Forum’s annual conference of International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations (IVCO) brings together leaders of international volunteering agencies from around the globe in a unique dialogue focusing on the challenges and opportunities currently facing volunteering for development – longstanding, and newly emerging. IVCO allows Forum members to learn, exchange ideas and practice innovation, build supportive peer networks, and participate in shaping sectoral policy and advocacy initiatives.

IVCO 2021 will be hosted by ActionAid Hellas on the theme Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality, from 16 to 20 October 2021. It will be held online and will include the first Virtual Global Volunteering Fair and an Active Citizens International Photo Salon.

About Forum

The International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) is the most significant global network of Volunteering for Development organisations. Forum exists to share information, develop good practice and enhance cooperation across the volunteering for  development sector. It promotes the value of volunteering through policy engagement, mutual learning and by sharing innovative and good practices. Forum is a ‘virtual’ network, with a global membership that includes a range of organisations involved in international development, including non-government and state organisations.

For more info: https://forum-ids.org/

About the Host

ActionAid Hellas

ActionAid Hellas, an affiliate of ActionAid Federation, was established in 1998. Since then, we have been promoting solidarity by supporting the empowerment of marginalized communities all over the world through child sponsorship, fighting injustice with public campaigns, educating the next generation through our Global Citizenship Education Centre and the international student campaign ‘Global Action Week for Education,’ challenging stereotypes, and nurturing global volunteering. Since 2010, 490 Greeks and Cypriots have participated in short-term solidarity volunteering projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, working with local communities and becoming passionate ambassadors of our work. Being the first Greek NGO certified and the only one deploying EU aid volunteers all over the world, we have already deployed 30 volunteers and we are about to deploy 36 more in 2020. ActionAid Hellas has also established a strong local volunteer programme.

ActionAid Hellas’s strategic vision is a resilient society where communities and their people are empowered to enjoy equal rights and act in responsibility and solidarity for a just and sustainable world. Given the new context, our main challenge is to balance our national and international role as we are building our local programmes fighting poverty  in our own country. In May 2017, we opened Epikentro, a community center in an underprivileged neighborhood of Athens, severely affected by the financial crisis, providing free services to children, adolescents and adults so as to empower them and properly equip them to (re)build their lives. AAH is a member of the Hellenic Platform for the Development, which coordinates Greek Non-governmental Organisations performing in the fields of international development cooperation, humanitarian aid and development education. Hellenic Platform also represents Greek NGOs in CONCORD – the European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development, which consists of the main non-governmental voices of EU institutions on the formation of the European Development Policy.

For more info: www.actionaid.gr

Why is the annual IVCO2021 now a virtual conference?

Due to global travel restrictions arising from the COVID19 pandemic, the International Forum for volunteering for Development Board has made the decision to run IVCO2021 as a virtual conference. This means no delegates miss out on the opportunity to gain all of the usual benefits by attending a virtual conference (hosted by AVI) reflecting the face to-face experience as closely as possible.

How will the virtual conference work?

ActionAid Hellas is currently developing a comprehensive conference guide, which will be made available to all delegates. Virtual conferences are becoming increasingly common and attendees can expect an excellent programme delivered via a highly intuitive, user friendly digital platform.

Where will the event be held?

This is an online event. You do not have to travel to any specific location. You can participate anywhere that you have Internet access. The event is accessible from desktop, mobile and tablet devices. However, even if it is online we will broadcast from the 2nd biggest city of Greece, Thessaloniki and it is a good opportunity to get to know a little bit more about this city.

Do I need to register to attend the IVCO2021 Virtual Conference?

Yes, the registration process is the same as a face-to-face conference.

How do I login on the day of the event?

Your login details will be emailed to you ahead of the event which you can use to access the online conference portal.

I’m not available on the conference dates. Can I still participate in the event?

Yes. The IVCO2020 conference portal will remain open 24 hours a day for 30 days. You can attend and watch recorded content whenever it’s convenient for you during this time.

Can I invite my colleagues to attend the event?

Absolutely. We are counting on you to invite others! Help us spread the word. Simply share the link to this page, and they can register at their convenience.

Do I need to download or install any software to be able to attend this event?

Absolutely not! All sessions can be accessed through the web, you only need to have internet access.

Which browsers work best?

The latest versions of Chrome or Firefox guarantee the best experience. Please avoid Brave, Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Edge since these browsers lack the modern web technologies support necessary for online events to run in a web browser.

44 Questions about Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality IVCO 2021 Introductory Paper


This Introductory Paper for IVCO 2021 introduces the conference theme – Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality, and sub-themes – Decolonisation, Digitalisation, and Directionality. Each topic is introduced by a short theoretical text followed by a set of questions aiming to inspire and mobilise discussion at IVCO 2021 and beyond. It is part of a research series for IVCO 2021 that also includes a Framing Paper by Benjamin Haas and Victor Moinina and a series of think pieces on aspects of the conference theme.

Gerasimos Kouvaras is the Country Director of ActionAid in Greece and a member of the Forum Board.  Before joining ActionAid, among others, Gerasimos served Amnesty International as Director for Greece and the Greek Ministry of Education as Special Advisor on Volunteering and the Youth Sector. He has 25 years of engagement as executive director, instructor, advisor and volunteer in and for the civil society sector at the national and international level. Gerasimos is also a PhD in Management candidate at Cass Business School of City University of London and he holds an MBA from Nottingham Trent University, concentrating on non-profit management (dissertation on volunteer satisfaction), and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Aristoteleion University of Thessaloniki.

Full details of the IVCO 2021 conference, hosted by Forum and ActionAid Hellas from the 16th to the 21st of October 2021, can be found at ivco2021.org