ICVA's near-death experience: temptation and redemption in the `Humanitarian International'

In 1997, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), which was formed in 1962, came close to being dissolved. The author provides a personal viewpoint on the way that the ICVA moved towards this point: highlighting organisational, managerial, financial, and structural errors of judgement. The ICVA remains in existence, but the author argues that while it continues to act as a promotional network encompassing NGOs with differing agendas and resource bases, it will lack `a genuine basis for a common agenda', concerning itself more with individual members' institutional security than with its emancipatory remit.