IVCO 2017

Why IVCO 2017 Matters

Why IVCO 2017 Matters – Themes and Context

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are universal in nature, applying to all countries and all sectors. Achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs will thus require different sectors and actors converging and collaborating together in partnership.

Partnerships as a means of implementation have never been more important in the history of international cooperation. Since the emergence of the post-2015 development agenda, the international community has agreed that multi-stakeholder partnerships are one of the key areas in transforming our world. A transformational partnership is a multi-stakeholder engagement that restructures ‘the rules of the game’ to make markets work, improve the enabling environment and set global norms.

IVCO 2017 will both build on previous IVCO conferences and provide a fresh perspective on strengthening transformational partnership in the light of the SDGs. IVCO 2017 will especially aspire to provide a platform for the strengthened collective efforts by volunteer involving organisations (VIOs), where various stakeholders create and demonstrate together innovative and transformative partnerships for the ultimate goal of ensuring no-one is left behind. This is why IVCO 2017 will focus on the theme Implementation of the SDGs through transformative partnership in volunteering, ideally resulting in a collective agreement on leading practice for transformative partnerships that utilise volunteers’ contributions.

Three subthemes of debate will be addressed: (1) enabling environments, (2) innovation and diversification, and (3) measurement.

An enabling environment for volunteerism is an environment that enables volunteerism “to fully contribute to the realisation of any future sustainable development agenda”. Discussions at IVCO 2017 will encompass enabling environments both for partnerships in volunteering and for successful volunteering.

Innovation is about reframing the issues “through uncovering user-focused insights, continually scanning the horizon for fresh thinking and new ideas, and often in parallel prototyping those in an effort to quickly and inexpensively figure out what works and what does not.” IVCO 2017 will have a strong discussion focus on how innovation can be applied successfully in the realms of partnership, funding and measurement.

Many studies on measurement have been put forth by IVCOs so far, including those focusing on topics such as the added value of volunteering, documenting the contribution of volunteering to the SDGs, and why measure and for whose benefit, to name just a few. IVCO 2017 will build on these previous discussions to identify gaps and new areas in measurement that need innovation and partnerships.

With this background in mind, IVCO 2017 will aim to encourage open discussions to:

• Urge organisations and thought leaders to share existing and emerging innovative partnership approaches in strategies to tackle the SDGs
• Explore IVCOs’ strategies for tracking their progress on enabling environment, innovation and diversification, and measurement in ways that make them accountable
• Link progress with the commitments in previous Calls to Action and explore innovative strategies to collaborate together to move forward
• Share practical information on concrete examples of innovation that have delivered on specific SDGs, and examine how these cases were innovative
• Explore what IVCOs can learn from the successes and challenges, and replicate/adopt for their own organisations/countries in which they work

Over three days of interactive discussions, in-depth workshops and inspiring talks, participants will come to better understand:

• What does a truly transformative partnership look like?
• What kind of environment will enable volunteers to contribute to real change?
• What are the essential ingredients of a successful cross-sector partnership?
• What does innovation mean for organisations that engage volunteers? What are we trying to change through innovation?
• What is the value of innovation and diversification in delivering SDGs?
• How can innovative partnerships enhance volunteer knowledge and solutions? How can better knowledge affect the ways volunteers deliver the SDGs?

A series of themed papers created for the conference will enrich and inform discussions. Participants will also be invited to join a Collaborative Roadmap Workshop at the end of the conference to brainstorm and suggest innovative solutions that can be taken forward in partnership.

We look forward to welcoming you in South Korea and to celebrating partnerships in volunteering.

Your IVCO 2017 co-hosts
Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)
International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum)