What is Decolonisation Asking of Us? – Comhlámh Think Piece at IVCO 2021

This paper by Sive Bresnihan, Training & Education Officer with Comhlámh asks how the field of volunteering for development – which typically enjoys and asserts an aid of neutrality and benevolence – might meet growing calls for decolonisation. It calls on us, at IVCO and beyond, to break the cycle of conversations that ultimately lead us to the same place they started, ‘nothing ceded, entitlements and privilege intact’.

It is part of a series of think pieces published in advance of IVCO 2021, Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality conference.

You can download this think piece here.


Forum’s annual conference (IVCO) brings together leaders of international volunteering agencies from around the globe in a unique dialogue focusing on the challenges and opportunities currently facing volunteering for development – longstanding, and newly emerging. IVCO allows Forum members to learn, exchange ideas and practice innovation, build supportive peer networks, and participate in shaping sectoral policy and advocacy initiatives.

IVCO 2021 will be hosted by ActionAid Hellas on the theme Inclusive Volunteering for Global Equality, from 16 to 20 October 2021. It will be held online and will include the first Virtual Global Volunteering Fair and an Active Citizens International Photo Salon.

You can find full details of IVCO 2021 and register here.


The International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum) is the most significant global network of Volunteering for Development organisations. Forum exists to share information, develop good practice and enhance cooperation across the volunteering for development sector. It promotes the value of volunteering through policy engagement, mutual learning and by sharing innovative and good practices. Forum is a ‘virtual’ network, with a global membership that includes a range of organisations involved in international development, including non-government and state organisations.