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Registrations now open for IVCO 2024 in Newcastle

20th May 2024

Delegates can now register for the prestigious annual International Volunteer Cooperation Organisations (IVCO) conference, which is being hosted for the first time in Newcastle upon Tyne by Northumbria University and Comhlámh, the Irish Association of Development Workers and Volunteers.

Organised annually by the International Forum for Volunteering in Development, known as Forum, the IVCO 2024 conference will bring together volunteering agencies worldwide, as well as researchers and practitioners based in the North East of England.

IVCO 2024

Leaders, staff and volunteers of volunteering agencies from around the globe, alongside academics, representatives of government and wider civil society, are united at the conference to promote a unique dialogue focusing on the challenges and opportunities currently facing volunteering and development. 

Northumbria University will be the first academic institution to host the conference with speakers and delegates gathering at the University’s Newcastle City Campus for the event which will run from Monday 9 September to Friday 13 September.

Caption: Matt Baillie Smith, Maxine Mpofu and Bianca Fadel from Northumbria University are pictured with Fiachra Brennan and Dervla King from Comhlámh during a conference planning session in Newcastle.

James O'Brien, Forum’s Executive Director, said: “Forum exists to share information, develop good practice and enhance cooperation across the volunteering in development sector. For more than 20 years, the IVCO conference has been an exciting opportunity for delegates to learn and exchange ideas, share good practice and innovative volunteer strategies, and also build supportive peer networks that can help advance the impact of their work.”

Matt Baillie Smith, Professor of Global Development and Dean of Research Culture at Northumbria University, said: “The theme for this year’s conference is Building and Sustaining Connections for Change: Volunteering for Solidarity, celebrating the potential of volunteering to foster connections and contribute to positive change, things that are all the more urgent given the challenges of the climate emergency, global inequalities, conflicts and divisions.

“Representatives from Forum and Comhlámh visited Newcastle in March to see the conference venue and shape the programme and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone who joins us during the event. We want to promote inclusive spaces for peer-to-peer learning and facilitate connections at diverse scales – community, national and international – building new solidarities that challenge the traditional focus of aid and development flows to enable meaningful social change.”

Comhlámh is an organisation with 50 years’ experience in supporting people and organisations to mobilise for global justice, including through humanitarian responses, active citizenship and values-led volunteering. The Comhlámh team are working together with researchers from Northumbria’s Centre for Global Development, to shape IVCO 2024’s programme in participatory and creative ways.

Dr Caroline Murphy, CEO of Comhlámh, said: “This year’s conference will support generative connections and encourage a deeper awareness of the importance of solidarity-based relationships within and across all areas of delegates’ volunteering practice.  The engaged, participative format will encourage delegates to co-create learning experiences, always welcoming their insights and knowledge. We hope people will leave with awakened curiosity and a renewed commitment to volunteering that helps to imagine and create approaches for more socially and environmentally just futures.”

Further details about the IVCO 2024 conference and registration information can be found online, including the conference schedule, session topics, travel advice and more. Early bird registrations are now open until Sunday 30 June and there are open calls for conference speakers and think pieces.

Reserve your space now and stay up to date with the latest IVCO conference news and developments by visiting




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