Becoming a broker of Start Evolves
Karen Janjua from Community World Service Asia
In May we launched a new process called Start Evolves. It’s both an opportunity to co-design what the Start Network will look like in future, and a campaign that will engage many more people in Start’s vision.
The Start Network’s vision is a humanitarian system in which funding will be dependable and predictable, based on humanitarian need. Responses will be defined by the recipients and early funding will reduce the impact of crises and the cost of response. Our vision includes a structure that is comprised up of autonomous national and regional networks of Start Network members. These new ‘Hubs’ would enable us to bring in new organisations and shift power to communities.
After an eight-year journey, the Start Network has achieved so much, although it hasn’t yet become the global ‘network of networks’ that is needed in order to deliver this vision. We cannot do this without members acting as brokers for this vision to help us reach more people.
Pakistan is one of the countries that could become one of the first hubs, and here Karen Janjua from Community World Service Asia tells us about presenting this vision to a group of country directors in Pakistan.
“As one of the member and assembly representatives who participates in the Start Evolves dialogues, I came home from the Assembly meeting believing more than ever that Start Evolve has to be more, right now, than the plan we had been discussing. It has to start happening now in people’s minds and imaginations in those countries slated to become the first “hubs.”
“In Pakistan, we have 22 Start members. The country offices of some international organizations, which are members have been implementing seven of the DEPP (Disasters & Emergencies Preparedness Programme) projects, we have been participating in Drought Financing Facility planning meetings. In addition, two members applied earlier this year to the Humanitarian Leadership Academy grant for pilots for sustainable collaboration. Under this grant we will be holding a conference in July to look at the future of the humanitarian system in Pakistan and how Start might add value in establishing a collaborative financing model.
“To date, there hadn’t been much cohesion among the various member organizations at the senior management level, of the type that would facilitate the movement towards creation of a hub. The process needed a lot more buy-in by the country directors, and I hoped that they would be incentivized by knowing what part they could play in the big vision.
“On May 26th I invited all country directors from member organizations to a briefing and discussion, with Kat and Melina from the Start Team participating by Skype. Subsequently, I sent them the information and [a survey to collect feedback]. I am hoping that this will ensure that they will be more inclined to participate in the July conference and will understand the exciting potential of a Start hub for Pakistan.”
We’re clear that many more conversations need to happen and we will update you again shortly on the discussions in Pakistan and elsewhere.
If you’re a member and have stories to share about how you have engaged your stakeholders in Start Evolves, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.