Istituto per la Cooperazione Unievrsitaria Onlus - ICU

  • Rome

About Us

The Institute for University Cooperation (ICU – Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria Onlus), established in 1966 by some Italian professors, is recognized as a Non Governmental Organization for development cooperation by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) which, together with other donors, support its activities. It has so far realized about 400 projects, carrying out its activities in more than 40 countries for a total budget of around € 150 millions.

ICU has worked in Latin America, Africa, the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Pacific area. ICU headquarter is in Rome, while the other Italian office is located in Milan. Additional offices are also in Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia.

The Institute is partner of the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO ) and is registered with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as International Private Voluntary Organization. ICU is also a member of the board of directors of the Red Euro-Arabe para el Desarrollo y la Integración (READI), a network of 40 non-governmental organizations from the Mediterranean Sea countries. It is also a member of Link 2007, an association of Italian NGOs.

The fundamental principle that guides ICU in pursuing its objectives is the focus on the dignity of human beings, understood as subjects accustomed to learning and responsible for their own future and for that of the community they live in. This has been the successful approach that led to the founding of ICU and that has continued to inspire all of its activities.

The purpose of ICU is to promote self-development in the countries in which it operates. This is why it always implements activities that strongly rely on education and training of local population and institutions. In fact, capacity building, understood as transfer of technology, methodology and know-how, is a fundamental component of ICU strategy in its relations with local partners. The technical assistance the Institute provides through its projects is always aimed at improving local skills and operational capabilities.

In accordance with such ideas, ICU initiatives are always grounded on solid relations with local partners (coming from institutions and civil society), built in years of collaboration. These partnerships ensure a proper identification of local needs, an efficient implementation of the projects and the future sustainability of the activities carried out, thanks to the ongoing presence of local partners ensuring that the results will extend in the future.