ICVA at 60 Commemoration

Collaborating for Effective Humanitarian Action





Virtual event



Africa region
Middle East and North Africa region
Asia region
Latin America


The International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) was established in 1962 as the successor organisation of the Conference on Non-Governmental Organizations interested in Migration, the Standing Conference for Voluntary Agencies Working for Refugees, and the International Committee for World Refugee Year. 

This year, ICVA will be commemorating its 60th anniversary on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 through an on-line event and in person reception in Geneva. There will also be events in ICVA’s four regional hubs (Africa, Asia and Pacific, MENA and Latin America) scheduled for different dates.


For 60 years we have remained committed to our mission of making humanitarian action more principled and effective by working collectively and independently to influence policy and practice.

The External Impact Study concludes that ICVA has had significant impact whether viewing the work through the lens of the Focus Areas, the defined ways of working,  the documented added value of ICVA or the collective achievements of the ICVA members, the ICVA board and the ICVA Secretariat team. The commemoration will be an opportunity to reflect on our past, present and future as well as re-enforce the ICVA 2030 ambitions.

Events to mark ICVA's 60 years

Transformations from past, present to future: NGO perspectives

  • The online event was held on Wednesday 18 May 3pm – 4:30 pm CEST.
  • During this interactive event you will hear more about our six decades journey and how through the ICVA 2030 strategy we are looking to transform the ICVA network to the future.
  • Watch the video


60th commemoration in-person reception 

  • This invite-only reception was held on in Geneva on Wednesday 18 May.

Regional events: All ICVA regional hubs will plan ICVA 60th commemoration events.

  • MENA – 22/23 June in Amman
  • LatAm- 19 September in Panama
  • Africa – TBC
  • Asia – TBC
Online event 18 May 2022

ICVA at 60- Transformation from past, present to future: NGO perspectives


On-line Event: 3:00pm to 4:30pm CEST

Transformation from past, present to future: NGO perspectives


3:00 pm – Opening by Ignacio Packer, ICVA Executive Director

3:05 pm   – A chat with former  Executive Directors

3:25 pm  – A panel discussion around the topics of the transformations (present and future)

4:25 pm  – Wrap up by Jane Backhurst, Chair of ICVA board

ICVA 60th Anniversary: Opening Remarks

Ignacio Packer
Executive Director, ICVA
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Ignacio is the Executive Director of ICVA since January 2018. He strengthens the impact and collective voice of ICVA and leads its engagement with the highest levels of the U.N., governments, philanthropies, and civil society actors.

He has been working in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian assistance for over 30 years,  the past 10 years in CEO positions at international aid organisations. Ignacio has worked for Terre des Hommes, the Swiss Tropical Institute, the European Association for Development and Health and Médecines Sans Frontières. As a strong supporter of inter-organisational collaborations, he has led strategic partnerships with these organisations.

He is an expert on human rights and social issues and has been strongly engaged in global advocacy on protection frameworks for people on the move with a focus on children and youth.

Chat with former  Executive Directors

Cyril Ritchie
Cyril Ritchie
President, Union of International Associations
Ed - HERE Executive Director
Ed Schenkenberg van Mierop
HERE, Executive Director
Nan Buzard
Nan Buzard
Head of Innovation, ICRC
Panel discussion around the topics of the transformations speakers





Transformation 1: our rootedness in principled humanitarian action


Lisa K. Piper, ACBAR, Afghanistan

Transformation 2: our ability to evolve, confront and respond to the impacts of climate change and take our responsibilities in mitigating the root causes


Balla Moussa Sidibe, Regional Director, CARE International – West Africa (Africa)



Transformation 3: the value we all bring due to our proximity to people in crises


Ghida Anani, ABAAD, Lebanon

Transformation 4: our strength in collective diversity


Luis Enrique Gonzalez Araiza, Executive Director, Dignidad y Justicia en el Camino A.C., Mexico

Transformation 5: our collaborative advantage to increase our impact


Samer Daoudi, Policy Adviser, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), OPT 
ICVA Secretariat perspectives


Mirela Shuteriqi, Director of Policy, ICVA


Lisa Piper photo
Lisa K. Piper
Director, Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (ACBAR)
Balla Moussa Sidibé
Balla Moussa Sidibé
Regional Director, CARE International West-Africa
Ghida Anani Photo
Ghida Anani
Founder & Director, ABAAD – Resource Center for Gender Equality
Luis Enrique Gonzalez Araiza
Executive Director, Dignidad y Justicia en el Camino A.C. (FM4 Paso Libre)
Sameer photo
Samer Daoudi
Policy Adviser, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
Mirela 2
Mirela Shuteriqi
Director of Policy, ICVA
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Mirela joined ICVA in 2019 as Director of Policy where she leads a policy team focusing on forced migration, humanitarian financing, and coordination.

As a human rights lawyer from Albania, she has 15 years of professional experience on humanitarian and development issues working for both NGOs and UN Agencies. She worked with UNICEF as advocacy coordinator on the rights of refugee and migrant children in Europe. Prior to UNICEF, Mirela served as global protection adviser for Terre des hommes, covering programmes aiming at preventing child exploitation, trafficking and other forms of violence against children. For few years she provided direct legal services to vulnerable families and Albanian children exploited or living in the streets of Albania and Greece.

She holds an LLM degree and has authored various publications on human rights and migration law.

ICVA 60th Anniversary: Closing Remarks

Jane Backhurst
Chair, ICVA Board

ICVA history documents

13 May 2022
ICVA at 60-1962 - 2022 Collaborating for Effective Humanitarian Action
Subject/ ICVA /

This review provides a decade-by-decade snapshot of ICVA’s first 60 years. It tells the story of its birth, evolution and maturity as an international mechanism for NGO humanitarian cooperation, highlighting changing areas of focus, core activities and major achievements.

There are two versions  – a downloadable pdf, and an interactive online version.

ICVA history
15 November 2007
ICVA at Forty-Something
Subject/ ICVA /
ICVA at 40

Reaching middle age prompts many to start reflecting on their past. The same has been true with ICVA as it moved well into its forties. Over the years, ICVA, like any organisation, has kept track of its history, growth, and development. Two short histories of ICVA were previously written – the latest one being when ICVA turned 25. We felt that, more than 20 years later, it was time to produce a more comprehensive narrative of the story of ICVA.

ICVA history
23 February 1987
ICVA at Twenty Five
Subject/ ICVA /
ICVA at twenty five

In 1987 we commemorated our 25th anniversary. This was a testimony of our growth in membership and our work around addressing key issues of concern to NGOs involved in humanitarian assistance and development cooperation.

ICVA history
13 April 1977
A Brief History of ICVA Published in 1977
Subject/ ICVA /
A Brief History of ICVA

A brief history on the beginning of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA). This document was published in 1977.