The International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) is a global network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that advocates for effective humanitarian action. Founded in 1962, ICVA brings the experience and views of over 70 national and international NGOs to international policy-making forums. ICVA also provides its members with up-to-date information and analyses on policy developments in humanitarian response and provides support in certain emergencies.
An essential feature of ICVAs capacity is its links with NGOs from developing countries. As the only global humanitarian NGO network, membership in ICVA gives NGOs unique opportunities to engage with other actors and each other on humanitarian policy issues, and to make sure the voices of southern NGOs are heard on the international policy level.
Policy needs to be informed by humanitarian practice. Based on its members' field experience, ICVA participates in international policy debates that have a direct impact on humanitarian response and coordination in crisis affected areas. ICVA plays an active role in UN-led humanitarian reform discussions, given its privileged access to key humanitarian forums such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee the UN's main humanitarian coordination body, and UNHCR's Executive and Standing Committee.