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2023 UNHCR Online Consultations with NGOs

Date: 01 January 2023 - 31 December 2023

2023 UNHCR Online Consultations with NGOs

UNHCR Partnership and Coordination Service (UNHCR/PCS) will co-organize a series of Online Consultations with NGOs in 2023, together with International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and other NGO co-organizers.

This is a follow-up on the model of online NGO Consultations held since the onset of COVID in March 2020, and will complement the UNHCR-NGO Global Consultations held every two years (next edition will be in 2024).
Annual Consultations with NGOs

Objectives and approach

The overall objective of those online Consultations is to support an enabling environment for NGOs and UNHCR to exchange on operational, policy and advocacy priorities in a safe space.

Going beyond the information-sharing focus and the usual panel and Q&A format, the perspectives provided by participants aim to:

  • strengthen policymaking processes at the stages of conception, drafting, impact assessment, decision-making;
  • improve monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation, when appropriate;
  • create prioritized and manageable follow-up action points.

The aim of the Consultations is to:

  • lead to concrete and lively exchanges between UNHCR and NGOs, sometimes inclusive of other actors;
  • link to ongoing policy and strategy developments (e.g. UNHCR policies developed/reviewed in 2022 and/or 2023 and which would benefit from NGO input);
  • link to major global initiatives and processes (e.g. related to the Global Refugee Forum);
  • link to operational aspects, particularly in engaging NGOs in the operationalization of specific policies and strategies or in discussing – at global level – coordination and implementing partnerships issues;
  • connect to past discussions as well as to upcoming discussions such as in the framework of the 2024 UNHCR-NGO Global Consultations;
  • lead to collective recommendations and/or follow-up actions.

On this page, you'll find

We will email notes and panellists’ presentations to registered participants.

If you were not at a session, email [email protected] to request notes and presentations.

Calendar of Consultations

  • 2 March 2023: Increasing access to asylum through improved asylum capacity (co-organized with ICVA)
  • 4 April 2023: Disability (co-organized with International Disability Alliance)
  • 22 May 2023: UNHCR’s Innovation Funds

Participation criteria

As per the participation approach for the UNHCR-NGO Global Consultations, NGOs who wish to attend and contribute to those consultations should meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • be a partner of UNHCR in 2022/2023;
  • be an NGO collaborating with UNHCR (including operational partners organizations led by forcibly displaced and stateless persons);
  • be a member of ICVA;
  • have consultative status with ECOSOC (UN Economic and Social Council) with a demonstrated interest in the solution to the problem of refugees, internally displaced persons and/or statelessness and/or in the themes of the consultations.

Other actors (e.g. academia representatives, sports associations, etc.) may be allowed to join as observers.

If your NGO fulfills one or more criteria above:

  • email [email protected];
  • use email subject “Participation in UNHCR-NGO Quarterly Consultations – Name of Organization”;
  • include an explanation of why you wish to attend and contribute to the UNHCR-NGO Quarterly Consultations.

Past sessions

2023 session summaries

  • Session 1: Increasing access to asylum through improved asylum capacity (2 March 2023)

  • Session 2: Enhancing inclusion and protection of forcibly displaced persons with disabilities (4 April 2023)

Session 1: Increasing access to asylum through improved asylum capacity

The discussions centered around the Asylum Capacity Development (ACD) evaluation of UNHCR’s support for Strengthening National Asylum Systems (ACD evaluation) and the plans to establish a dialogue platform for the Asylum Capacity Support Group (PDF). The ACD evaluation welcomed UNHCR’s policy, technical and programmatic efforts, across the world, to support national asylum systems. However, it calls for a more strategic and systematic approach to strengthening national asylum systems based on a broader capacity development methodology. UNHCR has developed a management response which sets out the action-oriented and practical steps that it will take in the coming years to ensure more transformative and effective support to national asylum systems. These steps include elevating asylum capacity development in UNHCR’s priorities through strategy and developing practical tools to guide States and operations.


  • Ms. Gillian Triggs, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection (UNHCR)
  • Ms. Elise Currie-Roberts, Chief, Asylum Systems and Determination Section, Division of International Protection (UNHCR)
  • Ms. Leila Muriithia Simiyu, Director of Programmes (Refugee Consortium of Kenya)
Download the Session 1 documents (password protected, for participants only). If you want to access these documents, please contact the Partnership and Coordination Service: [email protected].

Session 2: Enhancing inclusion and protection of forcibly displaced persons with disabilities

  • Based on this recently published discussion paper, Exploring the intersectionality of International Refugee Protection and the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this online consultation was an opportunity for participants to enhance their understanding of the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in refugee status determination and asylum processes and hear from some speakers about their personal experiences in this regard.
  • Speakers underlined the importance of advocating for governments to remove any discrimination in their laws, policies, and programs against refugees with disabilities, so that they can access the services they require including social protection, self-reliance, and livelihood opportunities. They emphasized the need of addressing the physical, information, communication, attitudinal and institutional barriers, as well as ensuring accessibility in refugee status determination and asylum processes.
  • They provided concrete examples, for instance on the risks and vulnerabilities faced by internally displaced women with disabilities in Cameroon, the barriers refugees and asylum seekers face upon arrival in Ireland, and the need to empower organizations of persons with disabilities with the necessary capacity and resources to improve their advocacy and service delivery.
  • Finally, the need for disability inclusion in planning and coordination, disaggregating data and results as well as the shared responsibility with partners to jointly identify barriers were discussed.
  • As next steps, participants were encouraged to use the upcoming 2023 Global Refugee Forum to look for States and donors interested in funding specific opportunities or projects for example addressing the inclusion of persons with disabilities, advocate for specific pledges on disability and encourage governments to make pledges more inclusive.


  • Mr. Ricardo Pla Cordero, Protection Officer, Disability Inclusion, Division of International Protection, UNHCR.
  • Ms. Elham Youssefian, Inclusive Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Advisor, International Disability Alliance.
  • Mr. Juan Cobeñas, Fellow of the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action (DRG).
  • Mr. Mohamed Camara, Diversity, Inclusion and Disability Advocate, International Disability Alliance.
  • Ms. Armelle Nogning, Regional President of Coordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities in the North West Region of Cameroon and Founder of Community Creative Center for Women and Girls with Disabilities.
  • Mr. Julius Mvenyi Ntobuah, UNHCR’s Advisory Board Member and Chairman of Newcomers with Disabilities in Sweden.
Download the Session 2 documents (password protected, for participants only). If you want to access these documents, please contact the Partnership and Coordination Service: [email protected].