Following the success of last year’s Start Fund COVID-19 response in Nepal, Start Network members are piloting a country-based contingency fund to respond rapidly to, and in anticipation of, small to medium scale crises in the country.
Funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), this member-led trial, known as Start Fund Nepal, has been designed by local, national and international organisations. Members of the Start Fund Bangladesh team have also been supporting the design based on their experience of managing a country-based pooled fund since 2017.
The design began with three workshops where groups, which included local and national organisations, focused on the governance and scope of the fund. These were informed by a membership-wide exercise analysing the humanitarian hazard context across Nepal. The recommendations were then shared with the wider membership in Nepal for feedback before the design was finalised. A series of training sessions then took place to ensure that all members know how to take ownership of the decision-making processes that come into play once a crisis hits.
Six local and national organisations have also been elected to the fund’s country-based governance bodies, based on their humanitarian experience, geographical coverage, capacity to participate, and existing partnerships with other members. This will help to ensure that the interests of local and national organisations are represented, and that they are able to shape the fund and take ownership of its evolution from the beginning, with a view that they will be able to access funds directly in the future.
Pramila Subedi, Project Manager at Start Fund Nepal said:
We are delighted to launch Start Network’s second national-level Start Fund, following in the footsteps of Start Fund Bangladesh which has demonstrated how impactful locally-led action is. We made sure to include local and national organisations throughout the design process to ensure that their points of view were reflected in the final product. We also have six local and national members on the strategic committee, so not only are they part of all the decision-making around activation, allocation and project selection, they also help set the direction of the fund overall.
Lisa Honan, Development Director at British Embassy Kathmandu said:
As well as Covid-19, in the past year alone Nepal needed to respond to multiple forest fires, flood and landslides events, some of which risk going under the radar and as a result not being supported as much as they might, despite the terrible impacts they have on the communities involved. So it’s great news that the UK is able to support the pilot of the Start Fund in Nepal. It offers a big opportunity for collaboration between NGO partners to provide communities with fast, early reaction to small scale disasters that might not otherwise get the support they need. As climate related disasters will undoubtedly increase in strength and frequency, the early action and anticipatory funding in advance of a disaster occurring, which the Start Fund can provide, will be critical too.
If you are interested in supporting Start Fund Nepal, please contact our Resource Mobilisation team: email@example.com