Interview with Naseer Channa, Bright Star Development Society Balochistan
Naseer Channa has worked in the humanitarian sector for 20 years. He has worked with many international organisations Pakistan - Oxfam GB, UNDP Pakistan, Save the Children and Islamic Relief, Muslim Hands - and local and national NGOs such as Tarqee Foundation and Bolan Community Development Program. For the past 10 years he has been the Chief Executive for Bright Star Development Society Balochistan (BSDSB) a new member of Start Network, a local organisation established in 1994 in a small village, Haji Shaher in Kachhi District (Balochistan Province).
Last month, four humanitarian organisations from Pakistan joined the Start Network, and one of these is BSDSB. We spoke with Naseer about his previous interactions with the Start Network and his motivations for joining.
BSDSB is a non-profit, non-political, and national humanitarian organization. It currently has 13 fulltime staff in Balochistan and Sindh provinces. It responded to major flooding in 2007, 2010, and 2012 in Balochistan province, working alongside a range of partners including Concern Worldwide Pakistan, Oxfam and HelpAge International. More recently it assisted with the drought emergency in district Kalat Balochistan province between July and September 2019.
BSDSB is a member of the National Humanitarian Network, Balochistan Development Network, Disaster Risk Reduction Forum, Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction, Pakistan CSOs Collision for Health and Immunization and other local level Civil Societies Networks.
How did you first hear about the Start Network?
We first heard about the Start Network through the training and capacity building that we received from Tearfund during 2016 and 2017 as part of the DEPP programme Transforming Surge Capacity. They supported us in project planning, HAP, CHS, SPEAR training and updating our policies and procedures. Through a call for expressions of interest, BSDSB was selected by the Shifting the Power project for the organizational capacity building on emergency response and preparedness. BSDSB signed an MOU with Shifting the Power through Tearfund on capacity building of management, our Board of Directors, members, staff and volunteers on emergency response and preparedness, organizational management and development. Through this project, and the training [sessions] we received, the capacity of the senior management, staff and volunteers on emergency preparedness and response and organizational management has been greatly enhanced.
Can you tell us why you wanted to join the Start Network?
We are hoping that the Start Network will provide us with opportunities for additional capacity building, and linkages with INGOs and donors. We work very much at the grassroots level. We engage with communities through village committees and community emergency response teams, building and strengthening their capacity as well as involving them in decision-making. In all our projects we consult with the community as part of a needs assessment, and coordinate with relevant stakeholders such as government departments. There are few opportunities for funding and support in Pakistan and the province we work in is particularly neglected. Being part of the Start Network will hopefully allow us to continue serving our communities at the grassroots level and provide better and more timely responses.
What changes do you hope to make in the first year of joining the Start Network?
In the first year we are hoping that through the technical support of the Start Network, we will be able to upgrade our policies and procedures, and improve our proposal and report writing and the marketing and branding of our organization. We also hope to build our capacity in emergency response and preparedness and link up with international donors and supporters of emergency responses. Under the partnership and support of the Start Network we hope to continue to serve the poorest communities of Pakistan.