What is IF?
The International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) is the worldwide umbrella organisation (INGO) for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus organisations. It was created in 1979 by national organisations of people with these impairments and their parents. Today IF's members consist of 55 regional and national umbrella organisations for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Furthermore, IF has intensive contact with regional and national organisations spread over five continents. IF's activities are focused on the dissemination of information and expertise throughout the world to families, individuals, professionals and volunteers involved in the field of Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida.
The International Federation for Spina Biﬁda and Hydrocephalus holds Special Consultative Status at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and Participatory Status at the Council of Europe. Through the PROGRESS programme, IF holds a privileged relationship with the European Commission. IF is a founding member of Child Help, a Belgian organisation that focuses on development cooperation. IF is part of the Executive Management Team of the Food Fortiﬁcation Initiative (FFI).
Each year, the International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (IF) presents the IF Award to an individual or organisation in recognition of their special contribution to the service of people with disabilities in general or to people with Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida in particular. The award itself is in the form of a bronze statue. It was designed and created for IF by the Belgian artist Pierre Mertens. The current IF Award is a statue representing an Etruscan woman with a hole in her back and abdomen - the symbol of hope. It is representing both the pregnancy in danger by prenatal diagnoses as well as the disability.