ICSS was established in 2006. It is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and, after being hosted by Aids Fonds and STOP AIDS NOW!, became an independent legal entity (a ‘Stichting’) in 2009.
ICSS has played a unique leadership role within the civil society response to HIV and broader global health. Its many strengths have included: convening diverse global civil society organizations and networks, including those of key affected communities; providing ‘safe spaces’ for relationship-building and dialogue; enhancing leadership within global civil society; mobilizing action on critical emerging issues; facilitating joint strategizing and advocacy; and acting as a ‘bridge-builder’ between civil society and external stakeholders, notably donors. In particular, ICSS has remained a champion for HIV (while increasingly engaging in broader health issues). It has also been a powerful advocate for the role and needs of civil society, especially organizations and networks of key affected communities, such as sex workers, people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men (MSM).
ICSS’s mission is to increase the scale and quality of the global response to HIV and broader health through strengthening the mobilization, participation and role of civil society.
ICSS’s goal is to enhance the response to HIV and broader global health through strategic partnerships that support strong and effective civil society advocacy and leadership at global, regional and country levels.