NGOs and other UN agencies. In attendance were representatives from UNHCR, UNICEF, OCHA, WFP, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, and more than a dozen NGOs. Detailed action points will be developed, but key topics included improved use of the UN Partner Portal to harmonise and simplify partnership with UN agencies, piloting of the NRC Money where it Counts initiative, partnership agreements, personnel costs, indirect cost rates, audits, and reporting. Both the ICVA and InterAction networks will be engaged in follow-up work with NGO partners and UN agencies.


11. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC):   
IASC Emergency Directors Group (EDG):   On 8 January and on 24 January, the EDG organised calls on the situation in Syria and on the novel coronavirus outbreak, to discuss the most recent developments and currently available information.  
The next EDG face-to-face meeting, will take place in Geneva on 4 and 5 February. During this meeting, the EDG will proceed with the annual review of 19 operationsand with the performance appraisals of 26 Humanitarian Coordinators. The objective of the EDG discussion will be to take stock of challenges faced in large-scale operations over the course of 2019 and identify opportunities or enhanced collective support in 2020. 
For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IASC Principals:  
Next IASC Principals meeting should take place on 26 June 2020. For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Country and regional updates from humanitarian leadership:  
On 23 January, ICVA hosted a meeting with the incoming Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator Diego Zorrilla, and NGOs and to share information on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. On 30 January, Rania Almadi, Director of Protection at Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid, updated NGOs on the humanitarian situation in Iraq and the challenges of NGOs operating in this context.

12. Update on IASC Results groups:

RG1 Operational response: The Group organised a meeting on 8 January.

RG 4 Nexus:  ICVA, alongside the World Food Programme (WFP), have been planning the next steps of the Community of Practice on the Nexus. The next call will be on 13th February (TBC) featuring the case of Palestine and a briefing on the IASC guidelines on the collective outcomes.  
The IASC RG4 has established a Working Group on the better articulation of the “peace piece” in the HDPN with ICVA as a member of the reference group. 
On 27 February there will be a global consultative workshop on scaling up Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in humanitarian response with a focus on contexts where humanitarian and development action is being aligned. For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
For more information about the work of ICVA on the Nexus, and to participate to the ICVA Nexus Working Group (Members only) or to the IASC RG4 Community of Practice on the Nexus, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

13. NGO Fora Support  
ICVA, in collaboration with IOM and PHAP, has been offering vouchers to grant access to the PHAP Humanitarian Certification. ICVA as offered vouchers to 16 NGO members of NGO Fora nationally and locally throughout Africa, with a focus on: Somalia, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan and Cameroon.  
ICVA has been meeting members of the informal Regional Directors’ forum for West and Central Africa in Dakar, discussing how to better reinforce coordination and to increase participation in the work of the Regional IASC.  
ICVA is supporting as an observer for the West and Central Africa Regional Task Force on Access, established by NGOs and OCHA in Dakar.  
ICVA is supporting the newly established informal NGO forum to contribute to the food crisis in Southern Africa.  
In the framework of its regular updates with NGO Fora, ICVA has agreed with the Somalia NGO consortium for enhanced support on Advocacy.  
ICVA is preparing an exploratory support mission to Sudan. This mission will enhance closer relations between ICVA and its members operating in Sudan and will help ICVA tailor the support it gives to NGO collective action in country. 

For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reinforcing ICVA’s ways of working to support ICVA members on the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, ICVA (ED) suported by ICVA members FM4/Paso Libre and ACF, had working sessions in Quito, Bogota and Cucuta for increased ICVA engagement with the Colombian NGO Fora and other humanitarian actors. For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Navigating change: cross cutting issues

14. Localization   
ICVA attended a localization workshop in Myanmar run by Caritas Asia and KMSS and delivered the introductory presentation to set the scene regarding how localization is unfolding at regional and global levels. Discussion during the workshop focused on how NGOs within the Caritas Confederation could better progress their efforts towards localization, in line with the organisation’s position paper

15. Safeguarding
UNHCR-ICVA PSEA Outreach Fund:
 ICVA and UNHCR are launching a Fund to facilitate the development of context-specific communication and outreach materials on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). The fund will be managed by ICVA and a steering group and will provide grants that could be interesting to national and local NGOs looking to develop PSEA materials. Guidelines and selection criteria will be developed and circulated soon.  
For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

16. Establishment of the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action: This group is a platform for fostering cooperation between disability and humanitarian actors to promote inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action. The Group will design and coordinate joint actions; reinforce efforts of individual organizations; and link with broader processes for strengthening the quality and accountability of humanitarian action. Expressions of interest in participating in the Reference Group are being invited from organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN entities, as well as interagency networks, multilateral or bilateral agencies, private sector, academics and others committed to promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in humanitarian action, in line with a rights- based approach. For more information, or to express an interest in participating, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

17. Civil society space in humanitarian action  
Summary report of the NGO online consultations on the UN role in protecting and promoting civic space:OHCHR and UN Women, with support from other UN and civil society partners, hosted a global, online consultation from 13 to 24 January with civil society actors on the role of the UN in protecting and promoting civic space, especially in the context of shrinking or closing civic space and increased attacks and threats against civil society actors. The consultations attracted over 260 civil society participants from over 80 countries across all regions of the world. Most participants were from national and local civil society organisations, individuals and civil society activists, as well as international NGOs.  
Please click here for the summary report of the online consultations. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The OECD is organising a series of online dialogues with civil society organisations on development co-operation. Join OECD on 6 February for the next session Untying aid. Find out more on their website
ICVA Working Group on civil society space in humanitarian action: ICVA created a working group for members only to share information, lessons learned, best practice and tools related to NGO/civil society space in humanitarian action. For members interested in joining the group, contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Region Specific

18. Asia and the Pacific  

New Publication : “Positive Disruption? China’s Humanitarian Aid” ICVA in partnership with the Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) has just published a joint paper on China. The topic of the paper is how China’s global aid programme is evolving and expanding prompting considerable interest from the international humanitarian sector. Much attention has been paid to developments in Chinese aid. Most work examines the geopolitical, development aid and security policy angles, rather than the operational and policy implications for humanitarian aid. There is less understanding of how Chinese and traditional actors can engage on humanitarian reform. This paper, “Positive Disruption? China’s Humanitarian Aid,” aims to address that gap, as part of the Humanitarian Horizons research program, which seeks to stimulate discussion and inform practice.     Read now! 

Regional Meeting on SG’s Prevention Agenda: ICVA participated in a meeting with Under-Secretary General Ana Maria Menéndez, Senior Adviser on Policy to the SG, on the SG vision on prevention on Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience. This meeting was jointly hosted by Regional Coordination Mechanism-Thematic Working Group on Resource Efficient Growth and the Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee. The meeting discussed the major risks in Asia-Pacific region that left unaddressed which could impede the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the region, key drivers of the risks and build on the good practices imitated at the regional level to address the challenges. ICVA's Board chair Anoop Sukumaran spoke in the meeting highlighting the critical role of NGOs in coping with the unaddressed risks. 

Coronavirus Response: ICVA, in its role as co-chair of the Regional Emergency Preparedness Working Group (EPWG) supported information sharing and multistakeholder engagement during the initial stages of the 2019 novel Coronavirus emergency. These efforts highlighted the challenges for NGOs when trying to understand and provide support during health emergencies and particularly the need for clear and consistent messaging to help organisations better support their staff and the communities they serve. ICVA continues to engage at regional and global level in coordination and preparedness efforts as the response unfolds.

Asia-Pacific UNHCR Regional NGO Consultations: UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific have confirmed the UNHCR Regional NGO Consultations will take place on 8-9 April 2020, in Bangkok. The Theme will be "Innovative Opportunities through Diverse Partnerships”. 

19. Africa Region

ICVA participated in the Regional IASC meeting in Dakarfocused on the Central Sahel food crisis and the growing challenges for principled aid and access. The participants, including key donors, have debated around ways to transmit the sense of urgency for a humanitarian scale up in the region as well as revisiting the current heavily militarisation of the interventions.  
ICVA met with the DG Echo Regional office for West Africa in Dakar,to discuss current trends of principled aid and the growing difficulties in access for NGOs. This included difficulties related to administrative impediments. ICVA and ECHO have agreed to have regular exchanges on this in order to enhance the support to ICVA members and ECHO partners.  
African Union (AU) theme of the Year: ICVA, along with the Institute of Peace and Security studies (IPSS) and the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), participated in the joint AU policy lab on the 2019 AU theme of the year. The policy lab which was attended by AU member states, AU officials and humanitarian actors, discussed key findings on the IRRI research on return to the great lakes region. The discussion also focused on coming up with key recommendations on how to link the AU 2020 theme of the year, “Silencing the Guns,” to the 2019 AU theme of year on “Refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons: towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa.”

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

20. MENA Region: 

ICVA MENA participated in several discussions with NGOs and SYR NGO Fora-SIRF to discuss different issues at the meeting with Mr.Mark Lowcock USG-ERC, George Khoury OCHA deputy Director MENA, Mr.Kevin Kennedy RHC, and Mr.Paul Handley OCHA ROSC HoO. The meeting held on 19 January, was attended by 25 NGOs and NGO Forum/platforms. One of the key issues discussed included UN Cross Border Resolution - the impact and way forward. ICVA and NGOs emphasised that all modalities are still needed and there is a huge need to capture the impact of new cross boarder resolutions. There is an aim over the next six months to work collectively on new cross boarder resolutions.
ICVA is taking a role in the Humanitarian Partners Forum (HPF) Localization Task Team in Jordan: ICVA, alongside members from UN agencies, NGOs Fora and SOs, are participating in the HPF Localization Task Team. The main discussion is about inviting national partners to be present and participate in HPF meetings. Normally, HPF meetings were exclusive to UN, donors and INGOs. Additionally, different aspects related to partnerships and financing are being discussed in order to advocate with different actors on sharing responsibilities relating to localization and the Grand Bargain commitment. 
2020 UNHCR MENA consultations:  As part of the planning committee, ICVA has created a survey to collect members inputs on what should be included in the 2020 UNHCR MENA consultations. We would appreciate it if you would answer a few short questions so we can compile your valuable inputs and bring them to the meetings with UNHCR.  Click here to take the survey.  

Learning Opportunities

21. NEW Learning opportunities and resources page:

There are many learning opportunities – both online and face-to-face – available for NGO staff in the humanitarian sector. With requests from our NGO members to make it easier to find relevant material, the Learning opportunities and resources page on the ICVA website is a curated list of online and face-to-face (when available) learning and training programmes that would be useful for NGO colleagues from all sectors. This page will be updated regularly with input from members, learning partners such as DisasterReady and Humanitarian Leadership Academy. Please share with us any interesting learning programmes that would be useful to NGO members to be included on the webpage. For more information contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Course of the month: With increased reports of data breaches, you too can take some simple steps to safeguard and protect your data. How can I protect my computer from attacks? Can I protect my mobile device from attacks? How can I recognise email phishing attempts? How can I increase data security while traveling and what are some of the digital etiquette fundamentals I should know? You can find responses to these questions and more by clicking here and taking courses made available through Disasterready.org

Save the date: Webinar on the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action: There will be a webinar for frontline workers on the IASC Disabilities Guidelines. It will be held on 26 February from 15:30 to 17:00 GVA time. More details to come on the ICVA website.

New and noteworthy

22. Health care in humanitarian crises in 2020: Looking ahead to 2020, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has ranked the countries at greatest risk of a major deterioration in the humanitarian situation. There is little change since last year. The IRC will have had a presence implementing programmes in the top 20 Watchlist countries for an average of 15 years, highlighting the complexity and intransigence of the root causes of these humanitarian crises. At the top of IRC’s Watchlist 2020 is still Yemen, where civil war continues and 80% of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Nigeria, and Venezuela, with the new additions of Burkina Faso, Burundi, and Chad in the top 20. You can read Davis and Das’s commentary in the Humanitarian Health Digest No8 Fourth Quarter Digest.

23. Survey on Innovation in NGOs by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)  
In partnership with Medair, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich invites employees of humanitarian and development NGOs to participate in a 15 minute online Survey on Innovation in NGOs. The purpose of the survey is to understand what humanitarian and development NGOs are doing to promote incremental innovation (continuous improvement) and radical innovation. The survey asks how organizations improve the efficiency, quality and effectiveness of humanitarian aid – and what is the impact. For more information contact:  
Charlotte Girardin, Graduate student at ETH Zürich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Andrew Parris, Process Excellence Manager in Medair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

24. The Dadaab Collective Freelancing agency is a dedicated team of freelancers from the refugee and host community in Dadaab. They offer services in data entry, data collection, web research, translation, and transcription. The Dadaab Collective freelancers developed their business under the framework of the Refugee Employment & Skills Initiative (RESI), a project by the International Trade Centre in collaboration with the Norwegian Refugee Council. So far, the Dadaab Collective has completed over 800 jobs valued at over $15,000 and are ready to work! If you are interested in hiring the freelancers, or obtain more information, please contact Collins Ayoo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Humanitarian Network Pakistan

A volunteer network, founded in 2010 in result of interactive dialogue in National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) “to act as an independent and vibrant voice to engage with stakeholders throughout Pakistan for promotion of humanitarian values by influencing policies and building capacities to ensure right based humanitarian response”. 172 humanitarian organizations are members of NHN from across Pakistan and it is open for all national and local organizations engaged in humanitarian assistance or disaster management advocacy.  NHN focus on “Effective and Accountable Humanitarian Governance” – mainly in Response and Disaster Preparedness through four major areas i.e. “Coordination/networking, Advocacy, Capacity Building and Information Management”.

NHN is a key network in Pakistan which is well connected with various stakeholders and demonstrated its effectiveness to do proper advocacy and lobbying for access, space and principled response. NHN supports stakeholders in collecting and timely sharing of critical information for preparedness and response as its members are spread across Pakistan and even in hard to reach areas.

Contact Us

  Address: Apartment No. 306, Imperial Square, Khalid Bin Waleed Road, E-11/2 Markaz, Islamabad, Pakistan
  Phone No: 0092-51-2305260-61

  Email ID   info@nhnpakistan.org        

  Website  www.nhnpakistan.org


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