Interactive ICVA
by Humanitarian Practice Network June 1999

ICVA – the International Council of Voluntary Agencies – has instituted a new information policy aimed at turning the network into a leading advocate for humanitarian issues. The two major components of this policy are a new newsletter, provisionally titled Talk Back, and a new website. These are key to ICVA’s role as a facilitator of advocacy networks, and as an information provider. ICVA is aware of the information overload many in the sector face, and intends that these two resources will help members to structure and prioritise information of relevance.

The website has two main parts: a public site and a ‘members only’ site. The members’ site will allow access to unique documents and information not available elsewhere on the web – for example, the kind of information ICVA learns in the course of sensitive and confidential briefings. It will also hold detailed contact information on other members. Most exciting, though, is the interactive/discussion area where members can discuss topical issues and engage in frank discussion about them. The first topic proposed for discussion is the Sphere Project. A username and password will be used to ensure confidentiality, and guest names will be issued for prospective members and friends of ICVA.

Talk Back is also important to ICVA’s new information policy. The newsletter and the website will be complementary, and the title Talk Back is intended to convey the idea of a proactive advocacy network that is prepared to challenge conventional thinking. It will contain ‘latest’ developments in countries of interest to ICVA members from a humanitarian perspective and, as with the website, will inform members of issues that are discussed in Geneva – a main source of news and information on humanitarian issues that are intrinsic to the sector but not covered in a consistent manner. It will also provide information about upcoming events.

ICVA’s extensive network of member organisations makes it ideally placed to debate the key humanitarian dilemmas that confront the aid community. ICVA hopes you will join in this debate.

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