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Start to expand its membership beyond the UK

  • by Startnetwork
  • 28 Oct 14

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The Start Network will be opening its membership to include non-UK NGOs. This will be an incremental process to expand the size of the Network gradually. We will be seeking applications from 20 potential members as part of this first call for proposals.

After a fantastic year which has seen the launch of the Start Fund, the first NGO managed pooled fund; Start Build, our ground-breaking approach to capacity building made possible via a collaboration with DFID’s DEPP; and the reform of our governance structures to ensure inclusive, rigorous and agile decision making; the Start Network is now ready to open up to new members.

Why is the Start Network opening membership?

This is in line with our Declaration of Intent to bring about systemic change that cannot be achieved by the existing partners acting in isolation. The intention is to bring NGO partners from other parts of the world into the Start Network Assembly, with an equal vote and say in decision making. Expanding our membership will also increase our reach and the impact of the Start Network’s activities at a local level through a larger footprint.

Membership criteria

Organisations are eligible to become a member of the Start Network if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Registered charities and non-profit making organisations, with roots in any country, in good standing (3 years’ of clean accounts, no outstanding governance issues, not on the UNSC Terrorist list) and whose fundamental purpose is to relieve the suffering of others.
  2. Able to be accountable for programme performance through recognised and robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
  3. Demonstrable commitment to internationally recognized humanitarian principles and/ or quality standards, such as The Code of Conduct (for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief), and/or the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards for Disaster Response.
  4. A signatory to the Start Network’s ‘Declaration of Intent’, and ‘Collaboration Agreement’ both of which demonstrate a commitment to the collective.
  5.  A track record of implementing or supporting emergency response / humanitarian related programmes in more than 1 country, and a demonstrable ability to make a discernible and unique contribution to the collective.
  6. Willingness and ability to pay annual membership fees as agreed membership annually by the membership.

In addition, member agencies must be able to send a representative to the quarterly Start Network Assembly meetings, to ensure that strategy decisions reflect the view of the entire membership. Additional pre-qualification criteria will be applied for access to the Start Fund, in line with donors’ due diligence considerations and legal requirements. Membership is for three years with an annual break clause.

How to apply

The CEO of the organisation should submit a written statement (no more than 1,000 words) in support of their application. The written statement should outline the contribution they will make, and underline their commitment to shared goals that go beyond organisational interests, and the Start Network Declaration of Intent.  The statement should be submitted by the CEO and the Chair of the organisation’s Board.

A membership committee (comprising representatives from Start Team plus two Board members) will review the application and interview the prospective member to ensure all criteria are met, and then submit a recommendation for membership to the Assembly, for their approval.

For more information please contact the Start Team.

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