What opportunities do NGO fora and consortia offer humanitarian organizations?

On 20 July, PHAP and ICVA hosted the third online session of the learning stream on humanitarian coordination, which gathered over 100 participants from around the world. The event focused on how NGO fora and consortia help strengthen humanitarian response and how NGOs can better engage with these structures at the country and global level.

Raphael Gorgeu from ICVA started off this session with an overview of what an NGO forum or consortium entails as a collective action mechanism for both local and international NGOs. He highlighted the main differences between fora, which often concentrate on improving the humanitarian response in a specific country, and consortia, which rather focus on thematic and policy discussions.

His presentation was followed by Pansy Tun Thein from Myanmar’s Local Resource Centre, who shared her own experience building up this network of local civil society organizations (CSOs) that currently gathers over 1000 members and partners. While she highlighted the value that the Centre has brought to CSOs in terms of access to information and interconnectivity between the communities and the government, there was particular need to improve the connection between local NGOs and international NGOs.

Abdurahman Sharif from the Somalia NGO Consortium described the core function of his NGO network: representation, coordination, advocacy, and information sharing. His presentation focused on the opportunities that his Consortium has offered to Somali local NGOs, such as leadership at regional level and better relationships with stakeholders. But he also pointed out some of the gaps and challenges that they still face as a consortium, such as different expectations between members, the insecurity and corruption still in the country.

The last presentation was delivered by Rolla Hinedi from Syria Relief, providing an overview of all the humanitarian actors and hubs involved in the Syria response. She explained how NGO fora and consortia have positively contributed to this response, but she also explained the challenges faced by NGOs, such as the divergence of interests and priorities between organizations, the lack of involvement in decision-making, time constraints, and limited resources.

After the presentations, ICVA also took the opportunity to announce a new project in this area: the NGO Fora Support Programme is aimed at supporting NGO fora’s capacities and role at the global level called. Following this, the event concluded with a Q&A session with the participants.

If you missed this session, you can now find the audio and video recordings of the event at https://phap.org/20jul2017



Learning stream on humanitarian coordination

This event was the third session of six live interactive online learning events that PHAP and ICVA is organizing in the coming months with the purpose of providing NGOs and humanitarian workers with a stronger understanding of the humanitarian coordination mechanisms at global, regional, and country levels.

Register for all upcoming sessions:

Access the audio and video recordings of past sessions: