The international council of voluntarily agencies

ICVA is an independent international association of non governmental not-for profit organizations established in 1962. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it provides a unique global forum for voluntarily agencies from the North, South , East and west.; a forum where they can meet to exchange views, share strategies, coordinate actions and forge effective partnership across cultures and societies with different levels and forms of development. ICVA supports the work of voluntarily agencies in general and it’s members in particular, in influencing national and international policies, advocating for the protection of refugees and displaced persons, supporting provision of relief and rehabilitation assistance, fostering sustainable development and representing humanitarian perspectives to people, governments and inter governmental organizations.

The ICVA NGO support Project in BiH

The NGO community in BiH finds itself at a nexus of opposing trends. One the one hand, expectations places on the non-governmental sector are steadily rising as consensus emerges regarding the essential role it can and must play in the development of a democratic and pluralistic Bosnian society. Against this backdrop, the reality of limited donor funds and a declining interest in ‘soft’ programs aimed at meeting social needs has resulted in a gradual decline in financial support available to the NGO community, both international and national alike. In a n environment unfamiliar with both the benefits of and requirements for a vibrant voluntary sector, the relativity nascent national NGO community in BiH is facing particular acute challenges in it’s efforts to improve performance and promote the longer term viability of the sector.

Within this context, The ICVA NGO Support Project has, since its establishment in the spring of 1996, been supporting the present work and future development of the NGO sector in BiH so that in may contribute fully to the outgoing processes of reconstruction, democratization and reintegration. Due to the exceptional high number of NGO’s currently operating in BiH (more that 200 international and 130 national, according to the latest ICVA statistics), enhanced coordination and collaboration have been of particular importance to the overall effectiveness of assistance efforts to the region. Such coordination will become even more essential as significant numbers of refugees begin to return.

ICVA has sought to address the needs of the NGO community as a whole, supporting concerted NGO action across a broad range of programmatic, and legal issues. Through a network of offices located in Sarajevo, Tuzla and Banja Luka, the project has identified and focused its activities on the key areas of coordination and networking, capacity building, information sharing and advocacy.

These efforts have included such activities as:

Leaving sector-specific coordination on such topics as shelter and health to specialized agencies, ICVA is increasingly devoting its energy towards facilitating greater coordination in the areas of civil society development and national NGO capacity building. During 1997, particular emphasis is being placed on supporting the ability of national NGOs to share information and experiences, develop programs, raise funds, collectively advocate in favor of their interests, and more effectively articulate the value of their assistance efforts to both governmental and public audiences. these activities are particularly needed in the RS and areas of the federation which fall outside of the Sarajevo ‘orbit‘, a fact which makes ICVA presence in Banja Luka and Tuzla essential to this effort.

International Council of Voluntery Agencies


Obala Kulina Bana 4
71000 Sarajevo
tel + 387 71 668 298
fax + 387 71 668 297


Univerzitetska 1
75000 Tuzla
tel & fax: + 387 75 281 465

Banja Luka

Vidovdanska 25
78000 Banja Luka
tel + 381 78 41 233
fax + 381 78 42 987