For IOM and its partners, partnership is about more than funding; partnership is about ensuring the quality of humanitarian response, saving lives and alleviating suffering. Strategic partnerships with civil society draw on the strengths of each party, ensuring an effective response to those in need.

Together with NGO consortium, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), IOM organized its second annual humanitarian consultations on 13 June in Geneva, providing a platform for frank and open dialogue on principled humanitarian action.  IOM and NGOs explored the shared values of equitable and inclusive partnership, importance of needs-based responses and unity of purpose.

IOM and NGOs jointly reflected on three current challenges: changing the toxic narrative on migration, addressing the humanitarian-development nexus, and ensuring accountability to affected populations. Best practices were exchanged and key recommendations were developed to further joint engagement in addressing these challenges. Examples of good practice from Colombia, Nepal, South Sudan, Turkey, and Ukraine were shared to stimulate pragmatic discussion, providing examples of joint advocacy, funding and capacity building initiatives.

In the post-World Humanitarian Summit environment and in the lead-up to the September 19 UNGA High-Level Meeting, the IOM NGO Humanitarian Consultations looked at improving response to large-scale movements. Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of IOM, reminded NGOs that “While refugee status is a central aspect of ensuring protection, we must also acknowledge that other migrants are also owed protections under human rights and other relevant law – they too have immediate needs to be addressed.”

ICVA’s Executive Director Nan Buzard summarized, “Of all the issues discussed, there is one clear theme running throughout: the power of complementarity: Complementarity in advocacy, in policy development, in emergency response, in partnering with frontline responders and investing in capacity.”