Africa Regional Hub



Introduction to the West Africa Hub

The ICVA regional hub in West Africa (based in Dakar, Senegal) was established in November 2013, following consultations held with member agencies. Liliane Bitong Ambassa was appointed as the Regional representative for the region. It is hosted by ICVA members’ Plan International. Since opening, the hub has engaged in a number of projects, facilitations and missions that have fed into ICVA's global and regional address to its core focus areas of forced displacement, humanitarian partnership, coordination and financing.  The ICVA West Africa regional hub, along with the other ICVA hubs in Asia and MENA, support NGO consortia and strengthen links between national NGOs, international counterparts and various UN agencies. It covers West African, but also Central African countries. 

In 2014, the escalation of the Ebola crisis in West Africa confronted the humanitarian system in new and unexpected ways. This unprecedented outbreak created the need for different forms of collaboration and coordination. The ICVA West Africa regional hub convenes NGOs for information sharing and collective advocacy.

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Our team

Beatrice ColyRegional Programme and Advocacy Officer. Beatrice has strong experience in academic research and project management in Canada and West Africa. She previously worked for the Research Centre of Public Law affiliated to Montreal University as a Research associate. She then worked in Public Health for various research projects in Quebec and moved back to Senegal where she worked on research ethics in the West African Region, and later as an Outreach Programme Manager and a Research Officer in a Reproductive Health INGO. She holds a B.Sc. in Sociology and a Second degree Diploma in Bioethics from Montreal University, Canada 


Upcoming Events


Events and Reports

February 2016: Visite au Nigeria – Nigeria trip The ICVA team visited the capital Abuja and Maiduguri in Borno State and met with the INGO Forum Coordinator, members of the INGO Forum, national NGOs, UN agencies, local authorities and member state donors. They visited internally displaced people (IDPs) in host communities in Abuja, and IDPs in formal camps and informal sites in Maiduguri. Please find report here (Nigeria report)

Februray 2016. NGOs Humanitarian coordinators of the lake Chad basin meeting at OCHA -February, 16

January 2016:  NGOs meeting on the Lake Chad basin - January, 14  The ICVA team met with Dakar based NGOs advocating for the Lake Chad Basin to devise ways to raise the profile of the humanitarian crisis.

June 2015: ICVA West Africa participated in the WHS West Africa regional dialogue on ‘Engaging the Private Sector in Humanitarian Action” which took place in Abidjan. It brought together private sector actors and humanitarian organisations to review regional examples of partnership and identify best practices. ICVA WA participated as panelist in the session on “Experiences and lessons learnt in Ebola Tresponse and chaired the working group on partnering in crisis response and recovery. The report of the workshop will be available shortly. 

May 2015:  ICVA members meeting. The ICVA West Africa hub hosted a members’ meeting in Dakar which was attended by representatives from ACF, ACTED, ActionAid, Caritas Senegal, Intersos, OFADEC, Oxfam, Plan International, World Vision. The meeting minutes and video can be found herePhotos.

March 2015: Ahead of the High Level Conference on Ebola, (Brussels on 3 March 2015) INGOs working in West Africa wrote a briefing paper under the title “Ebola, the road to zero cases and recovery" calling for substantial investment in financial and technical resources to support Governments to rebuild and transform essential services, while maintaining the focus on getting to zero.

24 January- 2 February 2015:Review of Ebola crisis coordination:  ICVA West Africa took the lead in the Guinea leg of the NGO review of coordination and information management in the Ebola response, which took part from 24 January – 2 February, with the participation of ICVA MENA representative, Plan International, World Vision and Catholic Relief Services. Findings of the Guinea mission included:

  • Relatively well functioning inclusive government-led Ebola coordination mechanisms lacking in strategic direction as well as effective power and resources devolution, which international stakeholders can support and reinforce in the longer-term.
  • Epidemiologic information is readily available through daily and weekly situation reports. However, there is a lack of basic information management tools and centralized information repository. This is another area which international actors can support. 
  • UNMEER has been credited with raising the profile of the crisis and bringing in logistical resources, but many interlocutors criticized the mission’s limited field presence and question added value of their response.
  • NGOs as well as the Red Cross Movement are influential given their field presence and leadership in treatment, sanitation, social mobilization notably, but they have not managed to coordinate strategically and drive collective practice.

The Liberia and Sierra Leone legs of the mission have also been completed.  The findings of all three missions will be shared at the end of  March, ahead of the commemoration of the first anniversary of the Ebola declaration in Guinea.

The report can be found here.

The Regional Representative also wrote a personal perspective on cluster system coordination vs government-led coordination, which will be available shortly.. 


December 2014:  In Dakar on 10-11 December 2014 ICVA supported two interactive events to advance UNHCR-NGO partnership in West Africa: the first an NGO-only workshop on partnership, and the second was a UNHCR-NGO consultation. They came as part of the follow-up to the High Commissioner’s Structured Dialogue on partnership with NGOs and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, which was initiated in 2011 to review and strengthen collaboration in the field. The workshop goals were to facilitate discussion among partners on their experiences working together, to disseminate the Dialogue in the region, and to develop an action plan for further strengthening partnership in West Africa. The workshop report can be accessed here.

November 2014: INGOs organised various advocacy activites ahead of the 15th Franchophone Heads of State Summit, in Dakar Senegal  from 29-30 November. The also called on governement leaders attending the summit to commit to concrete and sustainable actions to help eradicate Ebola and prepare West Africa for future crises.Solidarity is not enough, they say, more medical staff, equipment and supplies are required urgently. 20 West African artistes also support this letter.  Ebola is claiming thousands of lives and affecting millions more, but is it is more than a health crisis, it threatens West Africa's economic growth and food security. Long term support is needed to rebuild damaged health systems, re-open schools, develop and sustain safe water and sanitation facilities and support orphaned children. You can read the full letter in English or in French.

On  Thursday 27 November, ICVA in partnership with Actionaid, ACF, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Plan, Save the Children, WaterAid and Worldvision are hosting a round-table on the secondary consequences of the Ebola crisis on children, health systems and food security. Please see the programme for more information.

October 2014: A joint consortia letter by ICVA and InterAction was sent to the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), requesting for a reduction in bureaucratic impediments causing slow disbursement of funds, and stressing the need for stronger liaison with key NGO partners.