Start Network takes next steps to support localisation through regional and national hubs
The Start Network has received responses from more than 230 organisations in more than 60 countries, looking to create and join national and regional Start Network hubs. The hubs are being created to shift greater power and resources to those closest to humanitarian crises.
The responses were received following a call for expressions of interest, set up to map interest and momentum in forming Start Network hubs at the national and regional level. Start Network will now support hubs to grow where the demand is strongest.
When up and running, hubs will be connected as part of a global network where funding, learning and other capacity are shared. Through this ‘network of networks’, the Start Network hopes to offer an infrastructure to support groups of organisations that want to work together on the change most needed to the humanitarian system in their country or region.
Depending on the local design, the Start Network will be able to support the hubs on areas such as localisation, new financing and collective innovation. For example, if a country wants to develop a risk-based funding facility to respond early to crises. When fully set up, each hub would manage its own finances, membership and governance, while being able to access services provided by the Start Network.
The idea behind the hubs is not to replace existing structures but to create a new space where groups of organisations work together to create better systems, relationships and practices in the humanitarian domain.
Organisations are now being encouraged to work together to design the change needed to build a better humanitarian system in their context, and to identify ways to test new ideas that could change and improve the existing systems. The Start Network team will support those organisations, through facilitating discussions, offering a platform for the sharing of lessons between countries and through modest financial support for system change experiments.
Annemarie Poorterman, Network Development Advisor said:
“We are delighted by the response and we see this as a very encouraging sign that organisations feel a sense of importance and urgency to transform the global humanitarian sector. The fact that more than 80% of the organisations that responded have not formerly worked with the Start Network before, shows that belief in this vision is shared beyond the current network members. The response also shows us that there are expectations on what value the Start Network can offer these change initiatives, and we’ll have to work hard to deliver on our promises.
“We are now encouraging those organisations to take things forward together, ensuring a diverse set of organisations are involved. We believe by supporting leadership in those locations, each hub can evolve in the way needed in that context.”
The Start Network believes that the humanitarian system needs a new model where power is localised, funding is pro-active and fast and where collective innovation allows organisations to adapt and learn from each other.
The organisations looking to join will support Start Network’s aims to decentralise and diversify, eventually become Start Network members, with the membership of hubs being piloted in the first half of 2019.