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INGOs come together to voice concerns, challenges in field

By Camille Dupire - Feb 11,2018 - Last updated at Feb 11,2018

AMMAN — The members of an independent network of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) operating in Jordan this week started meeting with civil society representatives to prepare for the upcoming Brussels conference.

Formally established in 2014, the Jordan INGO Forum (JIF) regroups 61 INGOs working in the field of development and humanitarian programmes to respond to the needs of vulnerable communities in Jordan, according to JIF advocacy coordinator Mathilde Vu.

"In countries where there is a large concentration of NGOs due to humanitarian crises or other events, creating a network to federate all these entities becomes essential,” Vu told The Jordan Times, adding “we are completely neutral and detached from any political institutions, which allows us a great freedom of speech and communication”.

Through regular meetings and workshops held to facilitate exchange and resource-sharing between its 61 members, JIF provides a joint platform to help INGOs efficiently address issues of common interest. 

“Most of these organisations have common stances towards major issues, therefore, by coming together, it becomes easier to defend those positions or at least to have them heard at the higher levels,” Vu explained, highlighting the publication of an annual report outlining those positions.

In addition to the annual report, JIF also produces regular research on several issues, most especially some which tend to be overlooked by other agencies. 

These include, for instance, a recent report by Terre des Hommes, a Swiss child relief agency, on barbering workshops to empower juvenile youth in detention centres and an article on a Syrian youth with visual impairment who used photography to regain hope.

“By publishing such research, we shed light on issues that affect vulnerable communities living in Jordan and that are important to our members,” said Yannick Martin, JIF coordinator, stressing that JIF ensures an “effective and transparent” sharing of information both internally and externally.

The network also serves as an advocacy tool for these INGOs, who see their interests being defended at a global level, like the Brussels Conference.

“All our members have an equal voice, irrespective of the size of their organisation or the funding they receive. All of them have something relevant to contribute based on their expertise and field work,” Martin explained.

For Nasuh Majali, liaison adviser for Humanity & Inclusion — formerly Handicap International — "being a JIF member offers opportunities to meet INGO counterparts to share our views and challenges on humanitarian and development operations in Jordan. It enables us to jointly raise our voice on identified concerns and to spread lessons learnt among key stakeholders in order to enhance the impact of our actions for the populations we serve”.

Nivedita Monga, Oxfam country director in Jordan, said: “Working with JIF allows us to coordinate with other actors and share information on what works. This means that we and our local partners can better deliver to those who need the help most, which are not just Syrian refugees, but also Jordanian communities hosting them."

“INGOs are used to coordinate their programmes with each other, to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication. JIF gives them a sort of peer-to-peer platform, where lessons are learnt and good practices are shared, and where they work collectively on improving the response delivered to people in need,” Vu concluded.

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