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IFISO is an international network of global or European Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). IFISO provides a platform for these NGOs to share best practices, but also to pursue common aims, often by cooperating through inter-organisational projects on a European level. IFISO aims to set a common platform of collaboration amongst international student organisations in order to strengthen their capacities through knowledge and information sharing and identification of common areas of involvement. The concrete results per year depend on the moment and the people involved. Currently the IFISO network consists of around 25-30 non-governmental student organisations (student NGOs), covering more than two million students all together.
IFISO is a good way to get the outsider’s perspective on every day NGO-business. Though it should never be forgotten that IFISO has more to offer than discussions. With the strength of many NGOs through their actions, IFISO is a force to be reckoned with.
Before the foundation of IFISO it existed as an organisation called IMISO – acronym for Intersectorial Meeting of International Student Organisations. However, since member organisations were already limited in time and funding by commitments to their various organisations, an informal organisation was recognised as the ideal milieu. The Informal Forum of International Student Organisations (IFISO) was established. IFISO is an informal forum for international officers of pluralistic, "non-political" and non-profit international (worldwide, European, etc.) student-run organisations.
IFISO not being informal does however not mean that no structure is necessary and that common agreements can be reached. In 2010 during the autumn IFISO meeting in Istanbul, agreements were made on the procedure behind selecting the next hosting NGO for an IFISO Meeting, rules and regulations on IFISO’s communication structure and the hosting of the website ifiso.org.
Twice a year, once in spring and once in the autumn, an IFISO Meeting is organised. At IFISO Meetings IFISO Board responsibles of the NGOs, IFISO liaison officers or other people representing the NGO on behalf of and approved by the NGO’s Board are participants. The number of participants normally varies from 10-20. Each present NGO has one vote to cast for decisions made within IFISO.
The most notable success story of an IFISO Project is the Leadership Summerschool (LSS). The idea of having an LSS came from enthusiastic students associated with IFISO through their NGOs in 2007, most of which continued their legacy by creating the trainers organisation “Zero Generation”. The LSS is a soft-skill training event often experienced as inspirational by participants and trainers alike. The first LSS was organised in 2008.
The trainers and participants are from all IFISO members, they are selected by a Coordination Team (CT), which in return is chosen by the previous Coordination Team, normally consisting of three people. They are responsible for choosing a location + association that can organise the next LSS, also known as Organising Committee (OC).
IFISO is a growing organization in fast development, currently the involved organizations are