The humanitarian coordination learning stream has so far covered how NGOs engage and how NGO fora and consortia function in the international humanitarian coordination architecture at the global, regional and country levels.

The UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/46/182 of 1991 states that “in a natural disaster and other emergencies occurring on its territory… the affected State has the primary role in the initiation, organization, coordination, and implementation of humanitarian assistance within its territory.” The increasing capacity of many governments to lead humanitarian coordination efforts, coupled with the growing critique of relying on an internationally led approach to humanitarian coordination means that NGOs are engaging even more with governments to provide humanitarian assistance.

Moreover, in the light of the refugee crises that we are currently witnessing around the world, another coordination model has become increasingly important for humanitarian practitioners and NGO staff: the Refugee Coordination Model (RCM). It provides a framework for humanitarian response in the context of a refugee crisis and links with broader humanitarian coordination structures and the IASC cluster system.

On 9 November, ICVA’s and PHAP’s sixth and last online session of the humanitarian coordination learning stream, focused on how NGOs engage and interact with government-led coordination mechanisms and on NGOs role in the Refugee Coordination Model.


Paul Harvey Paul Harvey Partner, Humanitarian Outcomes
Vikrant Mahajan Vikrant Mahajan CEO, Sphere India
Arafat Jamal Arafat Jamal Head of Inter-Agency Coordination Service, Division of External Relations, UNHCR
Patriciah Roy Akullo Patriciah Roy Akullo Advocacy Officer, ACT Alliance Uganda Forum


Marc DuBois Marc DuBois PHAP Facilitator
Emmanuelle Osmond Emmanuelle Osmond Senior Policy Officer – Humanitarian Coordination, ICVA

Recordings and follow-up

Session recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Closed captions available in English

Sous-titré en français

Session recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Session recording (audio podcast)

Introductory whiteboard video

Recommended resources

Geneva Humanitarian Connector

This event was made possible through the Geneva Humanitarian Connector, an initiative of PHAP supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Learning objectives

  • Familiarity with the role of governments in the coordination of humanitarian response
  • Awareness of the opportunities, challenges, and best practice for NGOs engaging in government-led coordination mechanisms
  • Understanding of the Refugee Coordination Model and how NGOs can engage in it
  • Awareness of the opportunities, challenges, and best practice for NGOs engaging in the Refugee Coordination Model

Target audience and event access

The event is particularly targeted to those working in international and national NGOs engaged in humanitarian action, who are seeking for a stronger understanding of the various humanitarian coordination mechanisms. The event is also open to the public.

Learning stream on humanitarian coordination

As part of the learning stream on humanitarian coordination, this event was the sixth and last session of six live interactive online learning events that ICVA and PHAP have organized with the purpose of providing NGOs and humanitarian workers with a stronger understanding of the humanitarian coordination mechanisms at global, regional, and country levels.

PHAP Credentialing Program

PHAP Credentialing Program

Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem

The event will address some aspects of segments 2.2 and 3.2 of the certification assessment outline.

Read more about the PHAP Credentialing Program