The NGO Forum was created in the early 1990’s as a coordination mechanism for NGOs under Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS); it was originally located in Nairobi where most NGOs were then based. In 2006, with the move of many organizations into Southern Sudan, the NGO Forum began to meet monthly in Juba, and now includes non-OLS members and National NGOs (NNGOs). The Forum was created to discuss issues around programming, humanitarian financing, delivery of humanitarian aid, and access to services. The NGO Forum began as a voluntary body that operated by a Terms of Reference with an annually elected Steering Committee.
In mid-2008 the work of the NGO Forum came under the facilitation of a full-time office called the NGO Secretariat. From its inception until mid-2010, the Secretariat was funded by DFID and administered by Catholic Relief Services. In August 2010, the NGO Forum moved to a membership model and the Secretariat was funded by NGO members as well as ECHO. The Secretariat is currently hosted by TearFund and is supported through funding from Swedish SIDA, Swiss SDC ECHO and it's members.
The Secretariat reports to the NGO Steering Committee and is comprised of an NGO Secretariat Coordinator, Information Manager, Security Focal Point, Security Analyst, Policy Advisor, National NGO Focal Point, NNGO Information Manager, Administrative Officers and drivers who facilitate the work of the Forum on a full-time basis. The Secretariat Office is located in the Tearfund compound, Hai Jerusalem, Juba.
The NGO Forum is governed by a group of 10 INGOs and 10 NNGOs who are elected on an annual basis from the INGO Country Directors group and NNGO National driectors group respectively. The work of the Steering Committee is facilitated by a full-time Secretariat office. The work of the NGO Forum is detailed in the Statutes of Operations.